Best Looper Pedals 2019 – Reviews and Top Picks

Imagine you are a single player and you can sound like a one-person orchestra, record several acoustic guitar parts, and vocal on top vocal, and electric guitar, and drums and maybe flute! All that can be done with a looper by recording each part in sequence, and layering them on top of each other. Boom – and you sound like a 5-men band. The crowd will go wild!

If you like this idea and looking for a looper to spice up your practice – well, let me tell you, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve spent hours looking for a perfect looper for my pedalboard, and I’ve taken the liberty to guide you through the best looper pedals I have found.

  • Boss RC-3 Loop Station
  • Rating:
  • Size: 9 x 4 x 6 in
  • Memory Slots: 99 slots
  • Looping Time: up to 3 hours (stereo record time)
  • USB port: Yes
  • Power Supply: 9V DC power supply, 9V Battery
  • Digitech Jam Man Stereo Looper Delay Pedal
  • Rating:
  • Size: 10 x 3.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Memory Slots: 99 slots (+additional 99)
  • Looping Time: build-in 35 min of stereo (+ SDHC card with 16 hours of CD-quality audio)
  • USB port: Yes
  • Power Supply: PS0920DC
Name
Size:
Memory Slots:
Looping Time:
USB port:
Power Supply:
Price
Name
Size:
Memory Slots:
Looping Time:
USB port:
Power Supply:
Price
№1
9 x 4 x 6 in
99 slots
up to 3 hours (stereo record time)
Yes
9V DC power supply, 9V Battery
№2
10 x 3.5 x 7.2 inches
99 slots (+additional 99)
build-in 35 min of stereo (+ SDHC card with 16 hours of CD-quality audio)Show More
Yes
PS0920DC
№3
4.5 x 3 x 2 inches
200 internal (+400 external)
35min stereo (+ SDHC card with 16 hours of CD-quality audio)Show More
Yes
9V DC power supply, 9V Battery
№4
7 x 6 x 3 inches
10 stereo
Up to 12 min (720 sec)
None
9.6DC/200 AC Adapter, 9V battery
№5
10 x 8 x 4 inches
None
5 min
None
9V power supply
№6
2.5 x 4.7 x 1.4
99 memory slots
up to 6 hours
Yes
9V power supply, 9V battery
№7
8 x 3 x 7
2 loops
90 seconds
None
AA alkaline battery x 6
№8
6.25 x 3.2 x 5.65
11 loops
360 seconds
No
9.6DC-200 EHX power supply
№9
6.09 x 5.75 x 1.69
No
30 seconds
Yes
9v adapter, 4 AA batteries
№10
5.7 x 2.8 x 3.7
No
10 minutes
Yes
94 mA Power Supply: 9V DC Adapter (not included)Show More

Boss is known to make some of the most guitarist-friendly equipment, even when it comes to compact-sized pieces like the right stereo looper pedal – RC-3. This compact pedal lives up to the Boss legacy and its ‘big brother Boss’ RC-300, which is probably one of the very best looper pedals for guitars available on the market. RC-3 features almost as many features, as the RC-300, but it’s much smaller and more comfortable to carry around. Despite that, it has so many features; there is no empty physical space left on the pedal. The pedal includes USB 2.0 port, 1/4″ A and B input jacks, 1/8″ mini auxiliary input jack, 99 onboard memory pre-sets, AC power supply, a 9V battery and allows for three hours of recording time.

Size:
9 x 4 x 6 in
Memory Slots:
99 slots
Looping Time:
up to 3 hours (stereo record time)
USB port:
Yes
Power Supply:
9V DC power supply, 9V Battery
PROS

True stereo

3 hours looping memory & 99 memory slots

Ability to connect different types of devices

Auto-Recording feature

Rhythm guide

Cons

Tricky to use for beginners

DigiTech’s original Jam Man became a hit looper when it hit the stores in the ‘80s. Yet, the brand didn’t stop there and kept upgrading and improving their pedals more and more, and finally released the Jam Man Stereo – an exceptional mid-sized looper. This heavy-featured pedal offers true stereo looping, a large amount of internal + external memory, four heavy-duty footswitches, reverse playback, aux input/USB port/mic input, automatic recording & JamManager software.

