Best Vocal Effects Pedal / Processor Guide (Apr 2023)

The Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedals

Take your singing to the next level with our Best Vocal Effects Pedal and Processor guide. Explore each option in detail and find the perfect fit for your singing style.

Vocal effects processors are great tools for singers. They can apply reverb, EQ, and pitch correction for subtle improvements. And they can shape the sound with advanced features like formant shifting, smart harmonies, and more.


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While some vocalists do not bother with effects, some have successfully adopted them into their workflow. This includes solo live-loop performers, DJs, singer-guitarists, and more.

Interestingly, even non-musicians are now using vocal effects. Podcasters, voice actors, streamers, and content creators are using them for interesting voice effects.

Featured here are the top-rated vocal pedals and the reasons why they are the cream of the crop. You can check out the details of each one, for you to find the one that suits your setup.

There's also an author's pick section, that features a mic-stand-mounted vocal processor.

Best Vocal Effects Pedals and Processors

Author's Pick

Here is the vocal effects processor that I personally recommend.

Zoom V3


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

Street Price: 

Zoom V3 Multi-effects Vocal Processor


  • Power supply not included


  • Mic-stand-mountable
  • Vocal harmonizer sounds good
  • Easily portable - can be run on batteries

The Zoom V3 gets my Author's Pick spot because of the many uses you can get from it.

It is a vocal processor that caters to more than just singers. It has features that can greatly help podcasters, streamers, voice dubbers, and the like.

It has an Enhancer feature that can be used to improve speech and vocals. This can be used in conjunction with the compressor, delay, and reverb effects.

It also comes with pitch correction which can be used for subtle polishing. It can also be exaggerated for EDM style effect. And it has built-in harmonies that can be used to accentuate certain vocal parts.

Voice changing effects are also available. Including vocoder, formant character shift, talkbox, telephone, robot, and more.

It can run on battery power, but I prefer using a plug-in power adapter. I have a lot of gear and it's a hassle having the batteries die while playing.

Being mounted on a mic stand is a big plus particularly if you're using guitar pedals like a looper (check out my Boss RC-300 review). While your feet are busy, you operate this Zoom vocal processor with your hands.

In addition to being a good live vocal processor, it also has a desktop-friendly profile. This makes it fit into most home recording, podcasting, and streaming setups. There is a pedal version called Zoom V6, for those who prefer floor control.

The Zoom V3 is a great multipurpose tool for stage performance and home recording. It's also nice to have for multi-media content creation like podcasting, streaming, and more.

Tech Specs

  • Profile: Table Top with Mic Stand Clip
  • Harmony: Lower, Low, Fixed, High, Higher
  • Pitch Correction: Pitch Correction
  • Looper: None
  • Effects: Compression, Delay, Reverb, Enhance, Vocoder, and More
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x 1/8" (Aux in)
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TS, 1 x 1/8" (Headphones)
  • USB Port: Type Micro-B
  • Power: 4 x AA Batteries, 9V DC 1A Power Supply (Sold Separately)

The Best Vocal Processor Pedals

Below are the vocal processors that garnered the highest ratings. This section includes both multi-feature vocal effects processors and compact single-pedal units.

TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper


91 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper - Vocal Effects Pedal


  • Takes some practice to get used to operating a 2 switch looper


  • Easiest to use vocal looper on the market
  • 48V phantom power means you can use it with Condenser Mics in addition to Dynamic Mics

With the success of the TC Electronic Ditto looper pedal for guitar, it's only natural for their sister company, TC Helicon, to cash in on the hype with their own take.

The TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper follows after the original Ditto looper pedal. With simple controls and a compact profile, designed for use with mics.

It has a single loop level knob and two footswitches. So it doesn't take long to master its controls, which include record, play, stop, erase, undo, and overdub.

A big plus is that they included 48V phantom power. This means it works with all good hand-held condenser mics such as the Shure Beta 87A in addition to standard dynamic mics like the Shure SM58.

Even though it only has 5 minutes of loop time, I don't see this as an issue for live use, which is what it's intended for. If you want more looping features then look at our guide to The Best Loopers.

For those who want an easy to use vocal looper with high quality sound, it doesn't get any simpler than this.

