Boss RC1 Vs RC3 : Which Is Better – Boss RC1 Or Boss RC3?

Boss has created numerous types of guitar effects such as delays, overdrives, distortions, filters, loopers and much more. They have manufactured a large array of guitar effects over the last four decades and proved their worth on the market. Just hearing the brand already suggest a lot of great pedals in your mind already, right?

Since their establishment during the 70’s, Boss Corporation have managed to produce top quality guitar pedals that famous musicians sought after. For this article, we will be looking at Boss RC1 vs RC3 and dig which among the two is the best.

First Things First - Boss RC1 Vs RC3

Why would you want a looper? Well, in live situations, you would want a looper to fill in some gaps in your musical arrangement. Especially in the absence of other musicians to accompany you. You could also make use of it if you want to beef up your music and add up variety simply.

boss rc1 vs rc3 - which is the best?

The number of instruments played in the right way can dramatically increase the quality of music output. Looper is designed to create multiple layers of tracks a single person can operate and overdub for the duration of the performance.

You can also make good use of it while practicing too. If you are in dire need of a backing track and you don’t have one or you don’t have someone to accompany you, you can record multiple layers of audio tracks and use it as you will!

​Looking Deeper - Boss RC-1 Or RC-3

In this match up, Boss RC1 vs RC3, we will be dissecting both pedals and see which among the two is best regarding Function, Sound Quality, Reliability, and Best Use. This will surely be a tough battle between two great Boss products!


Boss RC1

Just by opening the box, you will be presented with the classic look and feel of Boss pedals in red color. The design of Boss RC1 is simple. One knob, and one switch. Straightforward and very easy to use. It can run both on battery and plug. It has two inputs and two outputs.

The knob controls the volume and the footswitch cycles on the functions. A single step will start recording and a circular monitor just right the volume knob indicates that you are already recording. Tapping on the switch one more time will stop recording, and the pedal will immediately go to playback.

On playback, tapping on the footswitch will go to recording another layer. A pretty simple device with a simple and friendly function. You can have all this functionality for less than a hundred dollars only.

Boss RC3

As it’s brother, RC1, it comes in the same color and shape. It has the same input and output and the same one knob for volume. It also runs on a standard 9v battery and plugged. The difference? The circular monitor on the right of the knob was removed and replaced with more controls.

boss rc1 vs rc3 - function?

Oh, and the volume knob, it has two rings, one to adjust your main volume, and the other to set the volume of your recorded loop. Yeah, that’s nifty. You can spare yourself from buying a booster to highlight your licks and adlibs.

There are two led light indicator just above the volume knob that lights up the red light when you are recording and the green light when you are on playback. When both lights are on, it means that you are in overdub mode.

Boss have significantly improved this model from its predecessor. Aside from the two inputs and outputs, there is also an option to plug in an expression pedal to further the capability of your gadget. You can add controls to your playing style and express better unique characteristic music.

You can also save up to 99 loops that you can access and playback whenever you want. Now, isn't that nice? That would be very useful on live gigs! The drawback, my friend, is that it is a bit pricey, but it’s still below two hundred dollars.

Sound Quality

If we carefully look at Boss RC1 vs RC3, there will be no modification on the sound you record unless you are also hooked up on a rig. They don’t function to modify the signal of the guitar. Both of them are intended to record your signal and play it back.

But to check the quality of the sound, some other guitar effects give out an unnecessary hiss and static buzzes. But these two, they are virtually free of these annoying noise.


Both effects pedals are housed in the signature classic Boss pedal case. They are both sturdy and can withstand prolonged heavy use. Discerning from the materials they used, these pedals can resist a beating and occasional falling without significant damage on it. But still, take heed be cautious in using your effects. You want them to last long before being replaced. Right?

Best Use

Boss RC1

boss rc1 vs rc3 - best use?

Boss RC1 is a great effect that can prove its worth on stage and off stage. On live performances, you can jam an excellent solo performance with this beast just by overdubbing layers of your music. If you are quite adept at using other guitar effects, I bet you can pull off a great one-man show!

Off stage, it can function to be a very handy practice partner. I know we all had that moment that we need to hear what it sounds like when played in the band. Even in practice modes, we want to listen to the fullness of the music. With Boss RC1, it can be possible even if you are alone.

Well, it will take a few hours of tinkering to perfect the timing of your jam, but it’s worth it. It will be worth your while to maximize the functionality of this effect.

Boss RC3

Boss RC3 apparently took a giant step ahead of its brother, Boss RC1. On stage, they packed it with more function and more user-friendly controls. You can now record and save presets and store it in the built-in the bank. This opens another area of live performance that will upgrade your gig.

boss rc1 vs rc3 - in summary?

You can pre-record your tracks and use it on demand on your performance. Yes, that makes our lives a lot easier since we wouldn’t have to record the loop every time we change our song. Just scroll through your bank and find your pre-recorded tracks.

To make it more professional, you can hook it up with an expression pedal to dynamically adjust the level of each overdub you record. Yes! It makes a lot of difference when instruments are not played simultaneously loud all the time. Feelings can be conveyed in the dynamics and RC3 has it for you.

On the other hand, you can also enjoy the functionality of RC3 as your practice buddy. Well, it would be great to jam with your band. But if they are not available, go ahead and record layers of your bandmates and jam with yourself.

Back to Back Comparisson - Boss RC1 Vs Boss RC3

To see the comparison between the two, listed below are the main feature and function of the two.










Volume Switch






LED Indicator



Dynamic Volume Switch



Expression Pedal



Tap Tempo






Looking at the table, we can easily see which among the two has more functions that you can take advantage of. Apparently, RC3 has taken the functionality to a whole new, different level.

In Summary

Both gears are a top choice among musicians and are reliable gadgets you can use. Both offer the strength and durability of standard Boss gears. Compact and sturdy. Both have great functions and can take on the task both on stage and off stage.

The big drawback that RC3 has against RC1 is that it costs more. If you are willing to and if you intend to make use of the additional functions RC3 has, then for under two hundred, you can have one. If you are a little tight on the budget and can bother yourself without the premium functions RC3 offers, then for under a hundred dollars, you can have a great Boss RC1 Looper.

These two are great items that will stay in the market for a long time. If you have this now, I know you will have it for a good number of years before you decide to buy a new one. Who knows, maybe by that time, Boss had managed to succeed RC3 with a more action packed looper.​

 You can read more:

Top 5 Best Guitar Pedals

Top 3 Best Multi Effects Pedals Under $200


Samuel T.Cummins

Hi, thanks for visiting our blog. My name's Samuel T.Cummins. I love music so much and I've been playing guitar for 7 years. Blogging is my hobby and I'm happy so much to share my knowledge with everyone.

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Boss RC1 Vs RC3 : Which Is Better – Boss RC1 Or Boss RC3?
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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
James - December 22, 2017

Thanks Sam. Will probably go with the RC 1 for my 14 year old son’s first looper. Jimi

Lalchhan Hima - February 2, 2018

Thank you for this review and comparision. Really appreciate it. Keep rocking 👍🏻


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