Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal Review

🎸 Kim’s Odyssey with the Boss ME-80: A Rockin’ Review by Dad, the ‘Review Guy’

The Unboxing Ritual

You know that Christmas morning feeling? Yeah, that hit me in September when Kim’s eyes locked onto that BOSS ME-80 box – it was like witnessing a kid meeting Santa, but in this case, Santa was a rugged, stomp-ready guitar effects pedal. Unboxing was a symphony in itself; each piece of tape cut, every flap unfolded, led to the main act: The Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal sat there in its glory, sleek as a classic Les Paul but ready to party like a Strat at a rock concert.

Unboxing the Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal

Man, this multi-effects pedal is a game-changer – the kind you don’t forget. Had one, let it go, and guess what? It’s back in my setup! Some gear you just can’t quit!

  • 8 footswitches

  • Built-in Expression Pedal

  • Over 60 Effects

  • Recall Custom Effects

Boss ME-80: A Physical Tour

Command Center: Navigating the Sonic Universe of the BOSS ME-80

The BOSS ME-80 is like a Swiss Army knife for guitarists, with all its knobs and switches neatly packed into a sleek, dark chassis. It’s sturdy and built to survive the chaos of gig life. Looking at it, you’ve got a treasure trove of dials that twist and turn to tweak everything from crunchy compression to dreamy delays. Each knob feels solid to the touch, inviting endless experimentation.

BOSS ME-80 Top
BOSS ME-80 Top View

Then there’s the pedal on the right, a rugged slab ready to respond to the most passionate foot stomps. It’s textured for grip, so there’s no slipping mid-solo. Above it, a neat LED display glows red like a beacon, so you’ll always know where you are in the heat of the action.

And let’s talk about the footswitches—eight lined up like soldiers at the front line. They’re your direct line to unleashing sonic mayhem or reining it for quiet moments. They feel reassuring underfoot, spaced out enough to avoid an accidental stomp on the wrong effect.

The ME-80 invites you to play, explore, and create, making it a trusty sidekick for any guitar hero’s journey.

Connectivity Hub: The Versatile Backstage Pass of the BOSS ME-80

At a glance, the back of the BOSS ME-80 looks like the business end of a space shuttle, with an array of inputs and outputs that are your gateway to sonic adventures.

There’s the standard guitar input, ready to take your instrument’s signal on a wild ride. Next, there are the outputs—dedicated sockets for connecting to an amplifier or PA system, ensuring that your crafted tones reach the audience just right, whether in stereo glory or powerful mono.

BOSS ME-80 Back
BOSS ME-80 Back View

There’s a thoughtfully included AUX input, perfect for jamming along with your favorite tracks or backing tunes. Plus, a USB port transforms this pedalboard into a recording powerhouse when hooked up to a computer. The headphone output is a godsend for silent practice sessions or private jams.

The ME-80’s power needs are covered with a DC input, keeping your performances energetic and uninterrupted. And if you’re looking to expand your control, the ME-80’s got you covered with its CTL input for adding external switches and expression pedals, multiplying your expressive capabilities.

Underbelly Powerhouse: The BOSS ME-80’s Sturdy Foundation

Upon flipping the Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal, the underbelly reveals a no-nonsense approach to stability and practicality. The quartet of robust rubber feet dominates the corners, guaranteeing that the unit remains steadfast, regardless of the enthusiasm of the performance.

Central to its design is the battery compartment, with a secure latch yet easily accessible, which houses a sextet of AA batteries ─ a nod to the guitarist’s need for mobility, ensuring the music plays on even when wall sockets are out of reach.

The surrounding screws, sunk into the chassis, affirm the pedal’s durability, ready to withstand the rigors of touring life. And not to be overlooked, the barcode label is tucked neatly to the side, holding the key to identity and service support. The design speaks to the touring musician’s heart: tough, reliable, and always prepared for the next gig.

