Best Guitar Tuner – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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Update - 2021.03.16

Not everybody can tune a guitar by ear — and that is okay. There are plenty of guitar tuners that can help you tune your instrument without any problems. The main question that rises amongst musicians is what guitar tuner is the best since there are so many different brands and models. In this article, we will compare some of the best guitar tuners to find out which product is worth investing in.

How Do The Best Guitar Tuners Stack Up?

Here we have a comparison table to help you better understand what features the products have. For more info check out the products’ description below, where we go more in-depth.

Product Tuner type Build materials True bypass
KLIQ TinyTune Chromatic Aluminum +
KLIQ Metropitch Chromatic Aluminum -
Polytune 3 Mini Chromatic Aluminum +
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Aluminum -
Korg Tuner Chromatic Aluminum +
KLIQ Tinytune Pro Chromatic Aluminum -
D'Addario Micro Clip-on Plastic -
Snark SN5X Clip-on Plastic -
D'Addario NS Micro Clip-on Plastic -
Donner DT Deluxe Chromatic Aluminum +

The Best Guitar Tuner — Boss TU-3
Boss TU-3 is the definition of good quality guitar hardware that is built to do the job the right way. The stompbox build is durable, 21-segment LED meter with brightness control is perfectly visible at all times.

BOSS TU-3 Tuner (TU3)

★★★★★
$111.00
$102.00
Amazon.com
as of 20 April 2021 9:25 pm

The best guitar tuner works with a huge variety of instruments — up to 7-string guitars and 6-string basses, which is perfect for many musicians and genres. Even more — Guitar Flat Mode allows for dropping the tone to six semitones below the standard tuning.

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KLIQ TinyTune — Electronic tuner for guitar

Design. This guitar tuner features an aluminum body that is more than capable of lasting a long time. Coupled with compact dimensions you’ll get a device that is perfect for both live shows and rehearsals. When it comes to the buttons and switched, the pedal is quite straightforward: there are no hidden buttons or additional features. The display is big and easy to read in various lighting conditions.

Features. Some of the tuner pedals tend to interfere with the loud signal when plugged into the setup, which results in humming or popping noise. The great thing about KLIQ TinyTune is that the device mutes the input signal during the tuning process, and directly routes the signal to the output when it is not used. The switch is very tactile and firm to eliminate accidental triggering.

Specifications TINYTUNE - CHROMATIC TUNER
Tuning Range A0 (27.50 Hz) - C8 (4,186 Hz)
Tuning Precision ±0.5 cent
Reference Pitch 430-450 Hz (in 1 Hz steps)
Flat Tuning 1 - 4 semitones (in semitones steps)
Power Supply 9V DC adapter center tip negative (not included)
Power Draw ~24mA (while tuning)
Included Accessories 3M velcro strip (for attachment to pedalboard)
Weight 4.3 ounces
Dimensions 3.7 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches

PROS:

  • Pros. Build quality. No signal inteference. Hook-and-loop fastener included. Compact size.

CONS:

  • Cons. Not battery or power supply included.

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KLIQ Metropitch — Digital tuner guitar

Design. The casing is made of durable metal with a built-in kickstand, that can be folded for transportation. And it also comes with a carrying pouch. There is a needle-type display with function keys on the front, and IN and OUT jacks on one side, and headphone jack with volume control on the other.

Features. The device combines the features of three separate products: a tuner, a metronome, and a tone generator. It has a variety of tuning mods, transpositions settings, and pitch calibration for tuning not only guitar but any other instrument as well. As a metronome, the device also packs useful features: there a range from 30 to 250 beats per minute, tap tempo along with different beats and rhythm patterns. The user can rely on the JOG dial to set up a needed tempo. On top of that, the 88 note tone generator feature can be helpful when ear training.

