Boss RC-500 review

A solid, straightforward looper with a few neat tricks

Boss RC-500 review
(Image: © Future/Chris Corfield)

Guitar World Verdict

The Boss RC-500 is simple enough for a beginner to get up and running quickly, yet offers excellent advanced features that give anyone upgrading from a smaller/older pedal plenty of reasons to get excited.


  • +

    An easy, accessible way into looping

  • +

    Great advanced functionality if needed

  • +

    Audio quality is superb


  • -

    Effects won’t be to everyone’s taste

  • -

    Some features require a bit of setting up

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Nowadays, you’ll find looper pedals with varying degrees of complexity on the pedalboards of pretty much every kind of player. Some value them as a practice tool, laying down a basic chord progression over which they can work at expanding their lick vocabulary. For others, it's the creative opportunity offered through being able to layer up sounds on top of one another to create complex soundscapes. However they get used, the fact is that for many players, myself included, guitar loopers begin and end with Boss. 

After spending some time with the Boss RC-500, the current intermediate looper offering from the company, it’s easy to see why it’s still top of the tree. Sitting above the RC-5 and RC-1 in terms of functionality and size, but not quite as fully featured as the spaceship-like RC-600, the Boss RC-500 offers a decent balance between excited immediacy and progressive functionality. 

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Chris Corfield

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World, Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.