Size:
10 x 3.5 x 7.2 inches
Memory Slots:
99 slots (+additional 99)
Looping Time:
build-in 35 min of stereo (+ SDHC card with 16 hours of CD-quality audio)
USB port:
Yes
Power Supply:
PS0920DC
PROS

External SDHC card with plenty of memory

Versatile controls and connection possibilities

4 Footswitches

JamManager XT software

Cons

Expensive

DigiTech has a rich looper pedal product line, and Jam Man Solo XT is one of the most advanced and powerful compact pedals out there. Despite the small size, it includes a significant internal and large external memory card (overall more than 16 hours looping time and 400 memory slots), JamManager and JamSync software, a variety of connection possibilities (USB port, aux input, mic input), auto-recording and built-in metronome.

Size:
4.5 x 3 x 2 inches
Memory Slots:
200 internal (+400 external)
Looping Time:
35min stereo (+ SDHC card with 16 hours of CD-quality audio)
USB port:
Yes
Power Supply:
9V DC power supply, 9V Battery
PROS

Large memory & additional SD card

JamManager XT software & JamSync

Versatile controls and connection possibilities

Cons

First 15 memories have factory drum loops

EHX 720, as much as any other pedal made by this brand, is a pretty solid pedal. One of the best looper pedals for guitar on this list, with a great sound, it’s also rather small but sturdy with many features. This fella has 12 minutes of looping time, stores up to 720 seconds (hence the name) of memory loops, 2 footswitches, Reverse & Half Speed buttons, and easily manipulated controls.

Size:
7 x 6 x 3 inches
Memory Slots:
10 stereo
Looping Time:
Up to 12 min (720 sec)
USB port:
None
Power Supply:
9.6DC/200 AC Adapter, 9V battery
PROS

Quality sounding basic loop function

Reverse & Half Speed functions

Dual input

Silent Footswitches

Easy to use

Cons

No USB

In terms of basic, but efficient loopers it’s hard to miss the TC Electronics Ditto Looper. This pedal might look not particularly efficient due to its small size, lack of controls, and in/outputs, but it’s more than meets the eye. This classy looking pedal is perfect for newbies, as it operates as a True Bypass device with -Dry-Thru design offering a high-quality sound. It is equipped with simple controls (1 control knob); unlimited overdubs/undo/redo edits.

Size:
10 x 8 x 4 inches
Memory Slots:
None
Looping Time:
5 min
USB port:
None
Power Supply:
9V power supply
PROS

Simplicity and efficiency

Analog-Dry-Through & True Bypass

Suitable for beginners

Cons

No build in effects

No loop storing options

No USB

There is so much packed in this little fella! It is hands down the most heavily-featured looper amidst the budget product line. You get significant memory storage, dual in/outputs, USB port, Aux In Stereo, and various effects including saving, built-in rhythm patterns, stop models. All this in a tiny, bright yellow body. Be careful though! The pedal is known to come with a poor assembly, so check the new product as soon as you get it.

Size:
2.5 x 4.7 x 1.4
Memory Slots:
99 memory slots
Looping Time:
up to 6 hours
USB port:
Yes
Power Supply:
9V power supply, 9V battery
PROS

Dual inputs & outputs, USB port & various connection options

6 hours of looping time & 99 memory slots

Versatility and precision of controls

Multi-layering abilities

Cons

Doesn’t function perfectly

If you’re looking to add some spice to your practice, and tend to use a lot of sound effects – VOX Lil’ Looper is perfect for all your experiments. The dual-pedal device has a dozen onboard effects, which can all be combined and used in a loop together. It is also equipped with the Loop Quantize, 90 seconds of looping time, two independent loops and infinite overdubbing. Besides, it gives you the option to loop an instrument and a mic simultaneously.

