5 Best Vocal Distortion Pedals In 2018 (Review)

Vocal Distortion can add some real grit to your performances! Whether you want to sound like you're singing through a megaphone for a particular section of one of your songs, or you just need a bit of muddiness for an outro, a Vocal Distortion pedal is the way to do it!

At a Glance: Our Choice Of The 5 Best Vocal Distortion Pedal On The Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer's Guide: What To Look Out For When Buying A Vocal Distortion Pedal 

There are different ways of achieving vocal distortion using pedals, with the most common being using a multi-effects vocal processor.

  • When purchasing a pedal of this kind, it's important to check out what other features it has, besides distortion! If you want to make sure there are no unwanted sounds creeping through, a noise gate is a must. Also, EQ controls are necessary to control your sound so that it sounds like you.
  • Another option is to get a pre-amp which allows you to connect your guitar pedals so that they are microphone-friendly. Of course, this kind of solution will only really appeal to guitarists, who already have distortion pedals! If this is you, it's probably the way with the most creative options.
  • You can also – like with guitar pedals – buy a stomp-box style pedal which is distortion-dedicated. These are perfect for those who like to keep things simple.

So, now you probably have an idea of which kind of pedal will suit you the most, here are our top picks in some detail...

Best Vocal Distortion Pedal

1. Radial Voco Loco Microphone Effects Loop

Radial Voco Loco Microphone Effects Loop & Switcher for Guitar Effects

The Radial Voco Loco isn't a vocal distortion pedal as such, but a pre-amp that allows you to use your microphone with guitar effects pedals.

It's great for the singer who also plays guitar, and already has a few pedals. The options here are endless, and it works great on stage.

  • Great for singers who are also guitarists and already have some pedals
  • Easy to control using the footswitch
  • Also works really well with mic'd up acoustic instruments
  • If you're not a guitarist, you're going to need to buy some pedals to accompany this preamp
  • Using this will require some understanding of music technology
  • It doesn't have its own effects incorporated

Let's take a look at this pedal...

2. DigiTech Vocal 300 Vocal Multi-Effects Processor

The DigiTech Vocal 300 is a fun multi-effects pedal that allows you to add distortion as well as effects which range from weird wizard sounds to church-like reverb.

It's easy to use and has useful features, too, including a compressor and a gate.

  • A variety of effects available at the switch of a button
  • User friendly and fun
  • There's a equaliser and noise gate included
  • Feedback can be an issue
  • Despite its array of effects, there is no harmoniser or autotune here
  • Some of the effects have more novelty value than anything else

Let's take a look at this pedal...

3. TC Helicon Play Acoustic Guitar FX Vocal Effects Pedal

TC Helicon Play Acoustic Guitar FX Vocal Effects Pedal w/ Power Supply and 2 Cables Bundle

This is a professional pedal with a lot of options.

As well as vocal distortion – which is raw and edgy here – you can harmonise, reverberate and even auto-tune.

There are several types of distortion, so you can experiment until you find the sound that you're after.

  • Reliable and user-friendly
  • There are a lot of effects to choose from, all of which are of superior quality
  • This works equally well in the studio or on the stage
  • Although it's very user-friendly, the large amount of functions might take some time to get used to.
  • Somebody who just wants distortion might not welcome all of the other effects here
  • You can't power it using a 9V Battery

Let's take a look at this pedal...

4. Boss VE-20 Vocal Processor Multi Effects Pedal (Editor's Choice)

Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer Multi-Effects Pedal

Boss really are the bosses when it comes to pedals.

The VE-20 is a superior piece of kit which combines distortion effects with all the other features you could wish for. Yes, including a looper!

The distortion itself is editable, giving you true control over your sound.

You can also power this off batteries, if you want to!

  • There are a number of effects and other functions to play with here, as well as distortion
  • Can be run off a 9V battery or an AC adapter – making it highly portable
  • Sturdy, quite small and easy to use
  • It's a bit bulkier than a stomp box
  • Although it's easy to use, it can take a bit of time to 'get to know' this pedal
  • If you're not interested in this pedal's harmonisers, reverbs or pitch correctors, you'll feel like you're spending the full price for a fraction of the functions

Let's take a look at this pedal...

5. TC Helicon Singles VoiceTone X1 Vocal Effects Processor (Budget Choice)

TC Helicon Vocal Effects Processor (996010005)

TC Helicon have several 'Singles' pedals out, all of which offer simplicity and ease-of-use.

It's just a stomp box, which distorts. Like a guitar distortion pedal.

The sound is pretty good, but feedback can be an issue with this pedal. You might want an additional noise gate to avoid these kind of issues.

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Budget-friendly and reliable
  • There are no other distractions here: you want distortion, this offers just that
  • Some people might crave more of a multi-effects pedal
  • The volume can be a bit unpredictable
  • Feedback can be a problem when you use this pedal on stage

Let's take a look at this pedal...

And The Winner Is...

As we said earlier, the best pedal for you will depend largely on whether or not you desire extra effects, or whether you already have guitar pedals you'd like to use.

However, for us the number 1 pedal for vocal distortion is the Boss VE-20 Vocal Processor Multi Effects Pedal. Boss are invariably top dog when it comes to pedals and this won't let you down. Its effects are all extremely convincing and easy to switch between. Also, even more impressively, you can use distortion in combination with other effects, to get some really cool and original sounds!

However, if you're looking for something simple, the TC Helicon Singles VoiceTone X1 Vocal Effects Processor is the obvious choice.

If you happen to already be a guitar pedal junkie, you can make extra use of them by getting your hands on the Radial Voco Loco Microphone Effects Loop. An added benefit here will be that you already know your distortion pedals!

Both the TC Helicon Play Acoustic Guitar FX Vocal Effects Pedal and the DigiTech Vocal 300 Vocal Multi-Effects Processor are also fun and effective multi-effects pedals, with the TC Helicon being the more professional of the two.

Whichever one you go for, we hope you have fun getting dirty!

Roz is a music teacher and our go-to person for anything music theory! When she’s not teaching or writing for Zing, Roz writes and plays in alternative/ psyche /art rock band The Roz Bruce Infusion.

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