As a musician, I’ve often found playing in time to be one of the hardest skills to master. Playing at the right tempo is what sets the real pros apart from intermediate players. One of the best ways to train for rhythm and timing is to use a metronome. A metronome makes a repetitive sound at a steady rate so that musicians can play along with the beat.
There are many types of metronomes including mechanical, digital and vibrating models. The metronome app is becoming increasingly popular nowadays.
In today’s tech-savvy world, metronome watches and wearables have emerged as smart solutions for musicians. These devices offer the convenience of portability and functionality, allowing musicians to have a metronome at their fingertips wherever they go.
Here are some of the best metronomes on the market today in the watch and wearable categories. I’ll also share some useful tips that I’ve learned while shopping for metronomes for myself.
Review Of Wearable Vibrating Metronome
The four entries on our list represent some of the best metronomes on the market today with an honorary mention. Check out these top-notch options to find the perfect vibrating metronome for your musical journey.
1. Soundbrenner Pulse Smart Metronome
This wearable metronome named Soundbrenner Pulse is perfect for pianists, guitarists and drummers. It’s wearable like a watch and features a large, easy-to-see display. I wear mine with the face on my wrist during guitar sessions.
This way, I can easily see the visual pulse, as well as feel the vibrations. I had to charge it for a couple of hours out of the box. While the charge time is a bit slow, the battery lasts a long time before it needs a recharge.
This is easily one of the best vibrating metronomes on the market. It has a simple interface and a wealth of features. You simply tap the face of the watch to engage the metronome. You can increase or decrease the tempo with the large dial, or set a custom tempo by tapping it out.
This device uses Bluetooth and NFC technology, and can be synced with up to five other devices. This makes it the perfect solution for jamming with your entire band mates or friends.
Soundbrenner says the vibration strength is seven times stronger than the average smartphone. In my personal testing, that estimation feels about right. This device includes several straps so it can be worn on your arm, leg or even the torso.
It’s not a watch, but the pricier Soundbrenner Core combines watch and metronome features. Check it out if it piques your interest!
- Simple interface
- Large display
- Long battery lifetime
- Multiple straps
- The high price
- Long charging time
2. Wegrower Smart Vibrating Metronome
This wearable metronome by Wegrower is another watch-style device like the Soundbrenner Pulse. This vibrating metronome can be paired with an app in order to adjust the strength of the vibrations, as well as the volume.
Most of the basic functions can be controlled directly from the device itself, which is something I prefer for quickness and ease of use.
The Wegrower metronome pairs with up to six Android devices or eight iOS devices, giving it an advantage over the Soundbrenner in at least one category. It’s cheaper too, but the build quality feels more robust and premium on the Soundbrenner.
This watch charges a bit faster, and it lasts around eight hours. This is less than the Soundbrenner Pulse in my personal testing, however, that should be plenty enough time for practicing your favorite instrument.
If you prefer to hear a beat, like from a traditional metronome, this device can be connected to an external speaker. This also seemed to extend the battery life during my testing of the device.
- Great price
- Can be synced with multiple devices
- Works with external speakers
- Not as well built as the previous model on our list
- Over relies on the app for some features
3. Seiko Metronome DM51B
I’ve long been a fan of Seiko watches, so naturally, I couldn’t wait to check out this metronome from the Japanese watchmaker. This is a basic and budget-friendly model with a digital system and an LCD screen.
It’s powered by a lithium metal battery and is rated for 100 hours of battery duration. Specifically, this is a CR2032 button battery. While these are easy to find, you’ll need to replace this frequently if you’re practicing every day. Personally, I prefer rechargeable units with replaceable battery pack.
This Seiko DM51B Metronome is small, light and easy to take with you anywhere. It’s not built to withstand a lot of travel and abuse, however, and needs to be handled with care. This unit is primarily a sound-producing metronome, though there is a red LED that pulses with the beat.
