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Boss RC 600 Loop Station Review 2022: Just Another Boss Looper??

Is the Boss RC 600 loop station worth it? Is it a worthy upgrade from the RC 300? We reveal all...

The Boss RC 600 loop station does things a little differently.

That’s because, when designing their 2022 breed of loopers (the RC 505 MK2 & the RC 600), Roland have taken things back to the drawing board, and conducted a full-fat redesign! Underneath, the RC 600 is worlds away from it’s older brother. Safe to say that it’s no RC 300 that’s spent 10 years having a ‘cosmetic facelift’. As the numbers suggest, the RC 600 is very much double the looper!

In fact, compared to it’s predecessor, it’s sits in a whole different league. But then again, it’s not like that wasn’t to be expected. Technological evolution hasn’t exactly slowed over the past 10 years. Neither has the popularity of looping. So for Roland to release a new loop station that (in comparison) isn’t all that more advanced, would be on their part, a HUGE schoolboy error. Hence why preorders for the RC 600 have soared.

There’s very few times when you can more or less predict that a product is going to be something great, but if you ask us, the RC 600 is an exception. Question is though, while the RC 600 is a step up from the RC 300, how big is that step? Is the RC 600 worth the extra cash? Or does this successor to the RC 300 have “gimmick” written all over it? Read on, and we’ll spill the beans.

After something specific about the Boss RC 600 loop station? Or just curious whether we think the RC 600 looper is worth it? Use the menu below to find the answers you need in record time…

Boss RC 600 looper specs

Key details

  • Weight: 2.4kg
  • Dimensions: 435mm x 163mm x 66mm
  • AD/DA conversion: 32bit
  • Number of tracks: 6
  • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz
  • In-built phantom power: Yes
  • Max recording time: 1.5 hours/ All memories = 13 hours

Additional features

  • Another additional feature of the Boss RC 600 is that it gives you both mic & master compression. All of which makes the sounds you get out of this looper a lot more level and even. Great news if you’re using your looper as part of music production.
  • With the Boss RC 600, you also get a whopping 99 phase memories. All of which are accessible by USB. Thus allowing you to record specific loops into certain slots, before importing them into your DAW as independent files or one mega mix. Useful to have!
  • Compared to previous loopers, the RC 600 isn’t short of inputs or outputs. This looper gives you 2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power,2 sets of stereo inputs + 6 outputs including USB type B & midi! Talk about flexibility! You can hook virtually any piece of external hardware up to this device.
  • Over 200 rhythm types are built into the RC 600 looper. So if you’re looking to switch up the vibe pretty fast, the RC 600 gives you the freedom you need to do so.
  • The 600 also comes with an updated LCD display. Ideal for giving you greater control over your loops, not to mention a far more pleasant user experience than previous models.
  • Choose the Boss RC 600 and you don’t just get 9 assignable foot switches; each switch has 3 possible banks of sound. So can have a whopping 27 different sounds going on with this looper, before you even need to think about an external pedal!

What can the Boss RC 600 looper do? Here’s a clip of it in action…

Before getting hands on with the Boss RC 600 looper, it’s important you get an understanding of just how much this clever piece of kit can revolutionise your sound capabilities. Let’s just say that, anyone who’s nutty about sound design needs to be all ears.

That’s because the Boss RC 600 isn’t just designed for making music or jamming in your bedroom. Oh no – just like the Boss RC 505 MK2, it’s also geared towards performance. So much so that before even considering this looper, it’s a good idea to see how it fits into a live setting. Reason being that, if you’re considering (or have already bought) an RC 300 – this looper’s predecessor – then you may want to rethink your strategy.

The RC 600 is anticipated to be the new Daddy of foot-based looper pedals. And that’s not just because Boss fanboys (like us) are brewing up hype. It’s capabilities are beyond any pedal we’ve come into contact with so far. Think we’re talking rubbish? Sample just what this looper can do below…

YouTube video

Boss RC 600 VS RC 300: What’s changed?

