iPhone Tuners Reviewed
There are many tuners available for download on your smart phone. They range from free to almost $6 in either up-front costs or with in-app purchases. None of the tuners we looked at were given to us. We paid full price for everything and hope to give an unbiased look at the features or lack thereof in each tuner. All of these tuners currently have between four and five stars in the app store.
If we missed anything please let us know in the comment section below.
The tuners are listed in Alphabetical order.
Cadenza is currently $2.99 in the app store with three different in-app purchases at $.99 each (totaling $5.96). The in-app purchases unlock "pro" features (which add settings to the metronome, a pitch pipe to the tuner), a "sequencer" (allowing you to create a series of different bars, tempos, and time signatures played one after the other on the metronome), and color themes. This tuner can be displayed in both portrait and landscape mode.
ClearTune is currently $3.99 in the App Store. There are no other in-app purchases. The settings are very simple to find in ClearTube with one page where you can control everything. There are many different temperaments (systems of tuning) available in this tuner. Besides being able to hear the pitch ClearTune can also play sounds back. ClearTune only displays with the phone in portrait mode. There are no extra features like a metronome, but as far a tuner goes ClearTune does it well.
insTuner is currently free in the App Store with an in-app purchase for $3.99 to unlock the "pro version." insTuner can be displayed in both portrait and landscape mode. The portrait mode has a note wheel that shows a larger image of the notes while landscape mode has a cleaner look that just shows either the needle or whatever tuner you choose. On that note, this tuner has many different displays. There is a normal needle view, a clean "easy-to-read" view, strobe view, spectrum graph, spectrogram and historical curve. There are many settings to adjust temperament, needle dampening, etc.
PanoTuner has both a free version and a paid version in the App Store. The paid version is $1.99 and comes with extra settings to adjust (such as temperament) plus remove ads from the app. This tuner will only display in landscape mode. Like most of the other tuners you can adjust the temperament, transpose the key, adjust the tolerance of the needle, and adjust many other settings.
Pitch - Chromatic Tuner
Pitch is currently $.99 in the app store. It has a very nice elegant design and is very easy to read. There are not many settings to adjust in Pitch besides the reference frequency and a couple other things. The app only displays and portrait mode.
Practice+ is the jack of all trades type of tuner. It has a very nice looking display, includes a metronome, a recorder, and different settings to help practice. Practice+ can display in both landscape and portrait mode. There are many settings to adjust but it can be difficult to navigate at first.
TonalEnergy Has the most features out of any other tuner on this list. Within the app you have a tuner, metronome, recorder, a wave analyzer, and a display that will show your intonation throughout 35 seconds of recording. This tuner would work great during practice (not just for tuning before practice). With TonalEnergy being the most feature-rich, it is also the most difficult to navigate.
Tuner Master is currently $1.99 at the app store. It has a very basic interface. The app is not designed for a screen larger than the iPhone 4s so there will be black bars on the top and bottom, plus the app os only designed to be in portrait mode. On the other hand it is the only one to offer different tuning options for the violin. You can look up different styles ranging from Standard Tuning, to Cajun Tuning, to Sawmill Tuning and many others.
Tunable has a lot of things going for it. The look is flat and fits the style of iOS8 well. The tuner function has a neat display that tests the players ability to stay on the correct pitch for a few seconds. There is also a metronome and recorder included. The recorded has a reverb function which is necessary for any phone recording.
Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on these or any other music apps available for download on your smart phone.
2/2/2015 07:48:46 pm
I would like to know if all tuner apps are equally precise and accurate. Have you tested this with a good reference tuner?
Shawn - ViolinStringReview.com
2/3/2015 01:13:51 am
Yes, all of the tuners seemed to be equally as accurate. Some tuner displays, like TunerMaster, do not have a clear And precise of a needle as tuners like Cleartune.
2/2/2015 08:29:46 pm
I would also like to know which of these tuner apps can help tune to pure fifths (which can be very difficult for beginners so every help an app can give is appreciated)
Shawn - ViolinStringReview.com
2/3/2015 01:18:34 am
Any of the tuners in which you can change the temperament should work. Some have a temperament called "violin family" but what you should look for is "Pythagorean." That will match tuning in 5ths.
2/3/2015 01:36:41 am
You forgot n-track tuner which features Pythagorean temperament.
2/3/2015 11:32:44 am
I used to recommend PanoTuner until I noticed that the chromatic scale was backwards (higher notes on the right, opposite a piano). Is that still the case? Thanks for the great analysis of the others, by the way!
Shawn - ViolinStringReview.com
2/3/2015 12:32:43 pm
That is still the case, but you can reverse it in the setting.
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