If you're looking for the best key finder in 2020 we have you covered. After studying scores of models, we purchased the top 10 kits to set against each other in a head to head showdown. We measured physical traits including each model's size and weight as well as metrics such as noise and range before we judged each device for its strengths and weaknesses in the ease of setup and the usability departments. Read below to see the results of our all-encompassing study.
The Best Key Finders of 2020
The Cube Pro is our favorite key locating device. During our noise analysis, we found that it is among the loudest of all the Bluetooth models that we've reviewed. We are very fond of the modes and settings that the Pro offers. The Cube Pro has the option for disconnect notifications so that you'll know if you ever walk out of the house without your keys. The Cube app is top-notch, and they offer a desktop user interface that allows you to ring the device from a computer even if you aren't near your phone. When we took the Cube Pro into the field to test the range we were very pleased. The distance that we experienced a device disconnect read 366 feet on the measuring wheel. This particular model is also waterproof to a rating of IP67 meaning that it can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. One of our favorite features of this tag along with other Cube products is how seamlessly they function with Alexa
For this level of performance, you're going to have to pay a premium. The Cube Pro is one of the most expensive key finders that we've seen — especially considering that the package only includes one device. This is also one of the heaviest models that we've seen, it definitely makes your keys a bit heftier. Bluetooth versions have many advantages, but they can also be kind of a pain. With this device, you'll need to download an app to a smartphone or tablet in order to set it up. If you're looking for a bare-bones easy to use model, this is not the one.
If you're in the market for a key finder system that is comprised of several tags with no setup process, check out the Esky package. Included with this kit is a remote, a remote stand, six individual tags, and all of the necessary batteries. Out of the box, the only thing that the user needs to do is put the batteries in the remote and tags, then everything is ready to go. Each tag has a color-coded corresponding button on the remote, making operation a no-brainer. We measured the range of the Esky tags to be 260 feet — sufficient for most RF applications.
When we broke out the sound pressure level meter to measure the noise produced by the Esky finders we were less than impressed. The tags only emit 59.1 decibels of sound, meaning that you might have to wander around the house with the remote for a bit to find a lost item. Also, along with other RF models, this system cannot connect to a phone — it is a closed system that relies on its own radio frequency to alert each tag. If you're looking for a "smart" device that can integrate with other devices such as phones, laptops, or virtual assistants, this is not the right choice.
If you're looking for a good all-around key finder at an affordable price, the Innway Tag is an exceptional choice. With a QR code on the box, you can quickly hit the reader with your smartphone and immediately be in business as far as the overall operation of this device goes. We did not run into any issues when it came time to pairing this tracker with our phones. We loved the distance that the Innway Tag was able to keep a connection to - while using the measuring wheel we saw that this model was able to transmit to a distance of 395 feet.
Despite the fact that we are large fans of the Innway Tag, we found some flaws. To start off, the alerts that are emitted from this model aren't very loud. If the device is muffled by furniture, is lost in a car, or buried by other belongings you had better be a strong listener or you're not going to find this thing. Also, unlike other Bluetooth models, we found that the Innway Tag doesn't have much going on in the computer department. The Innway app is less than spectacular and doesn't offer a user interface where you can find your phone using a laptop.
If you're a person that participates in rigorous outdoor activities and you'd like a device that will help you find your lost items, but you don't want to be concerned about taking a dip, check out the Tile Pro. This model is rated to IP68 waterproofing, meaning that it can withstand being submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for a period of 30 minutes before sustaining any damage. One of the best things about owning a Tile tracker is that you'll be a member of a huge worldwide group of Tile owners and the associated app supports Bluetooth searching capabilities that are unmatched. We love that the Tile program includes 15 phone ringtones. It's nice to be able to have a variety of options when some key trackers only offer one setting.
There are some downsides that come along with the Tile Pro. It's a bit expensive — if you're looking for a budget option this is not the way to go. Also, during our sound pressure level analysis, we found this device to be on the quiet side. From 2 feet away, this model was only able to get the SPL meter up to 60.1 decibels, far from the loudest key finder in our review. If you want to experience all that Tile has to offer, you're going to have to pay for their premium service. It's only a few bucks a month, but some other brands offer similar performance without a subscription.
If you love the idea of having a way to find your phone using a Bluetooth device and you know that you need extra volume, the Chipolo One is a marvelous choice. With a measured reading of 82.3 on the decibel scale, you can rest assured knowing that you won't have any issues with loudness when it comes to hearing this device. We love how light this model is — at a mere 7.6 grams you will hardly notice this key ringer on your keychain, unlike some much bulkier models. The Chipolo One integrates seamlessly with virtual assistants. If you like to use Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa, this key finder will suit your needs.
