See also our article on the Best Multi-Modulation Pedals.
Updated on 11.15.2021
Welcome to our buyer’s guide to the best chorus pedals! If you are a casual stompbox user, in this article you’ll find plenty of popular devices on top of each of our interactive galleries, while the true pedal geeks among you will be able to get familiar with a lot of lesser-known models by boutique builders with unique features.
To facilitate your search, we organize our list by feature, size, and cost!
What Are Chorus Pedals Good For?
Originally created as an attempt to simulate a sonic effect audible when similar sounds with almost identical pitches are played at once (like voices in a choir), the chorus effect has slowly taken a little bit of a life of its own, morphing into a “character” effect that adds a liquid quality to any sound, and that’s particularly effective in “opening up” mono sounds in stereo.
Because of this, the chorus has become ubiquitous in synths, and very popular among electric bass and guitar players.
The difference between Chorus and Vibrato
Many chorus pedals also offer a “Vibrato” mode. That is not really the focus of this article, but it is useful to highlight the differences between the two effects: in the Chorus effect, a slight variation of pitch happens together with a slight variation of time (a minimal, varying delay plied to two or more version of the original tone), while in Vibrato there is only a variation of pitch, exactly like int the vocal vibrato technique.
Finding the Best Chorus Pedals for Your Needs
Chorus is one of the most popular pedals for guitar and bass, and because of this, there is a variety of options to choose from. The goal of this article is to help each one of our readers find the category of reverb pedal that’s best for him or her.
So, what kind of chorus pedal do you need within your budget and board requirements? Click on the category in the list below that answers this question and you’ll jump to our recommended pedals. But remember: no matter the features, a good chorus pedal is the one that sounds pleasing to your ears, so make sure to check out the videos of the ones you like, before you pull the shopping trigger.
• Compact Stereo Chorus Pedals
• Larger Footprint Stereo Chorus Pedals
• Affordable Mono Chorus Pedals Under $150
• Boutique Mono Chorus Pedals (above $150)
• Basic Mini Chorus Pedals
• Multi-Mode Modulation Pedals
The lists in this article are based on the ratings of each pedal from various online music stores
Stereo Chorus Pedals in a Compact Case
True, most guitarists play with just one amp, but a stereo chorus pedal opens up sonic and also routing options that might be useful in a studio environment or to get your creative juice flowing. The pedals in this list give you a stereo output within the classic compact footprint.
- Boss Super-Chorus CH-1
An evergreen analog chorus pedal launched in 1989 and now upgraded to Stereo, the CH-1 made its way on several best-selling records. Features familiar 4-knob controls (rate, depth, EQ, and level) and delivers the classic swirly effect that can border on vibe at higher depth settings.
- Boss Chorus CE-2W
Decades ago, the BOSS’ CE-1 and CE-2 set the bar for thick, luscious chorusing and this pedal from the Japanese company’s Waza Craft line includes tones emulating both hose now discontinued models. It runs on analog bucket-brigade circuitry with rate and depth controls and mono or stereo input/output.
- Walrus Audio Julianna
An expanded and Stereo version of their popular, lush-sounding Julia chorus, this is considered by many as one of the best boutique chorus pedals. It also adds Tap Tempo with 3 Subdivisions, a momentary function (Speed Ramp Up/Down), Modulation Drift effect (Automatically speeds up and slows down the LFO rate) and the ability to control Depth, Rate, or both with an expression pedal. It features an analog path with digital LFO.
Here’s the full list:
Stereo Chorus Pedals with Larger Footprint
A larger footprint, in most cases, means more room for knobs and switches, and in others, more space for quality components. The pedals in this list will cost you a little more, but, in all likelihood, open up more creative options, keeping you entertained and inspired for longer.
- Strymon Ola
A digital yet analog voiced, Stereo in/out pedal based on a chip recreating the classic BDD chip that offers six modulation and dynamic Chorus and Vibrato modes, including a ramp effect triggered via a momentary footswitch.
