The future of music

10 Best Chorus Pedals

December 29, 2023
best chorus pedals

Familiar with the atmospheric, haunting warble and resonance of “Come As You Are,” “Free Will,” “One Thing Leads to Another,” “Purple Rain,” “Wicked Game,” or “Pretty Woman”?

Then you’re already familiar with a chorus pedal.

Chorus pedals are, quite frankly, necessary for creating luminous, emotive, and full-bodied sounds.   

A chorus pedal will do all the ambient heavy lifting for you.

It will break up the traditional crisp tone of your guitar and distort it with a majestic, meaty texture and spaciousness.

You can use a chorus pedal to transform your riffs into something lush and ghostly, lacerating and audacious, or tender and visceral.

Whether you want face-melting echoes or heartbreakingly raw resonance, you’ll need a chorus pedal, stat.  

How Does a Chorus Pedal Work?

The first step is to understand something called vibrato.

Vibrato and chorus are both modulation effects, which means they modulate – change – some aspect of the incoming signal.

Vibrato modulates the pitch.

Chorus does basically the same thing, but it makes a copy of the original signal first, before making any adjustments or modulations.

The chorus effect is created using a delay line.

Chorus takes a sound source, copies it, delays the source material by approximately 20 to 50 milliseconds, and modulates it using a low-frequency oscillator.

You are essentially making identical copies that blend together with a series of subtle delays.

The result feels like you’re in a sumptuous sensory echo chamber. 

The chorus electronic effect goes back to 1975 with the inception of the Roland Jazz Chorus Amp, which featured two speakers – one that offered a static signal and one that offered a modulated, slightly delayed signal.

Talk about analog surround-sound goodness.

Since their storied early days, the chorus pedal has made the rounds, appearing in a multitude of genres, from new wave, grunge, shoegaze, classic rock, dream-pop, and beyond.

The chorus pedal does not discriminate. 

Digital or Analog Chorus Pedal?

Both will get you that luxuriant shimmer (or high-voltage assertiveness) that you so desire.

Nostalgic snobs and purists will get all their needs met with an analog chorus pedal.

This is particularly true if you produce new wave, classic rock, shoegaze, grunge, and/or power ballads.

The sounds you love from the seventies, eighties, and early nineties owe their robust texture, thick flavor, and warble to good old analog pedals.

Digital chorus pedals should not be overlooked, however, as they offer a significant broadening of the field in terms of effects and sonic output.

If you can, invest in a chorus pedal with dual outputs so you can get a 3D stereo effect. 

Best Budget-Friendly Chorus Pedals

1. TC Electronic June 60 V2

TC Electronic June 60 V2

Specifications

  • Price: $80 USD
  • Type: Stereo analog chorus
  • Controls: Mono/stereo switch, mode 1, mode 2
  • Sockets: In, Out, Power
  • Bypass: True
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply

The aesthetics speak for themselves, and oh, they speak volumes.

With a clean, playful, kitschy design, this is a clear winner for the nostalgic purists and retro apologists among us.

In addition to the groovy silhouette, the June 60 V2 is simple as pie and makes for powerful modulation, without any tech know-how required.

Based on the chorus from Roland’s Juno 60 synthesizer (one of the original heavyweights), it offers stunning sound quality.

It features a BBD-based chorus, which means output with vintage charm and texture.

It features a rotating speaker, DIP switches that enable you to toggle between slow and fast speeds and a DIP switch for guitar versus key input levels. 

For the bargain basement price, it offers all the features generalists will need.

If you’re a real guitar enthusiast or a demanding musician with niche needs, it may be a touch limited, but for all other creators, this model is more than sufficient.

2. Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone

Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone

Specifications

  • Price: $87 USD
  • Controls: Rate, depth switch
  • Sockets: Input, output, power
  • Bypass: True bypass
  • Power requirements: 9V power supply only

The future is now.

This retro pinball fever dream of a chorus pedal is not only eminently eye-catching – it is also a veritable legend in music circles.

You heard us right.