  • The most noticeable difference between the Boss RC 600 & the RC 300 is the size. Compared to the RC 300, the overall footprint of the RC 600 is tiny. Around two thirds of the size! So if you’re after a portable looper pedal, the 600 is by far your best bet.
  • The RC 300 is over 10 years old! Therefore, looping tech has come on a long way since. So as you can imagine, the effects on the RC 600 are of FAR better quality than what you got with the RC 300.
  • Sound quality has also taken a step up with the RC 600. Instead of the okay 16bit audio you got with the RC 300, the RC 600 now gives you a fantastic 32bit sound!
  • With the RC 300 you get just 3 hours of total recording time. Not a lot when compared to the 13 hours you get with the RC 600!!
  • The RC 600 also takes a lot of the hardware from the RC 300 & integrates it into its software. So for instance, there’s no physical phantom power switch or track level faders. Instead, these are integrated into the software. All very modern & 21st century!
  • With the RC 600 you’ll less likely have to buy additional control pedals – it gives you SO many more options! The 9 foot switches each come with 3 banks, so that’s 27 options you have to play with before even thinking of including external pedals.
  • Crucially, over the RC 300, you also get both mic and master compression with the RC 600. All of which should give you a more level and even mix.
  • In terms of tracks, those have have also increased – doubled in fact. With the Boss RC 300 you were limited to just 3 tracks, whereas the RC 600 looper opens that up to 6!
  • The amount of effects have also gotten larger too. Buy an RC 600 and you get access to a whopping 49 input and 53 track effects!! Stats that make the 16 you got with the RC 300 look a bit amateur.
  • A major niggle we had we the RC 300 was the fact there was no ‘delete all’ button. Something you do get with the RC 600 by holding down the reset/ undo switch. A nice workflow addition if you ask us.
  • The ‘retro’ (cough) dated orange and black screen that you got with the RC 300 has been switched out with a more intelligent & easy to read LCD display. A much need upgrade if you ask us!
  • The compact design of the RC 600 means that the expression pedal which you found on the RC 300 has been removed. Whether that’s good or bad, depends on what you’re after in a pedal.
  • Another small difference between the RC 600 and the RC 300 is that it no longer gives you an AUX input. All of which means that you’ll likely have to spend more money on adapters. Something to bear in mind.
  • While you’d find a‘Midi Thru’ jack on the RC 300 you won’t find one on the RC 600. It’s been removed.
  • But while the RC 600 does get rid of some inputs, it also adds a lot too. In comparison to the RC 300, you also get an additional XLR mic input, another stereo input & a 2nd sub output.
  • Despite packing more functionality in virtually every area, the Boss RC 600 is over 1kg lighter than the RC 300!! Something that if you’re an ‘on the go’ performer is likely to make a HUGE difference.

Boss RC 600 VS 505 MK2

Similarities

  • Both these loopers make use of the same internal brain – i.e. looping & effects engine. So when you really look at it, the RC 505 MK2 & the RC 600 are very much brothers. Most likely why they’re both making their debut at virtually the same time.
  • Buy a Boss RC 600 looper and you’ll have the exact same number of effects & effect slots than you get with the RC 505 MK2.
  • The screens on both the 505 MK2 & the 600 are also incredibly similar. In fact, both loopers share the exact same menu structure & navigation. Virtually all the systemwide settings are identical, as are all the audio routing options.
  • Look at the back & you’ll soon realise they both have the same inputs & outputs too. That’s 2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power, 2 sets of stereo inputs + 6 outputs including USB type B & midi!
  • The Boss RC 600, just like the RC 505 MK2, cannot be ran off batteries. They require a power supply to operate.
  • The storage capacity you get with the RC 505 MK2 & the RC 600 looper is identical too! Both have 99 memories + can store single loops of up to 1.5 hours in length.
  • Despite their various differences (below), both will set you back around the same price. However in terms of value for money, we’d say the RC 600 has the edge. Why? Jump into the differences below…

Differences

  • The RC 505 MK2 is a tabletop looper that you operate with your hands, whereas the RC 600 is a foot-based looper that you operate with your feet. So while the RC 505 is aimed at vocalists and beatboxers, the RC 600 is aimed at guitarists or any instrumentalist who has busy fingers.
  • In terms of track count, the RC 600 1ups the RC 505 MK2. As the name suggests, the RC 600 has 6 tracks, whereas the 505 boasts 5 tracks.
  • The RC 505 MK2 is the more accessible piece of kit. The RC 600 boasts 9 foot-switches & a screen, the RC 505 MK2 boasts over 30 buttons. all of which tend to make it the more user-friendly of the two. With the 600, you will need to spend more time sifting through menus.
  • The build of the RC 600 is worlds away from that of the RC 505 MK2. The RC 600 is made of all-metal, while the RC 505 MK2 makes do with plastic. Most likely because the RC 600 (being a foot-based looper) will take more of beating.
  • In terms of weight, the RC 600 is close to double that of the RC 505 MK2. But because of that, it does feel noticeably more rugged. Touring with an RC 600 looper shouldn’t be an issue!
  • Being a foot controller, the RC 600 includes a nifty locking feature that allows you to lock the position of all the knobs underneath the screen. Great, as it prevents you from accidentally altering your settings during a performance.
  • The RC 600 runs rings around the 505 MK2 when it comes to sound bankage. With the RC 505 MK2 you get 10 assignable buttons with 2 possible functions. Whereas with the RC 600, you get 9 foot switches, each of which have 3 possible functions. So that makes it a whopping 7 sounds up on the 505 MK2!