Tech Specs

  • Profile: Pedal
  • Effects: Looper
  • Total Loop Time: 300 Seconds
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR
  • USB Port: Updates
  • Power: Power Adapter

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound On Sound Paul White 96/100
YouTube dilliot2k 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

TC Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic


90 out of 100. Incorporating 900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

TC Helicon Play Acoustic Vocal Effects Processor
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedal along with:


  • I wouldn't use the vocal harmonizer on recordings


  • Great for acoustic guitarists that sing
  • Both the guitar and vocal effects are strong

The TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic features both vocal and acoustic guitar effects in one stompbox. It is ideal for singers who play acoustic-electric guitar.

The vocal processor section has its own mic preamp and lets you utilize some of TC Helicon's popular vocal effects. Included here are essentials like reverb and echo. As well as dynamic processing, pitch correction, and smart harmony.

Popular TC Electronic effects make up the guitar section. Most notable of which is BodyRez (acoustic guitar sound enhancer). It also comes with Corona Chorus, Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb, feedback suppression, and EQ controls.

To top it all off, it comes with built-in looper functionality.

The acoustic guitar effects are all quite good, especially BodyRez. It helps thicken the usually thin sound of piezo pickups.

On the vocal side, reverb and compressor do the job nicely. The harmonies sound good in a live context, but I wouldn't use them on studio recordings.

In addition to its singing and guitar-friendly features, it is also compatible with condenser mics. All these features make this the best vocal pedal for solo live performers.

Tech Specs

  • Harmony: Smart Guitar-Controlled Harmony
  • Harmony Voices: Up to 2
  • Pitch Correction: Auto Chromatic, Hard Tune
  • Looper: Up to 30 seconds
  • Effects: µMod (Modulation), Transducer (Synth), Doubler, Reverb, Delay, Adaptive Tone (Smart EQ, De-essing and Compression)
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Guitar Effects: Hall of Fame Reverb, Corona Chorus, BodyRez (Acoustic Guitar Tone Enhancer), Feedback Suppressor, EQ,
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/8" (Headphones), 1 x 1/4" (Footswitch),
  • USB Port: Direct Recording, Update, and Control
  • Power: DC Power Supply

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Acoustic Guitar Forum Guitaurman 92/100
YouTube Worship Tutorials 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Boss VE-20


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

Street Price: 

Boss VE-20 Vocal Effects Processor Pedal
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedal along with:


  • Extremely limited looper


  • The harmony features are easy to use
  • Heaps of effects ups its value for money

The Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer showcases what the company is all about. It packs as much sound quality and features inside a compact and robust metal enclosure. This unit follows Boss' dual-pedal multi-effect profile, as seen on their guitar effects, only this one is meant for vocalists.

Basic delay and reverb effects are included for adding subtle ambience to your voice. But it can also go all out with pitch-correction and auto-tune effects as used by artists like Black-Eyed Peas and I don't use those styles of effects myself, but the Boss Auto Tune (pitch-correction) feature does the job nicely. It works as it should to my ears.

Harmony Factory is a harmonizer that matches keys and scales. Being able to select the intervals you want without having to play a keyboard into it for reference, makes the harmony features fairly easy to use. This makes the VE-20 a good vocal harmonizer pedal.

However, I do find the looper's 38 seconds very limiting. You'll need a separate looper for complex routines. I do a lot of looping, so this is an issue for me.

Boss added other effects that include chorus, distortion robot, strobe, and more. Being a Boss vocal pedal, it is built like a tank.

If you're mainly looking for vocal effects, and don't do much looping like I do, then you'll be pleased with the VE-20.

Tech Specs

  • Harmony: Key/Scale Based Harmonies (Not Smart Guitar Based)
  • Harmony Voices: Up to 2
  • Pitch Correction: Auto Chromatic, Hard Tune
  • Looper: 38-Second, Single Track
  • Effects: Dynamics, Doubling, Reverb, Delay, Distortion, Radio, Strobe, Chorus, Flanger, Robot
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 1 x TRS/XLR Combo
  • Outputs: 1 x TRS/XLR Combo (Line), 1 x Mono
  • USB Port: None
  • Power: DC Power Supply or 6 x AA Batteries

Rating Source Highlights

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

Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer


88 out of 100. Incorporating 475+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedal along with:


  • The distortion is pretty average
  • Limited looper


  • Built-in tuner is a nice bonus
  • Intuitive workflow - easy to use live

The Boss VE-8 is designed to cater to the needs of singers who play acoustic-electric guitar. It has dedicated preamps and effects for both mic and acoustic inputs.