Size:
8 x 3 x 7
Memory Slots:
2 loops
Looping Time:
90 seconds
USB port:
None
Power Supply:
AA alkaline battery x 6
PROS

Versatility

12 build-in effects

Regular Input & Mic Input

Loop Quantize

Cons

Short looping time

Sound quality could be better

EHX 360 is an awesome option for beginners and amateurs. A sturdy metal casing has a user-friendly design featuring two control knobs (Level, Loop), single in/outputs, record/play indicator, and a single footswitch. Basic, yes, but it has incredibly high-quality, uncompressed dynamic sound due to the high-quality 24-bit digital converters. Great for jamming, practicing and crafting some tracks at the studio.

Size:
6.25 x 3.2 x 5.65
Memory Slots:
11 loops
Looping Time:
360 seconds
USB port:
No
Power Supply:
9.6DC-200 EHX power supply
PROS

Outstanding sound quality & dynamics

Infinite overdub with no compromise to the sound

User-friendly design

Significant memory

Cons

Hardly suitable for performance

Zoom G1on is a pedal that combines the effects of all of the most popular effect pedals including distortion, chorus, tremolo, delay and, of course, a looper. In addition to that, it features a bunch of special effects like the acoustic simulator and ring modulator. It all adds up to 75 effects for a ridiculously low price. It may be a good option for you if you are just starting out and want to try out multiple effects, and how they sound together.

Size:
6.09 x 5.75 x 1.69
Memory Slots:
No
Looping Time:
30 seconds
USB port:
Yes
Power Supply:
9v adapter, 4 AA batteries
PROS

Multi-purposed pedal

75 effects organised in 100 patches

68 rhythm patterns

Cons

Sound quality isn’t great

Batteries run out of charge super quick

This tiny little looper is a really solid, basic and highly affordable tool. When it comes to controls and design it is pretty straightforward: single level knob & on/off switch. Yet, the sound is surprisingly good due to the 48 kHz and 24-bit uncompressed high-quality audio, True Bypass and 10 minutes of looping. All of this at an extremely affordable price.

Size:
5.7 x 2.8 x 3.7
Memory Slots:
No
Looping Time:
10 minutes
USB port:
Yes
Power Supply:
94 mA Power Supply: 9V DC Adapter (not included)
PROS

Easy-to-use

24-bit uncompressed high-quality audio

True Bypass

Compact size

Cons

Not versatile

No memory slots

Buyer’s Guide – What is a Looping Pedal?

If you haven’t figured out yet a looper pedal does, let me break it down. In simple words, a looper records the instrument signal (or sometimes vocal) and stores it on the device. As soon the loop is stored you can play it over and over again. It’s a really great tool for jamming, practicing, song creation or some wicked live improvisation (just like Ed Sheeran or Damien Rice do on stage).

The length of the loop depends on the device. Some can record only 30sec loops, others up to three hours. Some loopers have memory loops that you can record and store in the library to keep using your favorite tunes and rhythms. Overall, it’s a great device for music experiments, jamming, practicing and live performance.

How Would I Use a Looper?

While layering up loops and being a one-man band sounds cool, it’s not the only way to use a looper. It’s super useful for solo & band performances, but you can also find it indispensable in your everyday practice.

So, as I’ve mentioned many times, solo-artists can use loopers to layer up recordings of different instruments to create a song. Others, the loop only one section, use it as a basic rhythm section and play over it. With bands, you can make the tracks more interesting by running different instruments/vocals through a looper, and again, piling them up.

Yet, don’t forget about practicing! Loopers can help you in perfecting your sound and skills, and teach you to play a ‘duet’ but by yourself. Yeah, I get it, it might sound sad, but if no one is around to jam with you and you need to practice – record the main melody and play a solo over it. Magic! Built-in metronomes or drum-sections also come in handy for obvious reasons.

What to Consider When Buying a Looper?

