10 Best Metronomes for Keeping Perfect Time

Are you looking for the best metronome? Finding a metronome can be tough, but they are very useful tools for all musicians. In this article, we have listed 10 of the best metronomes and their features.

You might think all metronomes basically do the same job. There is quite a lot of choice. Some metronomes are great for a specific type of musician, and some have more modern and detailed features. For example, some will have more different tempos and time signatures.

Read on to find the best option for your specific needs and ensure you make the right metronome choice!

In a hurry? Here are our top picks..

1. KLIQ MetroPitch – Metronome Tuner – Best Overall

If you are looking for a metronome that includes many more functions than just keeping time, this could be an option for you. Loads of the best electronic metronomes include tuners. The KLIQ MetroPitch has a tuner, as the name suggests.

The versatile tuner can tune in multiple different tune modes and also has pitch calibration. This is not just arguably the best metronome for guitar, it’s great for other instruments too. It also includes a tone generator for tuning by ear.

The metronome works between 30 and 250 BPM. You can either set this via the dials or you can tap the tempo. There are lots of different rhythm patterns, too. This means you can practice playing along to other beats rather than just a boring 4/4 tick.

A “JOG” dial means you can put the tempo you want in really simply, and the controls overall aren’t too daunting. You can quickly switch to tone generator or tuner. The price is fairly reasonable, and it runs off 2 AAA batteries (these even come included).

This is good for live use, it has a little stand that can kick out and keep it upright so you can see it while playing. For tuning purposes, it can pick up from the inbuilt microphone or there is a ¼ inch jack input too.

The manufacturers provide a “no questions asked” money back guarantee for 3-years. This is a generous warranty for anything musical!

Pros:

  • JOG dial for simple tempo setting.
  • Tuner included.
  • Excellent 3-year warranty.

Cons:

  • Uses disposable batteries.

2. Moukey MP1 – Best Mechanical Metronome

When you read an article like this you probably think of an old fashioned metronome design like this. Some mechanical metronomes are really expensive. You can even get antique wood metronomes that cost a lot of money, but the Moukey MP1 is a mechanical option that doesn’t cost the earth.

As well as the reliable mechanical design, it is super easy to use. Just adjust the pendulum and it will swing to the beat you set it to. The pendulum can be set between 40 and 208 BPM. This isn’t as high a variation as some electronic models. The sound it makes is a wood block chip.

The tempo tolerance is 1%. It’s great for practicing but if you need amazing precision, a digital option might be better. The flip side of that is the fact that it isn’t battery operated. You don’t need to give it any power, just wind it up and it will keep regular beats.

If you need something for casual practice, this could be a good option. Also, it’s better for the environment not to use any disposable batteries if it can be avoided. This can be a good option if you need a piano metronome to sit on top of your acoustic piano.

The manufacturers provide a one-year warranty. The pyramid style is quite classy, but it doesn’t cost as much as some other old fashioned metronomes. A good choice and a mechanical option.

Pros:

  • Looks great.
  • One-year warranty included.
  • Easy to adjust the tempo setting.

Cons:

  • Not as precise as some other options.

3. YAMAHA Metronome black MP-90BK – Best Yamaha Metronome

Many people swear by Yamaha products, and this is to be expected. There aren’t many musical instruments or accessories Yamaha don’t make a version of. This could even be the best metronome for guitar playing as it is loud. This means it is won’t get drowned out even if you are playing loudly.

Like a lot of mechanical metronomes, this has a pyramid design. The tempo range of 40 to 208 BPM is pretty standard for this design. The metronome noise is a bell sound. The beat bell can be set to 0, 2, 3, 4 or 6 beat which is fine for most practice and performing needs.

If you want to, you can turn off the noise, meaning you can just use it as a visual aid to help you to see the tempo of the track ticking along.

This is a wind-up option of metronome. The crank is a little bit heavy (anyone can do it, but it is a two-handed job).

The design is simple, but you can get it in multiple colors. Being able to use the movement to see when the beats are passing is helpful if you want to play without the metronome being heard over you. This is a reliable metronome that should last years if treated right, and it doesn’t need batteries.

Pros:

  • Excellent Yamaha build quality.
  • Lots of time signature options.
  • Available in multiple colors.
  • Very reliable.