Being a vocal processor pedal, most of the features are meant for improving your vocals and expanding what you can do with it.

This includes having a mic preamp with phantom power support, for using condenser mics. It also comes reverb and enhance. And has esoteric vocal effects like pitch correction, distortion, robot, and more.

The guitar pedal side comes with its own sound enhancer via its acoustic resonance feature. It is designed to add realism to the sound of piezo equipped acoustic-electric guitars.

It also has dedicated effects like reverb and chorus, tremolo, phaser and more. Most of the guitar effects are quite good, including the distortion which is a bit unusual for acoustic players. This means that you can use the VE-8 as a vocal distortion pedal, if that's what you want to do.

With only 80 seconds available on the looper, you can't build complex loops like I do on the Boss RC-300. But it is enough for a bit of layering in parts like the chorus.

The VE-8 does have an intuitive workflow and it doesn't take too long to find your way around the unit.

This is a great rig "simplifier" for self-accompanying singers, a compact unit that can substitute for a complex yet intuitive rig.

Tech Specs

  • Harmony: Smart Guitar-Controlled Harmony
  • Harmony Voices: Up to 2
  • Pitch Correction: Auto Chromatic, Hard Tune
  • Looper: 80-Second, Single Track
  • Effects: Doubling, Reverb, Octave, Mod Delay, Chorus, Distortion, Radio, Electronic and more
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Guitar Effects: Acoustic Resonance, Reverb, Chorus, Notch Filter
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Headphones), 1 x 1/4" (External Footswitch)
  • USB Port: Firmware Update and Direct Recording
  • Power: DC Power Supply or 6 x AA Batteries

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube ThomasSchuber 92/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Things to Consider when Buying Vocal Effect Pedals / Processors

Types of Vocal Effects

The most common reason why people use vocal effects is to improve the sound of their voice. And and this is usually accomplished by basic effects like EQ, compression and reverb.

Most PA systems have these built-in for sound engineers to add them. But having your own vocal reverb pedal with EQ gives you more control.

Vocal processing effects also let you alter your sound in unique ways. Those who are into experimental styles of music will appreciate vocoder, synth, alien, robot and other out-of-this world voicings. These vocal effect types are also great for creatives, streamers, voice actors, podcasters and other media content creators.

Vocal effects processors nowadays utilize Digital Sound Processing (DSP) technology to create distinctive sound effects. Some can change the character of the voice using "formant shifting" effects. This can deepen or lighten the character of the sound to artificially change the apparent gender and/or age of the singer.

Pitch correction used to require high-end equipment. But now, you can get a mobile processor or an autotune pedal quite easily. This accessibility has made pitch correction a staple in popular music.

Some use multiple effects to achieve a unique tonal character. While others use it subtly to polish their singing. It can also be used in conjunction with harmony for male/female voice style backups.

Input/Output and USB Recording

Most vocalists will use just a basic XLR connection into a PA or mixing console. But those that sing and play guitar may need dedicated outputs for guitar and vocals.

Having extra outputs allow for more routing control. The guitar can be routed separately to the guitar effects/amp, while the vocals can go straight to the PA. Most vocal processors come with headphones out, allowing them to double as Headphone Amps.

Direct USB recording used to be considered as a secondary feature. But you need this feature if you're into home recording, live streaming, podcasting, voice acting and the like.


Loopers are popular among one-man-band performers. But even regular vocalists appreciate their advantages. Using a looper lets you layer and texturize your voice in ways that would not be possible otherwise.

Most vocal effects processors come with built-in looper functionality. While some even offer looper only vocal pedal effects. Aside from spicing up your performances, loopers can also be great for practice and training your ears and voice.

Vocal Harmonizer

One of the most prominent features of vocal processing is the ability to add one or more harmonies to a part being sung. They serve as virtual backup singers that you have total control over.

Some can even automatically change the harmonies to match the chords being played on an instrument. This feature is what we call 'Smart Guitar-Controlled Harmony'.

Without this feature you need to manually set the key for each song. You'll have to change patches if you want to adjust the interval of the harmonies within that key.

