The Best Looper Pedals - Compact & Multiswitch

The Highest Rated Looper Pedals

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Looper pedals expand your musical palette in ways that no other effects can, allowing you to clone yourself and be your own backing band. This makes loopers ideal for many musical applications, including simple brainstorming and capturing of ideas, expanding practice possibilities, and can also be used to make elaborate 1-man band performances.

Here we look at what the market considers as the best looper pedals, based on the most recent data up to June of 2020.

Again we divided our recommendations into two categories - Compact & Multiswitch, with compact loopers being the more affordable ones that provide basic looping functionality, while multi-switch ones offer more loop memory and control over multi-track looping. We've recommended the top rated ones below and included summaries of actual user feedback for each one, along with important pointers and features that you should watch out for.

The Best Looper Pedals

The Best Looper Pedals - Compact Size

Donner Triple Looper Pedal

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$69
Donner Triple Looper Pedal

Thanks to improvements in data storage technology, you can now have a 3-track looper pedal with up to 30 minutes of recording per track, and more importantly, all these features are yours at a very cheap price, and in a very compact package.

The Donner Triple Looper has a streamlined interface which includes a knob for adjusting loop level, a switch for selecting between its 3 tracks, a display for showing time progress and a single footswitch that allows for multiple functions including recording, playing, overdubbing, redo and clear.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: Up to 1800 sec per Save Slot
  • Loop Memory Slot: 3 Slots
  • Audio Quality: Not Specified
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4"
  • Power: DC 9V 300mA Adapter (Not included)
  • Dimensions: 4.72" x 2.36" x 2.36”
  • Weight: 0.34 lbs.

Pros

It's a given that many love this pedal for being affordable. With its 3-track switching and up to 30 minute recording per track, it really is hard to beat when it comes to value for money. Surprisingly, it also gets a lot of thumbs up for its sound quality, the loops it generates are described as clean and good sounding. Last but not the least, many are impressed with how much they can do with its simple single footswitch and knob interface.

Cons

The only real concern raised in reviews is the need to buy a power supply separately, and it doesn't run on batteries.

Overall

For those with budget constraints, or those who want a multi-track looper pedal that won't hog much pedalboard space, the Donner Triple Looper is highly recommended.

TC Electronic Ditto Looper

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 2500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$118
TC Electronic Ditto Looper

The TC Electronic Ditto Looper is easily the most popular among compact guitar loop pedals as well as being one of the highest rated ones. This is all thanks to its sound quality and straightforward design, with only a single footswitch and a single knob. The pedal's one and only footswitch allows for basic looping controls that include record, playback, overdub, undo and redo.

While convenient, getting a good handle of all the loop controls requires some practice. In addition, there's the Loop Level knob, which lets you adjust the volume of the loop playback in relation to your dry signal. Note that while it has a total loop time of 5 minutes, it lacks memory slots for storing multiple loops.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 300 Seconds
  • Loop Memory Slot: 1
  • Audio Quality: 24-bit A/D/A
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4"
  • Power: DC Adapter
  • Dimensions: 1.9" x 1.9" x 3.7”
  • Weight: Less than 1 lb.

Pros

Many experts and users agree that the TC Electronic Ditto is the best entry-level guitar looper pedal. While its compact size and intuitive design are its strongest points on paper, reviews point to its sound quality as its best feature. Some even report that the humble Ditto sounds better than bigger and more expensive looper units, which is quite the compliment. Charles Saufley wrote in Premier Guitar, "If there’s a prize for musical return in relation to operational simplicity and expense, it’s hard to imagine a more worthy contender than the Ditto Looper—ever."

Cons

There are a few who complained about not having the option to run on batteries, while others cautioned that the one footswitch control requires a bit more time to master. Obviously, this pedal is not for musicians who are looking to do complex looping performances due to the 5 minute loop limitation with no memory expansion slots.

Overall

With its simplicity and sound quality, the TC Electronic Ditto Looper is a great pedal to start your journey into the world of looping.

Boss RC-3 Loop Station

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 2050+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$200
Boss RC-3 Loop Station

The Boss RC-3 Loop Station is Roland's response to market demand for feature-laden compact loopers. Boss was able to pack this single-pedal size unit with expanded connectivity, which includes stereo input/output, aux-in, external foot pedal controller and USB 2.0.