The Neo Clone is responsible for the mesmeric, hallucinatory echo-scape of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.”

As you would expect, the sound quality is spacious, shimmering, and resonant.

It will hypnotize all who hear your riffs and can take earthy tones and transform them into something bewitching and, dare we say, ethereal.

Considering all this, you’d think the Neo Clone would set you back a small fortune, but guess again.

It is fairly easy to use, with straightforward knobs and a simple interface.

You can go pretty wild here, but even if you prefer to keep it organic with a subtle warble and natural texture, this will more than deliver.

If you want extreme versatility and features, this might be too limiting for you, but we can’t think of many other flaws.

3. C Electronic Corona Chorus

C Electronic Corona Chorus

Specifications

  • Price: $120 USD
  • Type: Stereo chorus
  • Controls: Speed, depth, FX level, tone, three-way switch
  • Sockets: 2 x input, 2 x output, power, USB
  • Bypass: Switchable true/buffered bypass
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply, 9V battery

More fun than the beer of the same name, this chorus pedal is kitschy and campy aesthetic goodness.

It is a pinch to use and offers multiple effects for beginners and enthusiasts alike.

It is a rendition of the C Electronic’s pricier Stereo Chorus Flanger unit, but it delivers nearly as much in the way of options and possibilities.

It offers four knobs for speed, depth, FX level, and tone, so you get significant versatility without being overwhelmed by options.

The three-way toggle allows you to use three chorus types.

We love the TriChorus, which blends three choruses with different offsets for a full-bodied, contoured sound.

You can also utilize TonePrint technology by importing custom pedal tweaks directly into the pedal via a USB port.

You can also create your own chorus effects with the TonePrint Editor.

This offers a new frontier of customization and untamed innovation for the iconoclasts and avant-garde.

Best Mid-Range Chorus Pedals 

4. Way Huge Smalls Blue Hippo Analog Chorus

Way Huge Smalls Blue Hippo Analog Chorus

Specifications

  • Price: $170 USD
  • Type: Chorus, vibrato
  • Controls: Speed, depth, vibe/chorus switch
  • Sockets: Input, output, power
  • Bypass: True bypass
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply, 9V battery

So campy and groovy, you’ll want to tote it around like a backpack.

Your body might be in 2023, but if your soul is trapped in ‘77, then the Blue Hippo beckons.

Run, don’t walk, and let the punchy azure body hypnotize you and bring out your inner Geddy Lee.

But she ain’t just a pretty face.

The Blue Hippo offers chorus and vibrato effects, analog-circuitry, and switches that allow you to toggle between vibe and chorus.

It also has controls for both speed and depth.

The vibe option creates pulsating tones that can feel pretty trippy and hallucinatory.

This chorus pedal delivers the goods when it comes to dishing out spacey, retro soundscapes.  

The sound quality is less bright and transcendent and more compressed and assertive.

If you’re trying to make some tear-jerking dream-pop, this might not be your top choice, but if you want zingy, sprightly classic rock riffs, this model will make your wildest dreams come true.

5. Walrus Audio Julia Analog Chorus/Vibrato

Walrus Audio Julia Analog Chorus/Vibrato

Specifications

  • Price: $187 USD
  • Type: Chorus, vibrato
  • Controls: Rate, depth, lag, d-c-v, waveform switch
  • Sockets: Input, output, power
  • Bypass: True bypass
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply

An analog chorus and vibrato number with a groovy waveform toggle selector and user-friendly lag control that allows you to set the modulation delay time.

The Julia dishes up a wide variety of chorus effects.

The Dry, Chorus, and Vibrato knob allows you to keep it organic or go wild with adventurous distortions.

The waveform switch allows you to experiment with different wave shapes.

The design is sleek and artistic, with the kind of edgy design that will suit the more iconoclastic creators.

A touch retro and a touch futuristic, it is a snazzy model with high-powered functionality.

The fully analog circuitry is a pinch for old school souls and while it can be a bit noisier than the other models listed here, it delivers consistently and vibrantly regardless. 

6. EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V3

EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V3

Specifications 

  • Price: $199 USD
  • Type: Chorus
  • Controls: Animate, dimension, intensity, depth, shape, rate
  • Sockets: Input, output, power
  • Bypass: True bypass
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply

Bridging the heritage of the past with the possibilities of the modern age, the Sea Machine is a digital-analog hybrid that offers musicians robust and sturdy chorus modulation.

You can tweak and adjust to your heart’s desire with a wide array of knobs and effects on hand.

It offers a transparent, shimmery warble that will have your hair standing on end.

The pedal is based upon a digital delay line but also offers controls, dubbed Animate, Dimension, and Intensity, for more wide-ranging creative control and experimentation.

You also get three respective knobs for Depth, Shape, and Rate, so your final product will be as intentional and finely crafted as possible.

The Sea Machine makes easy work of even the most demanding, complex modulation needs.

The full spectrum of possibilities is at your fingertips with this veritable genie in a bottle.   

7. Boss CE-2W Chorus

Boss CE-2W Chorus

Specifications 

  • Price: $208 USD
  • Type: Chorus, vibrato
  • Controls: Rate, depth, CE-1 switch
  • Sockets: Input, 2 x output, power
  • Bypass: Buffered bypass
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply, 9V battery

Say goodbye to dull, flat sounds forevermore with the CE-2W chorus, an enhanced and improved reissue of the classic CE-2.

The resonance and forceful dynamism of your riffs will blow the roof off your house and entrance all who are in listening proximity. 

The variable depth and different modalities allow you to tweak your input to elegant, shimmering heights.

The easy-to-use miniature toggle provides access to two modulation pedals, the CE-2 and CE-1, along with vibrato effects for peak sound quality and optimization.

It offers both mono and stereo outputs.

The dense, luxuriant sound quality is mind-altering and will take you to alluring emotional highs (and lows).

You’ll recognize the signature contour from some of the most impactful chorus-effect-based songs from Rush and The Pretenders.

The sense of spaciousness and warmth are legendary and will transform your input into something worthy of mythology.

Best Premium Chorus Pedals 

8. Boss DC-2W Dimension C

Boss DC-2W Dimension C

Specifications

  • Price: $220 USD
  • Controls: Mode selector buttons x4, S/SDD-320 switch
  • Sockets: 2x input, 2x output, power
  • Bypass: Buffered
  • Power requirements: 9V power supply only

If you’ve got a good thing – why not reissue it?

That’s what production tech powerhouse Boss was thinking when they brought the DC-2W back into the light.

Indeed, it is one of the most-requested reissues in the company’s history, and it recreates the sonic output of the DC-2 Dimension C.

If you are a sucker for upgraded, modernized replicas of retro treasures, we won’t have to convince you of this number’s many draws. 

With an alluring lavender body and a nifty throwback design, it’s the kind of chorus pedal you’ll want to show off.

Brag away, we say.

When it comes to sound quality, it is difficult to describe the sheer depth and complexity this lil’ wonderworker can produce.

You’ll get thick, entrancing tones without warble or unpredictable liquidity.

It sounds different than your conventional chorus pedal, striking a happy balance between a chorus and a 3D audio expander. 

9. Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl Hi-Fi

Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl Hi-Fi

Specifications

  • Price: $350 USD
  • Type: Digitally-controlled analog chorus
  • Controls: Tone, Lag, Mix, RPM, Depth, Warp, Tap, Shape, Dip switches, Power
  • Sockets: In, Out, Expression/CV, Tap/MIDI
  • Bypass: True
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply

Hands down, our favorite design.

The Bliss features opulent golden knobs for a luxe, mysterious aesthetic.

It feels kind of steampunk meets urban streetside aristocrat.

The knobs probably give away the game, but the customization and flexibility here are truly unparalleled. 

This model offers multiple controls and DIP switches, so you can expertly fine-tune your output and experiment with different modulations and effects.

The chorus variations and wave-shaping abilities will satisfy even the most demanding, eclectic creator. 

We admire the ethos behind the Bliss, which is to emulate the analog, dreamy sounds of a vinyl record.

It offers a BBD-based core circuit and MIDI and CV parameter control.

The representation is fairly transparent but still colorful and warm enough to beef up and elevate your riffs.

This might be an intimidating model for chorus pedal newbies, but for pros and those ready to improve their craft, this will be revelatory.

10. Eventide TriceraChorus

Eventide TriceraChorus

Specifications

  • Price: $250 USD
  • Type: Chorus, vibrato, chorale
  • Controls: Mix, rate, detune, left, center, right
  • Sockets: Input, output, power
  • Bypass: Buffered, relay, DSP+FX & kill dry
  • Power requirements: 9V DC power supply


We have to give it to Eventide for the cheek and humor behind the name.

TriceraChorus – good one. But charm aside, this model has a lot to recommend it.

It offers five presets, but if you link it up with a computer running the custom Eventide Device Manager software, you can get up to 127 presets.

Mind-bending.

It offers three chorus voicings for dynamic effects and customization.

The MicroPitch detuning and Swirl footswitch features offer a peak experience and will get you tones that you won’t soon forget.

The interface is pretty darn approachable, with the knobs clearly marked.

The left, right, and center knobs manage the modulation and depth and allow you to tweak the intensity of your effects.

This is a deceptively high-powered pedal, and despite its inviting appearance, it offers pretty robust functionality.

We recommend it for confident musicians or those with experience using pedals.

It may be a touch intimidating for the complete rookie, but hey, if you long to enter the big leagues, there’s no better way to get your feet wet. 

How to Choose the Best Chorus Pedal

Consider price

The range here is pretty remarkable.

Luckily, the budget options are hard-working wonders, and they will do their job well.

If you have more wide-ranging, demanding needs and want meticulous effects on hand for your creative flow states, it pays (literally) to spend a bit more.

This is an investment that will completely revolutionize your riffs, so you don’t want to go cutting corners if you have more complex requirements.

Sound expectations and goals

What is your sonic goal?

Dreamy, glistening shoegaze or throbbing, spooky resonance?

Do you crave vintage warmth and ambiance, or do you covet the creative flexibility that digital offers?

This is, as with most things musical, highly subjective.

Do you love the ability to use vibrato modulation effects or overt flanging-like capacities?

Chorus is similar to flanging, after all, minus the feedback control and with a longer delay line.

Write your intentions out and revisit our list with your individual needs in mind.

Design

This may be frivolous, but when it comes to chorus pedals, you are treated to a visual feast of options.

Some musicians don’t care about aesthetics one bit, while others are absolute design fiends.

As you can see, the range of creative imagery is pretty eye-opening.

If you want something that you can’t take your eyes off of, you’ll have to consider the surface appeal, as well.

Comprehensiveness of features

Some chorus pedals are simple, with a few features and customization possibilities.

Some have countless knobs and offer myriad ways to adjust and fine-tune your output.

Not everyone needs an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach, while some appreciate the creative freedom that comes with several features.

How We Chose the Best Chorus Pedals

We focused on brand recognition, popular and commercial reviews, and features.

But we also considered aesthetic originality and design.

Chorus pedal makers don’t skimp when it comes to punchy designs and retro color-scapes.

We wanted our list to be both practical and visually inspiring. 

We wanted to represent a full range of price points, as well.

Not every guitarist needs or wants a chorus pedal that “does it all,” and they might not get meaningful use out of a $300 model.

Some guitarists want to enter the game on the ground floor, and for that, there is nothing better than an under-$100 model.

Pedal to the Metal

Once you familiarize yourself with chorus pedals, how they work, and their functionality, you’ll never see your favorite songs again.

That elusive, enigmatic shimmer and sheen?

Thank a chorus pedal.

That hypnotic, mind-bending warble?

You can thank a chorus pedal for that, too.

Why not get a touch of that magic for yourself?

We don’t keep secrets from our friends.

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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