The Best Chorus Pedals - All Price Ranges

The Highest Rated Chorus Pedals

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The chorus effect has been used in a wide variety of musical styles and genres for decades. And up to now, it is still very much relevant, as evidenced by its presence in pedalboards world over.

Featured in this guide are the top rated analog and digital chorus pedals, grouped into three popular price ranges. This will help you find the one chorus pedal that fits your budget and style, worthy of a spot on your board.

This July 2022 Edition includes the addition of the Boss CH-1 Super Chorus and our recommendations are based an increased number of rating and review sources which were up by 13% over the previous Edition - more on that in the Methodology section below.

The Best Chorus 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.

Best Chorus Pedals Under $50

While not necessarily rated as highly rated as their more expensive counterparts, the two pedals below let you add a surprisingly good chorus effect to your tone while keeping the cost really low.

Danelectro D5 FAB - Analog

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 1100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$20
Danelectro D5 FAB Chorus Pedal
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Chorus Pedal Under $50 along with the Azor Chorus.

Cons

  • Effect parameters have an uneven curve
  • Positioning of controls is unintuitive

Pros

  • Casing, jacks and footswitch surprisingly solid
  • Decent tone for the price
  • Amazing value given its price tag

The Danelectro FAB Chorus is a cost-effective unit, and as such is many musician’s first chorus pedal.

The price is really attractive for beginning musicians who can’t afford to drop a ton of money on a single effect.

The unit has its controls at the end of the pedal facing away rather than on the top, which can make adjusting the pedal on stage difficult because you can't easily see where the knobs are set. But this isn't an issue if you don't constantly change or settings or play live gigs.

The knobs also have an uneven curve - at low to mid levels the effect is very subtle, with a dramatic increase in the last 10th of the knobs’ motion.

But even with many smaller mini chorus pedals available in the same price range, it is still doing quite well as a popular starter pedal.

So even with its flaws, it's hard to find a chorus pedal that gives you as much value for your money.

Specifications

  • Control: Mix, Speed, Depth
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Hardwire Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery and Power Adapter (not included)
  • Dimensions: 4.6" x 4" x 2.2"
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Demonic Sweaters 86/100
YouTube Plug It In 80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

Azor Chorus - Digital

88
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$28
AZOR Chorus Guitar Effect Pedal
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Chorus Pedal Under $50 along with the Danelectro D5 FAB.

Cons

  • Sounds thin compared to other chorus pedals

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Analog sounding tone
  • Amazing value given it's size and price tag

The Azor Chorus is a compact mini chorus pedal that doesn't limit your control options, and it does so while keeping the price budget-friendly.

For its size, it comes with essential controls that include Depth, Rate and Level.

The biggest knob lets you adjust Rate, which is the speed of the chorus wobbles. Two smaller knobs let you adjust Depth and Level, depth being how deep your chorus wobbles, while level lets you adjust the prominence of the effected signal. As such the level knob behaves more like a mix or blend control than an actual volume control knob.

I recommend getting the Azor Chorus if you're looking for an affordable size-saving chorus pedal.

Specifications

  • Control: Level, Rate, Depth
  • Circuit: Digital
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery (Via External Whip Cable) and Power Adapter (not included)
  • Dimensions: 3.7" x 1.7" x 1.3"
  • Weight: 0.53 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube rockongoodpeople 92/100
The Bass Channel Doug Robertson 92/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

Best Chorus Pedals Under $100

In the $50 to $100 price tier you see pedals that are of a gigging and recording quality, with the main difference between them and more expensive pedals being their respective amount of features as opposed to their tone.

Mooer Ensemble King - Analog

90
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$59
Mooer Ensemble King Analog Chorus Pedal

Cons

  • Lacks tonal brightness
  • Limited parameters to adjust your tone

Pros

  • Simple yet effective operation
  • Warm and subtle chorus effect
  • Durable metal casing and small form factor

With its compact "mini" pedal form factor, the Mooer Ensemble King Analog Chorus is meant to help you free up some pedalboard space or to fit into ones that are already packed.

Controls are kept to a minimum, with the main knob adjusting the rate, and two smaller knobs for tweaking depth and level.

It comes with a conventional footswitch and is housed in a metal chassis, both of which allow it to handle the rigors of regular gigging.

Sporting a compact size and affordable price tag, the Mooer Ensemble King is a great pedal for anyone who likes their chorus warmer and on the subtle side.

Note that it doesn't run on batteries so you'll need a 9V power adapter if you don't already have one.

Specifications

  • Control: Level, Rate, Depth
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter
  • Dimensions: 1.65" x 2.1" x 3.7"
  • Weight: 0.36 lbs.

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
The Gear Page scottosan 94/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

JHS 3 Series Chorus - Digital

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$99
JHS Pedals 3 Series Chorus Pedal (3SCHORUS)
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Chorus Pedal Under $100.

