Korg TMR-50 review

An old school tuner in a smartphone world

  • £79
  • $99
The TMR-50 combines a metronome, tuner and a mono digital recorder

MusicRadar Verdict

While the performance is fine, the TMR-50 offers nothing that you don't already have a smartphone app for - and charges significantly more for the privilege.


  • +

    All-in-one concept. Fully featured instrument tuner and metronome.


  • -

    Auto-level control results in poor audio quality. Noisy built-in mic.

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Most guitar players would benefit from a humble metronome for practice, but with the prevalence of apps for smartphones and tablets now doing the job, the standalone metronome might be a thing of the past.

"With the prevalence of apps for smartphones now doing the job, the standalone metronome/tuner might be a thing of the past"

Korg clearly disagrees: its latest unit, the TMR-50 (available in a black- or white-hued plastic case) is not much bigger than a smartphone, and it combines a metronome, tuner (with calibration from 410 to480Hz) and a mono digital recorder (which records .wav files, with an internal memory up to 120MB).

It runs off two supplied AAA batteries, features a clear backlit LCD display and can be placed upright via a rather flimsy flip-out plastic stand.

In Use

Using either the onboard mic or jack input, tuning is straightforward for both electric or acoustic instruments; the MR-50 can also output reference tones, if required. The metronome is more involved, with time signature options and tap tempo.

The recorder is simple enough, too, but level control is automatic (you can't change it) although, once recorded, you can loop a phrase to zone in on while practising. You can also pull off files via a USB connection, but, unfortunately, the audio quality via the mic is noisy and low-level.

As a tuner/metronome with a basic sketch pad recorder, the TMR-50 is fine. The trouble is that, with the increase of these types of facilities for our smartphones and tablets, this type of product is becoming far from essential - especially when the audio quality of the recorder is so low - and you can purchase a lot of music-making apps for £79.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.