Review: Boss Dr. Beat DB-30
Fully featured metronome with tap tempo
Numerous patterns and up to 17 beats per measure
Headphone out with volume control
Internal reference pitches
Pricey considering the cost of iOS apps
I purchased the Boss Dr. Beat DB-30 metronome about 8 years ago when I needed it for college conducting class, and I actually still use it in my studio today. It sits right on my desk, easily accessible for its quick and easy tap tempo. Its about the size of a small cell phone, and thus is really portable. Though I do have iOS metronome apps that are nice to always take with me (as I always have my iPad with me) I find for actual studio use the Boss Dr. Beat DB-30 is much quicker and easier to use than any iOS app. Instead of fumbling around trying to launch and app, wait for it to load, etc, I just pick up Dr. Beat, hit the power and tap out my tempo. Very quick. And in those 8 years of occasional use (I must admit I dont use it often) I have yet to have to replace the battery. (watch it will die tomorrow, haha). I also find the extended features of the Dr. Beat metronome to be very good, which include a nice pattern menu capable of a wide range of patterns and rhythms, as well as beats per measure of up to 17. It also has a handy quick tone reference via its internal reference tones.
However, if my Dr. Beat DB-30 were to break, I would not purchase another one. Why? Because with todays iOS apps you can get the same basic functionality for under $5 (most are $1.99), and you can even get a basic metronome (without tap tempo) for free! Though its nice to have a dedicated unit on my desk at all times, and it is capable of some very nice features, it is a luxury given the available apps for your phone!