Best Guitar Tuner Reviews 2018

Tuning a guitar properly is one of the most important tasks any guitarist engages in. When you’re playing your heart out during a live gig or studio session, you always want your strings to be in perfect tune. Guitarists who’ve experienced out-of-tune strings, especially during a performance, know how frustrating it can be when the music doesn’t sound just right. We know that properly tuning your guitar is a critical part of any performance or even practice session. For this reason, we have taken the time to research the best electronic guitar tuners. From our in-depth research, we’ve chosen five top brands that offer musicians the best accessories for their instruments, and we’ve chosen our favorite tuner from each brand. Your only job, aside from being the next greatest guitarist, is to read our review to see which tuner will best fit your needs. Who knows? Maybe our favorite will become your favorite too!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Display
Power Source
Tuning Modes
Accuracy
Our Top Choice
TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Tuner
For over 40 years, TC Electronic has been consistent in their delivery of a rich audio experience for musicians and music enthusiasts everywhere. Their products simply take sound to a higher level.
It doesn’t take up space on your fret board, but effectively provides clear readings of how in-tune you are.
Tuning is a breeze with this superfast polyphonic tuner, but the display can be hard to read in sunlight.
Pedal tuner
LED
9V standard power supply
Polyphonic/chromatic, bass/guitar
+/- 0.1 cent/By pass
Best Value
Planet Waves Micro Clip-On Tuner
Since joining D'Addario & Company in 1998, Planet Waves (already known for top quality products) has grown into an internationally acclaimed brand.
It can fit onto most instruments, and its tri-color reversible display provides crystal clear readings so you get a fast, accurate reading every time you tune.
Although great for multi-instrumentalists, this tuner is not meant for rugged use.
Clip-on tuner
LCD screen
CR2 battery
Chromatic
Info not provided
BOSS Audio TU3 Guitar Tuner
If there ever was a brand that has achieved legendary status with guitarists worldwide, it’s BOSS. With a name like BOSS, you never have to worry about getting the highest-quality product.
It’s built like a tank to withstand heavy use. The accu-pitch sign function makes tuning a breeze while the 21-segment LED meter provides clear readings.
Customers are so satisfied with this tuner, no cons have been reported!
Pedal tuner
LED meter
9V standard power supply
Chromatic, guitar/bass
+/- 1 cent
Korg TM-50 Guitar Tuner & Metronome
Over the years, Korg has created innovative and unique instruments that have inspired countless musicians to achieve great success.
The metronome and tuner can be used separately or together, and the highly responsive LCD needle-type meter means higher accuracy when tuning.
With louder instruments, the metronome function may not be audible.
Handheld tuner
LCD
2 AAA batteries
Auto and manual
+/-1 cent
Snark Clip-On Instrument Tuner
Snark is focused solely on the design and production of top-quality tuners.
This tuner offers a faster processing chip, enhanced accuracy, and a new, high definition display.
This tuner can cause damage to instruments with the following finishes: Nitrocellulose Lacquer, Polyurethane, French Polish and oil finish.
Clip-on tuner
High-Def LCD display
1 CR2 battery
Chromatic
Info not provided

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Guitar Tuner?

Have you ever imagined how a person from the early 1950s would feel if s/he was suddenly transported from that time into the age we currently live in? Everyone would look like a magician and everything would look like works of magic. Imagine that a guitarist from the 1950s– who all his professional playing life had to tune his guitar by ear to the note played by a keyboard – was suddenly brought to a studio session today. While he would be waiting for the keyboard to play his notes so he can tune his guitar, he would see other guitarists fiddling with their tuning pegs while staring into a small device. After a while, he would hear them announce that they are all tuned and ready to jam. What magic? How did you tune the strings without even hearing them? These and more questions are likely going to be swirling around in his mind.

The convenience afforded by these little devices called guitar tuners is immeasurable for a guitarist. It does not matter whether you play the electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, or any other stringed instrument, these tuners can help you keep your strings perfectly tuned.

Given that there are so many types and brands of guitar tuners, choosing the right one can sometimes be confusing. In this guide, we will show you how to decide which tuner will be the best for you. We will show and explain some major features that you need to consider if you want to find the best guitar tuner for you. So, if you are ready, join us on this journey through the world of guitar tuners.
Price
There are so many factors that can determine how much a guitar tuner can cost. It all depends on certain features like type, tuning mode, accuracy, and many others.