Cons:

  • Crank is a bit heavy for winding up.

4. Luvay Digital Metronome – Best Mini Clip-On Metronome

If you are looking for a guitar metronome, you might want something that can clip onto your guitar strap so you can keep an eye on it while you play at a gig or practice. The Luvay is exactly this.

For a digital model, it isn’t the most exciting and versatile metronome, it doesn’t have tons of features, but it does a good job of keeping time and has some extra features. It is also a very affordable metronome.

When we say it is tiny, we really mean it! This product even has a lanyard clip so you can wear it around your neck. If you want to use it without anyone else being able to hear, you can plug in a set of headphones. The ⅛ inch jack is standard for earbuds or headphones.

Even though it is tiny, you can either dial in the tempo you want, or you can tap the tempo, great if you need to match up to a piece of music. This also has a volume control, choose how loudly you can hear the click of the metronome. Mechanical options don’t have this setting.

The power comes from a 3V cell battery which is not as mainstream as AA batteries, for instance. Check you are able to replace this before buying. The first battery is included, and should last you a long time.

Pros:

  • Affordable and very small and lightweight.
  • Can clip onto guitar straps.

Cons:

  • Batteries aren’t as easy to find and replace.
  • A bit of a flimsy design.

5. Tempi Metronome for Musicians (Plastic Mahogany Grain Veneer)

This is definitely one of the best looking metronomes on the market. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other mechanical metronomes, but it includes some added extras and features that many of the metronomes don’t.

This is a wind-up model, and this can sometimes mean you only get a couple of songs worth of playing out of one “wind”. However, it lasts up to 20 mins before you have to wind again.

The metronome is very accurate, it has steel gears that work reliably, so you don’t have to worry about it going out of time. The 40-208 BPM range of tempo is pretty standard. The ticking pendulum also gives a visual aid so you can see the beats passing and keep in time more easily.

The market for metronomes is competitive. Tempi models come with a free e-book to help you become a better musician and stay in time. It also has a 2 month subscription to music lessons online.

Like most mechanical options, it has a beat bell to tell you where the start of the bar is, but you can actually turn this bell off if you don’t want it to chime. You can set the bell to 0, 2, 3, 4, or 6 beats.

A 2 year warranty also means this is a very good value purchase. It looks good, too. If you want a metronome for piano to sit on top and look classy, this sort of design is a good choice.

Pros:

  • Mahogany finish for great looks.
  • Excellent steel gears.
  • Chimes at different time signatures if needed.
  • Includes music lesson subscription.

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to wind up.

6. Seiko SQ50-V Quartz Metronome – Best With Flashing Tempo Light

Seiko is a clock and watch brand rather than a music brand, so if you want to know you can trust the timing of a metronome, what better than clockwork? The SQ50-V doesn’t look like anything special, and it is very functional rather than being a particularly elegant or classic metronome.

One thing that is great about this is the flashing light. Even if you want to play along to a silent metronome, this option can help you. You can use the flashing LED light so that you can see each beat that passes. Some people get annoyed by the sound of a metronome, and if you are performing you might not want any noise.

The fold-out stand comes straight from the back of the metronome and means it can stay upright on a flat surface. This means if you do need to be able to see it, you can do so.

There are two different sounds for the tempo and beat indicators, so you can choose which is best. There are also reference tones. While there is not an inbuilt tuner, the 440 Hz and 446.1 Hz tones mean you can tune to A or Bb.

This is a bit old fashioned in the way it is set, as there is a 39 position dial. It feels a bit like dialing in a number on an old telephone. The range is 40-208 BPM, this seems to be almost universal on mechanical metronomes.

If you are in the market for a simple but reliable metronome that is very visual in its nature, this could be a good choice. You don’t have to keep the sound on to be able to keep your timing with a track.

Pros:

  • Easy to dial in the tempo.
  • Simple fold-out stand.
  • Visual representation of tempo with flashing light.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t look as good as some other options.

7. Korg TM60BK – Easiest to Use

If you are in the market for a metronome that is extremely simple to use then this Korg option is worth looking into. Korg are known for their electronics, with lots of tuners within their range as well as synthesizers and keyboards.

The TM60BK has made our list of the best metronomes because it is so easy to use. It also has a great range of tempos (much higher than most mechanical options).