The number of simultaneous harmonies varies, ranging from 1 to 4 additional voices. Some have enough processing power to let you tweak the character of the harmonized voices in various ways. You can change pitch and timing variations and even gender.

Pitch Correction (AutoTune)

Pitch correction has taken some genres of music by storm and it's not just being used to fix tuning problems, but also for its own distinctive sound.

It can be handy if you're looking for some discreet help with a few tough songs. And it's a great tool for replicating the vocal sound of T-Pain, Kayne West etc. You can usually control how pronounced the effect is, which means pulling the pitch of your voice toward the desired note. If you're looking for a natural sound then a lower speed and amount of correction is usually better.

The 'Hard Tune' effect locks the pitch to a target note very quickly which produces an artificial sound that many have used in modern EDM / Hiphop songs. It can also result in a rapid warbling if you drift between notes.

Most vocal processors allow you to set a scale to tune to. But generally, chromatic mode should be sufficient if you are getting anywhere near the note. However the scale setting can be useful for that pronounced hard tune warbling effect to control which notes it warbles between.

Guitar Effects

Many vocal processors already have a guitar input for their smart chord-based harmonies. So it makes sense to add guitar pedal effects to make it into an 'all in one' performance unit.

Generally, these effects are tailored towards acoustic players. They offer reverb, delay and modulation, EQ/Filters and more. You'll want these features if you're a singer who also plays guitar, and want to keep your rig simple.

Best Vocal Effects Pedal Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016. This update was published in April 30, 2023.

For this edition, we ended up with a short list of 31 vocal effects processors. We then collated over 12,850 review and rating sources, which included reviews from retail stores, expert reviews, forum discussions, video reviews and more.

All these data were then processed using the Gearank Algorithm. This gave us the rating scores out of 100 that we used to come up with our recommendations that reflect market sentiment. We also used this to report on the notable pros and cons of each one recommended above.

We've also included an author's pick, the Zoom V3, which we recommend for its practicality and usability. 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.

I personally use a Boss RC-300 Loop Station which has effects I sometimes apply to vocals, reverb and looping mostly but sometimes chorus too. I use it with acoustic-electric guitars such as my Martin OMCPA4, Martin DCX1E, Ibanez AEL20E and Takamine GY11ME.


Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.


Main/Top Image: Produced by using photographs of the Boss VE-20 and TC Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic.

The videos 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.


I see you mention in the

I see you mention in the "Harmonies" section that "Some units have enough processing power to let you tweak the character of the harmonized voices in various ways including pitch and timing variations and even gender." Can you say which ones do this? This is something I am looking for. Thanks a lot for the informative article!

The TC Helicon PlayLive

The TC Helicon PlayLive Acoustic offers multiple harmony styles including pitch, and allows for advanced controls like setting the slide time of each note, and a “Humanize” setting that adds a bit of timing and pitch variance to make the harmony sound more “human-like”.

The Boss VE-20 also has smart harmony options along with a gender setting. VE-8’s harmony is similar to VE-20.

Finally, the Zoom V3 has 5 harmony pitch options (Lower, Low, Fixed, High, Higher).

Hope these details can help you pick your vocal processor.

Awesome, the gender thing is

Awesome, the gender thing is what I was looking for, so I will take a closer look at the Boss VE-20 and VE-8. Thanks for your generous help sir!

My band works in 432, not 440

My band works in 432, not 440. So which of the best in sound quality could you recommend? Thanks.

If you are talking about

If you are talking about 432Hz tuning, then basic effects and looping should work fine. In theory, smart harmony should also be able to work with that tuning, but it may be best to contact the manufacturer if you want to be sure.

Yes, tuning in 432. The

Yes, tuning in 432. The question is to find out if any of the brands can lower the tuning to 432 to make harmonies. It will then be asking the brands. Thanks.

I've done some research, but

I've done some research, but I'm not seeing any mention of 432Hz tuning specifically. Theoretically, "Smart Harmonies" should work fine with 432Hz if the harmonies are based on audio input (vocal or guitar). But "Fixed Harmonies" probably will be a problem if they are set to a specific tuning. You are doing the right thing by contacting the manufacturers to get further information.

Thanx for all the info.

Thanx for all the info.
One question .. Can I trigger the abilities of the TC voice live 3 with a bamboo flute ?