Complementing its connectivity are useful features that include up to 3 hours of recording time, 99 memory slots, and onboard drum loops. The unit's USB connectivity lets you manage your loops with your computer, allowing you to save and add loops to the pedal as you please, be it your own guitar loops, or full-band backing tracks. Finally, all of these features are packed inside Boss' signature single stompbox pedal, so you can expect it to be roadworthy and easily outlast your other gear.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: Up to 3 Hours Stereo Recording
  • Loop Memory Slot: 99 (Internal)
  • Audio Quality: WAV (44.1 kHz, 16-bit linear, stereo)
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (Instrument), 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo)
  • USB: USB 2.0 For Import/Export of Wav Files
  • Power: 9V DC Adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Extra Feature: Stereo Looping, Built-in Drum Sounds
  • Dimensions: 2.4" x 5.1" x 2.9"
  • Weight: 1 lb.

Pros

Market response to the Boss RC-3 Loop Station is overwhelmingly positive, thanks to its balance of features, sound quality and value for money. The bulk of reviews come from guitarists who use it for practice, while some use it for performance and others have even incorporated it into their teaching.

Cons

A few users commented that doing live loop performance with a single footswitch pedal require practice, but they do add that learning to use the loop pedal properly is very rewarding.

Overall

If reliability and quality is your primary concern, and you want a looper pedal that can double as a practice/songwriting tool, then definitely consider the Boss RC-3 Loop Station.

The Best Looper Pedals - Multiswitch

TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$139
TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper - Vocal Effects Pedal

Unlike many loop pedals which are mostly aimed at guitarists, the Ditto Mic Looper is designed for vocalists and players of acoustic instruments that are miked. It's as straightforward as the original Ditto, only this one features balanced XLR input and output ports for connectivity with microphones and PA systems.

For easier hands free control over the sound, this unit comes with two footswitches, one being a dedicated stop switch, and the other controlling recording, playback, undo and redo - depending on how you step on the switch. Then there's the loop level knob that lets you adjust the output volume of the loop playback.

In addition to looping singing and vocal beatboxing, TC-Helicon also markets the Ditto Mic looper as a looper for acoustic instrument musicians, allowing them to record and loop non-electric instruments via microphones.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 300 Seconds
  • Loop Memory Slot: 1
  • Audio Quality: 24-bit A/D/A
  • Input: 1 x XLR"
  • Output: 1 x XLR"
  • Power: DC Adapter
  • USB: Micro-B USB 2.0
  • Dimensions: 2.3" x 3.5" x 5.4”
  • Weight: 0.92 lb.

Pros

The TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper's practicality and good sound quality came up in many reviews. Many of which report that the pedal is easy and fun to use, and that it has the right balance of durability and portability. Satisfied users report getting great results while using the pedal with vocals, human beatboxing, percussion instruments, harmonica, acoustic instruments and more. Chris Kennedy gave it a perfect score in his Voice Council review saying, "If you have never tried looping before, then the Ditto Mic Looper is the perfect way to get started." Paul White from Sound on Sound is also a fan saying, "the TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper is a very sophisticated piece of kit", adding that it "is a breeze to use".

Cons

There are a few users who wished for extra features like the ability to be powered by battery and better stop loop functions, but the limitations are to be expected given its size, price and streamlined design.

Overall

If you're looking for a way to sample and loop vocals and other miked sound sources, then the TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper is the most practical and portable choice.

Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 275+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$153
Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper

The EHX 720 Stereo looper lets you store up to 10 independent loops that total 12 minutes, which is more than enough for many loop pedal users. It also gives you the convenience of two foot switches, while retaining a somewhat compact profile. There's even an input jack for adding a 3rd optional foot controller if needed.

Other features include a speed down (half time) control and a reverse playback function, for those who are brave enough to go experimental with their loops.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 12 Minutes
  • Loop Memory Slot: 10
  • Audio Quality: 24-bit conversion at 44.1kHz Sample Rate.
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo), 1 x 1/4" (External Foot Controller)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo)
  • Power: DC Adapter or 9V
  • Extra Feature: Reverse and 1/2 Time Playback
  • Dimensions: 2.25" x 4.00" x 4.75"
  • Weight: 0.88 lb.

