BOSS（ボス） メトロノーム Dr.Beat（ドクタービート） DB-30
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It had limited use the first year or so, and it worked fine. But when I recently started using it frequently to practice on my Djembe, it suddenly would not work properly when ear buds were plugged in to hear the sound. Initially it did work properly with ear buds, but now it will only operate at 120 bpm when the headphone jack is used. No matter the rhythm and/or beat setting, as soon as the headphone jack is used the unit immediately changes to 120 bpm in 4/4 time.
Update 8/30/14: Purchased a different brand metronome that is louder than the Boss DB-30C, but also purchased another Boss DB-30C. In both cases I found that they are not loud enough to be hear unless you are using ear buds or a headset. If it leans against a hard surface like a solid music stand or a wall, the sound is more pronounced. Obviously, the beat from the metronome echoes off the hard surface and is increased in volume.
The mute is helpful to quiet it down while still using the visual timing queues and the device retains it's settings when powered down so next time you begin right where you left off.
This device covers various time signatures and I love its ability to sub-divide timing. For example, you can set your main click to 80bpm AND also have a sub-click occurring based upon a fractional note (e.g. eighth, triplets, sixteenth notes, etc.). Very cool!
However, for the beginning learner this is a great tool: a 5-year-old can operate it without assistance (helpful for those learning piano, for example). It offers several different beat settings and time signature settings. The volume is easy to adjust, the speed is easy to adjust.
The bottom line: if you need serious assistance with complicated timing, you're going to have to spend more money and get a more substantial metronome. If you have basic needs - say beginner to intermediate play level - than this works just fine, is easy to use, and easy to transport.
1. It doesn't get loud. I usually only use a metronome to practice (because I like live music to be LIVE music) on a practice pad. It's loudness suffices for practicing with a pad. Otherwise, it has the headphone option. You'll notice that it's just as loud with headphones plugged in, but not on your head (the headphones being at a distance), as it is without headphones plugged in and turned up all the way. Very weak speaker.
2. The battery life, as the reviews I've read before buying it warned, is short. I use it about four times a week (for at least an hour) and the battery lasts about 3 months. Although, the batteries are cheap. Order them in bulk. You can get about 5 for $4.50 (shipping included).
1. The thing is small and very light.
2. Many options as far as beats per measure, a couple clave patterns, where the metronome accents beats, etc. Again, more than I use. I only want something to check my time every half measure or so; I'm not the kind of person looking for something to do all the work for me. So if you are that person, my reviewing of this aspect won't help much.