  • 8 footswitches

  • Built-in Expression Pedal

  • Over 60 Effects

  • Recall Custom Effects

The First Stomp

Kim’s first stomp on the ME-80 was nothing short of electric. Literally, the thing comes alive with an LED flourish that’s more inviting than a ‘Press Here’ sticker on a big red button. Each press was a gateway to a new universe of sound – clean, crunch, overdrive, you name it. And with the ME-80’s intuitive knob interface, it was like turning the dial on a vintage radio, except every station is your favorite song.

Sound-Sculpting Shenanigans

Tweaking tones on the ME-80 is so addictive; I swear Kim found sounds that even Hendrix hasn’t heard. It’s like having a Swiss Army knife but for sound. Want a chorus that swims through the speakers like a dolphin at SeaWorld? Got it. A delay that echoes through time and space? Check. The phrase ‘kid in a candy store’ sprang to mind, except every candy was a meticulously crafted sonic treat.

The Cosmic Jam

Then came the Cosmic Jam. It’s not a fancy space event, but Kim’s deep dive into the ME-80’s looper function. Layering riffs on riffs, he was looping like Dr. Strange with time on his hands. The only thing missing was a cape. And when he dabbled with the Expression pedal, well, that was a trip to wah-wah Wonderland without leaving the bedroom.

Dad’s Tech Corner (Because I Had To)

Kim just wanted to play, but Dad here got sucked into the specs – USB connectivity for recording? Check. COSM amp modeling tech? You bet. It’s like they crammed a spaceship’s worth of tech into a floorboard. And don’t even get me started on the battery life – this thing sips power like a fine wine, making sure the jam lasts longer than a triple encore at a Springsteen gig.

Master Your Sound: BOSS ME-80 Specs at a Glance

AD Conversion24 bits + AF method¹
DA Conversion24 bits
Sampling Frequency44.1 kHz
EffectsOver 60 effects, including delay, modulation, distortion, and more
Patches36 user and 36 preset patches
Phrase Loop38 seconds of recording
Display7 segments, 2 digits LED
ConnectorsGUITAR IN jack, AUX IN jack (Stereo miniature phone type), AMP CONTROL jack (1/4-inch TRS phone type), USB COMPUTER port (USB Hi-Speed AUDIO/MIDI), OUTPUT jacks L (MONO), R (1/4-inch phone type), PHONES jack (Stereo 1/4-inch phone type), DC IN jack
Power SupplyDC 9V: AC adaptor or AA size batteries (alkaline or Ni-MH rechargeable)
Current Draw200 mA
AccessoriesOwner’s manual, Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 6, Option (sold separately): AC adaptor (PSA series)
Width447 mm / 17-5/8 inches
Depth231 mm / 9-1/8 inches
Height70 mm / 2-13/16 inches
Weight3.6 kg / 7 lbs 15 oz (excluding batteries)
Expression PedalYes, for playing along with an external music player
Memory4 memory slots
USB InterfaceFor using ME-80 as an audio interface and for data communication
Aux InputExpected Battery Life Under Continuous Use
Expected Battery Life Under Continuous UseAlkaline: Approx. 7 hours, Ni-MH: Approx. 10 hours
Auto Off functionTurns unit off to preserve battery life after extended period of inactivity
  • 8 footswitches

  • Built-in Expression Pedal

  • Over 60 Effects

  • Recall Custom Effects

Killer effects, top-notch sound, and bang for your buck? This beast ticks all the boxes. Dive in, no second guesses – it’s a solid gold hit!

Unleash Your Creativity: Top Features of the Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal

Compact and PowerfulEight multi-function footswitches and expression pedals for hands-free control over sounds.
Mobile PowerhouseBattery-powered capability for ultimate mobility, with a range of stompbox types.
COSM Amps & Multi-EffectsHigh-quality COSM amps and multi-effects from the GT-100, including a wide range of sounds.
Eight Footswitches and PedalEight multi-function footswitches and an expression pedal for hands-free control over sounds.
Live Sound ExpressionProfessional sounds and easy operation, geared towards live performance.
USB Audio/MIDI InterfaceBuilt-in USB audio/MIDI interface for multi-track recording and easy tone editing.
BOSS Tone Studio SoftwareFree software to edit and organize tones, and download free patches from the BOSS Tone Central.
Knob-Based InterfaceIntuitive knob-based interface for quick selection and adjustment of tones without menu diving.
Phrase Loop FunctionIntegrated looper with up to 38 seconds of recording for on-the-fly performance enhancements.
Delay Section With ModulationSeparate delay section with dedicated controls and modulation effects for creative sound design.

