Best acoustic guitar tuner

String Instruments

An excellent acoustic guitar tuner allows for accurate, quiet tuning during practice and performances.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which acoustic guitar tuner is best? 

Whether you are a seasoned performer or a practicing musician, a digital guitar tuner is a real asset. They not only provide you with the most accurate means of measuring pitch, but they are also convenient to carry and work well in low lighting. One of the most important benefits of digital tuners is they can tune at low volumes. This is especially important when playing live as you don’t produce the awful tuning noises with which we are all too familiar. Every guitarist should have a tuner, but there are various factors to consider when choosing which is best. 

Types of acoustic guitar tuners

Tuner pedals

Some acoustic guitar tuners work for some guitars and not for others, and this is mainly dependent on whether your guitar has a pickup fitted or not. Like those found on electric guitars, an acoustic pickup sends the signal to a speaker via an amplifier and a tuner pedal plugs in between the guitar and amp. These are the most accurate option as they directly take the signal’s frequency and are not influenced by vibrations or ambient noise. 

Handheld acoustic guitar tuners

While these are not as convenient to use as the other two options, they can tune any instrument, as they work using embedded microphones. To use one, simply hold it near your instrument’s soundhole or place it on an adjacent desktop so it can receive the signal and register its pitch. One drawback with this type of tuner is it can pick up ambient noise and is not as effective in public settings where you can hear chatter and other instruments.

Clip-on tuners

These are the most popular acoustic guitar tuners. They are an effective compromise between the accuracy of plug-in tuners and the portability of handheld options. To use these, simply clip them onto your instrument’s headstock, and the tuner detects the frequencies played via its piezo sensors. Because they work using vibration in the guitar’s body instead of those traveling through air, clip-on tuners are effective when used in noisy environments.

Best acoustic guitar tuners

TC Electronic Polytune Clip

TC Electronic Polytune Clip

TC Electronic has a rich heritage of making high-quality products, and the Polytune Clip is no exception. When switched to polyphonic mode, this compact model has the distinction of tuning all six strings at once, making mid-set adjustments quick and inconspicuous. It also features a regular chromatic tuner and an ultra-accurate strobe tuner mode, making it a great companion when brought to recording sessions. 

Sold by Amazon

Boss TU-3

Boss TU-3

Anyone who regularly plays live will attest that there are often knocks and scrapes associated with gigging, and Boss foot controllers are renowned for their durability. This is the latest offering from their successful TU line of robust pedal tuners, and it is highly accurate and easy to read from standing height. One notable benefit is its ability to power up to seven linked effect pedals, meaning you don’t have to worry about running out of battery mid-set. 

Sold by Amazon

KLIQ MetroPitch

KLIQ MetroPitch

This handheld option has a built-in microphone, so you can use it to tune any instrument, and has the benefit of input and output jacks, enabling it to be plugged in where possible. It boasts many different tuning modes, pitch calibration and transposition settings, and its wide range spans A0 to C8. Another notable feature is its integrated metronome, which has a tap tempo function, making it a handy tool when practicing.

Sold by Amazon

D'Addario Eclipse Headstock Tuner

D’Addario Eclipse Headstock Tuner

Despite being highly affordable, this versatile option from veteran guitar accessories manufacturer D’Addario is very well made and effective. Players like the colorful display that makes it easy to read in low-light environments, its quick and accurate response and its ability to rotate through 360 degrees, meaning you can position it on all types of headstock without worrying about visibility. It is also available in six colors and comes with a battery included.

Sold by Amazon

Fishman FT-2 Digital

Fishman FT-2 Digital

Manufactured by the popular makers of acoustic pickups, the Fishman FT-2 is notable for its ease of use. It clips onto the guitar’s headstock and switches on when flipped up and turns off when flipped back down. When activated, the display shines red when you are sharp, amber when you are flat and green when perfectly in tune. Additionally, it has a needle display which gives a handy pitch status reference to an accuracy of one cent.  

Sold by Amazon 

Korg Pitchblack Advance

Korg Pitchblack Advance

This stompbox-style offering from Korg is robust and aesthetically striking. While it has no polyphonic mode and lacks the pinpoint accuracy of some more refined models, it is more than good enough for most musicians. Other features include an oversized LED display, an angled profile that aids visibility and switching and 60-hour battery life. It acts as a power supply via its 9-volt DC output, and purists will love its true bypass when the unit is in standby mode.

Sold by Amazon 

Snark ST-8Hz Super Tight

Snark ST-8Hz Super Tight

The Snark Super Tight is so-named because it has a particularly effective clamp that grips the headstock with non-slip pads. Its display sits in a ball socket, allowing it to rotate through 360 degrees freely, and it has a large circular display with color-coded tuning status graphics. This Hz model allows for the incremental tuning of many types of instruments. It incorporates a metronome for practice purposes and an auto shut-off feature to conserve battery life after use.

Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.