The Best Loopers - Pedals & Tabletop

The Highest Rated Looper Pedals

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Loopers are great tools for developing and expressing musical creativity, from crafting and testing song ideas at home, to building complex live looping performances with multiple layers of harmonies and accompaniment.

For this reason, looping has become a standard feature built-into many guitar processors and even amps (with digital brains). But these built-in loopers have limited control and features, hence it is better to get a dedicated looper that fits your playing style and equipment setup.

Here we look at the best rated loopers, based on the most recent ratings and review data up to mid May of 2022. We divided our recommendations into three categories - Compact, Multi-switch, and Tabletop.

Compact loopers are usually more affordable and provide limited functionality, ideal for those who want basic looping functionality. Multi-switch loopers offer more control, and they usually come with more memory and multi-track looping. Tabletop loopers are meant to be desktop friendly, for those who want to loop using their hands, rather than their feet.

The Best Looper Pedals

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

The main looper that Alexander uses is the Boss RC-300 which he's been using for many years now - that thing is built to last!

The Best Looper Pedals - Compact Size

TC Electronic Ditto Looper

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 4100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$89
TC Electronic Ditto Looper

Cons

  • One footswitch control requires more practice
  • Limited 5 minute recording memory
  • No battery power option
  • Not advisable for complex looping

Pros

  • Intuitive design, ideal for learning how to loop
  • Clear and transparent sounding loops
  • Compact size makes it easy to fit into pedalboards
  • Solid durable build

The TC Electronic Ditto Looper is one of the most popular and highly rated entry-level looper pedals, thanks to its simplistic design (having only a single footswitch and a single knob), and affordable price.

The pedal's one and only footswitch allows for basic controls that include record, playback, overdub, undo and redo.

While conveniently compact, getting a good handle of the different ways of stepping on its single footswitch requires some practice.

In addition, there's the Loop Level knob, which lets you adjust the volume of the playback in relation to your dry signal. And speaking of signal, the Ditto looper's clean and transparent sound doesn't muddy up your tone, and this helped make it a staple single-track looper among electric guitarists.

While it has a total loop time of 5 minutes, it lacks memory slots for storing anything more than that. Note that you'll need to buy the power supply separately.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: 300 Seconds
  • Loop Tracks: 1
  • 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.

Hands On Reports

Website Source *Rating Value
Premier Guitar Charles Saufley 93/100
Music Radar Simon Bradley 80/100
Guitarist Next Door Teemu Suomala 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

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-1 Loop Station

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 2900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$115
Boss RC-1 Loop Station

Cons

  • One footswitch control requires some practice
  • Need to buy a power adapter separately
  • Not advisable for complex looping

Pros

  • 24-segment display provides great visual feedback of loop time
  • 12 minute recording time, enough for basic looping use
  • Familiar pedal shape and function
  • Compact size
  • Tank tough Boss quality build
  • Its simplicity and 24-segment display makes this great for beginners who are learning the ropes of looping

The most affordable of the Loop Station line of pedals, the RC-1 is Boss' entry-way into the world of looping.

It comes in Boss' simplistic single stomp box design, which is known for its tank tough reliability and durability.

But even though it is an entry level pedal, it comes with some extra features that make it easily stand out from among other basic loopers.

The most noteworthy feature is its 24-segment LED indicator, which gives you visual feedback of your settings, and can even show you where you are in each loop. This serves as a good visual cue for timing loop controls, especially useful for novice musicians.

It can also hold up to 12 minutes of recording, which is more than what most of its direct competition are offering.

In addition this pedal comes with stereo/mono connections, which makes it easy to integrate into complex gear setups.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: 12 Minutes
  • Loop Tracks: 1
  • Loop Memory Slot: Internal
  • Audio Quality: Not Specified
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Stereo)
  • Power: DC Adapter (Optional) or 9V Battery
  • Extra Feature: 24 Segment Loop Indicator, Stereo In/Out
  • Dimensions: 2.375" x 5.125" x 2.875"
  • Weight: 1 lb.

Hands On Reports

Website Source *Rating Value
Music Tech Marcus Leadley 80/100
Guitar Magazine Editor 80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

For those who aren't planning on using multiple loop tracks, this is probably the only looper you'll ever need.

Boss RC-5 Loop Station

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 425+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$235
Boss RC-5 Loop Station Pedal
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Compact Looper Pedal.

