5 of the Best Guitar Tuners to Get You in Tune in 2017

Get in tune! Beginners and expert guitar players all have one thing in common – they need to get in tune if there’s going to be any future performances or any enthusiastic fans!

How do you get in tune? By ear of course! While that’s something that a purist would say, we’re a little more forgiving since we have quite the tuner collection ourselves. So, ditch the frown and strum on a grin because you’re getting a tuner today!

We’ve scoured all our sources to find the best tuners to get you dialed in! Some of them you can pick up with a few bucks and others you might have to save up for. So, we’ve given you a range, and when your ticker goes off, you know you’ve found the right one!

But, if you need to brush up on types, features, and functions, then make sure you stomp on by our Buying Guide. We might just convince you to get this and not that!

Our Top 5 Guitar Tuners for 2017

KLIQ UberTuner – Best Clip on Guitar Tuner

KLIQ UberTunerWhen it comes to tuning, you need speed, accuracy, and convenience. That’s why the KLIQ UberTuner is one of the most dependable and popular tuners you’ll ever strum across!

The first and most obvious feature of the UberTuner is its sleek and minimalist profile with its large color display to let you know exactly where you are tune-wise.

For tuning accuracy, the Micro Processor is outfitted with a highly sensitive Piezo Sensor that can get you in ideal tuning territory within 1 cent – that’s even more accurate than what the human ear can detect!

It also has a wide tuning frequency from A0–C8 with a variable A4 frequency of 430-450 Hz.

If you have more than one instrument at home and you’d like a little more tuning flexibility than just Guitar Mode, the UberTuner also has Bass, Violin, Ukulele, and Chromatic Modes!

The clip-on tuner can be placed in the front or back of your guitar, and the screen has a 3-point adjustment turn for comfortable use from any angle!

This tuner is an excellent catch for a beginner guitar player and robust enough for any pro!

Main Benefits:

  • Clip-on
  • Color display
  • Piezo Sensor
  • Accurate to 1 cent
  • Various tuning modes

Main Drawbacks:

  • Breaks easily

Customer Reviews

The KLIQ UberTuner is one of the best clip-on guitar tuners full stop! Users love the hassle-free set up, versatility, the strong-clip, tuning accuracy, and its intuitive design!

However, it seems a very few defective UberTuners break easily and users can’t get it to register notes. But, KLIQ Music Gear has been raved about their excellent customer service and their 3 year warranty!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

What kind of Battery does the UberTuner Require?

Can the Calibration Settings be Saved on the KLIQ Tuner?

How do you Interpret the Accuracy on the Display?

Can the KLIQ UberTuner Display be Seen in Bright Light?

Does the KLIQ Tuner Shut Off Automatically?

KLIQ UberTuner Features:

  • Tuner Type: Clip-on
  • Size: 1.6 x 0.5 x 1.6 inches inches
  • Accuracy: -/+ 1 cent
  • Instrument Versatile: Yes
  • Battery: CR2032 3V

Boss TU3 – Best Guitar Tuner Pedal

Boss TU3If you’re looking for a tuning pedal, don’t be a wuss and get a knobby, little thing, it might reveal too much about you. Instead, show the crowd who’s boss with a sexy stompbox, the Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal – now, that says everything!

Putting any Boss on your pedal board will be the best move to making yourself a babe-magnet! The Boss TU3 is a chromatic tuner, so it’s going to get you tuned in to all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale!

You’ll know when you’re in key because the Accu-Pitch feature will tell you so. But, if you’re worried about being able to see the multi-color LED screen during a daytime gig, don’t! It features a High-Brightness Mode for better outdoor visibility.

Getting tuned in fast is a specialty of this tuner pedal. For flat tuning, just kick into the Guitar Flat Mode and allow the Boss to take charge of drop tuning up to 6 semitones below your norm! The chicks might dig it!

The other babe-magnet instrument, the Bass Guitar, is also compatible with the Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner! Plug it in, light it up, and stomp on out!

Main Benefits:

  • Stompbox
  • Multi-color screen
  • Guitar Flat Mode
  • For guitar and bass
  • Accu-Pitch

Main Drawbacks:

  • Price

Customer Reviews

The Boss TU3 is reserved for only the serious players who want tuning accuracy, something built to last, easy configuration, and an interface that’s super user-friendly. The reviews say that the Boss comes exactly as described, and when you’ve got one on your pedal board, everyone knows who’s boss!