Pros

Awesome, fun and sweet are just three of the many positive adjectives that owners use to describe the EHX 720 Stereo Looper. Most of them appreciate the two footswitch configuration, while others are fond of the reverse playback and 1/2 time playback feature. Sound quality and build also gets commended often. Sam Hill wrapped up his ToneReport review by saying, "I’m adding this to my board no question. In fact, I may not send this one back."

Cons

There are a few who experienced glitching, where the timing of the loop playback is off, but the good reports far outweigh them. More often than not, this may also be attributed to user error.

Overall

The EHX 720 Stereo Looper is a nice tool for those looking for more control while keeping the size small.

TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$179
TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

The popularity of the original Ditto Looper prompted TC Electronic to follow it up with the Ditto X2 Looper. It carries over the same intuitive single-track looping functionality of the original, but adds stereo input/output, USB connectivity and a section for loop effects, complete with a dedicated controls.

The looper section is a straightforward as its compact sibling, with up to 5 minutes total recording time and the same single-knob loop level and single-footswitch controls. The Loop Effects section lets you switch between half speed and reverse looping effects, and it also allows you to use both at the same time. Finally, the built-in USB port lets you export and import loops from your computer.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 300 Seconds
  • Loop Memory Slot: 1
  • Audio Quality: 24-bit A/D/A
  • Input: 2 x 1/4"
  • Output: 2 x 1/4"
  • USB: Mini-B USB 2.0
  • Power: 9V Battery (With 2 Battery Slots), DC Adapter (Optional)
  • Dimensions: 4.44” x 5.31” x 2.13”
  • Weight: 1.13 lbs.

Pros

The TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper impresses many experts and users with its sound quality and ease of use, including Charles Saufley at Premiere Guitar who said, "the 24-bit loop quality is excellent". It also helps that many are happy with the extra footswitch that can be used as extra loop control.

Cons

Still there are some who expected more in return for the money they spent, and a few reported encountering glitch issues.

Overall

Overall, the TC Electronic Ditto X2 is a great 2 foot-switch upgrade to the original Ditto and other compact loop pedals.

Boss RC-30 Loop Station

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 1550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Boss RC-30 Loop Station

The Boss RC-30 comes in a twin pedal profile that sits between the bigger RC-300 and the smaller RC-3. The same can also be said about its features, having a bit more control and connectivity than the RC-3, while retaining a smaller profile than the RC-300.

This pedal has stereo input and output jacks, making this looper compatible with other stereo effects and instruments like electronic keyboards. The mic input adds even more value and functionality. There's also plenty of loop time to play with, with up to 3 hours of stereo recording time. And if that's not enough, it supports USB connectivity for transferring loops to and from your computer. Finally, it comes with a built-in drum (rhythm section) and effects.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 10,800 Seconds
  • Loop Memory Slot: 99
  • Audio Quality: 16-bit A/D/A
  • Input: 2 x 1/4", 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/8" (Stereo)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4"
  • USB: USB 2.0
  • Power: 6 x AA Batteries or 9V DC Adapter (Not Included)
  • Dimensions:2.25” x 6.8” x 6.25”
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs.

Pros

Those who have switched from single switch loopers love the freedom afforded by the Boss RC-30's extra tracks, controls and connectivity. And as expected from Boss, it gets a lot of kudos for its solid build, and overall quality. As a testament to how reliable and good this pedal is, Ed Sheeran used the RC-30 for live performances before he had a custom built looper rig made for him.

Cons

Those who are used to bigger multi-track loopers will probably find this pedal slightly limiting, but on the upside, this is much more portable than the bulkier and heavier multi-track loopers. There are some who are not used to buying Boss products who are not pleased when they find that they need to buy a power adapter separately.

Overall

If you're looking for a looper pedal that offers a bit more flexibility while still retaining a portable profile, then the Boss RC-30 is for you.

DigiTech JamMan Stereo JML2 Looping Station

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 1750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$280
DigiTech JamMan Stereo Looper for Guitar and Vocals

Many years after it was first introduced, the JamMan Stereo is still very much relevant today and rightly so, given that DigiTech was among the first companies who embraced the concept of dedicated complex loop pedals.