Cons

  • Limited control over its preset switching
  • One footswitch control means its harder to access its many features
  • Need to buy a power adapter separately
  • Limited to single-track looping

Pros

  • Long recording time (Up to 13 hours), can be used as storage for song and riff ideas
  • Extendable memory via USB with 99 phrase presets
  • Higher Audio Quality (32-bit stereo)
  • Can double as percussion auto-accompaniment tool with 114 Drum patterns
  • Retains familiar stompbox form and function, while providing better visual monitoring via its LCD display
  • Tank tough Boss quality build

The RC-5 takes Boss' single track and standard stompbox form factor and packs it with extended recording time and extra features that are normally reserved for something bigger and more expensive.

While other compact pedal loopers offer minutes of recording time, the RC-5 can give you up to 13 hours of stereo recording, which is way more than what others offer. And it's not just about long recording because it comes with upgraded 32-bit/44.1kHz audio quality.

Both its long recording time and improved sound quality are substantial improvements over what most loopers offer, especially among compact sized ones.

You can save your loops into any of its 99 phrase memories, and you can further expand your recording option with its USB import and export feature.

In addition it comes with 114 drum patterns to play with variations, 7 drum kits and assignable reverb. It also has MIDI support for remote triggering, beat syncing and more.

Finally, it comes with an informative color LCD display that shows looper status, parameters, and beat information - so you can easily access and monitor the pedal's various features.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: 13 Minutes Stereo
  • Loop Tracks: 1
  • Loop Memory Slot: Internal with USB Support
  • Audio Quality: 32-bit/44.1kHz
  • Input: 2 x 1/4" (A/mono,B)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (A/mono,B)
  • Power: 9V Battery, 9V DC power Supply (Sold Separately)
  • Extra Feature: LCD Display, Built-in Drum Patterns, Stereo In/Out
  • Dimensions: 2.375" x 5.125" x 2.875"
  • Weight: 1 lb.

Hands On Report

Website Source *Rating Value
Performer Magazine Chris Devine 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

If you're looking for the most looping features in a compact form factor, then the Boss RC-5 is for you.

The Best Looper Pedals - Multiswitch

Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$173
Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper

Cons

  • Limited recording time (12 minutes) and control options
  • Limited single-track looping, not for those who want to do multi-track live looping
  • A bit pricey for its limited features

Pros

  • Intuitive 2-footswitch interface while retaining single-track simplicity
  • Good audio quality (24bit at 44.1Khz)
  • Fun to use features like reverse and slow-mo (1/2 time) playback
  • Works great with electric guitar rigs
  • Durable and reliable build quality.

The EHX 720 Stereo looper lets you store up to 10 independent loops that total 12 minutes, which is more basic riff style looping use.

It also gives you the convenience of two foot switches, which gives you better real-time control over your loops. And it does so while retaining a somewhat compact profile.

There's even an input jack for adding a 3rd optional foot controller if needed.

What makes this pedal stand out is its speed down (half time) control and a reverse playback function, which allows for fun experimentation with loops that you won't get from regular loopers.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: 12 Minutes
  • Loop Tracks: 1
  • 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.

Hands On Report

Website Source *Rating Value
Tone Report Sam Hill 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

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

Boomerang III Phrase Sampler

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 80+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$399
Boomerang III Looper Pedal

Cons

  • Cannot save loops into presets
  • The feel of the footswitch may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Pros

  • Allows for 4-track looping
  • Up to 35 minutes of recording
  • Versatile loop building via its switchable play styles
  • Simplified interface with no LCD
  • Good audio quality (24bit at 44.1Khz)
  • Quiet footswitch design

The Boomerang III is a multi-switch looper designed for "live" looping performances, with up to 4 tracks and 4 different play style options.

It does away with bells and whistles like extra effects, auto rhythm, and SD card storage, rather it focuses on providing good sound quality and intuitive workflow that's ideal for live use. This results in a looper that works and sounds natural, which appeals to experienced musicians.

For a multi-track looper, this one strays from the usual LCD screen interface, sticking to a more old school footswitches, knobs and buttons approach. This simplifies the interface and allows you to focus on looping with minimal distractions.

The play style options open up the unit to different approaches, from a more structured and sync'ed serial mode, to a free mode that allows you to craft and play tracks that are not synced. With this, you won't feel boxed into a particular way of looping.

This unit comes in a robust performance-ready form factor that spaces the footswitches and controls in a way that's easier to access and look at. It also has a distinct footswitch design that operates quietly, a must for loopers who don't want unwanted noise creeping into their loops.