The Boss ME-80 nails it on ease of use, features, and sound quality. Sure, it may not perfectly mimic those classic analog units, but it’s impressively close.


  • Versatile Effects

    Offers a wide array of effects and amp models, catering to a variety of styles and preferences.

  • User-Friendly Interface

    Intuitive knobs and buttons for easy tweaking without deep menu-diving.

  • Expression Pedal

    Built-in pedal for real-time effects control, enhancing live performance dynamics.

  • Memory Function

    Save your favorite settings and easily recall custom patches.

  • USB Connectivity

    Allows for direct recording to a computer and can be used as an audio interface.

  • BOSS Tone Studio

    Access to BOSS’s dedicated software for deeper editing and additional content.

  • Battery Operation

    Portability to play anywhere, powered by batteries or an AC adapter.

  • Built to Last

    Sturdy construction typical of BOSS pedals, ready for the rigors of gigging.


  • Learning Curve

    While user-friendly, mastering the full functionality can be overwhelming for beginners.

  • Size

    Larger than individual stomp boxes, which may take up more space on a pedalboard.

  • Digital Emulation

    Although high quality, some users may prefer the sound of individual analog pedals.

  • Limited Editing on the Unit

    Deep editing requires the use of BOSS TONE STUDIO software.

  • Limited MIDI Implementation

    While the ME-80 can send and receive MIDI data over USB, it does not have traditional 5-pin MIDI In/Out ports, which might be preferred by some users for hardware MIDI controllers or integration with other MIDI-capable gear.

  • AC Adapter Not Included

    Comes only with the option for battery power; the AC adapter is sold separately.

  • Screen Display

    The LED display is basic and not as informative as some modern multi-effects units with larger screens.

  • 8 footswitches

  • Built-in Expression Pedal

  • Over 60 Effects

  • Recall Custom Effects

Strumming Through the FAQs: Your ME-90 Guide

What is the BOSS ME-80?

The BOSS ME-80 is a versatile multi-effects processor for guitarists, featuring a wide array of built-in effects, an expression pedal, and a user-friendly interface designed for live performance.

Can I save my own presets on the ME-80?

Yes, the ME-80 allows you to save custom presets. You can store your favorite settings for easy recall during performances.

Does the ME-80 come with a built-in tuner?

Yes, it includes a built-in tuner with an easy-to-read display, which you can access by pressing and holding the pedal’s bank buttons.

How does the expression pedal work?

The expression pedal on the ME-80 can control various effect parameters in real time, such as volume, wah, pitch bend, and more. You can customize its function for different presets.

Can I use the ME-80 to record directly on my computer?

Yes, the ME-80 features a USB audio interface for direct recording into your computer’s DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Is there software available for editing ME-80 patches?

BOSS offers the free ME-80 Tone Studio software that allows you to edit and organize your patches and effects on your computer.

Does the ME-80 require an external power supply?

The ME-80 can be powered by six AA batteries or an optional AC adapter sold separately.

Can I integrate the ME-80 with my existing pedalboard?

Absolutely. You can use the ME-80 as a standalone processor or integrate it with other pedals to expand your sound palette.

Are there any artist presets available on the ME-80?

The ME-80 has various presets, including some crafted by professional guitarists to mimic their signature sounds.

How do I update the firmware on my ME-80?

Updates can be done via the USB connection using the ME-80 Tone Studio software. BOSS periodically releases firmware updates to improve functionality and add new features.

The Verdict

Here’s the thing – I’m not the guitar wizard; that’s Kim’s gig. But watching him explore the BOSS ME-80, I realized this wasn’t just another piece of gear. It’s a box of dreams, a toolkit for the imagination, and, yeah, a shortcut to sounding like the rockstar you pretend to be when no one’s watching.

