Best Bass Guitar Tuners of 2020 – Complete Round-up

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When playing an instrument, you need it tuned, and having an easy to use tuner will help this process go quicker.

There are so many models and brands out there that choosing the right one may elicit stress and anxiety. Your mind racing with questions like which one should I buy?

In this guide, we will look over some of the best bass guitar tuners, and tons of information we feel will help you make that decision even easier. 

Comparison of the Best Bass Guitar Tuners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best bass guitar tuners overall
  • Ability to tune via string number up to 7-strings
  • Meter visibility indoors is good because of the brightness level
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  • Programmed with a wide detection range
  • Tonal clarity reserved with the true bypass that is built-in
  • Display that is easy to read and allows for four different modes
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  • Best bass guitar tuners for the money
  • Built with a high-quality microprocessor for faster tuning
  • Constructed with high-quality material for better durability
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  • 5 semitone flat tunings
  • Fitted with a backlit needle and LCD
  • High impedance input for a transparent signal to amp
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  • Built with a wide range of pitch detection
  • Ability to create a reference tone via internal speaker
  • Stable tuning via the high precision needle-type meter that is LCD-lit
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Are All Bass Guitar Tuners The Same?

Just like with all things, there are many differences between bass guitar tuners. The biggest difference is when you talk about the basic functionality of the models. 

There are two types of bass guitar tuners you can choose from:

Standard

This is the more cost-effective choice but has a limited toning capability. If you are tuning the bass notes (E, A, D, & G), then this is a great choice for you.

Chromatic

These tuners have a wider range of notes to play with and a bit higher price tag. If you are planning on playing a non-standard tuning for your instrument, then this is the model you will want to choose.

Other than this, there are different models like handheld, pedal, or rack, which we will discuss in a later section.

How to Choose a Bass Guitar Tuner

When we chose our best-of list, we paid close attention to certain factors. These are the factors that we feel impact efficiency and functionality. By using our guide below, you will be able to determine which bass guitar tuner is the right one for you and your bass needs.

Here are the factors:

Display

When you look at the tuner, you will want to get a display that will work for you. That means knowing the lighting situation where you will be using this piece of equipment. 

There are three types:

Mechanical Needle

This is a great option for those bassists that are tuning in a well-lit area.

LED

If you are playing or tuning in a dark area, you will want a tuner that uses an LED-lit display.

LCD

This is the most versatile of the environment is backlit.

Brand

When you are looking at any type of electronics looking for ones that are made from tried and tested brands is always a good idea. Though there are off-brand options, knowing the quality and performance of a brand may make you feel a little more secure in your decision.

Price

One of the most important things to consider is your budget. By knowing what you have free to spend, you will be able to eliminate models and pare down your choices, making it much easier to find the one that worked the best for you.

Low Note Readings

Basses live in the low end of the tonal range, and that is why paying attention to low note readings is crucial. You will want to look for an option that tunes with the sub-octaves.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Bass Guitar Tuners

Now that you have some knowledge of what to look for, it is time to take a more in-depth look a some of the best bass guitar tuners on the market today.

Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal w/Power Supply

PROS

  • Great price
  • Easy to use
  • Built-in LED display meter
  • Built with improved accuracy
  • Comes with a brightness mode

CONS

  • Rapid battery use
  • Issues with time to pick-up tune

What Recent Buyers Report

Many recent buyers love this pedal for many reasons. The biggest is the ease of use, and the price you pay for a level of functionality that surpasses many competitors.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The thing that makes this stand out to us the most is the design and ease of visibility and the wide range of strings that it can tune. The fact that this model can tune-up to seven strings means no matter what stringed bass you play, you will be set for perfect pitch.

Who Will Use This Most

The bassist that will get the most out of this unit is the one who likes to switch between his stringed basses. It is also great for the traveling bassist who does a lot of tuning on the stage.

Bottom Line

Is it any surprise that the best overall tuner is from one of the most iconic companies in the music industry? Boss has created a high-quality product that will help you keep your bass in tune for any gig.

Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

PROS

  • Tunes without noise
  • Easy to use controls
  • Fitted with a true bypass
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • High accuracy when it comes to tuning

CONS

  • Issues with a loud pop when switching from tuner to output
  • Key parts are made of plastic (battery compartment/bottom)

What Recent Buyers Report

Those bassists that have already chosen this tuner gave a lot of rave reviews about it. They tend to love the easy to use precision controls. There have been some issues with the durability of plastic parts, but overall, this is a great choice for any bassist.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this option stood out to us the most was the wide range of tune detection. The wider range gives this tuner the ability to craft your own non-standard tuning for your bass. This tuner can be used by beginners and pros alike thanks to its ease of use, which is not all that common nowadays.

Who Will Use This Most

This model from Korg is great for any bassist but is especially great for the bassist who wants to craft their own unique style. Whether you are just starting out or have been playing for years, this bass guitar tuner will have a place in your guitar case.

Bottom Line

The first thing you think of when you hear the name Korg is probably keyboards but this musical instrument company crafts fine musical equipment as well. You can see this with the high-quality Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner and all its amazing features and benefits.