The JamMan Stereo features enough storage memory for recording up to 35 minutes of loops, which can be divided into its 99 internal memory slots. And thanks to its SDHC card compatibility, you can expand its memory further with up to 16 hours of recording time and another 99 memory slots. Other features include tempo adjustments, different stop modes (fade, finish, stop), reverse playback, and it also comes with a built-in metronome.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 2,100 to 57,600 Seconds
  • Loop Memory Slot: 99 (Internal), 99 (Memory Card)
  • Audio Quality: 24-bit A/D/A - 44.1 kHz Sample Rate
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo), 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo), 1 x 1/8" (Headphones), 1 x 1/4" (Rhythm Out)
  • USB: USB 2.0
  • Power: DC Adapter
  • Dimensions: 6.84" x 6.70" x 2.89"
  • Weight: 2.22 lbs.

Pros

Most of the positive responses to the DigiTech JamMan Stereo points to its sound quality. It is often implemented as an accompaniment tool by guitarists, either through live looping or by loading pre-recorded tracks on stage. Many also appreciate the four footswitches which makes controlling the unit easier.

Cons

Compared to loopers that have been released more recently, the JamMan Stereo's features may seem dated.

Overall

The DigiTech JamMan Stereo is a genuine oldie but goodie pedal, ideal for those who want a reliable and easy to use looper.

Boss RC-300 Loop Station

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$580
Boss RC-300 Looper Station with Vocal Effects

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Looper Pedal.

Thanks to the popularity and high ratings of the RC-300 Loop Station, Boss continues to be THE boss of the looper market. Being their flagship model, it carries the best that Boss can offer, with three independent stereo loop tracks that allow for complex arrangements fit for one-man-band performances.

To complement its multi-track design, Boss equipped the RC-300 with a myriad of input options, including a balanced XLR mic input with switchable phantom power for looping vocals and other miked instruments. This means that you can record and load guitar, percussion and vocal loops on three different tracks.

Output options are also expanded, with stereo main and stereo sub outputs, as well as a headphones out. USB and MIDI connectivity are also available, which widens the versatility and device compatibility of the unit even further.

Other noteworthy features include in-depth loop settings and controls, a wide variety of built-in effects, and it also comes with an assignable expression pedal.

Specifications:

  • Total Loop Time: 10,800
  • Simultaneous Loop Tracks: 3
  • Loop Memory Slot: 99 Presets
  • Audio Quality: 16-bit A/D/A - 44.1 kHz Sample Rate
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo), 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Main), 2 x 1/4" (Sub), 1 x 1/4" (Headphones)
  • USB: USB 2.0
  • Power: 9V DC Adapter
  • Extra Feature: Built-in Effects,
  • Dimensions: 21.125" x 9.125” x 3”
  • Weight: 8.7 lbs.

Pros

The Boss RC-300 Loop Station continues to be the pedal of choice for many musicians, including one-man-bands. Good reviews and commendations continue to pour in from users and experts alike. Michael Ross writing for Guitar Player Magazine described the unit as being, "highly flexible... built to withstand nuclear holocaust" and commends it for having a "great sound".

Cons

Still, there are a few who are not as convinced with the RC-300, specifically complaining about the quality of some of its built-in effects. And while there's a lot of things that you can do with it, there are a few practical features that are missing, like the ability to split the input into dedicated loop tracks.

Overall

Being an owner of a Boss RC-300 Loop Station, I have to add that I see it as a very inspiring and fun tool to have, be it for practice, performance or for songwriting. Whether you have the budget or not, the Boss RC-300 is definitely a worthy investment if you want to get serious with your looping craft.

Things to Consider When Buying a Loop Pedal

  • Loop Controls

    While compact looper pedals can get things done, controlling them with their single footswitch can be a challenge. Manufacturers usually require you to do various "dance" steps to trigger different functions like recording, playback, undo and redo. These steps include double steps, hold steps and quick release. Multiswitch loopers offer easier handsfree control of the loops, since they often have two or more footswitches dedicated to each loop. The obvious downside to multi-switch loopers is their bigger and bulkier profile.

