Written by Guitar Chalk Editorial
We're looking for the best looper pedals under 100 dollars, which is difficult to find because most looper pedals are really expensive.
However, there are a handful that hover around or below the $100 price point.
In this article, we'll highlight four of them that we really like.
These are basic looper pedals that take out a lot of the fancy stuff in order to drop the price and give you a cheap looper pedal that allows you to create loops really easily.
In fact, most of them only have one switch.
If you don't want the more complex looper and would rather just spend cheap, these are going to be some of your best options.
We'll cover the following looper pedals, all of which fall under $100:
- TC Electronic Ditto Looper
- Boss RC-1 Loop Station
- NUX Core Looper
- Electro-Harmonix Nano Looper 360
How We Chose the Best Looper Pedals Under $100
Good looper pedals really only need a record, overdub, and playback function, which makes for a fairly simple pedal. We want these functions, plus some basic control over the timing of the recording and the playback.
In cheap looper pedals, this can be accomplished with a single button switch.
Obviously we've wanted each looper pedal in this list to retail new for around $100 or less.
Otherwise we're looking at brand quality, reputation, and the pedal build quality.
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Best Looper Pedals Under 100 Dollars
In this section we've built a table with our four looper pedals, the links we mentioned in the above paragraph, and a compare option that'll show you pricing and some basic specs. It's a great reference for those wanting a quick review and don't want to read the full rundown for each pedal. If you have questions, drop them in the comments section below.
TC Electronic Ditto Loops
Boss RC-1 Loop Station
NUX Loop Core
EHX Nano Looper 360
1. TC Electronic Ditto Looper
At $80 this is what we would consider the best looper pedal under 100 dollars on the market. It has true bypass, analog dry-thru, and a basic level control that gives you up to five minutes of looping time.
The single switch controls everything, letting you loop, undo, redo, playback, and stop loops.
If saving money is your goal and the simple control scheme is okay with you, buy confidently.
The Ideal Fit
This one is great for performers or perhaps acoustic artists that want to loop some of their own rhythm riffs or backing tracks.
IDEAL FOR: Budgets and simplicity
2. Boss RC-1 Loop Station
The RC-1 is Boss's most basic looper pedal, with a level knob for setting loop volume and an LED ring that tells you whether you're recording, overdubbing, or simply playing over your loop.
In total, you can store up to 12 minutes of loop time
It's really easy to use, especially if you need something for a live performance. Basically just hit the pedal a couple times to record and overdub. You can also add an external footswitch to stop or undo your loop.
Reverb's demo is a helpful, simple illustration of how the RC-1 works:
Who is it ideal for?
Again, we like the RC-1 for playing live, though it's also a good fit for practice sessions, and jamming with friends.
IDEAL FOR: Living room practice and performances
3. NUX Loop Core
The Loop Core by NUX is heavy on features, including phrasing (allowing you to bank presets for different parts of songs), drum machines, and even a fade feature for fading out loops. It's a far more involved pedal that would be a good fit for those that want more functionality than the Ditto and RC-1 provide.
We'd think of the Loop Core as more of a studio looping pedal, and less ideal for performing.
For those in the market for a cheap looper pedal that plan to use it in a recording context, the NUX Loop Core is where we'd recommend going first.
IDEAL FOR: Recording, anytime you need to bank presets, and studio work.
4. EHX Nano Looper 360
Between the extremes of simple looping and more complex functionality, the Nano Looper 360 is somewhere in the middle of the NUX and RC-1. It has memory banks allowing you to record time across 11 different loops, which is what the knob on the right controls.
Otherwise, it's similar to the Ditto and RC-1 with a single button control and fairly basic functionality.
We've also noticed it crosses over $100 in certain markets, depending on where you buy.
Around $107 seems to be the highest it goes.
IDEAL FOR: Basics. Performing and recording.
How looper pedals work
For those who don't know, looper pedals work by basically recording your guitar's input and then playing it back. You can have three basic modes for a looper pedal:
When recording, the looper pedal is recording an initial loop to be played over. Overdubbing is when you play that loop and record something else over it. "Playing" is when you simply play guitar over a pre-recorded loop without recording what you're playing.
All looper pedals, regardless of price, should have at least this type of capability.
What are looper pedals used for?
Since you can record and play back, looper pedals can be used for any of the following tasks:
In simple terms, they're used to play multiple parts of a song at once with only one instrument, the guitar, in this case.
This is particularly relevant to those who need looping for a live performance, perhaps to play a particular song or to carry on multiple roles when you're missing instrumentalists.
Looper pedals typically get the most use in that kind of context.
At a basic level, a looper is a utility pedal because it's not actually an effect. It doesn't adjust gain, pitch, waveform, or timing, which takes it out of all the major effects categories.
It's more like a tuner or an EQ pedal, in that it serves a utilitarian function that you may or may not need.
If you'll use the looping functionality, a looping pedal is one of the simplest ways to implement it in your guitar rig.
What do more expensive looper pedals do?
Nicer looper pedals - in the $300-$400 range - function more as recording studios with lots of phrasing options, plenty of onboard memory, and even their own drum machines, like we saw in the NUX Loop Core.
They tend to provide a lot more control over your loops and additional functionality that we don't see in the cheaper looping pedals.
However, we haven't found any high-functioning looper pedals under $100, with the exception of the Loop Core.
Even then it's right at $100 and not as nice as some of the higher-end looper pedals.
If you don't need the additional flexibility, stick with the cheaper looping pedal options that we've listed here.
Cost and Value
Because at $100 you're getting decent value for what is a truly simple effect pedal. We honestly wouldn't want to pay more for a looper pedal, but it doesn't really do that much.
At its core, it records and plays back.
That's pretty much it.
Unless you know you really need the nicer ones, go with the cheap looper pedals and save your money. If tone quality isn't at stake, it's a good opportunity to spend less.
Do you have questions about our looper pedal recommendations?
Or maybe you know of another looper pedal under $100 that you'd like to recommend. If so, throw it in the comments section below and we'll respond.
See you there.