However, it’s not your cheap pedal tuner if you want something that costs the same price as your fast-food snack. If you want something beyond good, then you better pay up!

Users of the Boss definitely think every penny is worth it! The gals say so too!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Does the Boss TU3 have a Buffer?

Can the Boss Tuner Pedal be used with a Power Unit?

How to Tune in Mute Mode using the Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal?

What is the Tuning Range and Reference Pitch of the Tuning Pedal?

What are the Modes on the Boss TU3 Tuner?

What are the Dimensions of the Pedal Tuner?

Boss TU3 Features:

  • Tuner Type: Pedal
  • Size: 4 x 3 x 6 inches
  • Accuracy: -/+ 1 cent
  • Instrument Versatile: Yes
  • Battery: 9v

Korg GA1 – Best Acoustic Guitar Tuner

Korg GA1When the natural sounds of an acoustic guitar is your dig of choice, then tuning by ear is an empowering skill – for the master git player! So if you’re on a budget and your ears are not quite trained for that yet, then you need to get yours hands on the Korg GA1 handheld tuner!

Don’t let its low price fool you. Korg is a top-notch brand and this tuner is no toy!

While it’s a handheld tuner, it does feature a tilt-design for easy viewing from many angles.

Although it’s ultra-compact and discreet, it has accuracy to rival its beastly counterparts! The high-precision needle-style meter has a built-in, high-sensitivity mic to pick up where your tuning skills slack.

If you consider yourself quite the player, you probably have more than one git, maybe an electric one. The Korg can tune this one too since it has a 1/4 inch input jack to connect right in to! Plus, this mini tuner caters to bass guitars as well!

You can flat tune with this, benefit from the automatic shut-off feature, and get 100 hours of battery life with it!

This is one of those tuners that you definitely get more bang for your buck! When you wanna go budget, go cheap!

Main Benefits:

  • Ultra-compact
  • High-precision LCD needle
  • For guitar and bass
  • Auto Power Off
  • 100 hours battery life

Main Drawbacks:

  • Ultra-compact
  • Drop tuning issues

Customer Reviews

Several hundred users of the Korg GA1 appreciate the simple interface and use of the tuner. They described it as accurate, fast to use, and versatile!

However, the tuner itself seems to prefer standing tuning notes, so if you’re drop tuning, you might run into issues. Others also said they didn’t like the compact screen. This is an eyebrow raise since it is an ultra-compact tuner!

But, many buyers said it was the best, small investment they made!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

How many Semitones can the Tuner Drop Tune?

What is the Sound Out Feature on the Korg GA1?

Is the Reference Tone Volume Adjustable?

What is the Power Supply of the Handheld Tuner?

Korg GA1 Features:

  • Tuner Type: Handheld
  • Size: 3.3 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Accuracy: -/+ 1 cent
  • Instrument Versatile: Yes
  • Battery: 2 AA 3v

Snark SN1X – Best Electric Guitar Tuner

Snark SN1XIf you were one of the several thousands of users who loved the Blue Snark SN1 Guitar Tuner, then you’re going to drool over its newest counterpart, the Snark SN1X Chromatic Tuner!

The new SN1X also features the same, popular blue design that propelled the older SN1 to the top.

It’s a simple-to-use clip-on tuner with a multi-color display and intuitive interface.

Plus, it doesn’t just tilt one way or this way, it has a 360 degree pivot head for easy and comfortable tuning from literally any angle!

The 415-466 Hz pitch calibration range is perfectly suited for guitars and bass guitars alike.

While it’s not your average “plug-in” tuner, it is equipped with a very highly-sensitive vibration sensor, and this proves to be all you need to get right in tune!

If you don’t quite have any rhythm, the Tap Tempo Metronome is handy feature!

Don’t be worried about distracting crowd noise either as the small clip-on tuner is dedicated to only you and your guitar!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Chromatic
  • 360 degree head
  • Vibration sensor
  • Multi-color

Main Drawbacks:

  • No jacks
  • Doesn’t work

Customer Reviews

The Snark SN1X and its older version, the Snark SN1, are outrageously popular with players! The price is unbeatable, the display is noticeably better, and it’s so easy to use, even for beginners!

However, new packages that have been received have arrived dead. This seems to have happened enough to justify mentioning.

While there aren’t any jacks for plug-in use, the popularity of this tuner proves that it doesn’t need it! The vibration sensor is all you need to depend on!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Can the Snark SN1X Tuner be used with all String Instruments?