There are a bunch of features you should pay attention to when choosing a looper. Some are similar to those of a chorus, distortion or any other kind of pedal (like size, simplicity, and controls); others are unique to loopers (looping time, memory, MultiLoop and Input/Output). But remember, it’s up to you to decide what will work best for your music style and practice – I can only tell you what’s important to consider.

  • Size – the size doesn’t always matter. In the case of loopers it certainly doesn’t, as you can find the most advanced and effective looper that’s no bigger than a smartphone (it will certainly be wider though) like DigiTech Jam Man Solo XT. Why is it important then, you might ask? Well, consider your practicing room or the size of your pedal board. Can you allow yourself to get a monstrous Boss RC-300 Loop Station? If not, go for something smaller.
  • Simplicity – that’s crucial if you are a pure, innocent newbie. You want to focus on perfecting your skills rather than reading through the manual over and over again to figure out how the hell the looper works. Choose one with single control knobs and single switches like TC Electronix Diito – it’s as easy as it gets.
  • Build Quality – as it’s a pedal and gets stepped on over and over again, you need to make sure it has sturdy casing and is preferably made of metal. Avoid plastic at all costs!
  • Looping Time and Memory – this is probably the most important feature of a looper. Recording, storing, and playing loops are its main purpose after all. Be mindful of how much space you need for your everyday practice. Most musicians make duets with just 30-60 seconds of looping time. But if you’d like longer tracks, look for longer looping time. Same thing with memory: if you prefer keeping your loops for future practicing – choose loopers with internal memory slots.
  • Footswitches and Controls – here you aren’t only looking at the control knobs, but also at the footswitches. Usually, fewer controls mean ease of manipulation control at the expense of versatility. This is similar to footswitches. If you get a versatile looper with a bunch of different effects, you want it to also have at least two footswitches to ensure seamless control. Also, check how responsive the footswitches are. If there is a significant delay in between the step and the start of looping – you don’t want to use it for a live performance.
  • Multi-loop – so remember that example of Sheeran and Rice layering up several loops on top of each other and playing them simultaneously? For that, you need a multi-loop feature like Nux Loop. Most hobbyists can get by with single or dual loops.
  • Looping Modes – if basic loopers no longer suit your needs, you might be looking into something more flexible and interesting. Choose ones with extra features like Reverse or Half-speed, or other built-in effects like distortion or overdrive. Consider the VOX Lil’ Looper.
  • Input and Output Type – Ok, this one is serious. Several In/Outputs is the only way to ensure you’ll be able to connect several instruments, mics, amps, players and computers to the looper. Again, you might not even need it if you just picked up a guitar, but if you are playing with a band both live and in a studio – do get one with several inputs.
  • MIDI Synchronization – This is another one that is important for band members. MIDI Sync is needed in order to connect to the MIDI beat clock, which helps to synchronize the loops with your band members.

Do I Need to Buy any Accessories with My Loop Pedal?

I’d say no. Loop pedals are self-efficient as is. If you want more effects, you can even get a looper with versatile pedal effects like VOX Lil’ Looper or Zoom G1on. But honestly, for looping, nothing is required but a looper. You might, however, need extra batteries or adapters, but that’s not necessarily a problem as the looper usually comes with those.

Conclusion

I would say that the looper is the favorite pedal I own. I personally have a couple: for practice and jamming and performing with the band. I wanted the first one to be basic, and I chose the EXT 720, simply because of the high-quality sound. Yet, if you need something cheaper, TC Electronics Ditto is just as good. For playing with a band I chose the Boss RC-3 because you always choose Boss when you need high-performance and awesome sound. Plus, large storage is just what is often needed for hours of practicing.

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By Max Hudson
    about author

    My name is Max Hudson, born and raised in Chicago. I'm 30 years old and like many other people, I discovered guitar in my teens and have never looked back since. It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. I want this website to be a handbook for players of all skill levels. It can become a starting point for your new hobby, where you can find the right instrument, get tips for playing effortlessly or anything else music related.

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