Every guitarist wants to spend more time playing than tuning their ax, but hey — it takes broken eggs to make omelette. You’ve got to spend a while every now and then tuning your instrument, ensuring every string sings as it was designed to. And that brings the need to invest in a good guitar tuner.
- Our Top Clip-On Guitar Tuner Recommendations
- Good Clip-On Tuners Conclusion
But what if your pedalboard’s already choking for space? It’s time to get a clip-on tuner. You’ll never again be forced to pluck out effects to make space for the tuner — and ruin your experience in the process. On that note, it’s time to look at the best clip-on tuners available today.
Our Top Clip-On Guitar Tuner Recommendations
It’s quick, it’s accurate, and it stays put when you clip it on to your guitar’s headstock. And it is easy to use too, with a vivid screen that’s easy to read even on the dimmest stage. The KLIQ UberTuner ticks all the boxes for the best clip on guitar tuner.
Features and Specs
- Backlit LED Display
- Piezo Sensor
- Tuning Modes: Chromatic, Guitar, Bass, Violin & Ukulele
- Transposition setting for C, B-flat, E-flat and F
- Accuracy: +/-1 cent
- Tuning Range: A0 (27.5 Hz) — C8 (4,186 Hz)
- Reference pitch: A4 = 430 — 450 Hz
- Power: CR2032 lithium battery (included)
With a 125-degree field of swivel and 360° rotation, the KLIQ UberTuner can be clipped anywhere and adjusted for optimal viewing. The piezo transducer employs a microprocessor to tell vibrations apart from noise, and the screen lets you know if you’re sharp (red bars on the right side), flat (yellow bars on the left), or dead-on in the blink of an eye; the latter’s indicated with a green bar in the middle.
A robust housing gives you the impression that this unit can hold up to life on the road. Nonetheless, it’s backed by a 3-year manufacturer guarantee in the event that it breaks. With that in mind, the KLIQ UberTuner should be a solid investment.
TC Electronic Polytune
Yeah, you read that right. TC Electronic’s groundbreaking technology is now available on a clip-on. When you’re pressed for time and want to tune all your strings at once, the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip-On is your best bet.
Features and Specs
- Polyphonic tuning: Tune all six strings simultaneously
- Adaptive display with 105-LED matrix
- Tuning Modes: Flat, Capo, Guitar & Bass
- Accuracy: +/- 0.5 cent (chromatic); +/- 0.02 cent (strobe)
- Reference pitch: A4 = 435 — 445 Hz
- Tuning Range: A0 — C8 (27.5 — 4,186 Hz)
- Power: 1 x CR2032 Lithium battery (included)
While one might expect the PolyTune Clip-On guitar tuners to be heavy with that much utility, it weighs just a feather over an ounce. So you’ll barely feel it on your headstock, even though it’s a little longer than a 9-volt block battery. The ultra-bright display will more than make up for the size, providing clear readouts no matter the ambient light conditions.
There’s no denying that the price tag might be a little too hefty to swallow. But then again, you’ll be hard pressed to find a clip-on that beats the TC Electronic PolyTune for versatility, confidence, and sheer sophistication.
It has this unusual shape that looks like the work of Dr. Seuss, but the Snark SN5X means business. It brings everything you need to work your way into perfect tune at a very agreeable price. And it easy to use too, with a 360-degree swivel head that best accommodates both left- and right- handed strumming.
- Full color 360° rotating display
- High-sensitivity vibration sensor
- Stay-Put Clip for front/back attachment
- Tuning modes: Fully chromatic
- Reference pitch:
- Power: CR2032 lithium battery
It’s worth noting that the SN5X is designed specifically for guitar, violin and bass. As long as you stick to these instruments, the unit should help you tune up quickly and focus on playing music. The vibration sensor provides a more accurate reading compared to a microphone-based tuner, and the bright, vibrant display eliminates guesswork with simple visual cues (center needle and dot light up in green when you get in tune).
All in all, the Snark SN5X guitar tuners will be a great pick if you’re looking for a no-frills clip on tuner you can trust to work every time. It’s surprisingly capable. And while it doesn’t have special tuning modes, you’ll be able to access alternate tuning in chromatic mode with some practice.
