Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Welcome to our big guitar tuner test 2021. Here we present all the guitar tuners we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best guitar tuner for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a guitar tuner.




Summary

  • A guitar tuner is the right choice for you if you want to tune your guitar and don't want to rely on your hearing.
  • The biggest advantages of guitar tuners are saving time and being able to tune your guitar anytime, anywhere.

The Best Guitar Tuner: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a guitar tuner

Why is it worth buying a guitar tuner?

A guitar tuner is useful for setting the exact pitch of the guitar strings.

The tension of the strings changes due to the weather and external influences. Often, you only notice that your guitar strings are out of tune when you play. With the help of a tuner, the guitar can be quickly retuned - even on the road.

Who should buy a tuner?

Every guitar player should own a guitar tuner.

Especially for guitar beginners, a tuner is highly recommended to get a feeling for the guitar and the right pitch of the strings. But guitar professionals also save a lot of time with the help of a tuner.

What is a chromatic tuner?

A chromatic tuner is an "all-purpose tuner".

It not only specialises in the pitch of the guitar, like the simpler tuners, but can also be used when tuning other instruments. In addition to the main notes, the tuner can also recognise the semitones. It is also possible to set open tuning, flat or drop tuning. With a chromatic tuner you are very flexible.

What makes a clip tuner?

Clip tuners are clamped directly to the guitar and thus directly detect the vibrations of the guitar strings.

They are especially recommended when there is a loud background noise. Clip tuners are often perfect for on the go due to their small, handy design.

Clip tuners are the perfect guitar tuner for environments with loud background noise. (Image source: pixabay.com / tresdetres)

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Decision: What types of guitar tuners are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between six different types of guitar tuners:

  • Classic Desktop Tuner
  • Clip Tuner
  • Rack Tuner
  • Floor Tuner
  • Multi-voice tuner
  • Soundhole Tuner

Due to the different modes of action and purposes, a certain guitar tuner is best suited for you. Since not every guitar tuner is the same, there are different advantages and disadvantages.

In the following section, we would like to describe the individual types in more detail and explain the differences. To make it easier for you to decide, the advantages and disadvantages of the individual guitar tuners are clearly compared.

How does the classic desktop tuner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Although they are not as accurate as strobe tuners, for example, almost no one is bothered by this because they are accurate enough and you can hardly notice the difference.

Advantages
  • Cheap and practical
  • Extra features for more money
  • Many models = lots of choice
Disadvantages
  • Not as accurate as strobe tuners
  • Ineffective in a noisy environment

They are small, cheap and very practical. Another great advantage of desktop tuners is the huge choice.

How does the clip tuner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Clip Turner is attached to the head of the guitar. With this device tuner you can measure the pitch via a contact microphone that picks up the vibrations of the wood.

Advantages
  • Works despite background noise
  • Very good for acoustic guitars
Disadvantages
  • You still have a part to watch out for

There are many different clip tuner models to choose from. With this tuner you can tune your guitar even though there is a lot of background noise.

How does the rack tuner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The 19'' wide rack tuner is recommended if the equipment is to be placed in a rack. One advantage of this device is the large housing box, which is designed for sophisticated hardware and many advanced features.

Advantages
  • Large enclosure box
  • Sophisticated hardware and advanced features
  • Multiple inputs and outputs
  • Ideal for recording studios
Disadvantages
  • Not mobile
  • Higher purchase price

The Rack Tuner also has multiple inputs and outputs, which is ideal for recording studios. This is because they can be easily integrated into even the most complex setups.

How does the Floor Turner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With the Boden Tuner, it is possible for guitarists to retune directly on stage. You don't even have to move the guitar, which is of course a big advantage.

Advantages
  • Can retune guitar on stage
  • Quick and easy
Disadvantages
  • No features

They are also very quick and easy. This in turn means that pedal tuners don't usually have that many features.

How does a polyphonic tuner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With this tuner you can tune all 6 strings of your guitar at the same time, which of course saves a lot of time. Especially on stage, such a tuner is very useful.

Advantages
  • You can tune several strings at the same time
  • Wide price range
  • Saves time
Disadvantages
  • Not absolutely necessary
  • As the quality increases, so does the price

The price spectrum of this device is very wide, which of course has the advantage that there is something for everyone.

How does the soundhole tuner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The soundhole tuner can be permanently attached to the body of the guitar. This is very practical if you are a bit sloppy or just don't want to have so many parts to look after.

Advantages
  • Partially silent tuning possible
  • Convenient
  • Easy to attach in the sound hole of a guitar
Disadvantages
  • Not so many features

Furthermore, some slightly better models even allow silent tuning, which is very advantageous if you are in a noisy environment.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate guitar tuners based on these factors

Accuracy

The accuracy of the tuner indicates how much the played string may deviate from the actual pitch.

The accuracy is given in cents. This measurement stands for one hundredth of an equal semitone step. The lower the cent indication of the tuner, the higher the accuracy. The accuracy of guitar tuners ranges from 0.1 to 2 cents.

Display

There are different displays, which are often combined with each other.

1. LED

Red and green LEDs indicate whether the struck string corresponds to the correct tone. If the tone is inaccurate, a red light appears, if it matches the pitch, the green LED lights up. This form of indication is the most inaccurate, as it does not indicate exactly how much the tension of the string needs to be changed.

2. Needle tuner

The tuner shows very precisely, by means of a needle on the display, to what extent the pitch of the string is above or below the actual matching pitch.

3. LCD tuner

This device shows the needle indication on an LCD display, this is the difference to the needle tuner. The display is identical.

How it works

Clip tuners detect the vibrations of the guitar strings and indicate the exact pitch even in a noisy environment. They have a contact microphone that picks up the vibrations directly from the guitar. Do you often travel with your guitar? Then a clip tuner is the right tuner for you.

The guitar tuner has an integrated microphone that records the frequency (number of vibrations) of the tone and shows on the display how much the played tone is above or below the required pitch. It is less suitable in noisy environments. If you play the guitar in your own home, a tuner with a built-in microphone is acceptable.

Additional functions

In addition to tuning the guitar, many guitar tuners are equipped with other useful functions.

Metronome

With the help of the metronome, you can set a steady tempo. You can maintain the tempo while playing the guitar and notice when you strum too fast or too slow.

Reference tone

You set a reference tone on the guitar tuner and it sounds. You can compare the reference tone with the string you are playing and hear any discrepancies. You also train your hearing.

Calibration function

With the piano, for example, tuning takes a lot of time, so with the help of the calibration function, it is possible to adjust the tuning of the guitar to that of the piano. This is done by adjusting the number of vibrations per second (Hertz). You can flexibly adjust your guitar to the tuning of other instruments.

Image source: unsplash.com / Roberta Sorge

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