Can the SN1X Detect Drop Notes?

Will this Clip-on Tuner work on an Acoustic Guitar?

Is the Battery Included with the Tuner?

Snark SN1X Features:

  • Tuner Type: Clip-on
  • Size: 1.8 x 3.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Accuracy: -/+ 1 cent
  • Instrument Versatile: Yes
  • Battery: 1 CR2

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini – Best Polyphonic Guitar Tuner

TC Electronic Polytune 2 MiniWhen you’re on stage and you’re sweating bullets trying to tune your git in front of a horde of crazy fans, you can’t afford to be cheap and you can’t afford to waste time. That’s why the only polyphonic tuner for you is the TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini!

Combine modern machinery and the old-school but hell-of-an-accurate strobe technology and you have an ultra-precise chromatic strobe tuner!

The PolyTune Technology allows you to save as much time as possible by tuning all six strings with just one strum!

We’re also not just talking about time-saving perks either, we’re also talking about pitch-perfect accuracy! You can’t get more in-tune than ever with strobe technology! This little pedal tuner can get you within 0.1 cent accuracy! Seriously, it’s for the serious git players!

Since you’re a fanatical player, your pedal board is probably already teeming at the brink. That’s why this little tuner has a small footprint to let you get tuned in fast to max those pedals to the metal!

This is a true bypass tuner, polyphonic tuner, and a chromatic tuner. It’s your all-in-one pedal baby!

Main Benefits:

  • PolyTune Technology
  • Strobe Display
  • Chromatic
  • True bypass
  • Unbeatable accuracy

Main Drawbacks:

  • Short life

Customer Reviews

Buyers of the TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini can’t deny the awesomeness of this mini pedal tuner! They rock and rave about the various display modes, the atomic accuracy, and the handy USB port for firmware updates!

However, some reviews confirmed that it has a very short life. But, we should probably remind fanatics that it’s not a stompbox – it’s a tuner! Go easy.

Is it worth the price? We say, no rockin’ doubt about it!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Where are the Jacks on the TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini?

How do you Adjust the Brightness of the LED Screen on the Polytune Tuner?

Is there an Individual String Mode?

Does the Polytune Tuner have a Mute Tuning Feature?

Does the Polytune Mini Require Batteries?

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Features:

  • Tuner Type: Pedal
  • Size: 4 x 2.5 x 2.2 inches
  • Accuracy: -/+ 0.1 cent
  • Instrument Versatile: Yes
  • Battery: No/9v Power Supply

Guitar Tuners Buying Guide

Types of Guitar Tuners

To make sure you’re getting the tuner you want, you first need to know what you’re looking for. Here, we’ll do a brief strum-down of the best types of guitar tuners you’ll come across! So, ask yourself, are you a stomping kind of guy or a clip-on kinda gal?

Strobe Tuners

These are the OG tuners of the old-school world! Heck, they’re typically not even sold anymore except as antique pieces in some rich guy’s collection. But, they served its purpose back then as they do now in some newer types of tuners.

They were known for their incredible accuracy because they implemented lights and rotating discs to match internal reference frequencies inside the bulky and beastly tuning machine! We won’t get into the science of it, but for practicality, portability, and convenience, they’re out done by the others to come.

Handheld Tuners

Many git players still use a handheld tuner to this day since they came out in the ’70s. While they’re accurate enough, they’re small, cheap, and can handle some neat features here and there. Some can even be hooked up to an electric guitar whereas acoustic tuners implement the internal microphone. However, it can be difficult to tune a guitar in a noisy environment and it could be distracted by the interfering noise making the tuning process a frustrating and time-costing one.

Clip-On Tuners

Sometimes there’s nothing handier than being able to clip it on and take it off. That’s the idea of clip-on tuners when they hit the market in the mid ’90s. Plus, unlike handhelds, they’re less distracted by the din and melees of your surroundings. But, how do they work? Different clip-on tuners work slightly differently, but typically you would clip this baby onto the headstock where it senses the vibrations. A clip-on might also use a mircophone to hear the intonations.

Pedal Tuners

With all the stompboxes out to give a wah, rah, and roar, it was only a matter of time before tuners joined their effects buddies in a pedal board. While they may not always be decked out with features, they’re simple and straightforward to use. They also allow the option to mute output sound so you can tune discreetly while on stage or without waking the kids! They’re usually placed first in the pedal train and are almost always a staple on many professional git players’ pedal boards! It wouldn’t hurt to emulate the best if you want to be the best, right?

