One of the most useful tools for string musicians is a tuner. Technology has advanced quite a lot in recent years, and it’s now possible to get a world-class device without breaking the bank.

As a professional violist, I always keep my tuner close by. I use it to tune my instrument, to practice intonation, and for drones when practicing. I recommend that all of my students have one in their instrument case or music bag at all times.

Quick Look: Best Viola Tuners

#1 Best Viola Tuner Overall: Tunable


There are also a lot of options out there. In this guide, I’ll help you figure out which tuner is right for you.

What Is a Viola Tuner?

While there’s no such thing as a specific “viola tuner,” there are ones that work better for this instrument than others.

A macro image of a Viola with a small depth of field.

These tools help you tune your instrument, practice intonation, and improve your technique and ear-training.

Types of Viola Tuners

Digital Tuner

This is the most common and simplest kind of tuner. These tuners give you basic information about your tuning and indicate if you are flat or sharp with a needle scale on a small digital screen.

Despite being simple, they usually tell you all the information you need to know unless you’re using it for very specific or technical tuning systems. A few varieties also have a drone feature.

Strobe Tuner

These tuners are far more sensitive than the basic digital variety, with an accuracy of around 1/1000th of a semitone or 1/1000th of a fret. They usually include a drone feature with a full 12-octave range, settings that increase sensitivity towards different instrument types (strings, brass, piano, voice, etc), and occasionally a metronome feature as well.

Clip-on Tuner

These are great if you’re looking for something small that clips directly onto your instrument. If you want something that’s easy to use, they’re great, but they don’t work unless directly clipped to your instrument, making them less useful for practicing, and they don’t offer an option for drones.

Phone App

We live in an age of smartphones, and I’m a huge fan of my phone apps. While not as sensitive as a high-end strobe tuner, they’re often just as good as digital tuners, if not better. As someone who isn’t particularly good at remembering to carry a lot of different tools, I love the fact that my phone is the only thing I need to keep track of.

The best apps also have metronomes and recording capability, which makes them an all-in-one practice tool.


These are often connected to metronomes and don’t have a microphone. In the same way that the orchestra’s tune is in reference to a drone played by the oboe or piano, they offer a reference tone that you can then match your instrument to.

If your ear is not well developed, they’re probably not the best option, but they can be very useful.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Viola Tuner

There’s a huge range of prices for tuners, from free phone apps to high-tech strobe tuners. They also range in size, weight, and capability.

a viola instrument on the table

Additionally, because the viola is often quieter than a violin or cello, some tuners that work okay for these instruments might not be the best choice for the viola.


Tuners range from the small, portable clip-on variety to a hefty strobe tuner, so you need to decide what works best for you.

Clip-on vs App vs Stand-Alone Device

Clip-on tuners are usually quite affordable, with many coming in under $10. However, they aren’t flexible, and I find them to be difficult to use for practicing. Phone apps, however, are often cheaper, or even free, and are just as accurate.

If you don’t have a smartphone and want a simple device, a clip-on tuner might be for you, but be warned that they are limited in their capability.


Tuners range in price from free apps to an expensive, high-tech device.


If you’re looking for a stand-alone tuner, you get what you pay for. The more expensive tuners are far more accurate, but it’s important to note that unless you’re extremely advanced, or working in alternate tuning systems, extreme sensitivity isn’t actually necessary. You can find a great, mid-range tuner for an affordable price.

That being said, with the current smartphone technology, a free or affordable phone app is often far more accurate than these stand-alone devices.

7 Best Viola Tuners

My all-time favorite tuner is the Tunable phone app. Other great options are made by Korg, Peterson, and D’Addario.

1. Tunable App

  • Size: Phone app
  • Weight: Your smartphone
  • What’s included: Highly sensitive tuner, full range of drones, advanced metronome, and recording capability and assessment for practicing
  • Material & finish: Your smartphone
  • Best for: Every level of violist, usability, and convenience

In my iPhone screen report each week, Tunable usually accounts for over 50% of my phone use. I use this tool CONSTANTLY, and almost always have it open on my stand when practicing. The tuner is incredibly sensitive and customizable.

You can indicate the level of accuracy you’d like, what type of instrument you’re playing, which tuning system you’re using, and your concert A calibration (A439Hz, A440Hz, or A410Hz, for example). There’s also a great drone tool, metronome, and a very cool recording tool that allows you to record your practice sessions and listen back for intonation.

✅ Accuracy
✅ Affordable
✅ Metronome, drones, and recording included
✅ Portable
❌ You have to use your phone

Why I Recommend It

This app has it all, and I love that I don’t have to carry around a separate tuner, metronome, and recording device everywhere I go. It’s also incredibly affordable, so as long as you have a smartphone, you have everything you need.



2. TonalEnergy Tuner & Metronome App

  • Size: Phone app
  • Weight: Your smartphone
  • What’s included: Sensitive tuner, metronome, drones, recording and analysis tool, piano keyboard
  • Material & finish: Your smartphone
  • Best for: All levels, practice tool

Another great phone app is the TonalEnergy Tuner and Metronome. It’s similar to Tunable in its capabilities, portability, and convenience. I personally prefer the interface of Tunable, but this is a great option as well.

✅ Accuracy
✅ Affordable
✅ Metronome, drones, and recording included
✅ Portable
❌ You have to use your phone

Why I Recommend It

Similar to Tunable, this is an all-in-one tool that’s great for musicians of any level.



3. Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome

  • Size: 3.3 x 4.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces
  • What’s included: Tuner, 2 AAA batteries
  • Material & finish: Black plastic, backlit screen
  • Best for: All levels

The Korg TM60BK is the classic digital tuner and metronome used by musicians of all levels. It’s a great, affordable option for a stand-alone digital tuner and metronome combination. It’s sensitive, easy to use, and lightweight, and a great option if you can’t use your phone.

✅ Affordable
✅ Accurate
✅ Portable
✅ Easy to use
❌ Doesn’t have advanced features

Why I Recommend It

This is a great, basic tuner for musicians of all levels. It’s easy to use, lightweight, and dependable.



4. eno Professional Violin, Viola Tuner

  • Size: 1.26 x 1.77 x 2.52 inches
  • Weight: 37.5 Grams
  • What’s included: 2 XCR2032 batteries, clip-on tuner
  • Material & finish: Black, LED display screen
  • Best for: Beginning violists, ease of use, simplicity

The eno clip-on tuner is affordable, simple, and highly accurate, and is specifically designed to fit onto violins and violas. It’s a great option for a simple, dependable tool.

✅ Small
✅ Accurate
✅ Easy to use
✅ Great for beginners
❌ No metronome
❌ Doesn’t work unless clipped to your instrument

Why I Recommend It

This is a great option for an easy-to-use and affordable clip-on tuner.



5. Korg TM-60 Tuner and Metronome Combo with Clip on Microphone

  • Size: 5.25 x 6.25 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • What’s included: Tuner, batteries, and optional clip-on feature
  • Material & finish: Plastic, backlit screen
  • Best for: All levels, portability

A great combination tool, the Korg TM-60 with clip-on microphone combines the features of a clip-on metronome with the usability of a stand-alone device.

✅ Portability
✅ Durable
✅ Adaptable
✅ Easy to use
❌ More expensive

Why I Recommend It

This is a great choice if you want both the accuracy of a clip-on tuner with the practice application of a stand-alone device. While it’s more expensive than other options, it offers more possibilities than either a clip-on or stand-alone device.



6. KLIQ MetroPitch – Metronome Tuner for All Instruments

  • Size: 4.3 x 0.6 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 3.17 ounces
  • What’s included: Tuner, 2 AAA batteries, carrying pouch
  • Material & finish: Metal, backlit display
  • Best for: All types

The KLIQ MetroPitch is a step above the basic Korg model, but with the benefit of still being easy to use. The device is a tuner and metronome combination, with the added benefit of having tone-generation capability, which makes it a more versatile practice tool. It also has extremely high accuracy ratings, without the price tag of a high-end strobe tuner.

✅ Portability
✅ Accuracy
✅ Tone generation ability
✅ Sleek design
❌ More expensive

Why I Recommend It

If you have the money, this is a step up from the basic Korg model and offers everything that a violist needs from their tuner.



7. Peterson StroboPlus HD Desktop Strobe Tuner

  • Size: 4 x 4 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • What’s included: Tuner, battery
  • Material & finish: Plastic, metal, backlit display
  • Best for: Advanced players

The Peterson StroboPlus HD Desktop tuner is the most advanced technology on the market. The tuner has extremely high accuracy, customizable tuning settings, a tone generator, and a metronome. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best of the best.

✅ Extremely accurate
✅ Metronome, tone generator, and tuner combination
✅ Customizable tuning presents for specific instruments
❌ Heavy, difficult to travel with
❌ Expensive

Why I Recommend It

If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is the tuner for you.



Best Viola Tuner Brands

There are several brands that make high-quality tuners. Some of my favorites are:

A huge color brown viola


Peterson is a leader in high-end strobe tuners and is largely considered the best option for these advanced tools. They make strobe tuners and metronomes for distributors around the country.

Korg USA

Korg is a constant and dependable presence in music tools, and their tuners are popular and durable. The company was founded in 1963 and they specialize in keyboards, synthesizers, drums, DJ and production software, mixing tools, and accessories like metronomes and tuners.


AffinityBlue is the app developer behind Tunable, which specializes in music application software.

What’s in the Viola Tuner Box?

Most tuners come with batteries or charging cords, instructions, and, on some models, additional connectors to clip onto your instrument.

Frequently Asked Questions:

There’s a lot to consider when picking your tuner. Below, you’ll find answers to the most common questions.

How Much Do Viola Tuners Cost?

Traditionally, stand-alone and clip-on tuners range from $10 to around $40, while the high-end strobe tuners often start at around $70 and, for extremely advanced models, can up to several thousand dollars. Smartphone apps are significantly cheaper, or free.

What Are the Best Viola Tuners?

There are so many good options when it comes to tuners. These are my three favorites:

Tunable: Best for Convenience, Ease of Use, Practicing

Tunable is my go-to tool. It has everything I need for practicing in one app.

Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome: Best for Basics, Ease of Use

The Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome is portable, easy to use, and durable.

Peterson StroboStomp HD

The Peterson StroboStomp HD is a highly advanced tool, without compromising portability and ease of use.

What Is the Best Viola Tuner App?

Tunable Smartphone App.

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In Conclusion

There are many options out there for tuners, and the good news is that most musicians won’t have to drain their bank accounts. With the current smartphone technology, you can have one in your pocket at all times!