Specifications KLIQ MetroPitch
Tuning Accuracy ±1 cent
Tuning Range A0 (27.50 Hz) to C8 (4,186 Hz)
Reference Pitch A4 = 410-480 Hz (in 1 Hz steps)
Tuning Modes Guitar, bass, violin, ukulele and chromatic
Tone Generator Range A0 (27.50 Hz) to C8 (4,186 Hz)
Display LCD
Metronome 30 to 250 BPM
Power Supply AAA battery (3.0 V) x 2 (included)
Dimensions 4.3" (109 mm) x 0.6" (15 mm) x 2.4" (61 mm)
Weight 3.2 ounces (90.7 g) - including batteries

PROS:

  • Pros. Metronome and pitch generator features. Carrying pouch included. Batteries in the box. Built-in kickstand. Volume control for a headphones.

CONS:

  • Cons. Not very responsive. High power consumption

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Polytune 3 Mini — Versatility Is Key

Design. Another very compact model that packs a lot in terms of features. Size helps it easily fit on any pedalboard, but there’s only one color option. It’s not a big deal since the color is universal in terms of the design theme. On the sides, there are INPUT and OUTPUT jacks with an ON and OFF switches and a LED display on the front.

Features. The tuner has three tuning modes: polyphonic, chromatic, and strobe for tuning several strings at once or one after the other. BONAFIDE buffer feature allows for keeping the tone clean through large setups, and there’s also a true bypass mode. Another very helpful thing is an always-on mode, so that the user can tune their instrument when playing.

 

Specifications Polytune 3 Mini
Type Polyphonic
Format Pedal
Display Type LED
Reference Pitch A 440hz
Accuracy ±0.02 cent (strobe), ±0.5 cent (chromatic)
Inputs 1 x 1/4"
Outputs 1 x 1/4"
Bypass Switching True Bypass
Power Supply 9V DC power supply (sold separately)
Power Usage 100mA
Manufacturer Part Number 000-DHQ00-00010

PROS:

  • Pros. Versatile. Compact. BONAFIDE buffer and true bypass. Always-on mode.

CONS:

  • Cons. No power supply included. Can be inconsistent when picking up a bass guitar.

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Boss TU-3 — No-Nonsense Approach

Design. TU-3 has a sturdy stompbox body with a 21-segment LED meter featuring high brightness mode for outdoor usage. It’s a bit bigger than the competitors, but it does have a more compact version.

Features. This guitar tuner has chromatic and guitar/bass tuning modes, supporting up to 7-string guitars and 6-string basses. In addition, you have flat tuning with drop tunings up to 6 semitones below the standard pitch. True bypass feature is also presented here, and it can power up to 7 BOSS compact effect pedals.

 

Specifications BOSS TU-3: Chromatic Tuner
Tuning Range C0 (16.35Hz)–C8 (4186Hz)
Reference Pitch A4=436–445 Hz (1Hz step)
Tuning Accuracy ±1 cent
Power Supply DC 9 V: Dry battery 6F22 (9 V) type (carbon)
Dry battery 6LR61 (9 V) type (alkaline)
AC Adaptor (PSA series: optional)
Current Draw 30 mA (DC 9 V)
85 mA (DC 9 V, when High Brightness mode is on)
Dimensions 73 (W) x 129 (D) x 59 (H) mm
2-7/8 (W) x 5-1/8 (D) x 2-3/8 (H) inches
Weight 390 g / 14 oz (including battery)
Accessories Owner’s Manual, Leaflet (“USING THE UNIT SAFELY,” “IMPORTANT NOTES,” and “Information”), Dry battery/9 V type (6F22)
Options AC adaptor: PSA series
Parallel DC cord: PCS-20A

PROS:

  • Pros. Tuning modes. True bypass. High brightness mode for LED meter.

CONS:

  • Cons. Tone recognition speed.

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Korg Tuner (PBAD) — the Looks Guy

Design. The pedal features a compact cutting-edge aluminum design that comes in a white and black color. Most of the front panel is covered by the display with a high-brightness setting for openairs. INPUT and OUTPUT ports are located on the rear of the device.