Cons

  • Required power supply sold separately

Pros

  • A wide range of chorus tones
  • Vibe switch a welcome addition
  • Clean looks and rugged reliability

Most affordable pedals just copy popular circuits, essentially turning into budget alternatives. JHS strayed from this path with their affordable "3 Series" line of pedals, each one offering something distinct relative to what others offer in the same price range.

At first glance, the 3 Series Chorus seems like a straightforward chorus pedal, but flipping the "Vibe" turns it into a vintage style vibrato effect. The Vibe switch achieves this by simply removing the dry signal and just leaving on the warbled chorus sound.

The volume, rate and depth controls provide familiar controls that let you dial in your preferred modulation settings.

The flexibility you can get out of this pedal is stunning for its simple 3-knob configuration.

A drawback for some is that you have to buy a 70mA 9V power supply separately if you don't already have one because it doesn't run on batteries.

From modern subtle to 80's style chorus with distortion, this pedal delivers the goods with style and with little fuss. The Vibe switch, one of its distinct features is great to have and adds to the available tones you get out of this pedal, but does not outshine its highly rated chorus sound.

Specifications

  • Control: Volume, Rate, Depth, Vibe
  • Circuit: Digital
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Dimensions: 1.22" x 2.38" x 4.42"
  • Weight: 0.36 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Tribe Of Names 94/100
YouTube Living Room Gear Demos 94/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

MXR M234 - Analog

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 1100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal

Cons

  • Subtler than most chorus pedals
  • Sounds like an ambiguous mixture of chorus and vibrato

Pros

  • Warm 90's vibe analog sound
  • Natural, organic and inspiring feel
  • EQ controls for tweakers

The MXR M234 is an analog chorus pedal with expanded controls that let you adjust level, rate and depth, along with a low and hi-cut.

These controls allow you to shape the resulting tone for a more personalized chorus sound, with its distinctly warm tonality.

the MXR M234 provides exactly what you’d expect from an analog modulation pedal.

Its chorus effect sounds warm and lush, and when the effect is off the pedal is still transparent due to having true bypass.

The MXR234 is really strong and durable, the benefits of which should not be understated.

Specifications

  • Control: Level, Rate, Depth, Low-Cut, High-Cut
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Hardwire Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter or Battery
  • Dimensions: 5.5" x 2.5" x 4.5"
  • Weight: 0.9 lb.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube GearGasms 70/100
Youtube The Gear Cage 99/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

Best Chorus Pedals - $100 & Above

The pedals below are all phenomenal with premium features and build quality.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus - Digital

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 1900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$140
Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus Pedal

Cons

  • Can sound uninteresting and cheesy
  • No saving settings to memory

Pros

  • Classic, warm chorus sound with many usable tones
  • Boss compact pedal reliability and ruggedness
  • Has a stereo output option
  • Very popular chorus pedal

The CH-1 by Boss is a guitar chorus pedal that features a stereo output and 4 knobs to adjust your tone.

Tracing its roots back to the late 80's, this is one of the most popular and best-selling chorus pedals in the market today and has been in production for over 30 years!

I've had the pleasure of using the CH-1 during rehearsals, recording and soon at live gigs. It has a clear, creamy and thick chorus sound that I can appreciate even at subtle effect levels.

Although it is a versatile chorus pedal with a lot of usable classic chorus sounds, it doesn't really do the wild, experimental sounds that I was hoping for like extreme detuning or weird sounds that I've never heard before. Also, its classic, widely recognizable sound can be its downfall at times, bordering on the cheesy and generic. This a great chorus pedal with no surprises, but sometimes you want to be surprised.

However don't think there is anything wrong with the CH-1, it is the most popular pedal on our recommended list as measured by the number of review and rating sources.

If you're looking for a standard, no-frills yet highly tweakable stereo chorus pedal, the CH-1 is a reliable and versatile option with good ratings. If you're going for something more out of the box and downright wacky, you might want to look elsewhere.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alden Acosta 90/100
YouTube Devan Bishop 92/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Alden's Boss CH-1 Connected

Walrus Audio Julia V2 - Analog

95
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$199
Walrus Audio Julia V2 Analog Chorus/Vibrato Pedal
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Chorus Pedal along with the Boss DC-2W.

Cons

  • A bit complicated to use - not plug and play

Pros

  • Supreme flexibility and range of tone
  • Awesome pedal aesthetics
  • Limited lifetime warranty

The Walrus Audio Julia V2 is a pedal that houses both chorus and vibrato with expanded controls and tweakability.

While there are other pedals that provide both chorus and vibrato, this one stands out with its LFO sine and triangle wave form switch. Traditionally, a triangle waveform is ideal for chorus, while a sine wave is meant for Vibrato. But you can always break with tradition and experiment to your heart's fancy together with Rate, Depth and Blend knobs.