Our research shows that good guitar tuners can cost anywhere from $10 all the way up to $100. Like we noted earlier, the functions you will get with your purchase will likely not be the same. Within the range we have stated, you can get a good tuner. If, however, you need something more, you can go for more expensive models. We advise against purchasing even cheaper guitar tuners as they are likely going to be of such low quality that you will end up having to tune your guitar by ear.
Features
Choosing the right guitar tuner requires that you spend some time considering some important factors. Knowing and considering these factors will help you choose the guitar tuner that will be just right for you. Some of these factors include:
  • Type
  • Accuracy
  • Tuning Mode
  • Application – Where and how you will use the tuner
  • Type of Guitar
  • Versatility
Let’s briefly take a look at these features.
Construction and Design
To start with, there are different types of guitar tuners, and you have to determine which of the types you want. There are three major types: clip-on, handheld, and pedal tuners. You also have rack mount tuners, sound hole tuners, software tuners, App tuners, and other tuners classified according to their tuning mode.

We will focus more on the three major types of guitar tuners we mentioned above. The clip-on tuner can be regarded as the most popular of all tuners. This may not be unrelated with the fact that it is quite convenient to use. They are also small and among the most affordable. Though many consider them the least accurate of tuners, they are accurate enough to be used in live gigs. More so, you can tune your guitar even with noise from other instruments around. The clip-on tuner is a great and easy way to stay in tune while jamming.

The next type is the handheld tuner. As the name implies, you hold it in your hand and plug your guitar in via a ¼ inch jack input, and then you can tune your strings. Some have built-in microphones that allow you to tune acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments. Although some guitarists believe that these are a bit more accurate than clip-on tuners, they are not as convenient to use as the clip-on tuner.

If you choose to purchase a handheld tuner, and you wish to tune with the built-in microphone, you will have to do so in a quiet place so there won’t be audio interference to mess up your tuning. Should you, on the other hand, decide to use the ¼ inch jack input, you will need to unplug your guitar from your amp and plug it into the tuner. This could be both time wasting and inconvenient especially in a live event.

On the positive side though, there are higher-end handheld tuners that will offer you better features such as polyphonic tuning, presets, and much more. Lastly, we will look at the pedal tuners.

This is easily the most “professional” of the guitar tuners discussed so far. Guitarists are known to have pedal boards where they arrange their effect pedals. Pedal tuners are meant to fit into the pedal board for quick and soundless tuning. Many guitarists like this type of tuner because they can quickly mute the sound and run a check of their strings between performances without having to plug and unplug anything. Some will show you all of your strings and whether they are in or out of tune. If any is out of tune, you can quickly identify it and tune it.

Some guitar tuners are regarded as more accurate than others. The guitar tuner regarded as the most accurate is the rack mount tuner. This is also easily the most expensive of tuners. You can always check the accuracy of a tuner before buying it. The minimum accuracy you should go for is +/-1 cent. This will give you an accurate enough tuning.
Performance and Ease of Use
One of the reasons why many guitarists use clip-on tuners is that, even while gigging, you can be monitoring your strings. Many of these types of tuners will change color when your strings go out of tune. This will help you quickly fix it before it becomes very obvious.

Where and how you will be using your guitar tuner is a critical factor to consider. Regarding accuracy, you need the most accurate tuner you can get for recordings. In live gigs, any averagely accurate tuner will do as the general SPL (sound pressure level) makes it difficult to do critical listening whereas critical listening is essentially all you will do in the studio. What this means is that you are more likely to notice the slightest out of tune note in the studio or on a recording than you will in a live event.

Still on the issue of where and how you will be using the tuner, a second point to consider has to do with your instrument. If you are using an electric guitar in a live concert, you can easily mute the sound and quickly tune. However, if you are playing an acoustic guitar in a small hall, when you pluck or strum your strings to tune them, your audience will hear you. Since you cannot totally mute the sound from an acoustic guitar, you will likely want to strum as lightly as possible while tuning so you will need a tuner that is sensitive enough to pick out that low strum and tune your acoustic guitar accurately.