Features. The tuner has a true bypass feature, and there are also four display modes that can be switched with a press of a button. On top of that, it allows parallel connections to power other pedals. Also, the tuner does not interfere with the signal and makes no noise whatsoever.

 

Korg Tuner (PBAD) specification
Scale 12-Note Equal Temperament
Detection Range E0 (20.60 Hz) to C8 (4186 Hz)
Calibration Range A4 = 436 to 445 Hz (1 Hz Steps)
Detection Accuracy ±0.1 Cent
Input Impedance 1 Megohm (Tuner On)
Display Modes Regular, Strobe, Half-Strobe, Mirror
Connectors Input: Mono 1/4" / 6.35 mm Jack
Bypass: Mono 1/4" / 6.35 mm Jack
Power: 9 VDC In, 9 VDC Out
Power Supply 1 x 9 V Type Battery (6F22/6LR61)
AC Adapter: 9 VDC, 600 mA, Pin-Negative (Available Separately)
Battery Life Approximately 60 Hours (6LR61, A4 Continuous Input, Tuner On,
Display Mode: Regular Mode)
Approximately 30 Hours (6F22, A4 Continuous Input, Tuner On,
Display Mode: Regular Mode)
Current Consumption Maximum 20 mA
Dimensions (W x D x H) 2.7 x 4.4 x 1.9" / 68 x 111 x 47 mm (Including Rubber Feet)
Weight 9.1 oz / 257 g (Including Battery)

PROS:

  • Pros. High tuning accuracy. Parallel connection. Small footprint. Metal chassis.

CONS:

  • Cons. The settings are reset after the power down.

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KLIQ Tinytune Pro Stage Tuner — a True Powerhouse

Design. This guitar tuner features a  black aluminum metal die-cast body with a bright LED display for better visibility. On the sides, the pedal has INPUT and OUTPUT ports with a true bypass feature with the relay switch located on the front of the device.

Features. With this guitar tuner, the guitarist is able to tune up to 7 semitones with 4 calibration from 420 to 459 Herz. The pedal also saves the previous settings. To make sure that the tone stays clear throughout the playing process the customer can rely on a true bypass feature. The LED display can go really bright for outdoor performances, and there are two display modes to choose from: needle meter or strobe. On top of that, KLIQ TinyTune Pro Stage Tuner is powered by a 32-bit processor which makes tuning faster and a more accurate experience.

 

KLIQ Tinytune Pro Stage Tuner Specifications
Tuning Range A0 (27.50 Hz) - C8 (4,186 Hz)
Tuning Precision ±0.5 cent
Reference Pitch 420-459 Hz (in 1 Hz steps)
Flat Tuning 1 - 7 semitones (in semitones steps)
Power Supply 9V DC adapter center tip negative (not included)
Included Accessories 4 Rubber feet (for placement outside a pedalboard)
Weight 4.3 ounces
Dimensions 3.7 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches

PROS:

  • Pros. Faster processor. Save previous settings. True bypass. Aluminum case.

CONS:

  • Cons. The power supply is not included.

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D’Addario Micro Guitar Tuner — Mini guitar tuners

Design. This particular tuner clips onto the guitar instead of being placed on a pedalboard. Nevertheless, the device is discrete and lightweight. It’s one of the smallest guitar tuner, which means it can be left of the instrument when it is in the case. 360-degree swivel mechanism and adjustable padded clamp let the guitarists place and adjust the tuner in whatever way they want, and the tri-color backlit display is perfectly visible in any lighting conditions.

Features. The tuner has a calibration range of 410-480 Herz and achieves good tuning precision by picking up the instrument’s vibration and sound. The display has three colors showing the accuracy of tuning.

D’Addario Micro Guitar Tuner Specifications
4-points of screen orientation; 2 vertical, 2 horizontal.
Updated button hierarchy for easy, intuitive control.
Tuner calibration range of 410-480Hz.
Improved piezo control allows for a better tuning experience in noisy environments.
CR2032 battery included.

PROS:

  • Pros. Compact footprint. High tuning accuracy. The battery is included.