The main drawback of the Boomerang III is its inability to store loops for future use. And if you're used to metal switches, you probably won't like how its distinct switches feel.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: Up to 35 minutes (2100 Seconds)
  • Loop Tracks: 4
  • Loop Memory Slot: Up to 4
  • Audio Quality: Output (24-bit / 48kHz)
  • Input:2 x 1/4" (L/R), 1 x Rang Pedal Link
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (L/R), 1 x Rang Pedal Link
  • USB: None
  • Power: 9V DC Power Supply
  • Dimensions:9” x 2” x 6”
  • Weight: 3.59 lbs.

Hands On Reports

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound on Sound David Greeves 95/100
Premier Guitar Charles Saufley 80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

The Boomerang III is an ideal live looping pedal, with intuitive controls that intermediate users will appreciate, while having enough complexity to appease advanced loopers.

Boss RC-300 Loop Station

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 1000+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$535
Boss RC-300 Looper Station with Vocal Effects
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Multiswitch Looper Pedal.

A few months of exposure to live looping and my curiosity got the better of me - I ended up getting the Boss RC-300, which quickly became central to my acoustic and live looping sets. The RC-300 was the flagship Boss Loop Station model for many years, with expanded looping and input/output options for crafting complex loop sequences. It has a recording time of up to 10,800 seconds (3 hours), and it has the ability to record, play, and overdub 3 simultaneous tracks.

To do all this, it follows the typical guitar processor template, with multiple footswitches, an expression pedal, and expanded input/output options. In addition to its looper function, it also comes with built-in effects and drum loops for accompaniment. I've listed its detailed specifications below.

Note that although the RC-300 was the flagship model of the line, Boss has since released the RC-600 which is a more expensive looper with 6-simultaneous tracks, up to 13 hours of recording time and other improved features.

Boss RC-300
After years of use, still looks and works nicely [Click to Expand]

Tech Specs

  • Total Loop Time: 10,800 Seconds (3 Hours)
  • 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), MIDI
  • 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.

Loop Audio Quality

Loopers are basically mini-recorders that give instant playback, overdub and stop control - which means that audio quality is of utmost importance. Thankfully, the Boss RC-300 is not lacking in this department, with its 16-bit A/DA conversion at 44.1 kHz sample rate, which is CD quality audio. This is widely considered to be the best audio quality that our ears can perceive, some even consider higher sampling rates to just be a waste of memory space.

Still, this does not stop manufacturers from upping their game, including Boss which now utilizes 32-bit audio in the new RC-600. The lucky few who have already tried newer loopers report sound quality and headroom improvement, better at retaining sound fidelity when doing multiple overdubs. But don't count out the RC-300 yet because it is still a great sounding looper - to my ears, it reproduces the sound and nuances of my acoustics and voice really well, even when doing multiple overdubs.

I've uploaded audio samples in my extended review of the the Boss RC-300, using the unit's built-in direct audio recording feature.

Controls

Given its big frame, the Boss RC-300 provides generous control over loops, with two dedicated footswitches per track, one for rec/overdub/play, and the other for stop and delete. It also has a dedicated footswitch for starting and stopping all three tracks, and another one that can be assigned for engaging effects and other functions. I personally use the assignable switch as a "Mic Mute" control, this way I can record guitar parts without sound from the mic bleeding in. The built-in expression pedal is also assignable, but I use it mostly for volume control, be it as a whole, or for controlling the volume of tracks or drum loops.

In addition to footswitches, the RC-300 comes with multiple knobs for master and rhythm volume adjustment, and for tweaking input levels (aux, guitar and mic). It also houses multiple buttons along with a compact display unit, both of which are useful for changing settings and parameters, which ideally should be done prior to performing live. The buttons are self-explanatory, and can be used for assigning different lengths for each track, adjusting drum loop settings, tweaking effects and more.

Boss even made it possible to rename presets by selecting the letters through the unit's main rotary knob. It also has 3 fader knobs that provide tactile independent control over the volume of each of the 3 tracks. For what I've been doing, I find the controls to be satisfactory in getting the job done, so much so that I haven't had the itch to upgrade to a newer model, at least until the RC-600 is locally available.

Learning Curve

The footswitches on the RC-300 have a simple yet effective configuration, similar to having 3 loopers positioned side-by-side. Once I got the hang of the timing of the footswitches, using them efficiently quickly became second nature. And in my opinion, I still prefer its format over newer loopers. But it's not always rainbows and butterflies because the menu system requires a lot of time and effort to properly utilize. The RC-300's input and output flexibility requires diving into menus to get into important parameters like track level, recording level, track output and more.

