If someone with a good sense of tonal hearing can be described as having perfect pitch, what is the equivalent phrase or word for someone who has a good visual sense?


Jane is great at color coordination and color balance. She has good sense of _____.


Joe’s ability to detect fine detail in works of art make him a ____.

  • 19
    Perfect pitch is not just a “good sense of hearing” it is the ability to hear a tone and identify what note it is- which of course means the frequency of the tone. Therefore the analog in color would be someone who can see a color and identify what? The RGB value? The HSV value? The exact wavelength of light? I don’t think there is a person alive that can accurately do this and thus there’s no word for it. A good sense of “color” has more to do with color coordination than exact color identification.
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 23:38
  • 6
    There really is no equivalent, since perfect pitch is not about acuity or even musicality but rather about having reliably internalized the fixed standard whereby concert A is 440 Hz. Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 23:39

5 Answers 5


A good sense for what colours are attractive in a particular situation is often called an eye for colour, colour sense, or sense of colour.

The ability to resolve fine detail particularly at a distance would often be described as being eagle eyed or hawk eyed. More generally a good sense of vision is often described as being sharp eyed or having sharp eyes or a sharp eye.

None of these is equivalent to perfect pitch which is much more specific ability to pick out the dominant frequency of a sound as a note and to detect if it's off from the exact frequency it should be for a note. The equivalent for vision would be being able to pick out the frequency of light we're seeing, but the way our eyes work makes this impossible. Just having a good sense of hearing would be better described as being sharp eared or having sharp ears"


There are a few misconceptions. Good hearing doesn't imply perfect pitch. They are separate concepts. Perfect pitch is the ability to discern individual musical notes.

A word for excellent vision is eagle eyes. "Joe has eagle eyes. He can see a muskrat from 100 meters."

You can't use eagle eyed for Jane. For that sentence you would say "Jane has a good sense of style."

  • "Perfect pitch is the ability to discern individual musical notes." Discerning between different notes (relative pitch) is very different from "perfect pitch" -- which means identifying the absolute pitch without aid of a reference note. (most people who can "play a tune by ear" have very good relative pitch abilities, but may or may not have perfect pitch.)
    – Kirk Woll
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:06

You can say that Jane has a good sense of colour and Joe has an eye for detail.

  • The key is a good colour memory. How I wish I had a good memory for colours!
    – Hugh
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 1:32

I'd suggest,

have a discerning/good eye

(idiom) If a person has a discerning eye, they are particularly good at judging the quality of something. UsingEnglish

have an eye [for something]

To be discriminating or perceptive about something, as in She has an eye for decorating. [c. 1700] AHD


I have always called it perfect plum. Tones do not necessarily equate to color. Visual spacial ability is the core skill. Just as you can hear the depth of a canyon by the pitch of the echo; so can you see the perpendicularity of a wall or the level of a line. To discern it to the exact degree; 0-360, without any relative identifying clues; might be equivalent to identifying an exact note.

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