SoundBrenner Core Musician’s Smartwatch Review

OK, multi-function smart watches have gone from novelty to functionality in their short time, finding uses in fitness and health areas. But SoundBrenner has taken the idea and included some very savvy functions that are tuned specifically to musicians’ needs.

The actual device looks and feels like a medium sized watch bezel, with some very strong magnets that can attach to a baseplate fitted with a silicon rubber watch strap. It charges up via an included USB cable, again with strong magnets providing connectivity. The display is a decent size digital readout, displaying the time, date as well as battery charge, with just a turn of the wrist. The magnets are quite strong (did we mention that?) so there should be no need to worry about it detaching in daily use.

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The functions are quite musician-driven; a metronome, tuner and decibel meter are all built in, easy to use and readily accessible at any time — there is a companion smartphone app that connects via Bluetooth and is very easy to navigate. The metronome can be set to pretty much any time signature, with customizable accent beats (perfect for drummers). While tempos and accents can be set via the watch, the app is a bit easier to navigate and has the ability to save songs and setlists of tempos and recall them. Tempo-wise, it can be configured up to 400 BPM, and if you don’t know the actual BPM, it can be set via tap tempo. We did get a nylon strap as well, meaning it can be strapped to a thigh, chest, arm, or other limb. When set, the metronome pulses, giving the wearer a physical thump to get the body in rhythm. An outer ring lights up to pulse visually as well.

The tuner function is very interesting; simply stick on the tuner device, a small metal disk, to the back of a guitar’s headstock with the included double-sided tape and detach the watch from its wrist band. The magnetic unit connects securely, and the tuning function works like a clip-on style tuner. It works equally well for bass and 6-string guitars.

One very important function is the decibel meter. Musicians are exposed to high volume levels at practice, as well as gigs they are playing, and attending. When exposed to higher levels the watch gives a warning to the wearer. Our little kit also included a set of silicone earplugs in a keychain-friendly container.

Overall, it’s a great little device that does exactly as it states, featuring a great metronome, tuner, and decibel meter. We were told at NAMM that there is supposed to be an update coming that will also give on-screen notifications, but as of this review is not available yet. Maybe the function to text your singer, to remind him or her of practice would be pretty cool. It’s a bit pricey, but the compact functionality tailored for musicians might be worth it if you’re in the market for an Apple Watch alternative.

PROS:

super functional, well-thought-out, durable design.

CONS:

Slightly pricey

STREET PRICE:

$329

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