There are also plenty of loop related settings that include different play modes, stop modes, loop sync and many more. Effects assignment and parameters are also hidden in the menu, and the same goes for assigning different actions to the Loop FX switch and the expression pedal. For consistent volume and control between presets, I just duplicate presets that I am happy with, and use them as a base template for other songs. This way, I save a bit more time having to setup presets every-time I start working on a song.

Input

To accommodate different instruments and sound sources, the RC-300 comes with stereo 1/4" inputs, an XLR input with phantom power and an Aux input. Each one comes with dedicated input level knobs that can be blended to taste. Unfortunately, all these input ports are regarded by the looper as a single input signal. It doesn't allow routing of different inputs into dedicated tracks. This is a big letdown because sometimes I need to separately loop my vocals and guitars, much like how its done in recording. Thankfully, there are workarounds like using compact mixers and signal switchers on the input. If I want to record just the guitar part while singing, I just turn off the looped mic signal and use a second mic that goes straight to PA. Still, these work arounds are not perfect and often require more rounds of loop building - which ultimately prolongs song buildup.

Output

What it lacks in input options, the RC-300 makes up for with its four assignable output ports. Each of the three loop tracks has its own output route setting, allowing for each one to have their own dedicated output port. This setup require more cables and takes up more mixer space, but it allows the sound engineer to mix the sound on a per track basis - too bad input routing is not as good as this. Finally, it also has a headphones out for quiet practice.

Overall

See the rest of the review plus get audio samples and a video demonstration.

The Best Tabletop Loopers

Boss RC-202 Tabletop Looper

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$342
Boss RC-202 Tabletop Looper

Cons

  • Limited 2-track looping

Pros

  • Multi-track looping up to 2-tracks
  • Generous number of control options are available per track
  • DJ-friendly style interface and controls
  • Multiple input/output options
  • Capable of using multiple effects
  • Rugged and reliable

The RC-202 is a tabletop looper meant for those who want to use their hands when triggering loops. It sports a colorful interface similar to the bigger RC-505, but more compact with enough controls for 2 simultaneous tracks.

Its colorful buttons and big knobs make it easily blend with other DJ decks and mixers - both in terms of looks and workflow.

The looper controls also follow the same design, but bigger, making them pop out prominently when looking at the interface as a whole. Each track has a big switch that trigger record, play and overdub, while the smaller switch triggers stop, undo and erase.

The obvious downside to its tabletop design is that it's not meant for guitarists who prefer handsfree foot control over looping. But since many guitarists have adapted to desktop home studio setups, the RC-202 can still be a good looper choice.

For a 2-track looper, it gives you a lot of memory to play with loops, up to 3 hours, to be exact. You can then save the loops that you create into any of its 64 phrase memories.

And given its Boss DNA, the RC-202 lets you use four input effects and four track effects simultaneously, expanding the sonic palette that you can use as you loop.

Finally, it has a foot controller input and MIDI In/Out, which allows for handsfree control via outboard gear.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: Up to 3 Hours
  • Simultaneous Loop Tracks: 2
  • Loop Memory Slot: 64 Phrase Memories
  • Audio Quality: 16-bit A/D/A - 44.1 kHz Sample Rate
  • Input: 1 x XLR (Mic), 2 x 1/4" (Instrument: L / Mono, R), 1 x 1/8" TRS (Aux), 1 x 1/4" (Footswitch/Expression Pedal)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Line Out), 1 x 1/8" Headphones,
  • USB: Type B (DAW integration, Import/Export WAV)
  • MIDI: In/Out
  • Power: AC Adapter (Included)
  • Extra Feature: Built-in Effects, 17 Rhythm Patterns
  • Dimensions: 9.44" x 2.19” x 6.94”
  • Weight: 2.125 lbs.

Hands On Report

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound on Sound Paul Nagle 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

The Boss RC-202 is a great tabletop looper for those who want to incorporate 2-track looping into their performances.

Boss RC-505 MkII Loopstation

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$650
Boss RC-505 Mk2 Loopstation
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Tabletop Looper.