It’s exceptionally accurate and can be worn in a variety of ways. I found it easy to clip onto my guitar headstock or the strap. The unit only weighs around 1.23 ounces. Its versatility and accuracy makes it one of the top metronomes in its price range.
- Simple to use
- Battery lifetime
4. KLIQ MicroNome Mini Digital Metronome
This lightweight and affordable model by KLIQ is one of the best bargains among the many digital metronomes on the market. It comes in red, blue and white colors and is powered by an included rechargeable battery.
Battery life seems to be pretty good, as it’s still going strong after two days of use. An auto-off feature helps to preserve the batteries. The item also has a memory bank to backup your settings.
This KLIQ MicroNome model won’t win any awards in build quality, but it’s solid and functional enough. You can’t beat the price. Like the previous model, this is a clip-on that can be attached to your clothes or even an instrument, depending on what you play.
This model even has a tap tempo and is easy to set for your preferred BPM. It’s small and cheap, but KLIQ backs up their product with an impressive 3-year warranty.
This unit is intended as a sound metronome, the LCD screen is way too small and dim to be used in any other way. The speaker works well enough, considering the small size.
- Extremely affordable
- Easy to use
- Memory backup feature
- Questionable build quality
- Cheap plastic
- No visual cues
5. [Honorary Mention] Seiko Metronome Watch
I recently acquired the Seiko Metronome Watch (SMW006A), and it’s truly a distinctive and captivating timepiece. Musicians who appreciate classic watches will find it particularly appealing.
The watch boasts a meticulously crafted stainless steel case, available in various finishes and dial colors. Its dial features a recessed center for timekeeping, while the hands also serve as swinging metronome balances, eliminating the need for a running seconds hand.
Operating the watch is a breeze. With a simple push of a button, you can switch between modes like the metronome and pitch functions. It offers customization options for different notes and pitches, enhancing its versatility.
However, keep in mind that the skeletonized hands, while visually appealing, can make it slightly challenging to read the time accurately. It may take some time to adjust, but it’s manageable.
If you play a loud instrument or perform in a professional setup, the beep sound of the watch might not be sufficiently audible. It’s worth noting that the watch isn’t widely available in the US market or popular online shops like Amazon. However, you can find it on eBay if you’re interested.
- Eye-catching design with intricate dial details
- Durable build quality with water resistance
- Decent battery life
- Use a CR2016 battery that is easy to find and replace
- Difficult time reading due to skeletonized hands and no minute marks
- The strap may feel cheaper compared to higher-end options
- Limited availability outside the Japanese market
Our Top Recommendation
- Feel the beat through vibrations instead of clicking sounds.
- Customize time signatures, subdivisions and accents.
- Set your rhythm with tap tempo.
- Create, save and organize your rhythms.
- Wear it anywhere on your body.
If I had to choose only one, I would go with the Soundbrenner Pulse Smart Metronome.
It’s one of the finest vibrating metronomes that I’ve had the pleasure of using. It may be one of the more costly models we’ve tested here, but I believe the price is worth it.
The more advanced features, large display and multiple ways to wear the device make it a real winner. Out of the five, this was the easiest and most convenient to use.
Buying Guide: Wearable Metronomes Vs Other Metronomes
There are four major types of metronomes to choose from. Mechanical metronomes are the old-school originals. These use a mechanical pendulum that swings back and forth while making a clicking noise. These give musicians both a visual and auditory cue.
Digital metronomes are amazingly accurate. These can be very versatile too, providing different sound cues on different beats. They’re also generally easy to set to different speeds.
If there’s a downside to digital metronomes, it would be that not all of them give a visual cue to keep time to. Whether or not this matters will depend on the individual musician. Some of them only play beeps and tones as opposed to clicks, and in my personal experience, this can throw me off at times.
Another popular choice today is the metronome app, which works a lot like a digital model. The difference is that you can download it to your phone and conveniently carry it with you everywhere.
