If Iron Man played guitar at CES 2019, he'd use this watch to tune it

The Soundbrenner Core is a smartwatch for musicians. It packs a vibrating metronome, magnetic tuner and other music tools.

Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Patrick Holland
2 min read

Soundbrenner has two smartwatches for musicians. On the left is the Pulse which has a vibrating metronome. On the right is the new Core, which has a metronome and several other music tools built-in.

Patrick Holland/CNET

I'm in a Mandalay Bay exhibition hall for CES 2019 and spot a guy holding a guitar. He's wearing a sleek black smartwatch on his wrist that lights up at regular intervals with a green light ring. The guitarist turns the edge of the watch face and the pulsing light speeds up. Then he turns it the other way and the pulse slows down.

It turns out the guitarist is Florian Simmendinger which has to be the best name there is for the CEO of a company that makes smartwatches for musicians. Simmendinger founded the company Soundbrenner and the watch he is wearing is a new smartwatch called the Soundbrenner Core.


Both the Soundbrenner Core has a vibrating metronome to help you keep tempo.


The pulsating light that caught my attention is part of the watch's metronome. It lights up to a set tempo. But when I try the watch on, I notice it also vibrates. Feeling the beat as a vibration on my wrist is much more intuitive than listening to the tempo from an old wooden metronome. I turn the watch face like Simmendinger did to adjust the metronome tempo.

Soundbrenner Core is the follow up watch to the Soundbrenner Pulse. The main difference is that the Pulse only has the vibrating metronome feature while the Core also has a tuner and decibel meter.


The Core can twist off its wrist-strap base and be used to tune a guitar, bass and violin. It measures the vibrations of the instrument's strings to get the right note.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The Core can double as a magnetic contact tuner for tuning a guitar, bass or violin. The entire watch body twists off the wristband base and you touch it to your instrument's pegs. The Core tunes by measuring the vibration of the strings. This means that no matter how loud your surroundings are that you can accurately tune your strings to the correct notes.

Also, the easy and bold way the watch transforms into a tuner seems like something Tony Stark designed if he played guitar.

There is a built-in decibel meter that can be used to keep your live performance from being too loud or soft. Really the only thing missing from the Soundbrenner Core is a really wide leather band and giant silver buckle.

The Soundbrenner Core starts out at $229 which converts roughly to £180, AU$320 and is available for preorder. The Soundbrenner Pulse is $99 which converts roughly to £80 , AU$140 and can be purchased now.

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