Another distinct feature of this pedal is its lag knob, which lets set the "lag" or delay time of the modulation, it can go from tight modulation to a detuned sound.

Rounding out its unique features is the use of artwork by Adam Forster.

The Walrus Audio Julia V2 is meant to scratch the tweaking itch of adventurous musicians - let your creativity run wild with this chorus.

Specifications

  • Control: Rate, Depth, D.C.V Blend, Lag, Wave Switch
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter and Battery
  • Dimensions: 4.77" x 2.3" x 2.9"
  • Weight: 0.59 lbs.

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Guitar.com Michael Watts 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

JHS Emperor V2 - Analog

94
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$219
JHS Emperor V2 Analog Chorus Pedal

Cons

  • Lacks a mix knob

Pros

  • Clean and vintage sounding
  • Goes from tame and subtle to wild
  • Tap tempo and expression pedal options for uncanny control

The JHS Emperor V2's most distinct feature is its tap tempo footswitch that lets you set the modulation speed to match the beat of the music you're playing.

Another nifty one is the ability to take an expression pedal to control the speed/rate in real time... imagine the possibilities!

This version 2 comes with the same features as the original, but packed inside a more compact form factor. At its core is a real 3207 bucket brigade chipset, which gives it vintage tones that are closer to old school favorites.

Controls include knobs for volume, speed, EQ and depth, along with a switch that lets you choose between 3 different waveform shapes that varies the overall sound. All these controls can be used to allow for a wide variety of chorus tones.

In addition, this pedal also lets you switch between chorus and vibrato, which expands what the pedal can do even further.

Contrasting it's vintage style tone are modern features that include switchable true or buffered bypass, and stereo output.

Its hard to go wrong with the JHS Emperor V2, especially for chorus and vibrato fans who want something classic sounding with modern and premium amenities.

Specifications

  • Control: Volume, Speed, EQ, Depth, Waveform Switch, Chorus/Vibrato Switch
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Switchable (True/Buffered)
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery and Power Adapter (not included)
  • Dimensions: 5" x 2.1" x 2.5"
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Robin Flink 98/100
Var Guitar Sebastian 98/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

Boss CE-2W Waza Craft - Analog

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$230
Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus Pedal

Cons

  • Only 2 effect parameters - rate and depth
  • Lacks mix or volume options

Pros

  • Rich and vibrant tone - quite close to the originals
  • Boss compact pedal trusted reliability
  • 3 modes including 2 choruses and 1 vibrato
  • Stereo output capability not found in the original CE-2

The Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus pedal is a combination of the famous CE-2 and the CE-1 (both the vibrato and chorus effects).

Right off the bat, the first thing to know about this pedal is that it does a pretty solid job of approximating the tone of these vintage effects.

But the question is: Does this pedal stack up against its modern competition? I believe so.

A possible flaw is that there are only two controls: rate and depth. Though to be fair, dozens of albums have been made with pedals that only have these two controls. So although limited when compared to pedals with a more modern design philosophy, it isn't be too hard to dial in a classic, creamy chorus tone.

If you want to reproduce the familiar 80s chorus sound, this special edition Waza pedal from Boss is an excellent way to do that. Another highly regarded digital chorus from Boss you might like to check out is the CE-5 Chorus Ensemble.

Specifications

  • Control: Rate, Depth, Chorus/Vibrato Mode
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Buffered Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter and Battery
  • Dimensions: 5.12" x 2.87" x 2.37"
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

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

Demo

Boss DC-2W Dimension C Waza Craft - Analog

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$290
Boss DC-2W Waza Craft Dimension C Chorus Pedal
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated Chorus Pedal along with the Walrus Audio Julia V2.

Cons

  • Only 4 presets and 2 modes - no fine tuning or knob tweaking
  • Lacks mix or volume options

Pros

  • Lush, beautiful and unique sounding chorus (like the originals)
  • Tank-like build quality
  • Works well with other pedals

The Boss DC-2W is a premium Waza Craft re-issue of their classic Dimension C chorus pedal. And just like the original, it sports a 4-button preset interface instead of the usual knob based control.

New in this version is the ability to activate two preset buttons at the same time, essentially combining two presets.

There is also a Mode Selector switch that lets you switch between the original DC-2 sound, and a sound based on the Roland SDD-320 rack chorus. The SDD-320 mode provides a bit more sparkle compared to the DC-2 mode.

All-in-all, this pedal gives you 20 chorus settings to play with.

The Dimension C is not a conventional chorus but more of a subtle enhancer to depth and width that sounds similar to a chorus.

Having been made by Boss, reliability is a given, while being part of their Waza Craft line ensures it premium build and sound quality.