D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner
It makes sense that D’Addario, known primarily as a maker of strings, also supply tuning gear to keep them sounding like they should. At 1.3 inches in length, and weighting less than half an ounce, the NS Micro is as small as you can have a clip-on tuner. One that doesn’t trade utility for size — the unit is pretty well-equipped as you can see from its specs list.
- Tri-color backlit LCD display with 4 viewing angles (2 vertical, 2 horizontal)
- Built-in piezo transducer
- Tuning: Chromatic
- Accuracy: +/- 0.3 cent
- Tuning range: A0 – C8 (27.5 – 4,186 Hz)
- 410 — 480 Hz calibration range with visual metronome (20 – 270 bpm)
- Power: CR2032 battery included
Whilst other best clip-on guitar tuners stand out like an overgrown digit, the NS Micro will blend in discreetly with your headstock furniture and get to work with its inbuilt transducer. This employs an advanced algorithm to filter out noise, ensuring it only picks up string vibrations. The display will then indicate notes in red when out of tune, turning yellow as you come closer, and green when you finally get in tune. Use the orientation button to pick your favorite viewing angle. If you’re impressed, pick up the D’Addario NS Micro today.
NEUMA Clip-On Tuner
Yet another great option for those who want an ultra-compact tuner. At 0.63 ounces, the NEUMA Clip-On Tuner is just a tad heavier than the D’Addario unit we’ve just covered. But it’s slightly cheaper than the latter, all while packing a lot more tuning modes — a boon if you like to dabble in other instruments besides the guitar.
- 1.8 inch LCD Screen with 360-degree field of rotation
- Inbuilt vibration sensor
- Tuning modes: C, G, B, V & U (for Chromatic, Guitar, Bass, Violin and Ukulele in that order)
- Measurement range: A4 = 430 — 450 Hz
- Power: 1 x Lithium metal battery (included)
It’s pleasing to see that the NEUMA Clip-On Tuner doesn’t sacrifice best fidelity for versatility. Although the exact tuning accuracy is unspecified, the unit is precise enough to use on stage. Just be sure to tune in your instrument’s designated mode.
The built-in sensor picks up the guitar pitch directly as the strings vibrate, so there’s hardly any ambient noise getting in your way.Yellow and red bars on the left/right will indicate flat and sharp notes respectively. The middle bar will light up in green when the string is in tune.
MOOER Clip on Tuner
MOOER Audio recently decided to venture off the pedalboard and design their first clip-on model. Dubbed the CT-01, the tuner offers quick, effortless and precise tuning in any situation. It’s suitable for both guitars and basses.
- Gravity-sensitive LED display
- 180° rotatable hinge
- Pitch calibration: 435 — 445 Hz
- Power: 3V CR2032 Lithium cell battery; power saving mode with automatic shutdown
A mechanical clip lets you attach the tuner onto your headstock, after which you rotate the hinge to put the display in view. Tuning is simple and straightforward: The tuner is set to 440 Hz by default (indicated by a zero on the screen when you switch it on). Press the power button to adjust the frequency upwards in 5 Hz increments. To go back to the default setting, just leave the unit to sit for 3 seconds. The display indicates sharp and flat notes with dots on the right and left sides respectively. It’ll let you know when you’re in tune by lighting up the middle in green.
The MOOER Clip On Tuner weighs just 0.8 ounces, so you’ll be able to carry it along with your gear to every best performance.
Boss TU-10 Clip-On Chromatic Guitar Tuner
You know what they say about not fixing something if it ain’t broken, right? The Boss TU-10 Chromatic Tuner perfectly epitomizes the adage. Nothing much about it has changed in the 8+ years it’s been on the market — the TU10 is still the no-frills clip-on tuner that launched in 2012. And it’s still as popular as ever, despite going toe-to-toe with gadgets that molt every other fall.
Features and Specs
- Flat tuning up to 5 semitones
- Stream and Cent Tuning Modes
- Accu-Pitch function
- Display: ‘True Color’ LCD with monochrome reflection-display
- Tuning accuracy: +/-1 cent
- Tuning Range: 16.35 to 4,186 Hz (C0-C8)
- Reference Pitch: 436-445 Hz (A4)
- Power: 1XCR2032 Lithium Battery (included)
Boss designed the TU-10 guitar tuners to be a reliable tuning companion right from the start. It’s versatile enough to clamp onto a headstock of any size and take readings from pretty much every kind of guitar. The screen reads well in most light conditions, with arrows showing how flat or sharp you are. The tuner will even alert you when you hit best perfect pitch if you engage the “Accu-Pitch” function.