CONS:

  • Cons. The ratcheting mechanism is plastic.

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Snark SN5X Clip-on tuner — Guitar tuners for acoustic guitars

Design. Snark Clip-on tuner features a sleek circular design and plenty of color options. The device can be mounted on both the front and back of the headstock and can turn 360 degrees for better positioning. The body also features buttons to adjust the tempo of the metronome.

Features. The device acts as both a tuner and a metronome. As a tuner, Snark SN5X has a frequency range for tuning a guitar, a bass, and a violin with high accuracy thanks to an improved processing chip. It can also be used as a simple metronome with the ability to adjust the tempo using buttons.

 

Snark SN5X Clip-on tuner specifications
Display Full-color LED Rotates 360°
Tuner Chromatic
Dimensions Not specified by manufacturer
Weight Not specified by manufacturer

PROS:

  • Pros. Adjustable mounting. Bright display. High accuracy. Metronome functionality.

CONS:

  • Cons. Plastic build.

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D’Addario NS Micro Sound Hole Tuner — Best acoustic guitar tuner

Design. This tuner is quite unique in the way that it is used to tune acoustic instruments: that is why it mounts right on the guitar’s deck. The clip is pretty small which keeps the whole setup discrete. Also, the clip does not leave any marks on the soundhole of the deck. Most of the front panel is occupied by a colored display.

Features. The device can boast the calibration range of 410-480 Herz and short response times with precise tuning. The display is bright enough for almost every scenario.

D’Addario NS Micro Sound Hole Tuner specifications
Manufacturer D'Addario Planet Waves
Weight (kg) 0.08
Reference frequency (Hz) 435-455
Clip on Yes
Integrated Metronome No
Colour Black
Chromatic Yes
Display LCD
Integrated Microphone Yes
Power Adapter Connection No

PROS:

  • Pros. Highly sensitive piezo transducer. Discrete looks. Bright display.

CONS:

  • Cons. Plastic build.

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Donner DT Deluxe Guitar Chromatic Tuner — Back to the Basics

Design. Donner DT Deluxe is a standard pedal tuner: the front  embellished with an LCD display and a switch. There’s a micro-USB port on the side for power, INPUT and OUTPUT port.

Features. A chromatic guitar tuner is perfect for a wide range tuning (27,5-4186 Herz) process. The micro-USB port allows using the tuner even with a phone charger or a power bank. The true bypass feature keeps tone coloration at zero.

 

Donner DT Deluxe Guitar Chromatic Tuner Specifications
Tonal Range 12Hz~4186Hz (C8)
Input 1/4"Monaural Jack (Impedance: 100K Ohms)
Output 1/4"Monaural Jack (Impedance: 0 Ohms)
Power Supply DC 9V (Plug polarity is Positive on the barrel and negative in the center )
Working Current 90mA
Dimensions 95(D)*45(W)*48(H)mm
Weight 268g(With box)

PROS:

  • Pros. Wide tuning range. Micro-USB for power. True bypass.

CONS:

  • Cons. May make clicking or popping sounds.

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Best Guitar Tuner — Buyer’s Guide

These are some of the best guitar tuners that you can find with a good mix of features and price.

Given the variety of products on the market, it is understandably easy to get lost. To make sure that you will buy the right product, you will have to consider the following points:

Price. Look through the offerings and land on the amount of money you can spend. It should be somewhere in the middle of what you’re comfortable with paying and what vendors charge for quality products.

Tuner type. There are two major types of guitar tuners — pedals and clip-ons. Pedals and mounted on the pedalboard with the rest of your effects setup, while clip-ons are usually installed on the headstock or the deck of the guitar.

Features. Make sure that the tuner you choose has everything you need. You may find the additional features such as a metronome useful, or just stick to the barebones tuning. Take a look at the build of the device to see if it is sturdy enough, if there’s any power supply in the box, or if there’s a true bypass feature.

Do not get carried away with stuff you don’t want or need — you may end up overspending. Just focus on the essentials.

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