The metronome ranges between 30 and 252 BPM. There are also three different types of tempo settings, multiple time signatures and 15 different variations of rhythm. The TM60BK lets you practice with lots of different rhythms. This means you can become a better player overall.

The large display makes it easy to see what is on the screen. Even though you have lots of different options in terms of tempo, you can see exactly what is going on. The battery life has been improved since the previous generation (TM50) and is now twice as long.

There is a memory backup within, this means that settings can be stored and recalled when you need them.

A tuner is inbuilt. Korg tuners are great quality and the TM60 is no exception. It has a range of C1 to C8. You can tune just about any musical instrument using this metronome and tuner combo.

A lot of the metronomes on the list just have one or two buttons to control everything, but the Korg has many more, and you can use these to make adjustments in seconds. There is also a tap tempo option that is easy and reliable.

If you want a digital metronome from a brand you can trust, this Korg option is hard to argue with.

Pros:

  • Easy to adjust the settings.
  • Lots of rhythm and timing options.
  • LCD screen.
  • Tap tempo option.

Cons:

  • Can be confusing for beginners.

8. Donner DMT-01 Digital Metronome Tuner – Cheap Option

You might be looking for a cheap digital metronome. If you want something you can rely on but that is very affordable, the DMT-01 by Donner could be something to explore.

There are two versions of this metronome. One uses AAA batteries, but there is also an option that is rechargeable so you don’t have to worry about replacing with disposable batteries.

The DMT-01 has some features that you wouldn’t expect for the cheap price tag. It has an LCD display, so you can see the tempo and also use the tuning function that is built in. The keys are laid out in a pretty easy and simple way. Controls won’t leave you feeling confused.

There’s a 45 degree bracket attached at the back so you can keep it upright on a flat surface.

The 3-in-1 functionality comes from the fact this is both a tuner and metronome but also a tone generator.

This model also has a lot of different rhythms and tempos. You can use it between 30 and 260 BPM. It also can be set to have 0-9 beats per measure for playing loads of time signatures. There are 8 different rhythms to choose from, too.

The quality isn’t quite up there with a lot of the high-end models and this could maybe do with some extra functionality. For instance, a flashing light for visual help. However, for the money, it is hard to argue with this affordable metronome.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lots of tempo and time signature options.
  • Inbuilt tuner.

Cons:

  • No visual representation of tempo.
  • Rechargeable option is more expensive.

9. KLIQ MicroNome – USB Rechargeable Digital Clip-On Metronome

If you are worried about having to use batteries to rely on for your digital metronome, you can find a solution in the KLIQ MicroNome.

This is a tiny metronome. It has a portable, clip-on design, as a lot of KLIQ products (such as chargers) do.

The best thing about this is definitely the USB charging option. This means that you can plug it into a computer, or even a simple USB charger. You can find wall chargers that will fit the charging cable and let you charge straight from a power source. It lasts 16 hours of use once you have fully charged it.

The tempo range is 30 to 260 BPM, plenty for all styles of music. There are 9 different beat settings to allow for different time signatures, and also 9 different rhythms.

The small design makes this a good guitar metronome. It’s easy to chuck in your guitar bag and take to shows or to practice sessions.

Pros:

  • Charges via USB.
  • Small and portable.
  • Great tempo range.

Cons:

  • A bit flimsy in design.
  • You need to remember to recharge before use.

10. Wittner 903030 Taktell Super-Mini – Best Mini Mechanical Metronome

If you want a mechanical metronome, but don’t want to carry a big item around, the Wittner 903030 could be an option. This looks like an old fashioned metronome, and like it could be an antique, but it is modern and made using reliable Wittner technology. It’s made in Germany, and has all the craftsmanship you could wish for.

The case it comes in has a mahogany effect (it’s not real mahogany, unfortunately). There’s also a hinged front cover, you can put this in your equipment bag and be ready to go in no time. Like most of the other options it is wind-up and can give you plenty of playtime on one wind.

The tempo ranges from 40 to 208 BPM. In spite of being so small it still has the swinging pendulum so you can see a visual aid while you are playing. The manufacturers describe this as one of the world’s smallest pendulum metronomes.