Many brands are now coming up with tuners that allow you to tune all of your strings at the same time. That means that it will show you all the strings and how much in or out of tune each is. You can find this feature (polyphonic tuning) in almost all types of guitar tuners. Like we noted above, it is quite convenient especially in live gigs where you may not quickly hear when your strings begin to go slightly off tune. This type of tuner will show you which string is in tune or going out of tune. All you need to do is take a quick peek at it from time to time. Whenever you notice a string going slightly off tune, you simply tune that one string.

Another thing that can make things easier for you is getting a guitar tuner that can be used for multiple types of tuning. For example ones that can be used with a ¼ inch jack input or an in-built microphone are very helpful. These types of tuners will allow you to tune a wider variety of instruments. You can also choose one that is a tuner and metronome combo. This will help you especially during personal practice as you can tune and then switch to the metronome function to keep your groove tight.

Lastly, be sure to get a tuner that is right for the kind of guitar you have. Not all tuners can tune an electric guitar as well as an acoustic one. While many can tune both, be sure the one you are choosing can tune your type of guitar.

What is the Best Guitar Tuner?

To determine the guitar tuner that’s best for you, you first need to define what you want in your guitar tuner. Do you need a stand-alone tuner or one that comes with a metronome? What about a tuner that’s part of an effect pedal? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer before making your purchase. As you read our review, think about all the features you want your tuner to have, and you’ll be on your way to becoming the great guitarist you desire to be.
Our Top Choice
The Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner is a highly precise and powerful tuner packed in the smallest of boxes. If you need a tuner that tunes all your strings simultaneously and silently, this is it. The Polytune Clip-On Guitar Tuner is another tuner from TC Electronic. This is a great alternative if you prefer a clip-on tuner.
TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Tuner – Available as Polytune or Polytune Mini & as a Pedal Tuner or Tuner Bundle

TC Electronic Guitar Tuner PolyTune 2 Mini


Features
For over 40 years, TC Electronic has consistently delivered the richest audio experience throughout the entire audio chain. This brand has always produced items that take sound to a higher level. Little wonder, then, why top artists, major recording studios, TV and Radio shows, and even home musicians others all rely on TC Electronic to elevate their sound quality.

The Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner (selling for $71.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is an example of the exceptional products from TC Electronic. Built to deliver fast and precise tuning solutions without taking up much space on your guitar, this tuner is much more affordable and has better features than more expensive tuners. Some of the other features that make this item awesome include:
  • Polytune technology, which allows all strings to be tuned simultaneously
  • Ultra-small footprint, allowing it to fit any board
  • Ultra-bright LED display with ambient light sensor
  • Chromatic strobe tuner with 0.1 percent tuning accuracy
  • True bypass with silent tuning
  • Up to 5 semitone flat tunings
  • Drop-D and capo tuning
Every guitarist will love this mini tuner!
Best Value
The D'Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner is a highly compact and precise tuner that offers extremely accurate tuning for a wide range of instruments. If this tuner isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check out the D'Addario Clip-On Headstock Tuner. This tuner offers a 360 degree rotatable flip-up display.
Planet Waves D'Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner – Available in 4 Styles

Planet Waves Guitar Tuner PW-CT-12 - Single Pack


Features
In 1998, D'Addario & Company Inc merged with Planet Waves, which combined a giant in the instrument accessory business with a smaller company that produced high-quality straps. Under the supervision and management of D'Addario, the Planet Waves line of products grew to include scores of internationally acclaimed items, many of which are patented or in the process of being patented.

The NS Micro Clip-On Tuner from D'Addario (selling at $10.99 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is one of the top-quality products from the Planet Waves line. This highly compact and precise tuner has gained a stellar reputation with many musicians and for good reason. Some of the features that have endeared this tuner to musicians all over the world are..
  • A compact design, making it usable for many instruments
  • A built-in piezo transducer picks up your instrument’s vibrations rather than sound
  • Improved software for faster response and higher accuracy
  • Tri-color, reversible backlit LCD screen, making it easy to tune in the dark
  • Wide calibration range (410Hz to 480Hz)
  • Visual metronome
The TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal from BOSS is simply the “boss” of pedal tuners. Ruggedly built, precise, easy to use—these are just a few words to describe this tuner. With a tuning accuracy within one percent, this is the new standard for pedal tuners. If this tuner is a little out of your price range, check out the Boss TU-10 Clip-On Chromatic tuner. If the TU3 is the standard for pedal tuners, the TU-10 is the standard for clip-ons!
BOSS Audio TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal

BOSS Audio Guitar Tuner TU-3


Features
For over 40 years, BOSS has consistently delivered top-quality products to guitarists worldwide. In doing so, they’ve carved a niche for themselves, achieving legendary status amongst guitarists worldwide. With BOSS’s delivery of superior performance in every product, you know you won’t have ever have to worry about sending your purchase back! The lack of reported problems for their pedal tuner is just one example of the superior quality BOSS is known for.

The TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal (selling at $95.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is one of the top-quality products from BOSS. An improvement from the TU2, theTU3 is the new standard for pedal tuners and which all guitarists should seek to own. Here are some features that make it such a great buy…
  • 21-segment LED meter for easy visibility even in bright sunshine
  • Accu-pitch sign function for easy tuning
  • Chromatic or Guitar/Bass tuning modes
  • Note name indicator for seven string guitars and six string bass guitars
  • Automatic mute when tuner is turned on
  • Power supply to seven BOSS compact effect pedals
  • Flat-tuning mode that can support up to six half-steps
  • A sturdy, tank-like build
  • Stompbox-style
Much more than just a tuner, the TM50 is a tuner/metronome combo that also offers both pitch and rhythm training. This is a great item to have for practice sessions, or for beginner guitar players. If this tuner isn’t quite right for you, try the Korg SHPRO Sledgehammer Pro Clip-On Guitar Tuner. This tuner adds a clip-on feature.
Korg Guitar / Instrument Tuner and Metronome – Available in 3 Colors

Korg Guitar Tuner TM50BK - Black


Features
For over half a century, Korg has been at the forefront of creating new experiences whether you’re performing live or just at home. Many musicians and artists have derived inspiration from many of their innovative and top-quality instruments. It’s no surprise, then, that Korg has remained the choice brand for many musicians.

The TM50 (Selling for $22.99 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) combines the functions of a tuner with that of a metronome. It features a two-level backlight that enhances the visibility of the LCD display. For an excellent response and even greater tuning accuracy, it uses the newly designed needle-style LCD. With such features as the sound back function, you can now also develop and refine your sense of accurate pitch. This tuner comes in black and pearl white, and is an ideal practice mate for any guitarist.
The Snark SN-5 is an incredibly fast and extremely accurate guitar tuner. It features a frequency range tailored to guitars and bass guitars, and can be used on the front or back of the headstock. Need an affordable pedal tuner instead? Check out the Snark SN-10S Pedal Tuner!
Snark Clip-On Tuner for Guitar, Bass & Violin (Current Model) – 6 Models Available

Snark Guitar Tuner SN5X


Features
Unlike many other brands, Snarks is determined to be the master of one product: the tuner. Known for making only tuners, Snark has shown that pointed focus can yield the highest quality results.

The Snark SN-5 (selling for $10.82 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) s a chromatic tuner that bears all the characteristics of a Snark tuner. From its high definition, full color LCD display (which makes readings easy to interpret) to its extremely fast and accurate tuning, this tuner is a guitarist’s best pal any day.

With a body that rotates 360 degrees, you can place the display to face any direction you desire. This makes it perfect for attachment to your instrument’s headstock. Once attached, the display can be viewed easily from any angle. The SN-5 also conserves power by diming the screen after five seconds of non-activity and then fully powering down after two minutes. When a simple, fast, and accurate tuner is needed, the SN-5 is a great solution.

Get the Best Guitar Tuner of 2018!

Now that you’ve gone through this review, you have the information you need to make the right choice. Ready to bring out your inner guitar star? Go ahead and place your order! Just don’t forget to invite TopProducts to your next performance!

Our Top Choice
TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Tuner
Best Value
Planet Waves Micro Clip-On Tuner
BOSS Audio TU3 Guitar Tuner
Korg TM-50 Guitar Tuner & Metronome
Snark Clip-On Instrument Tuner