So, from a dad who’s been around the block with every pedal that promised stardom, the BOSS ME-80 doesn’t just deliver; it takes you on a sonic joyride that you won’t want to get off. Kim might not say it out loud, but his grin while playing says it all – the BOSS ME-80 is the sidekick every guitar hero needs.

And there you have it, folks. A pedal that’ll make you cancel plans ignore phone calls, and maybe, just maybe, let you touch the hem of guitar greatness. Now, if only it could make my son clean his room with the same enthusiasm…

  • 8 footswitches

  • Built-in Expression Pedal

  • Over 60 Effects

  • Recall Custom Effects


Echoes of Innovation: The Transition from ME-80 to Boss ME-90

Enter the Boss ME-90 Multi-Effects Pedal, the new kid on the block. It’s like Boss looked at the ME-80, listened to what people were saying, and gave it a fresh coat of paint with some fancy upgrades.

Boss ME-90

As of this writing, the ME-80 is still around, but the spotlight is shifting toward the shiny Boss ME-90. The Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal has been like a faithful companion, reliable and steady, but times are changing. Sure, it’s still kicking and available for those who swear by it, but the Boss ME-90 is edging in, promising fresh sounds and new possibilities.

The ME-80 won’t just vanish; it’ll be the old guard, holding onto its place in the pantheon of pedals. But the ME-90 is tapping on its shoulder, ready to take over with its modern features and sleek updates. The Boss ME-90 Multi-Effects Pedal isn’t just replacing the ME-80; it’s standing on its shoulders, aiming to reach higher.

And for those wondering if it’s worth the switch – if you crave the latest tech and sounds, the Boss ME-90 Multi-Effects Pedal might be your next big thing. But it also carries the weight of expectation – can it truly replace the old trusty ME-80? Only time will tell. But for the ME-80 lovers, there’s no rush – it’s still here, still rocking, resonating with the echoes of gigs past.

BOSS ME-90 Features

Premium BOSS Amps & EffectsAll-in-one processor with intuitive stompbox-style sound creation.
Exceptional Audio Quality24-bit AD/DA conversion, 32-bit float processing, 48 kHz rate.
AIRD Amp ModelsEleven onboard models with 60 effects from GT-1000.
Dedicated Amp SectionSeven effect categories with multiple types, all editable.
BOSS Tone StudioEdit parameters, swap amps/effects, and more.
Footswitches & Expression PedalEight multi-function switches and redesigned pedal with toe switch.
Preset & User Patches36 presets and 36 user slots for custom setups.
Manual & Memory ModesPedalboard-style operation or switchable patch setups.
Optimized Audio OutputsSwitch for output to guitar amp or full-range sound system.
User Speaker IRsLoad three IRs with ME-90 IR Loader for added customization.
Send/Return LoopIntegrate external pedals into your setup.
Design and ConstructionLightweight, durable, and equipped with status LEDs.
Power OptionsOperate with four AA batteries or an optional AC adapter.
USB-C ConnectivityFor Tone Studio access and DAW audio recording/playback.
BOSS Tone ExchangeDownload and share patches on the ME-90 Liveset platform.
Bluetooth® Audio MIDI AdaptorOptional accessory for mobile device connectivity and editing.

Talk about timing! Snagged this wicked ME-80 multi-effects pedal, and boom – its successor, the ME-90, drops into the scene. If you’re shopping now, the ME-90 is the new hotness worth eyeing.

Additional Sonic Adventures

Got a BOSS ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal? Great! But you know, even the best guitar riffs need to be in tune, so check out the Joyo tuner – it’s a little gem that keeps you sounding sharp.

And when you’re just kicking back, the JBL headphones can give you a killer sound. If you’re sharing sounds, like podcasts or songs, the GOXLR and Rodecaster Pro are like the Swiss Army knives for mixing and streaming.

Plus, to capture it all crisp and clear, you gotta see what the Zoom F3 recorder can do. They’re all awesome gear that can take your music or podcasts from the good to the ‘can’t-stop-listening’ level.

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