If you're looking for a Bluetooth enabled key finder with as many bells and whistles as possible, the Chipolo One is not the way to go. This device has limited tones on both the phone and the tag itself. We weren't thrilled with the app or the user interface that this model uses. That said, it's still a great product that gets the job done.
There are many instances in which a very loud version of these devices makes sense. If you can think of a reason to need extra volume on your device coupled with an easy setup — this is the one for you. During our noise testing, the KeyRinger almost broke the sound pressure meter with an incredible 106 decibels from two feet away. For those that don't feel the need to have their keys linked to their cell phone this package offers the perfect solution — it comes with two tags that are pre-programmed to be linked together right out of the package so you can forget about the need for any complicated setup. The only process you'll ever have to go through during setup with the KeyRingers is to hold the buttons down for a few seconds while the devices are near each other and they're paired for life. Also, unlike Bluetooth models which will require a cell signal to locate them, and unlike other RF sets that require a home base to find them, these devices only require each other. So if you're on the road in an RV towing a Jeep or in a truck towing a boat and you want to keep careful track of your keys this set is a great option.
We weren't especially fond of the weight of the KeyRingers — at 17.6 grams these bad boys are definitely going to add a bit of bulk to your sometimes already heavy keys. If you are looking for a key finder that interfaces with your smartphone or other smart devices the KeyRinger is definitely not the way to go. This model runs on radio frequency, also known as RF, rather than Bluetooth technology. You aren't going to get any extra features with this package.
If you want a standard Bluetooth enabled key finder the Tile Mate works just fine. When it comes to range, this model is outstanding. While conducting our tests we found that the user was able to ring the tag with a phone from an impressive distance of 379 feet. We also love that the Tile app has so many capabilities — there are functions for community find, smart alerts, and even a location history function that allows the user to see where the tag has been in the last 30 days on a detailed map.
Although we love the Tile Mate and its capabilities, it's important to note that if you want to experience all of what this device has to offer, you're going to need to pay for the Tile premium subscription. Also, this one is not very loud. During our sound pressure level testing, we found that this device only registered 60.2 decibels on the meter. The Tile Mate is water-resistant, however, if you're looking for a device that will withstand the elements there are other options that offer a higher degree of protection.
If distance, noise, and settings are at the top of your list of deciding considerations when looking at key finders, the Nut3 is likely a good choice. The range on this device is insane — we were able to keep a smartphone connected to it up to a distance of 402 feet. It's also loud. While measuring volume we saw that this one registered 78.5 decibels on the sound pressure level meter. This model also has a multitude of ringer settings, which is nice for variety, but also helps when it comes time to either keep things quiet around the home or workplace but is handy when you need extra volume.
Much of the competition, at least in the Bluetooth world, has added official waterproof ratings to their specs — Nutale has not done this for the Nut3. We would like to hear some weatherproof reassurance when it comes to future models. Also, unlike other Bluetooth trackers Nutale doesn't offer a "community find" feature which allows the user to use other people with the same apps and devices as a tool to anonymously help them find a lost set of keys.
If you want two key finders for the price of one, check out the Kimfly kit. These tags have a pretty decent range — during our testing, we found that it will sound the alarm up to 312 ft. It produces a decent amount of noise at 62.9 decibels at 2 feet away, which allows the user to hear it but also won't wake up the neighbors. If you want a Bluetooth enabled key finder but don't care for bells and whistles, the Kimfly is a great pick.
We weren't impressed with the settings of the Kimfly, as there are pretty much are none. It only has one ringtone for the device as well as one for the phone. We were also disappointed to find out that you aren't able to connect more than one Kimfly to the same phone. That said, this package would still be a good choice for families, couples, or companies for which each partner, member, or employee would want their own finder to be connected to their own phone.
If you want to track several items with one remote and never deal with programming, we recommend the WOSPORTS package. This kit includes 6 key devices plus a remote that can be used for more than just finding keys — stash a tag in your glasses case, hang one on your satchel or put one in your purse. One thing we love about this package is that there is no setup at all. Just take the products out of the box, attach the tags to whatever you desire, and all you need to do to locate them is push their corresponding letter, color, or sticker on the remote. We think this kit would be the perfect fit for those that have a handful of items they'd like to keep close track of but also don't feel like dealing with extravagant features and controls.
That said, the WOSPORTS does not offer any sort of bells & whistles at all. With this product, you will not enjoy the luxuries of any Bluetooth features including using your phone to see or alert your items or using the device to alert your phone. The WOSPORTS tags are also a bit larger than many key finders on the market — some you can hardly notice at all. If you're looking for a slender device, these are not the ones.
Why You Should Trust Us
At GearLab, our goal is to provide our readers with the most up to date and accurate information possible. A huge part of our mantra includes us buying all of the products that we test from the same retailers as you, at full price — that way we can assure you that we have absolutely zero bias when it comes time to give our advice regarding which products we think are worth your investment and which are not.