Boss RC 600 VS RC 500

Similarities

  • Despite the noticeable size difference, the RC 500 has the same amount of onboard storage that you’ll find with the RC 600. Tracks can last upto 1.5 hours & the device has an overall recording time of 13 hours!!
  • The RC 500, just like the 600, records 32bit audio. That’s more than the Headrush Looperboard!!
  • In terms of phase memories, both the RC 500 and the RC 600 boasts a healthy 99.
  • Both these loopers incorporate real-time time-stretch, that actually works pretty well. We found that for speeding up the recording, this tends to work better than for slowing it down.

Differences

  • One of the major differences between the RC 500 and the RC 600 is the track count. The RC 500 has just 2 track looper while the RC 600 has a whopping 6!
  • In terms of rhythms, the RC 600 comes out on top too. It has over 200 built-in rhythms, while the RC 500 makes do with just 57.
  • The RC 600 comes with far superior effects. So much so that if effects are what you’re after in a looper, we’d say this makes an upgrade to the 600 worth it alone.
  • Due to the size of the RC 500, the display is nowhere near as intuitive as that you’ll find on the RC 600. Not that it’s bad by any means – it isn’t. Only in this case, the RC 600 does it better.
  • One of the major differences with the RC 500 is that unlike the 600, it does have physical faders. You get two level faders (one for each track) with the RC 500, which while a bit ‘old school’, we kind of dig!
  • Sticking with the old school theme, you also get a physical button foir phantom power on the RC 500, while on the RC 600 all the controls for phantom power are controlled through the LCD display.
  • Inputs. Now, while on the RC 500 you do get: 2X quarter inch inputs/ outputs + midi in/ out, expression pedal input, as well as USB, with the RC 600, you get substantially more!
  • For anyone who’s often ‘on the go’, you’ll be pleased to know that the RC 500 can be powered by batteries (4X AAs). Something you cannot do with an RC 600 looper.
  • When it comes to hooking up your computer, the RC 600 relies on USB Type B. Whereas the RC 500 uses a micro USB.
  • Aside from the size, the actual weight difference between these two is quite astounding. With the RC 500 being significantly smaller, it weighs in at less than 1kg! Whereas all the extra tech and functionality that’s crammed in to the RC 600 means that it weights in at about 2.4kg!

The Boss RC 600: the good, the bad & the ugly

So now you understand where the RC 600 sits in the current lineup of loopers, it’d be wise to weigh it up individually. Only then can you really fathom whether this extravagant looper is the right piece of kit for your setup. Because while (if you ask us) the RC 600 is worth every penny, for some it may be the reverse. In which case, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider both the good, the bad & the ugly…

Pros of the Boss RC 600 (AKA the good)

  • Its footprint is tiny! For what it is, the Boss RC 600 looper is compact to say the least. So much so that despite it packing virtually the same functionality as the 505 MK2 (in some respects even more), on a ratio of ‘portability-to-functionality’, this looper is takes the gold medal.
  • In terms of assignable controls, the RC 600 has more than any other Boss looper to date! In other words, it’s one of the most flexible and customisable loopers you can buy!
  • Opposed to the majority of loopers which are made of plastic, the Boss RC 600 is encased in metal. So as you can imagine, when compared to your average looper, it’s likely able to take more of a beating. Great if you’re looking for a looper to take on tour.
  • Most instrument players want looping as much control channeled to their feet as possible. And this is where the RC 600 excels. Being foot-operated, opposed to a tabletop looper, make it FAR easier for the majority of musicians to use. Good to know if you’re after a looper for performance.

Cons of the Boss RC 600 (AKA the bad)

  • While it’s build does make it feel substantial, the metal outer does give the RC 600 a fair bit of weight. Then again, while it’s a lot heavier than the 505 MK2, it’s still substantially lighter than the RC 300 on which it’s based.
  • For quick control, the RC 505 MK2 may be a better bet. Being a foot-pedal, the RC 600 crams more functionality into the LCD display. Personally, we think a few more buttons would have been nice.

The ugly

  • Compared to the RC 300, the street price is significantly higher. When the 300 launched back in 2011, its RRP was just £399, whereas that of the RC 600 comes in at closer to £500! Then again, you do get a LOT more for your money, so we guess it’s give & take.

Is the Boss RC 600 the best looper? Our editor’s thoughts…

I think you knew this was coming…

Yes – if you were to ask us, the Boss RC 600 is the best Boss loop station that you can get your hands on as of 2022. So much so that in terms of an overall looping package, we generally struggled to pick fault. Granted, no looper is perfect, but we’d say out of all those currently on the market, the RC 600 gets the closest to that formula of the ‘ideal looper’.