- MXR Stereo Chorus
Fully analog, this is a reissue of what was one of the first mass-produced stereo chorus pedals. Unique to this design is the EQ section with knobs for Bass and Treble and also a useful Low Pass Filter button.
- Eventide Tricerachorus
A markedly ’80s digital chorus with three modes (Chorus, Vibrato, and Chorale – inspired by classic rackmount Tri-chorus unit) and three independent chorus voices (Left, Center, Right) for extra-lush chorusing. The momentary footswitch Swirl triggers psychedelic flanging, phasing, and Univibe-style tones. Midi/USB connectivity, Line Level compatibility, Alt Function on all knobs and Presets round up the features.
Here’s the full list:
Boutique/Creative Mono Chorus Pedals (over $150)
Mostly hand-built and featuring quality components, these are solid, high-end mono choruses that marry great tone with the out-of-the-box angle typical of boutique pedal builders.
- Walrus Audio Julia V2
Version 2 of this popular analog Chorus/Vibrato adds top-mounted jacks, soft switch bypassing and updated art. The Lag knob lets you set the center delay time from which the LFO starts its modulation cycle.
- JHS Pedals Unicorn v2
Classic sound with modern control. What really sets the Unicorn apart from the herd is tap tempo functionality and a speed knob for dialing in precise rhythms. A “Tap/Exp” in lets you plug in a TRS expression pedal or any momentary tap control.
- Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl HiFi
Emulates the effect of a warped vinyl record, but also delivers shimmery vibrato and chorus effects. Hold feature allows for on-the-fly control of ramping and LFO. Beyond that, it offers multiple trailblazing ways to shape your sound – including 16 DIP switches that all offer something different. Analog path, digital brain.
Here’s the full list:
Streamlined Mono Chorus Pedals (Compact Case, under $150)
In this list, you’ll find your bread and butter compact mono chorus pedals: affordable yet sturdy devices that give you the classic chorus sound and, in some cases, some coloring knobs or switches.
- MXR Analog Chorus
An all-analog design that runs on the sought-after warm tones generated by the bucket brigade circuit. There are rate, depth, and level controls as well as a two-band EQ over lows and highs. It’s mono only but has a dry output.
- Electro-Harmonix Clone Series
The Neo Clone offers the same sounds as the Small Clone at a fraction of the footprint. The control set is unique, with just a rate pot and a depth switch. It’s all analog, has true bypass, and provides the milky tones that made the Small Clone popular.
- JHS 3 Series Chorus
It offers classic chorus and vibrato modulation sounds, with straightforward controls and enough versatility. Delivers from subtle doubling to utterly seasick waves. The Vibe toggle removes the dry signal so that you will have a simple true pitch vibrato.
Here’s the full list:
Best Chorus Pedals in Mini Format
For the players that are happy with a basic chorus and don’t have much space on their boards, the mini pedal format is the way to go. Most pedals in this list aren’t exactly built with top-notch components, but there are exceptions (just look at the price) that normally deliver a lusher sound.
- Rowin Chorus
An extremely popular and affordable three-knob mini-chorus that covers your basics and gets close to 4.5 stars on Amazon..
- Donner Tutti Love
A simple 100% analog, true-bypass circuit that provides warm chorusing. Dial it in with level, depth, and rate controls. Not groundbreaking, but gives you access to a variety of classic chorus sounds.
- Mooer Ensemble King
A simple, compact mini chorus with minimal control set over rate, depth, and level. The fully analog circuitry provides warm chorusing with plenty of shimmer. The all-metal enclosure means it can survive life on the stage.
Here’s the full list:
Chorus Pedal Shootout Videos
• Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl mkii, Boss CE-2, Mr. Black Mini Chorus, Boss CE-5, Boss DC-2w, TC 3rd Dimension, Caroline Somersault, EQD Sea Machine v3, EHX Small Clone, TC June 60, and the Zvex Instant Lo-Fi Junky
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