Best for the Money:
KLIQ UberTuner

KLIQ UberTuner - Professional Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments (multi-key modes) - with Guitar, Ukulele, Violin, Bass & Chromatic Tuning Modes

PROS

  • Nice bright display
  • Display is adjustable
  • Fitted with Piezo sensor
  • Built with high-grade materials for better durability

CONS

  • Price
  • Controls are tiny

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers can’t stop talking about the display both in its ability to be adjusted as well as the brightness. Though some feel the price may be a bit much for what you get when it boils down to it the KLIQ UberTuner is a well-reviewed product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For us, it is all about the Piezo sensor that KLIQ decided to build into this model. This sensor allows for the minute’s tone difference to register and that leads to a perfect tune instrument every time.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great tuner for the beginner. It is easy to use and offers superior performance too. That, coupled with the durability of the build, means that you will be sitting pretty for a long time to come.

Bottom Line

This tuner is a great option for bass due to the inclusion of great features like a high-grade microprocessor and controls that are, although tiny, easy to use. Additionally, if you want a bass guitar tuner that will give you great performance without breaking the bank, then this option is well worth considering.

Boss TU-15 Chromatic Tuner with Accu-Pitch

PROS

  • Ability to adjust octaves
  • Equipped with an output
  • Non-standard tuning capabilities
  • Built with rubber feet for better stability
  • Fast and accurate tuner with a stable needle

CONS

  • Price
  • Made with plastic so less durable than other models

What Recent Buyers Report

Though some recent customers take issue with the plastic construction and its durability, they rave about the superior functionality of this model which overshadows any flaws that may be present.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model has so many great features, but the reason for this Boss tuners place on our list is the time-saving accuracy. The needle used to delineate the tuning of your bass is stable and will give you a high-quality, reliable indication when your bass is in tune and ready to play.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great tuner for the traveling bassist who must remain in tune on the stage. This unit is lightweight and compact which makes it easy to transport which adds to its efficiency for that gigging bassist.

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with Boss, and you certainly can’t go wrong with this bass guitar tuner with all its impressive features and ease of use. The backlight is a huge plus, especially when you are trying to tune your bass guitar in a dark gig location or at a concert between songs.

PROS

  • Fast tuning
  • Great battery life
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Made with high-quality internal parts
  • Built with high-grade materials for better durability

CONS

  • Warranty is only good if you buy through Korg dealers
  • Readout is hard to read regarding octave or frequency

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this Korg bass tuner for its fast tuning and controls that are easy to use. Though many have found fault with the warranty and its small print, overall, they rate this as a five-star option for your tuning needs.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a great option with a lot of things we could rave about, but the reason we chose this has a lot to do with the ability to create a reference tone via an internal speaker. This makes tuning faster and more efficient.

Who Will Use This Most

This is great for the novice new to playing bass. It is easy to use and durable, and that is precisely what you need as you begin your new musical adventure.

Bottom Line

Our last entry brings us a high quality, well-built option that will help keep you playing in tune for years to come. If you want a bass guitar tuner that allows you to quickly tune your bass guitar, this one is worth a look. Plus, with the long battery life, you never have to worry about it letting you down.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Bass Guitar Tuner?

Though there are features that affect your purchase, there are some things that you need to understand when considering what model to buy. The knowledge of these two key components will help you further your decision-making process.

Here are some aspects to consider:

Types

Knowing the types of tunes available will help you find the one that works best with your style and needs.

  • Handheld: These types are a small box that is used for tuning for both bass and guitar. There are tons of options within this category. The simpler models tend to be less expensive. You can find chromatic, instrument presets, or tempered tuning. 

  • Clip-On: This unit clips onto the bass and works poorly in environments where there is a lot of noise to compete with it. These measure pitch through the vibrations from the wood.

  • Pedal: This is a tuner in pedal form and is a great choice for stage work. This allows the bassist to tune while on stage. These models are usually built with a lot of great features.

  • Polyphonic: These are like the pedal tuner but allow the player to tune all 6 strings with one strum. These are great for any player that needs to tune quickly.

  • Rack Tuners: If you are a bassist that uses rack gear you may want to forgo the other options for a rack tuner. These are great for studio work.

  • App Tuners: Everything can be done with your smartphones nowadays, and though they are not currently a great option with some work and upgrades, we are sure eventually these will be the standard.

Design

You will want to find a design that offers ultimate functionality and an easy to use interface. Looking for visibility and ease of readability will help make the piece even better of a fit for your tuning needs.

Durability

Making sure you are able to tune your bass for a long time is a great way to get the most from your investment. This means paying attention to the materials, both internally and externally, used in construction.

How to Tune a Bass Guitar With a Tuner

Every model and type will have a different method to some degree, but in the end, there are a few key steps each will go through:

  • You will want to mount or plug the tuner in per its design.

  • You will want to strum the first string and let it ring.

  • You will want to tune your bass until the needle or indicator rides the center of the display.

Conclusion

Making sure your bass stays in tune at all times is crucial for superior sound and to do what you will want to get a high-quality tuner. With the knowledge that we have laid out above, hopefully, you feel more equipped to make that decision.