ICMP Reviews: Soundbrenner Metronomes

Our alumnus explores the pros and cons of Soundbrenner's metronomes...


For my latest gear review I wanted to look at a couple of devices that have facilitated my practice and saved my hearing over the last couple of years: Soundbrenner's Pulse and Core.

These wearable metronomes are an essential element in the modern musician’s toolkit.

We’ll be talking about these very innovative and smart projects that the Hong Kong based company have developed to make each musician's life easier, exploring their features in more detail, as well as talking about the best ways to use them when playing with other musicians.

What is the Pulse?

Pulse was the first product Soundbrenner released to the market, a wearable metronome that used vibration instead of sound to dictate the tempo. “Don’t hear it, feel it” is its motto, and it has certainly met expectations so far.

The Pulse has the look of a cool watch even though it is much more than that. It is the entry level of the range so does not have a clock function like the Core but it’s still a great device. 

The Pulse’s Key Features

This model is purely a metronome with an extra gear, but what makes it so different from any others?

The design, and the fact that it can be worn anywhere are definitely valuable. For drummers, it can be wrapped around your wrist during practice, then moved to whatever part of your body you wish to move it to if it inhibits your playing.

The same goes for any instrumentalists that want to experiment with something a bit different, simply need a portable metronome that is easy to use, or for someone who gets easily distracted by the sound of the click when they play.

I’d highly recommend it to those who are looking at releasing regular online content, as it can make your performance sound much more precise without having to use your DAW’s internal click."

If you are recording professionally, then this will solve the infamous problem of having to isolate the click sound that’s been picked up from microphones.

The Pulse’s layout is basic and easy to use. It comes with a control wheel, which allows you to adjust the tempo from 20-400bpm, and also offers a tap tempo feature that is really handy when trying to work out the speed of songs on the fly. Pulse doesn’t have a screen, so often users tend to use the App (downloadable for free) to achieve a more accurate experience, eg. such as setting the tempo, creating libraries of songs mapped out (very useful during gigs), and jamming with other users. This is a nice feature ideal for rehearsals as you can link up to five devices at the same time, so everyone is connected to the same metronome.

Pulse has a built in battery that can last up to six hours in operation and it’s fully rechargeable via USB within 30 mins.

Watch Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess improvising with the device: 

What is the Core

Core is a newer and more advanced version of the Pulse.

This watch offers many extra features which justify the slightly higher retail price compared to the entry level younger brother.

The Core’s Key Features 

The Core comes with a beautiful screen, two straps (one for the wrist and a longer one in case you want to attach it around your chest), ear protectors and many other tools at your disposal: 

  • the metronome is fully manageable from your wrist, you can choose the speed, the strength of the vibration, the subdivisions and what accents you want.
  • the second crucial feature is the tuner. Since the brain of the core is a magnet attached to the watch strap, this can be removed and magnetically attached to the guitar’s tuners (tuning pegs) or any metallic surface.
  • stopwatch
  • decibel meter
  • timer
  • alarm
  • internal setting

It can also be connected to your DAW via Ableton live and mapped for live performance. The latest update also allows the Core to function as an apple watch ( on a monthly membership)

The App

The Soundbrenner app helps users control these two devices. From here you can connect your watch to your account to set it up, you can also arrange your libraries and song lists; for instance if you have a set of 10 songs to play and you don’t have time to readjust the speed on each song, you can pre-arrange them and move across with a tap on the screen.

From the app you can link up to five devices and manage the metronome for all the players you are sharing the session with. You can use the app to stay up to date with the latest upgrades, promotions and last but not least stay in touch with the community.


I’d give this piece of gear a 10/10. However, it’s important to say that moving from a sonic to a more physical experience can be slightly confusing at first, that's why I’d like to mention that the Soundbrenner products take some time to be digested and to get used to. But once you have learned how to feel the pulse instead of hearing it, then there’s no going back.

Visit soundbrenner.com to find out more.

ICMP STUDENTS: Don't forget you can get 30% off Soundbrenner metronomes.
Visit My.ICMP > Student Discounts for more details!

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by PJ Ciarla
April 27, 2021
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