Cons

  • Quite heavy and bulky
  • It's wide array of features can be overwhelming for beginners
  • Not ideal for those who want floor based loopers

Pros

  • Superbly versatile looper that allows for so much control over loops
  • 5 independent stereo tracks to play with, each one having dedicated trigger switches
  • Nifty Bounce feature lets you combine 2-tracks to free up one track.
  • DJ style interface with tabletop friendly workflow
  • Multiple input/output options
  • Capable of using multiple effects
  • Rugged and reliable

The Boss RC-505 MkII has recently superseded the original RC-505, with longer recording time, better audio quality, enhanced effects, more input and output options, improved routing, and expanded controls.

Speaking of control options, the fader is noticeably bigger than the original, and there are more ways to apply effects and EQ on individual tracks. Overall workflow is improved, to allow for more looping possibilities. The size of the screen is also a bit bigger, which works well with its expanded controls. Another new feature is called Mark, which lets you "mark" and revert your overdubs to a particular "marked" overdub.

Like the original, it gives you five loop tracks to play with, 99 phrase memories, and it has built-in drums and rhythm patterns. These features allow for an incredible number of ways to build loops, something that you simply can't get from other looper hardware.

And if 5 tracks is not enough, the MkII now has "bounce" which combines the sound of two tracks, freeing up one track that you can use to add another loop layer. By using bounce, you can have virtually limitless track space to play with.

As expected, the Mk2 has a longer list of Boss digital effects that can be implemented in more ways.

Finally, it can provide phantom power to mics that need it, and it has MIDI and USB connectivity. The downside with all these features and improvements - the MkII is bigger and heavier.

Specifications

  • Total Loop Time: Up to 13 Hours
  • Simultaneous Loop Tracks: 5
  • Loop Memory Slot: 99 Presets
  • Audio Quality: 32-bit A/D/A - 44.1 kHz Sample Rate
  • Input: 2 x XLR (Balanced, Phantom power), 4 x 1/4" (Stereo Instrument: L / Mono, R)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (L / Mono, R), 4 x 1/4" (Sub Out 1/2: L / Mono, R), 1 x 1/4" Headphones,
  • USB: Type B
  • Power: AC Adapter (Included)
  • Extra Feature: Built-in Effects, 85 Rhythm Patterns
  • Dimensions: 16.53" x 2.63” x 9.21”
  • Weight: 4 lbs.

Hands On Reports

Website Source *Rating Value
Music Radar Robbie Stamp 90/100
Synthopia Nick Batt 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

The Boss RC-505 MkII is the most feature packed tabletop looper currently available, well worth investing in if you need a hand-controlled looper.

Things to Consider When Buying a Looper

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 hands-free control of the loops, since they often have two or more footswitches dedicated to each loop. The obvious downside of 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 and even more via USB or 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, a steeper learning curve and 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 our recommended list above. 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 included weight 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 to use for your performances or song ideas.

Best Looper Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2017 and the current edition was published on May 18, 2022.

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 those that are available from US based retailers. We also limited the scope to loopers that have a minimum record time of 3 minutes - this avoided short-listing some delay/looper combo pedals. New in this Edition of the guide is the inclusion of my hands-on review of the Boss RC-300, based on my many years of using the looper.

For this May 2022 update, we ended up with a short list of 33 loopers, and gathered over 19,300 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 highest rated models to recommend above. Finally, we divided the list into three categories, Compact and Multiswitch pedals, and Tabletop 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.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Here are some of the acoustic guitars and related gear I own: Martin OMCPA4, Martin DCX1E, Takamine GY11ME, Ibanez AEL20E, Yamaha C40, Boss RC-300 Loop Station, Laney LA35C Acoustic Amp.

Contributors

Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com © Copyright 2020.

The videos above have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

Comments

How can the Headrush

How can the Headrush Looperboard not be on here. Admittedly, it had a rough start with the first version of the firmware, but now? It is incredible. I had the RC300 and there is no comparison whatsoever. The Headrush is an amazing audio interface, amazing preamps, incredibly flexible looper with 4 stereo tracks, backing tracks, up to 9 hours loop lengths, 7" color touchscreen, complete control on internal routing, amazing fx, USB A x2, SD, midi...etc. BIG MISS not having this on you list. Like leaving Tesla off the best cars list...

The Headrush Looperboard was

The Headrush Looperboard was not selected for our short-list because there are large numbers of negative reports about the product as you can see at major retailers such as Guitar Center, Musician's Friend, Amazon or Sweetwater.

If the new firmware has fixed the problems, then that will show up in future reviews and then we may consider taking a closer look at it.

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.