It doesn’t have a lot of different features. You can’t change the tone or even change the volume. However, it does provide reliable timing and lots of portability.

Pros:

  • Mini option, very portable.
  • Looks fantastic.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to wind and use.

Cons:

  • No volume or tone controls.
  • Expensive

FAQs – Choosing the Best Metronome Based on Your Needs

How to Use a Metronome

If you get a digital model, it is as simple as just pressing a start or stop button for the metronome to come on. There will be settings for the tempo (speed) and also for the beats, such as the number of beats in a bar. This means you can change time signature and the speed of the track you are playing. It is effectively triggering a backing track in the tempo you wish.

For a mechanical metronome, you may need to wind it up first. Once it has power from being wound up, you may need to set the tempo using either a dial (like an old fashioned telephone) or by using a sliding scale to set the tempo and speed of the pendulum.

Setting the BPM

BPM stands for beats per minute. When a piece of music is written as sheet music, the BPM will be printed at the start. If you can dial in the tempo then you should do so, and the ticking of your metronome will keep you in time.

Some digital models let you set the BPM via a tap tempo. This means you can listen to music or other musicians, tap along in time, and it will continue with the tempo you have set via your tapping.

Do Drummers Need Metronomes?

Many musicians think your drummer is meant to be the metronome. It’s true that your drummer should be good at keeping time. No drummer is perfect though, they’re not robots. A drummer can get a lot out of a metronome. It can help to set the tempo and allow you to stay in time.

If you are playing live, it can be easy to get carried away. A lot of musicians (drummers and instrumentalists) can find the adrenaline pumps. If your heart is racing, you might play quicker unintentionally, a drummer will often use a metronome to keep the timing when they may have lost it due to adrenaline. If you know your first track in a setlist is at 100 BPM, you can set your metronome there and follow it so the rest of the musicians in the band then follow your drumming.

Drummers need metronomes that they can hear over the drum kit. A quiet metronome will be drowned out by a drum set. Luckily, metronomes can tackle this problem in a number of ways. Some allow you to plug in headphones. Some metronomes also have a visual aid such as a flashing light, or a pendulum swinging in time. This means you don’t even need to be able to hear it to get the most out of it.

Digital or Mechanical?

Do you need a digital or mechanical metronome? Both have their pros and cons. Mechanical options are usually wound up. This means you can use them even when there is no power available.

Winding also means they probably won’t last for hours of practice. You will need to keep winding when the power runs out. Mechanical options may be less precise, too. This depends on the build quality and how well manufactured the mechanics are. The gears should be excellent to keep the timing consistent.

Digital options are often cheaper, but they need some form of power. This can be USB charging, rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries. Digital metronomes are sometimes combined with tuners. This is because both are useful for musicians and both can be compacted into a very small package.

Digital options sometimes give more control, too. Features like tap tempo let you match up the tempo to something you are listening to. Also, digital displays an LED flashing lights can show you the tempo visually.

Choosing a Metronome for Your Instrument

Why are some metronomes described as the best for guitar, others described as better for piano? A lot of it comes down to volume and convenience.

If you play guitar, you might opt for a metronome that is small and digital. There are options on our list that can even clip onto your guitar strap. Guitarists might go for metronomes with inbuilt tuners, too. This is an effective use of space and money. You might as well get both in one package.

Taking a mechanical metronome out and about with you doesn’t make sense for guitarists.

Larger mechanical metronomes can be ideal for piano or keyboard players. They don’t need any battery power, and they can sit on top of your piano while you play. They’re simple, but let’s face it, the design usually looks a lot better. A metronome can sit on top of the piano and even add to the aesthetic appeal.

Can I Play Complex Pieces of Music Using a Metronome?

Yes, you can play relatively complex pieces of music and use a metronome to keep timing. One thing metronomes don’t cope with (for obvious reasons) are time signature and tempo changes.

Most metronomes, especially digital ones, come with the option to change the number of beats in a measure. This means you can play songs that are in ¾, 7/4 or other time signatures with ease. Most also have a lot of variation in tempo, from around 40 to 208, so you can match up the metronome settings to whatever you need them to be.

Metronomes may not be as helpful for songs that have a lot of tempo and time signature changes, but they are able to handle different tempos, time signatures and rhythms.

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