Hi! Great guide. About TC

Hi! Great guide. About TC Helicon Perform VG, it has Phantom power (can't be phantom powered, but you can power a condenser mic with it). Also the USB port is just for firmware update, not able to direct recording or control.

Thanks for that, you are

Thanks for that, you are entirely correct!

There were some confusing phantom power specifications on the TC-Helicon website so I checked the manual and have updated the Phantom Power and USB specifications above.

With a lot of the best

With a lot of the best processors being taken off of the recommended list, what processor is currently the the best and is a available?

Hey.. Thnx for all this great

Hey.. Thnx for all this great info! Still playing every day with the Roland 501. ( sultry and melodic type of improv flute ) The pre on this Roland is special. Which one comes close in quality to the Re 501? Just need the basic effects / delay /reverb.

Trying to look for a compact

Trying to look for a compact alternative to the Roland RE-501 is a tall order. So if you're looking for a vocal effects pedal with RE-501 like quality delay/reverb, you may have to lower your expectations.

And If you do, you'll find that many of the pedals listed here can provide workable, if not good reverb and delay.

Thank you for the article! I

Thank you for the article! I am less after effects and more after intuitive and easy to use sampler for vocals and speech. Do you know which direction I should look?

If what you mean by sampler

If what you mean by sampler is looping vocals, then you can go for any of the compact ones with built-in looper, like the Boss VE-20. But if you want an easy-to-use pedal to improve your overall sound, then get the Mic Mechanic from TC-Electronic.

Is there any pedal that you

Is there any pedal that you can choose a specific mode and not just major/minor? I perform lots of folk songs and would love a pedal I could set to the pentatonic scale.

Many harmony pedals allow for

Many harmony pedals allow for either automatic and manual key/scale mode, but I have yet to see one that specifically limits harmonies to the note of the pentatonic scale.

In any case, the pentatonic scale is just a few notes less than the major and minor scale setting, so you can achieve a similar effect with them - albeit with some of the harmonies going outside the pentatonic scale.

I’m trying to get a late 70’s

I’m trying to get a late 70’s early 80’s stereo effect. Does anyone know if one of these can achieve that?

Most likely they were using a

Most likely they were using a rackmount studio chorus effect. This can be achieved via the average chorus effect, which is included in many vocal and looper pedals.

Now if you want to really capture the flavor of the classic chorus, you'll have to research on the actual gear that was used on the recording that you're trying to replicate - and utilize something that's similar sounding, be it actual hardware or digital effects.


I have seen many reviews on the above effects, but the one thing that no one has mentioned so far, is, if you can patch one of these effects into a mixer to be used by more than one vocalist , e.g on several channels of a mixer or does each vocalist has to have their own effects unit?

These types of foot pedal

These types of foot pedal effects are primarily designed to be used by a single performer on stage rather than be used as outboard effects with a mixing console.

You could conceivably use some of them with the effects loop on a mixing console, however only the ones with 1/4" ins and outs would be usable, and the person mixing might find it awkward using the switches that are meant to be foot operated.

Typically, with mixing consoles, you would use rack mount effects units instead.

Are there any that can get

Are there any that can get chords for harmonies direct from tracks instead of guitar or keys?

The pedals don't specify this

The pedals don't specify this feature, but it can probably be done if you route pre-recorded tracks to the guitar input. There are other many apps that can do this though, but you'll have to figure out how to get them to trigger the harmonies off of your pedal.

I am looking for a small unit

I am looking for a small unit similar to BOSS VE20 that can be connected to a keyboard via midi to get the exact key changes for harmony and pitch correction. HELP!

Roland VT-3

Roland VT-3

Thanks for the to the point

Thanks for the to the point and easy to take in reviews. This did help me make a purchase decision. Roland Vocal GTX.
Thanks again.

Glad we could help!

Glad we could help!

BTW - The G XT is made by TC-Helicon rather than Roland.

I haven't seen the term

I haven't seen the term 'vocal vibrato' used in relation to any of these effects units, but the Boss VE-8 does have Tremolo if that helps.

Recommend me a best iOS smile

Recommend me a best iOS Smule sing interface setup . I'm using a Tascam iXZ right now. A vocal mixer will be good to go.

Hey! Thanks a lot for these

Hey! Thanks a lot for these great lists. I was wondering about the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX. Do you have an opinion about it?

thanks again