Look at how it compares to the 505 MK2 & the RC 500 (above) and you should begin to see just how well-rounded of a looper pedal the RC 600 really is. From a functionality perspective, we’d find it hard not to give it full marks. Here’s why…

  • The audio is some of the highest quality you’ll find. It even outshines the more pricy Headrush Looperboard!
  • It’s got more assignable controls than the Boss RC 505 MK2, as well as an extra track.
  • Compared to the RC 500, it packs more rhythms & has a more intuitive display.
  • In terms of workflow, it’s runs rings around the RC 300!
  • The overall build quality is exceptional. The RC 600 is one looper that’s made to last!

In fact, the only picking points we would have, is that the RC 600 cannot be powered by batteries. Neither can you uploaded your own rhythms. But then again, no looper pedal on the market allows you to do that and it would likely take a lot of battery power to work that intuitive display. So really, we’re wishing here, opposed to critiquing.

When it boils down to it, the RC 600 was made for one thing – a worthy successor to the RC 300. And for that, we’d say it’s succeeded big time. However in doing so, we think Roland have actually played their trump card. As not only does the RC 600 make the RC 300 look prehistoric, but it also makes a strong case for the title of the best loop station you can buy. As of now, we can’t think of anything better.

Headrush – you better get busy, as Boss is back with a BANG!

Latest Price!

Enjoy this Boss RC 600 review & eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Music Production Advice + all our recent Music Kit Reviews. Recently, we also did a full rundown of the Best Loop Stations + another on the Ed Sheeran’s Custom Chewie 2 Looper, which may also be a good read.

Or, if you’re here purely to read up on the Boss RC 600, keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions about this fantastic looper, as well as why it’s so essential to your setup…

The lowdown on the Boss RC 600 + loopers in general…

The Boss RC 600 loop station is set for release in January of 2022 & as we write this blog is available for pre-order. Something we’d advise you do as we’d put money on it being ‘the’ new go-to looper.

The balance of features, functionality & practicality you get with the RC 300 is (for us) the perfect match. It’s foot-based, so it frees up your hands. The build is exceptional. The quality of the audio is top notch, as are the reams of built in effects. Overall, it’s a VAST improvement on the RC 300 & let’s face it, that looper didn’t exactly fall short in the popularity department. In which case, we’re pretty confident the RC 600 will follow the trend.

Most likely why a lot of online store have already sold out. Just a heads up…

A loop station is used for layering elements of music to create some form of track or song.

The process of doing so is called overdubbing and has become incredibly popular since Ed Sheeran started using a Boss Looper pedal in his live performances. As for the looper itself, in its simplest form it’s a glorified recorder that’s geared towards music production.

Ask us and loopers could actually be a serious driver of new music, as where’s the need to hire a live band when you have virtual instruments & a looper pedal?!

Not all loop stations cost an arm and a leg.

If you’re a guitarist and can make do with limited functionality, then you can pick up a looper for less than £100. However, if you’re looking to seriously create music with a looper, we’d advise you up your budget.

Reason being that once you do so, the looping functionalities that you’re able to access really do multiply. All of which makes producing music with a looper 10X easier. Not to mention, quicker too. That’s because the more expensive loopers like the RC 505 MK2 & RC 600 pack far more in the way of tech. All of which means they not only give you better audio in return, but you also have an easier time achieving it too.

Plus, performing live with a cheap looper isn’t exactly ideal. Usually live performances require (A) a lot of tracks & (B) a decent interface on which to monitor your loops. Neither of which you’ll get if you end up ‘cheaping-out’. So take it from us, while on the face of it loopers may seem quite pricy, for what they enable you to do, they’re actually quite cheap.

The RC 600 especially packs insane value for money.

While today, Ed Sheeran uses his custom Chewie 2 looperboard when performing live, earlier on in his career, he did use a Boss looper – the RC-30XL.

In fact, the Chewie came about because of how Roland admired Ed’s grasp of looping. So much so that when he approached them about designing his own custom loop pedal, they accepted the challenge. So while the RC 600 isn’t called a Chewie, it is made by Roland, who are the brains behind Ed Sheeran’s looper. In other words, if you want to loop like Ed, the RC 600 is a great place to start.

While the Boss RC 505 MK2, being a tabletop looper, does give you more hands-on control over you loops, we’d actually say it’s one of the hardest to operate. That being because most musicians need their hands-free in order to play their instrument to its fullest potential.

In which case, we’d actually say that foot-based loopers (like the Boss RC 600 loop station) are the easiest to use, purely because they take that control away from your hands and send it directly to your feet. What’s more, loopers you control with your feet end to have less in the way of buttons, meaning that you’re less likely to hit to the wrong switch.

All of which during a live performance, is incredibly useful.