We put Ross Patton in charge of our key finder project. Ross has a formal education in environmental science, which has given him the knowledge and know-how to be able to create tests and assessments from the get-go. From his passion for outdoor recreation, he was introduced to product research and development more than a decade ago in the world of snowsports. If you need somebody to dunk key finders in the lake, see how they function on top of a mountain peak or attach them to an 80-pound hound dog, Ross is your guy.
Analysis and Test Results
We broke our performance tests up into four categories — Dimensions, alert range, noise, and how easy each device is to use.
Ease of Use
During our ease of use assessment, we subjectively judged the difficulty to pilot each model. The scope of this metric includes each device's integration with its app, how difficult it can be to set up, and what types of settings or modes each finder comes programmed with.
First of all, it is important to understand that there are two types of key finders — RF and Bluetooth. RF (radio frequency) models are simpler, and they either require an included remote to find a tracker tag or they are able to alert each other within a certain range. Bluetooth is also a form of radiofrequency. However, it is designed to use a more specific frequency and can also integrate with smartphones, desktop computers, and tablets.
The setup process for these devices is very different from model to model. RF types barely have a setup at all — the KeyRinger kit just takes a second to pair the devices with the simple touch of a button. Bluetooth models require the user to pair the device with a phone or tablet. Some manufacturers such as Innway make this easier by including a QR code on the packaging that links to the app, but for most of these types, you'll be manually searching for the app in The App Store or Google Play.
Within the category of Bluetooth finders, we found a lot of differences between the apps. Some brands, such as Cube have a near-perfect user interface that encompasses all capacities from connecting multiple devices, disconnect notifications, and even a fantastic desktop computer app that can sound the alert on their models without even using a phone.
Tile offers many of the same features, except that you're going to need to pay for a monthly subscription for a few of them — namely the disconnect notice. However, when you go with a Tile product you become a member of the largest community of people that own key finders in the world. The main takeaway from that fact is that if you drop your keys you're going to have a greater chance of locating them on a map by using Tile than using one of their competitors.
A lot of these devices can also be used as a remote control for the shutter on your smartphone camera. In our review, the models that include this function are the Cubes, the Nutale, the Kimfly and the Chipolo. We found this to be a fun and innovative way to take selfies or photos in general.
If you don't want to deal with the complications involved with using your smartphone to find your keys or any of the apps, programming, and setup that come along with models that have these capabilities, you're going to want an RF package. We'd recommend the KeyRinger duo for the simplest package, but if you'd like to tag up to 6 items for easy locating, the Esky Key Finder kit is the way to go.
If you're looking for a model with maximum functionality including integration with virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa, you're going to want a Bluetooth enabled version. If you want to be able to view your keys on a map, alert your keys with your phone, or be notified when you get separated from your keys, check out the models designed by Tile, Cube, and Chipolo.
If the physical attributes of a key finder are important to you, we have you covered. We employed a digital caliper to measure the dimensions of each model, then we weighed each device with a scale, laboratory-grade, of course. We also considered each device's waterproof rating, if any.
If you think that you might be exposing your keys to water during activities such as surfing, kayaking, or fishing we'd recommend the Tile Pro. This finder is rated to IP68 waterproofing — meaning that it can be submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. Many finders we've tested have an IP67 rating, which means that they can withstand 1 meter of water for 30 minutes before sustaining any damage. In this group are the Innway Tag, the Cube Key Finder, and the Cube Pro.
To measure the range of each device we used a measuring wheel to count the distance each model was able to alert its counterpart, regardless of whether that device was a smartphone, the homing remote, or the sister model.
The Bluetooth key versions proved to be supreme following this assessment. The Innway Tag and the Nutale Nut3 both put incredible results on the leaderboard, both finishing around 400 feet. We were also impressed with the Tile Mate and the Cube Pro which were each able to stay connected to the smartphone for more than 365 feet.
In the RF department, we were impressed with all of the models that we tested — the Esky Key Finder kit along with the KeyRinger packages both showed ranges of more than 250 feet.
Lastly, we measured the volume of each model using a sound pressure level meter by cranking each one up to full levels and taking readings from a distance of 24 inches away.
There is no way around it — the KeyRinger is ridiculously loud. If the volume is a deciding factor for you, definitely check this model out — we measured 106 decibels of noise coming from this tracker at 2 feet away. If you want decent volume but also want Bluetooth options such as a multitude of tones or the use of a virtual assistant, check out the Chipolo One. This device emits an impressive 82.3 decibels but also comes with many features that we would consider to be luxurious.
It is our job to make sure that our readers can rest assured knowing that we've taken the confusion and frustration out of shopping for items such as key finders. We hope that, after reading our intensive review, that you will be able to make well-informed purchasing decisions in regard to this product from here on out. We are here to help.
— Ross Patton