Polyphonic Tuners

Polyphonic tuners, virtual tuners, Strobo tuners, they’re all pretty much the same kind of tuner. They’re using technology to up the tuning ante and provide more accuracy and convenience than ever. These are extremely new to the tuning industry, and there are many skeptics that are ready to roll an eye or two when they hear about its simultaneous tuning abilities. To keep things simple, with one strum the tuner will inform you which strings need to be tuned. So, the idea that you can tune every string in one strum is really just a misnomer.

While these are the most popular-used tuners for jamming on stage or in the privacy of your home, there are a few more worth mentioning.

  • Rack Tuners – They’re huge, loaded with advanced features, and mainly incorporated in recording studios.
  • Soundhole Tuners – They get mounted inside of the soundhole of your guitar so you don’t have to clip on, remove, or fuss about.
  • App Tuners – While very handy for those who don’t want to dish out extra cash for another device, they’re not all that great. But, if you’re serious about installing one, consider the best app tuner brands such as SteadyTune, insTuner, and iStrobosoft.

Chromatic vs Non-Chromatic Guitar Tuners

You’ll hear this term thrown around as if everybody just instantly knows what it means. For those who prefer to keep their greenness to themselves, we’ll throw you a bone and get you in the loop with the cool crowd.

Non-chromatic tuners are excellent tuners in and of themselves if you play at the standard pitch and tone of notes E A D G B and E. Since tuners can only detect sound within a certain range, non-chromatic tuners are simple and have a narrow frequency range.

But, when there’s 12 pitches in the chromatic scale, and you want to maximize your sound with being able to use some or all of the semitone range, you’ll need a chromatic tuner.

They’re able to tune you into the nearest semitone, meaning, if you’re way too low on a D note, a non-chromatic tuner might not be able to register the sound because it’s out of its frequency range. However, a chromatic tuner can pick up the pitch and direct you to the nearest semitone to dial in.

Many electric guitar players often play a half semitone down from the standard pitch, or say if you wanted to play in a flat or a sharp, you’d need to make sure you’re in tune with that scale.

Benefits of Chromatic Tuners

  • Often same price as non-chromatic tuners
  • Can access wider range of chromatic scale
  • Can play in flats and sharps
  • Might often have additional features
  • Can be used to tune other instruments

Features and Functions of Tuners

So you’ve settled on a type of tuner but do you know what features you’re looking for? Didn’t think so. So, here it is straight.

  • Display – There’s needle, LCD, and LED displays that all tell you the same thing – how sharp or flat you are before you’ve reached the correct pitch. Consider the light settings and time-saving benefits of each before blindly picking one.
  • Auto-Pitch – While many tuners automatically let you know how far off from true pitch your tone is, there are some tuners that require some prep work to be done. With these types of tuners, you’ll have to set the target pitch yourself. So, ensure Auto-Pitch is a basic feature on the tuner if you’re not up to the task – that’s what a tuner is for!
  • Modes – Some tuners allow for many various tuning modes. This means you can tune with a capo, tune for a bass guitar or some other string instrument, or drop tune for rock and heavy metal genres!
  • Microphones and Speakers – Microphones are nifty things since they can pick up pitch acoustically. Vibration sensors pick up pitch, well, through vibrations. However, most tuners only offer mute tuning, which means you won’t be able to hear the tone generated which is a downer, especially if you’re trying to master tuning by ear. However, tuners with speakers, built-in amplifiers, or a bypass jack will generate audible tones.
  • Buffer/Bypass/Mute Tuning – Buffer tuners can boost signal and maintain frequency sound, especially when it’s in a pedal train. However bypass features allows your signal to remain uninterrupted on its way to the amp. Mute tuning gives you the discreetness you need to tune your guitar in between performances on stage or during prayer time at a church service.

Get in Tune!

What’s the hardest thing about listening to a beginner or bad guitar player? Tolerating the horrible out-of-tune noise! Are you afraid to shatter your teenage son’s rock-star dreams, your husband’s fragile pride, or your best friend’s sensitive alter-ego? You don’t have to!

A quality guitar tuner is not only a gift for your aspiring country guitar-playing loved-one, it’s a gift to yourself! So, get ready to remove the ear plugs, pay up, and put a genuine smile on your face!