One of my personal favorites is the vibrating metronome. It doesn’t interfere with my ears by providing a sound that doesn’t belong in my music. I find that while playing the piano, I enjoy using a regular old digital metronome, but when playing the guitar, the vibrating metronome is my go-to choice. It’s especially useful when playing loudly.
Why Would You Need A Vibrating Metronome?
Mechanical metronomes often have a click that doesn’t have a lot of volume. When playing loudly or to music, the vibrating metronome helps me to keep time better. I can feel the pulses no matter what my volume is like.
The same goes for its benefit over digital models and metronome apps. Another benefit to this type of device is that they’re often small and easily portable, being designed to wear or clip on your person.
I’ve found that during long practice sessions, the sounds of a metronome can start to grate on my nerves. If you have family or roommates, it might start to wear on them as well.
A wearable, vibrating device completely removes this problem for me. I also like focusing on my tone and subtle aspects of my playing without other sounds distracting me. Vibrations don’t present these issues, but still help me to keep on time.
Furthermore, advanced metronome watches and wearables may offer the ability to set and visualize different time signatures, assisting musicians in practicing complex rhythmic patterns. These devices often come with a companion phone app that provides additional customization options and control over the metronome settings.
Also Read: Practice Guitar With A Metronome
Considerations For Choosing A Metronome Watch Or Wearable
If you decide to give this type of metronome a try, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. By considering the following factors, you can select the best metronome wearable that meets your specific needs and helps you achieve optimal rhythm precision in your musical endeavors.
Accuracy: Maintaining a steady tempo is paramount when it comes to accuracy. A reliable metronome should provide precise beats per minute (BPM) readings to ensure consistent and precise timing during practice sessions.
Look for devices that have been rigorously tested and proven to deliver accurate and steady BPM measurements, allowing you to establish and maintain a steady tempo throughout your musical endeavors.
Ease Of Use: Secondly, the device should be easy to navigate and operate, ensuring a seamless user experience. A metronome watch or wearable should have an intuitive interface that allows for effortless control and adjustment of settings.
You should always check to see what settings are available on these devices. Make sure the device can be set to the beats-per-minute that you need for your practice sessions.
Battery Lifespan: It’s also important to note what types of batteries the device uses, its battery life and whether or not it’s rechargeable. Opt for a device with a long-lasting battery that can withstand extended use without frequent recharging.
Durability And Comfort: Durability and comfort are also crucial considerations, especially for musicians who lead an active lifestyle. Choose a wearable metronome that is built to withstand the rigors of daily use and is comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Right Wearable Style: Furthermore, you need to think about how you will wear the device. Watches are a really great choice, and I strongly prefer them myself. There’s something about the pulse being close to my hand that I’m using to play the instrument that just makes these work for me.
Some musicians, however, may wish to strap this type of device to their arm, leg or even their clothing so that it vibrates against their torso.
Extra Features: Take into account any additional features that may enhance your practice experience. Some metronome watches or wearables come with extra functionalities like decibel meter, programmable rhythm patterns, customizable accents, or visual cues, which can further aid your musical development.
You should also look for devices that offer a wide tempo range to accommodate various musical styles and genres.
What Types Of Musicians Should Try Wearable Metronomes?
I believe that every type of musician could benefit from this type of metronome. If you like to play loud or along with music, these might be especially helpful to you.
If you like to play with other musicians while still using a metronome, these are an excellent choice. I find myself doing this when my band’s drummer isn’t around.
For musicians who work with MIDI instruments, having a metronome with MIDI input capabilities can be a valuable asset. It enables you to synchronize the metronome with your digital setup, creating a seamless click track experience.
About the Author
Fabian, a Brazilian guitarist now based in Dublin, Ireland, has passionately played the electric guitar since 2003. As a luthier and product specialist, he boasts nearly two decades of collaboration with top musical instrument brands. Fabian is a sought-after expert, sharing his extensive knowledge with fellow guitar enthusiasts.