Fender FT-0004 Clip-On Chromatic Tuner
Specs and Features
- Monochromatic 360° rotating LCD display
- Vibration-based tuning engine
- Tuning modes: Ukulele, Guitar, Bass, Violin and Chromatic
- Tuning range: BO — B7 (30.87 – 3,951 Hz)
- Accuracy: +/- 1 cent (estimated)
- A4 pitch calibration: 440 Hz
- Power Source: 3V 2032 battery (included)
With a 3 x 6 x 3-inch footprint, the Fender FT-0004 guitar tuners isn’t the most compact clip-on tuner out there. But it’ll tuck into your gig bag nonetheless. And while the monochromatic display might look a little too basic at first glance, your opinion will change once you clamp the unit onto your headstock. It reads well no matter how dismally lit the environment is, with a needle that turns from white to bright green as you get in tune. It also indicates the string you’re currently tuning into when in “G” (guitar) Mode. This not only makes tuning easier, but it also helps you grasp what each note should best guitar sound like.
Fishman Guitar Tuner (ACC-TUN-FT2)
Fishman are known primarily for their acoustic humbuckers. But with a head honcho who’s been in the business for 4 decades, you can bet that the company knows a thing or two about making guitars sound good. The Fishman ACC-TUN-FT2 is the second iteration of Fishman’s first tuner design, the ACC-TUN-FT1.
Specs and Features
- Buttonless operation: Flip up to switch on, flip down to switch off.
- Multicolor backlit LCD screen
- Tuning mode: Chromatic 12-note
- Accuracy: +/-1 Cent
- Tuning Range: A0 (27.5Hz) – C8 (4,186Hz)
- Reference pitch: A4 = 440 Hz
- Battery: 1 x CR2032 coin battery (included)
As a full chromatic tuner, the Fishman FT-2 will suit practically any kind of guitar, and most types of tunings as well. The LCD display is bright and vibrant, with tuning needles indicating pitch and multi-color backlights to guide you along the way. These light up red for sharp, amber for flat, and green when you finally get in tune.
Don’t expect any assorted tuning modes here, given the lack of buttons. That will be a boon if you’re tired of fumbling with bells and whistles while on the stage. Grab the Fishman ACC-TUN-FT2 guitar tuners and bid your frustrations goodbye.
Korg Pitchclip 2 Plus Clip On Guitar Tuner
Get your ax singing in tune quickly and easily with Korg’s latest clip-on tuner. An update of the Pitchclip 2, the Korg Pitchclip 2 Plus brings a handful of improvements at a pocket-friendly price. The display packs twice as many LEDs for improved precision and a brighter, clearer readout.
Features and Specs
- LED color display with 120° viewing angle
- Full and half strobe modes
- Accuracy: ±0.1 cent
- Scale: 12-note chromatic
- Tuning range: A0 – C8 (27.5 – 4,186 Hz)
- Reference Pitch: A4 = 436 – 445 Hz; 1 Hz steps
- Power: CR20322 Lithium Battery with auto-shutoff for extended life
Korg have done a pretty good job at making the unit user-friendly. The clamp-on mechanism even comes with an enhanced rubberized fulcrum for ambidextrous operation. The readout’s 120-degree rotation gives you a good view no matter your stance. No other model has been as considerate for lefties so far.
As far as tuning’s concerned, Strobe mode will give you the highest level of accuracy, and the readout will show you the pitch difference as soon as you play a string. Calibration is equally speedy; there’re no glitches or hiccups whatsoever. For just 8 bucks more than its predecessor, the Korg Pitchclip 2+ is every bit a worthy upgrade.
Good Clip-On Tuners Conclusion
Like flanged wheels keep a train rolling steadily on its tracks, every guitarist could use a tuner, and a clip-on for that matter. It’s only with a clip-on tuner that you can have your cake and eat it; keeping your ax tuned perfectly without choking up your pedalboard. And in our humble opinion, you should be able to find the right tuner for you on the list above.
We’ve covered practically every best option available. And all the tuners are affordably-priced, costing no more than a set of strings — save for one or two exceptions which, again, could be worth it if you have a particular set of needs. All in all, there’s no excuse for not having a tuner as part of your gear anymore.
Looking for other types of guitar tuners? Take a look at these best posts: