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The Best Guitar Pedals in 2024

The Best Guitar Pedals in 2024

While guitar-centric music might not be quite as mainstream as it was around twenty years ago, many underground and mainstream artists still use this iconic instrument whenever they’re writing something new. And of course, in the world of classic rock or heavy metal, guitar pedals are absolute must-haves in any guitarist’s toolkit.

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 best guitar pedals that will hopefully help you understand how they work if you’re completely new to this, but also help you decide which one to buy if you’re an established player.

Before getting into the list itself, we feel like it’s important to note that the list doesn’t go from the best to the worst, or vice versa. It focuses on various guitar pedals that all have their pros and cons. It’s up to you to analyze this list and decide before buying your new, or maybe even your first, guitar pedal.

What are guitar pedals?

Guitar pedals are an essential part of countless professional guitarists' starter packs. They add not only color and grit, but also unique sonic textures to their sound. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, one thing is certain - pedals can definitely open up a world of creative possibilities.

How do guitar pedals work?

  • Guitar pedals are placed on the floor and activated with a footswitch
  • They are connected in a so-called signal chain
  • This chain connects the guitar and the amplifier. 
  • Finally, guitar pedals process the audio signal in various ways to produce different effects. 

See, you don’t really have to be an electrical engineer to understand the basics. However, someone who is both a guitar player and an electrical engineer with a degree is probably the best person to talk to in case you need help with choosing the best guitar pedals.

Now, when it comes to the basic working principle of a guitar pedal, there are several different key points that we need to mention here. Key points such as:

  • Input and Output Jacks - These jacks receive the guitar signal and send it out to the next device in the chain - quite simple and straightforward.
  • Circuit Board - The Circuit board is the heart of the pedal and contains components such as resistors, capacitors, transistors, and integrated circuits. These components manipulate the audio signal to create the desired effect. It’s the quality of the circuit board that immensely affects the price of a guitar pedal.
  • Footswitch - Allows the guitarist to engage or bypass the effect. 
  • Control Knobs - Adjust various parameters of the effect, such as volume, tone, and intensity.
  • Power Supply - Usually powered by a 9V battery or an external power adapter.
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The best guitar pedals to choose from right now

Guitar pedals can produce a wide range of effects, including distortion, overdrive, delay, reverb, modulation, and many more. Depending on the manufacturer's focus, each type of pedal offers unique characteristics that can significantly alter both the guitar's tone and dynamics. Of course, this all affects the price quite a bit, as briefly mentioned above. 

1. Kemper Profiler Stage

While this model may not be the first one that comes to mind to many guitar enthusiasts, this multi-effect pedal is definitely one that we should mention right away. 

Kemper Profiler Stage has an extensive array of effects and amp models. It is almost an ideal pedal for many gigging musicians, as it allows for precise sound crafting with its Rig Manager app. It also supports multiple expression pedals for ultimate experience and control.


  • A huge number of different effects it offers
  • Ideal for touring guitar players
  • Is able to connect to practically anything


  • It takes some time to get used to it
  • A slightly problematic display

2. Line 6 Helix LT

On the other hand, Line 6 Helix LT might be the first thing that comes to mind to many professionals. Maybe even also to those who are still getting into the world of best guitar pedals but have heard from someone what this powerful model offers.

What makes Line 6 Helix LT stand out is not only impressive sound quality, but also its comprehensive connectivity. The fact that it has 70 effects should be impressive enough, but this pedal also has 41 amp models. If that somehow isn’t enough for you, keep in mind that Line 6 Helix LT has quite responsive footswitches and a joystick that makes navigation and editing a breeze.


  • Perfect for both studio and stage use
  • Responsive footswitches
  • A reliable joystick


  • Some might experience connectivity overkill

3. Line 6 HX Stomp

The next one on the list is a compact, yet powerful model. Line 6 HX Stomp crams the power of the Helix into a pedalboard-friendly size. It offers over 190 effects and has extensive connectivity options. 

This all makes it perfect for live performances. It is a compact device that has capacitive footswitches. This makes it perfect for those who enjoy customizing their pedals and touring musicians who appreciate using a quite practical option.


  • It offers Helix effects while being a compact pedalboard
  • Can integrate with MIDI systems


  • Bigger Helix models are much easier to set up

4. Neural DSP Quad Cortex

Neural DSP Quad Cortex is a 2GHz Quad-Core SHARC DSP guitar pedal. The first thing that comes to mind to many who opt to go for this guitar pedal is the price. Neural DSP Quad Cortex is quite pricey but it’s one of the most popular, if not the most popular, guitar pedals for professional musicians. 

When it comes to the design, it is quite slick. Combine that with unparalleled sound quality, and you get one of the best guitar pedals on the market.


  • A fairly unique and beautiful design
  • Produces some of the best sounds you’ll hear from a guitar pedal


  • Quite pricey

5. Boss GT-1

Boss GT-1, with a package of over 100 different effects, is the first budget-friendly guitar pedal on this list. Not only that, but this model is also quite portable. It’s a successor to a quite popular 500 series and it is still one of the most affordable options on this list. Maybe even the most affordable. There’s a reason why Boss GT-1 found its place on this list even though it’s not the flashiest model.


  • Saying that it’s affordable would be an understatement
  • Over 100 effects
  • Integrated USB interface


  • Slightly harder to learn how to use at first

6. UAFX Dream '65

This, you could even say, high-tech box, is one of the best American tube amplifier emulators out there. When it comes to the effects, it offers reverb, boost, and amp emulation. If you’re on the fence and are not sure if you want to go with a traditional amp and amplifier pedal, you won’t make a mistake if you decide to get yourself the UAFX Dream ’65. This model is equally good in both the studio and the live environment - definitely one of the best guitar pedals on the market.


  • Various advanced editing options
  • Supports Bluetooth-powered presets
  • Emulates Fender Deluxe’s reverb and vibrato


  • Doesn’t have XLR outputs

7. Mooer GE200

If you’re completely new to this, Mooer GE200 might be one of the two best options here. We’ll talk about the second best right after we explain why we think Mooer GE200 is the way to go for newbies.

This guitar pedal offers quite an impressive range of sounds and functionalities. All at an affordable price. It has 70 effects and 55 amp models. It also offers support for third-party IRs. This all makes it a solid option for those on a tight budget as well. It’s simply quite easy to use, but it’s not as flashy as some other models on this list.


  • A simple pedal that’s quite easy to use
  • Offers both some great sounds and support for third-party IRs


  • Not the best option if you’re an experienced guitar player

8. NUX MG-400

This is the second best option for beginners we mentioned above. It’s kind of a 50/50 when it comes to choosing either this one or the Mooer GE200.

NUX MG-400 is quite an impressive entry-level multi-effects pedal. Three main reasons why you should opt for this pedal are the fact that it features 25 amp models, 512 IRs, and a user-friendly interface. 

Just like with the model above, the price is more than affordable. But what makes it stand out is the fact that even at this price NUX MG-400 offers scene functionality for easy preset switching. This all makes it perfect for those who have yet to start experimenting with different sounds.


  • Quite easy to use
  • A solid number of amp and effects tones for beginners


  • It takes a bit of time to tweak presets to get the best possible sound

9. TC Electronic Plethora X5

TC Electronic went above and beyond to create one of the best TonePrint pedals in one unit. Its ability to allow five effects to be chained together and stored as scenes makes it stand out on this list quite a bit. That way, it provides versatile tones for live performances. 

The thing it lacks though, and we feel like this isn’t that big of an issue, are drive effects. On the other hand, TC Electronic Plethora X5 excels in delivering high-quality modulation and reverb sounds.


  • Fairly easy to use and set up - which is fairly important considering this is a best guitar pedals list
  • Ability to chain five effects
  • Firmware that is constantly updated


  • It lacks distortion and drive effects

10. Eventide H90 Harmonizer

The main difference between other guitar pedals on this list and the Eventide H90 Harmonizer is the fact that this model is aimed at those who are looking to explore somewhat unique sounds. Eventide H90 Harmonizer combines innovative pitch-shifting options with standard effects. This makes it ideal for experimental guitarists.

Another important key aspect here worth noting is the fact that H90 offers flexible routing and is just as powerful in the studio as it is on stage.

As we highlighted in the intro, this list doesn’t go from the best guitar pedals to the worst, or vice versa. H90 is an impressive model worth owning, regardless of what level you’re currently at.


  • Easy control
  • Some quite impressive effect algorithms


  • It’s just more simple to edit with software


What is a guitar pedal?

A simple answer would be that a guitar pedal is an electronic device that alters the sound of an electric guitar. Their main role is to add various effects like distortion, reverb, delay, and modulation, just to name a few. By doing so, they enhance and shape the instrument's tone which ultimately produces unique signature sounds.

Why use a guitar pedal?

Just like painters experiment with colors, guitar pedals allow musicians to experiment with different sounds and effects. It lets them make their music more dynamic and expressive. Guitar pedals are vital for different music genres as they help musicians achieve a specific sound. The world of music, especially guitar-centric music, would be quite bland if there were no devices that help create unique-sounding guitar tones.

Which are the best guitar pedals for beginners?

For beginners, the NUX MG-400 and Mooer GE200 are excellent choices - two options we mentioned in this list. They offer a wide range of effects and amp models at affordable prices, with user-friendly interfaces that make them easy to use and explore. There’s no doubt that some of your favorite musicians started out on a similar pedal.

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Gregory Walfish
Co-founder of Xposure Music, Gregory Walfish stands at the intersection of music, tech, and culture. With a software engineering background, he's passionate about artist development and technology.

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