  • Total Loop Time and Memory Slots

    Over two decades ago, DigiTech released the PDS 8000 looper pedal which had a total loop time of 8 seconds. These days, some loopers can store many hours of high-fidelity loops thanks to the availability of compact memory cards. Still, you have to note that more is not necessarily better, especially if you're just going for basic one track looping and overdubbing, as evidenced by the popularity of the TC-Electronic Ditto Looper, with its 5 minutes total loop time. But if you're planning to craft, organize and utilize different loops, then you'll want more loop time and multiple memory slots. Multiswitch pedals tend to have more memory, but there are some compact pedals that offer expandable memory and memory slots.

  • Number of Loop Tracks

    Single-track Loopers are generally good enough for most guitarists, especially those who just want basic looping and are already playing with a band. Their straightforward operation and simplicity makes them easy to use, while their compact size makes them easy to find space for on a pedalboard.

    Multi-track Loopers offer more control and allow for crafting more complex loops, with the downside that some have extra bulk, steeper learning curve and more importantly, added cost. They are usually preferred by guitarists who also sing, and one-man-band performers who want in-depth control over every loop.

  • Connectivity

    For basic mono setups, a compact looper pedal with one input and one output port is enough to get the job done. More complex rigs, or keyboard instruments with stereo outputs will require stereo input and output ports, which are provided by some of the pedals in this list. Aux input is a nice plus to have, as it allows you to jam with your favorite tracks, or even store them as loops. A few pedals have headphone out, which is nifty for quiet practice.

    Some loop pedals with USB connectivity allow you to save and manage your loops on your computer, this is pretty handy if you're gathering musical ideas. MIDI compatibility is also an important consideration if you're planning to integrate a looper with MIDI clock compatible devices like drum machines.

  • Size and Weight

    Pedalboard space is considered as an ever decreasing resource, so careful planning is recommended before buying your pedal. For this reason, we provided the dimensions of each unit, so you can prepare your board ahead of time. We've also stated the weight of each pedal so you can gauge their portability.

  • Extra Features

    While the focus is on looping, it doesn't hurt to have extra features like built-in metronomes, rhythms and effects. But too much isn't always good, especially if it will keep you from being productive and inspired. Bottom-line, just get one with the features you actually need, or don't waste too much time on things that you're not really going use for your performances or song ideas.

Best Loop Pedal Selection Methodology

The first edition was published August 2017 written by Alexander Briones who also wrote the latest edition published on June 13, 2020.

As much as we would like to add custom made loopers, like ED Sheeran’s massive Chewie II looper rig, we limit our recommendations to what most of us can actually buy, so we looked for the most popular and widely available loopers, and decided to limit our research to just floor-based pedals available from US based retailers.

For this mid 2020 update, we ended up with a short list of 19 loopers, and gathered over 13,700 relevant reviews and ratings, all of which were processed by the Gearank Algorithm to produce rating scores out of 100 for each one. The resulting scores were used to select only the best rated ones to recommend above. Finally, we divided the list into two categories, Compact and Multiswitch pedals, and sorted them by price so you can see which ones fit into your budget and needs. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

Comments

The expandability of the

The expandability of the JamMan system is about the best I can imagine - with three or four different XT pedals, being able to not only sync one player, but many, that's just excellent.

Not including the Line 6

Not including the Line 6 looper makes this whole review suspect - it's by far the best.

It appears that the

It appears that the specifications for the RC-3 aren't quite correct... 99 slots, no memory card slot. Probably doesn't have JamSync feature (Digitech probably wouldn't license that to Boss).

Can't believe the boss rc300

Can't believe the boss rc300 is rated higher than the infinity. Sound quality on the rc is was below the infinity which is a huge factor for me.

Hi,

Hi,

I would like to clarify that the Boss RC-3 is does not have 24-bit playback; it has 16-bit playback and is commonly regarded for having mediocre sound quality. This is the biggest ( if not only ) reason it is not the number one selling looper in my opinion. The Ditto x2 is probably the highest quality playback. I expect better research from a page dedicated to gear.. If you're hiring let me know.

Hi Wolvebird,

Hi Wolvebird,

Thank you very much for pointing that out - I was the editor for this guide and I missed the mistake, but I've fixed it now.

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