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Review: Soundbrenner Pulse - Magnetic Magazine
Rather than hearing the beat, you feel the beat.

What is Soundbrenner Pulse?

The Soundbrenner Pulse is a new piece of technology that rids the need for musicians to audibly hear a metronome. The Soundbrenner Pulse places the tempo of the track into a neat wearable piece of hardware. Rather than an audible "click," Soundbrenner Pulse vibrates to a set tempo. 

What's in the box?

The Soundbrenner Pulse comes with two bands: a smaller one for your wrist and a bigger one for your bicep or thigh. It also includes two stickers, the charging station and cable (no wall outlet, though), a guitar pick, and the device. 

Soundbrenner Pulse box contents

Soundbrenner Pulse, charging station and cable, stickers, guitar pick, and wristbands.

How does it work?

It's as simple as downloading The Metronome by Soundbrenner application and following the on-screen instructions. The Soundbrenner Pulse is incredibly easy to get going, so much so that my non-tech savvy parents could get it up and running. 

When I first installed the application, I did have issues getting the Soundbrenner Pulse to connect with my phone. I would attach the device to my wrist, enable Bluetooth, and follow the on-screen instructions; however, the application would tell me to enable Bluetooth (which it was) and charge the device for at least 30 minutes (which I did). I contacted Soundbrenner support, and they were readily available to assist me. It ended up being a bug in the iOS. When I updated my iPhone X to iOS 11.3, the Soundbrenner Pulse connected instantly to my phone. 

One neat feature with this device is that you can sync up to five devices to an iOS or Android-enabled smartphone or tablet. This can be done through The Metronome application. (Note: it's not yet compatible on Windows.) This is a handy feature for bands, as they're able to set the tempo on one device and get rockin'. 

"I can not imagine a better tool to learn the basics of rhythm as a beginner, or to master rhythm as a serious musician." -John JR Robinson, most recorded drummer in history.

Another really unique feature is the ability to pair the Soundbrenner Pulse to a digital audio workstation, which is done through the MIDI feature in the mobile application. By doing this, the Soundbrenner Pulse will sync up with the tempo of the DAW and pulse to that tempo. 

The Metronome application 

The settings for Soundbrenner Pulse can be configured manually on the device or within the mobile application. After getting past the issues I encountered, I was able to configure the device. Everything ran smoothly and was very intuitive. 

Additionally, you can have the Soundbrenner Pulse vibrate and flash, just vibrate, and/or all the above plus an audible click via The Metronome application.

The Metronome application doesn't have to be paired with the Soundbrenner Pulse in order to work. If you want to use a classic, audible ticking metronome, this application is by far the best on the market. 

Soundbrenner Pulse

Soundbrenner Pulse and The Metronome application

Aesthetic 

The Soundbrenner Pulse looks modern, sleek, and is very minimal. It is, however, a bit bulky and bigger than the average wristwatch. The LED ring light around the device adds a cool touch to the device, but I found it distracting when reading sheet music and playing piano. So, I turned it off.

It's a device that's meant to be placed on your wrist, set, and left alone. It's fairly lightweight as well. 

Soundbrenner Pulse

Soundbrenner Pulse

Additional Accessories

An accessory that's not included in the original package is the body strap for the device. If you don't want to wear the device around your wrist, you can use the body strap to wrap it around your shoulder, chest, or leg. You can purchase the body strap for $29. 

Build Quality

The overall build quality of the Soundbrenner Pulse is good. It does feel like a cheaper plastic. If you're in a band or use it when traveling, I would be careful because a few good knocks against a wall, amp, instrument, etc, could break this device.

Battery Life

Soundbrenner claim that the device will last for more than six hours, which is plenty to get you through many practice sessions and gigs. 

Ease of Use

The Metronome application and Soundbrenner Pulse are very easy to use. Simply connect the device to the application, set the parameters and get going. Like The Metronome application, you don't need to connect the device in order to get a tempo going. Simply turn the device on and tap at the tempo you want for three or more beats to set your desired tempo.

Final Thoughts

This nifty piece of technology could greatly improve one's ability to learn rhythm. It's perfect for those just getting started and even music veterans. Additionally, this could revolutionize the way bands communicate from a rhythm standpoint. 

The Metronome application is simple and by far the best mobile application metronome I've used. The ability to be able to use it as an audible metronome or connect it to the device and feel the rhythm is a feature I really enjoy.

While the build quality does feel a little cheap, it doesn't affect the functionality and simplicity. As I mentioned above, a few bumps against an instrument, wall, or amp could break it. 

The Soundbrenner Pulse can be purchased for $99 via their website. You can also purchase it on Amazon, Musician's Friend, and Guitar Center.

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