The Boss DC-2W gives you easy access to that special, subtle yet impactful classic chorus sound, and it will reliably do so for a long time.

Specifications

  • Control: 4 Preset Buttons, Mode Selector Switch
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Buffered
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery and Power Adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Dimensions: 5.12" x 2.37" x 2.87"
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
MusicRadar Trevor Curwen 90/100
Reddit circaatomicage 80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Demo

Things to Consider When Buying a Chorus Pedal

Here we take a more in-depth look at important factors to consider when buying a chorus pedal, along with a bit more information about the chorus effect in general.

Budget vs. High End Chorus Pedals

Unlike a lot of other hobbies, instruments and effects don’t have a linear improvement in quality as price increases. Effects pedals in particular are subject to a high rate of diminishing returns, so once you get past a certain price point ($100 generally) you’re not always going to be experiencing large jumps in quality.

In the case of chorus pedals, as you spend more money you generally get a couple more features; most notably a time and feedback controls as well as an expression pedal input. Time controls the time it takes for the modulated signal to be heard, and feedback adds in resonance to the tone. An expression pedal allows you to control a parameter with a foot pedal.

Note that you get an increase in features, not necessarily increase in tone quality. If you’re going to use the extra features provided by more expensive units the increase in cost may be worth it, but if you’re not, you will generally be better off getting a highly reviewed pedal with a more minimalist control layout.

Digital vs. Analog Chorus

The debate between analog and digital has always been a point of contention in guitar playing circles. Some musicians feel that digital effects don’t have an “organic” tone, while others feel that the relatively bright voicing of digital helps their signal cut through the mix.

There is a technical difference between an analog and digital chorus, but it’s incredibly technical. In summation, use your ears to make your decision. Just use the knowledge that an analog chorus will be a bit warmer than a digital chorus to help you narrow down your search.

Buffered vs. Hardwire vs. True Bypass

Something that many musicians are concerned about is the bypass configuration of their pedals. Bypass is the path that your signal follows when an effect is disengaged. A buffered output boosts the signal as it leaves the pedal, and true bypass allows your signal to pass through the pedal without running through its circuitry.

A lot of musicians feel that true bypass prevents tone loss, which is true to some extent. Your guitar signal gradually degrades based on the length it travels, with notable degradation starting around 12 feet of length. So true bypass helps to reduce the distance, which in turn reduces tone loss. Buffered bypass boosts the signal, reintroducing the high-end frequencies that are lost as the signal travels.

The only bypass configuration that’s really limiting is hardwire bypass, where your signal passes through the pedal without being boosted.

Chorus’s Place in Your Signal Chain

The generally accepted order of an effects chain is: compression, filter (wah), distortion/overdrive, modulation (chorus, flanger, vibrato), delay/reverb, and volume pedals. However, many musicians change up the order of effects based on the tone they want.

Think of it this way: you have a continuous signal that it modulated based on the pedal the signal passes through. The modulation used carries through the chain. For example, if you have a distortion before a chorus (and both are engaged) your distorted signal will then be modulated. With so many effects available there are a ton of different configurations available, so in order to really know which order of effects works best for you you’re going to have to experiment.

Chorus in Multi-Effects Pedals

There are plenty of multi-effects pedals and guitar processors that come with different types of chorus effects, along with various other effects types. Generally speaking, stand-alone chorus pedals are expected to sound better, and this is the reason why we decided to focus on them for this guide. But don't count out multi-effects yet because many of them can get the job done, and do so for a lot less - thanks to improvements in Digital Sound Processing (DSP) technology. They can also be a good affordable entry way into chorus effect usage, and effects in general.

Best Chorus Pedal Selection Methodology

The first Edition was published in 2017 and the current Edition was published on July 12, 2022.

First, we considered all the standalone chorus pedals that are rating well in the market, and available from major online US music gear stores. Then, for this update, we ended up with a short-list of 26, which you can view in the Music Gear Database. We then collected ratings and reviews from online stores, forums, videos and major music gear publications including the most recent ones up to late mid July of 2022. All these data were then processed with the Gearank Algorithm to produce Gearank scores out of 100 for each of them. Over 16,000 sources were used during this process. Finally we broke the list down into price brackets and selected the highest rated ones to recommend above. 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.

When I use chorus, I normally go for analog style chorus, and I keep it as subtle as possible.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research and the Boss CH-1 Review.
Mason Hoberg: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Produced by Gearank.com using photographs of the Walrus Audio Julia V2, Boss CE-2W Waza Craft and JHS 3 Series Chorus.

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 with the exception of the "Plugged in Boss CH-1" photograph which was taken by Alden Acosta.

Comments

According to the "MXR Bypass

According to the "MXR Bypass List", both the Stereo Chorus and the Analogue Chorus are buffered.