09 March 2020
By Ellie Palmer
It certainly makes a strong claim to be. We review the watch with a built-in metronome, decibel meter and tuner all in one
What is it?
The Soundbrenner Core is the latest invention released by the technology company Soundbrenner. It is a 4-in-1 watch featuring a metronome, decibel meter, tuner and watch. The metronome, which will be the most useful tool for pianists like yourself, can be controlled either from the watch face or from the Soundbrenner app on your phone.
- Soundbrenner Core & watch strap rig
- Charging cable
- Silicone strap
- Body strap
- Magnetic tuner mount
- Soundbrenner sticker
Soundbrenner seem to be an extremely well-oiled machine. The packaging of this product is Apple-esque. Simplistic and impressive. As for the watch? A sleek, comfortable design.
How to get started
The package comes with a well-detailed manual, including instructions on how to put together your watch and how to download The Metronome by Soundbrenner app. You need to download the app in order to use the watch.
Why is the app so crucial?
The Metronome by Soundbrenner app allows you to control the metronome aspect of the watch directly from the app. You can control the BPM, the time signature, the note value, the duration the metronome plays for, and the offbeat.
There are plenty of other settings you can adjust to tailor your experience.
Why this watch could be revolutionary for pianists...
It may be ‘the watch for all musicians’, but the Soundbrenner Core has plenty of piano-related features to get excited about. Let’s check some of them out.
A built-in metronome that prioritises feel over sound
There are times when standard metronomes just don’t do the job. Sometimes the traditional Ding! ding ding ding sound of the metronome is lost within the music you are playing. So, what do we naturally do when the metronome isn’t loud enough?
You lose the beat. We have to stop and start again, or at least try and bring ourselves back on track. But that is a difficult and awkward manoeuvre.
The Soundbrenner Core produces vibrations instead of sound. No matter how loud you are playing, you will always feel the vibration of the beat, as long as the watch is strapped onto your body. It can be strapped almost anywhere. Your wrist is the most obvious place. The watch does also come with a body strap, giving you the option of wrapping it around your leg or strapping it over your chest.
How does the vibration feel? We tested it out for ourselves. No matter how loud we played, we were able to feel the beat no matter what. More importantly, we were able to focus on playing to the best of our abilities instead of trying to listen out for the beat. The watch additionally flashes on every beat.
It’s a comfortable vibration too. Through the app, you are able to adjust the strength of the vibration should it be uncomfortable for you.
The Soundbrenner Core is a very technical piece of equipment, so it was a pleasant surprise to see only three controls on the watch face – two buttons on the side and a wheel around the edge of the Core. Spend two minutes fiddling around and you will soon get the hang of it.
‘I’m a piano teacher. What can it offer me?’
Get your student to wear the watch during the lesson while you control the tempo from your phone. Easy.
Ideal for multi-instrumentalists
Need to tune your guitar, bass or other string instrument? Simply place the magnetic tuner mount onto your instrument. Remove the Core from the watch strap and magnetically attach it to the tuner. Navigate to ‘tuner’ on the Core, and you are good to go. It’s great to have a tuner with you everywhere you go.
The only downside is that the magnetic tuner could be easily lost. Make sure you keep it safe in the box!
Our favourite feature…
We love a music technology company that puts user safety first.
Soundbrenner have taken all the precautions needed to make this product safe. The watch itself has a built-in decibel monitor. If the volume of your practice reaches an unhealthy level, the Core will alert you with a vibration.
The watch also comes with a set of earplugs in a compact and portable case.
The manual warns against the use of this product if you have certain health conditions. Flick to page 23 to read the full safety briefing.
Anything to be concerned about?
We attempted to download and use the app on both an Android phone and an iPhone. It’s certainly much easier to use on an iPhone. The app didn’t seem to work properly on our Android.
Everything you need to know about the Soundbrenner Core can be found here.