There are several factors to consider when buying a noise gate pedal, but since the device’s function is fairly simple, it all comes down to the basic ability to cancel out the unwanted sound sources without having an impact on the guitar’s sound. We took the liberty of singling out the 4 best noise gate pedals for the money:
It’s a common case with Boss pedals that they deliver a very good mixture of quality and price, presenting the user with a mid-range price and upper level quality. Well, the same goes for their NS 2 noise gate pedal.
The pedal does a fine job in cutting out unwanted noise, featuring a set of basic knobs that provide you with all the functions you’ll ever need from a noise gate pedal. There’s the Threshold knob, which determines the amount of noise the pedal will cut out, ranging from minor alteration to full-on noise cancelation.
The second knob is Decay, and it determines the speed at which the pedal kicks in while canceling the noise out. Finally, there a Mode knob, which determines whether the pedal is in noise-cutting mode to begin with.
This pedal is a very good option for players of all levels, meaning that even if you’re a pro, the NS-2 might be perfectly capable of suiting your needs. This is one of the best noise suppressor pedals period.
Behringer Noise Reducer NR300
In the budget-friendly department, we’d kindly like to draw your attention towards the Behringer NR300 noise reducer, the best noise reduction pedal in our humble opinion if you want to save a few bucks.
Although not perfect, the NR 300 does a really god job within the given price range. It does a fine job in cutting out the strongest noise signals and doesn’t damage the original input in a way that could significantly impact the final audio quality.
The pedal features standard Threshold and Decay knobs, along with a set of standard inputs and outputs.
The manufacturer made the budget cuts in all the right places, meaning that you will feel just a small difference in terms of audio quality when you compare this little dude to more expensive models. But the cut is truly felt in durability department, specifically the pedal’s casing. While inner circuits are well-connected and not prone to damage, the casing itself is not so strong, meaning that you will have to be a bit more careful when using the device.
But after all, it’s a noise gate pedal, and those are neither frequently stomped on, nor stomped hard during musical climaxes – you just switch them once and do your thing.
ISP Technologies Decimator
Switching to high-end department, it’s time to get down to business. If you’re looking for the best noise gate pedal on the market, we can say without a hint of doubt that ISP Technologies Decimator is the one.
Not only does the Decimator (see full specs) cut out the noise clean and straight, it also leaves the organic sound of your instrument untouched. The pedal has only one knob, Threshold, but it gives you an amazing versatility in determining the precise amount of noise you want to cut out.
Basically, if you like a bit of noise in your sound, but not too much, this pedal will allow you to make super precise adjustments about what goes in, and what gets left behind. And this makes it the crème de la crème of the noise-cancelation realm.
Additionally, this thing is quite pretty-looking, and even boasts a durable and very sturdy casing. You can take it out on the road and stomp it all you like, the ISP will always stand strong.
Electro Harmonix Hum Debugger
As our final choice, we’d like you to meet the underdog that packs a killer punch for the price. It’s called Electro Harmonix Hum Debugger and it fits in the upper quality tier while retaining the mid-range price tag.
In our opinion, this pedal (see full specs) falls in between the Boss NS-2 and ISP’s Decimator in terms of quality. But as you can notice, the price tag is tilted significantly more towards the cheaper option.
Unlike the majority of noise gate pedals, the Hum Debugger doesn’t feature a Threshold knob but instead only features a single two-way switch, and the on/off button, of course. But that switch gives you all you really need – strong noise reduction and normal noise reduction.
The sound quality is very good, leaving the organic output of your guitar intact. Although you could say that a knob would provide more versatility, we have to argue that the two positions provided by the manufacturer are all you need. We wouldn’t have placed the device on the list if that wasn’t the case. And the pedal comes with an included AC-400 7.5V power supply.
“But can a noise pedal screw up my sound?”
To keep it short, the answer is no. The only thing the best noise gate pedals do is cancel out the signal with power below the threshold you’ve set up. This threshold is usually way below the power delivered by strumming your guitar, meaning that it’s only the noise that gets cancelled.
Although they are completely different, you can compare a noise gate to a compressor pedal, in terms that a compressor pedal cuts out signal above the designated threshold, the so-called sonic peaks, while a noise gate cuts out signal below the desired level.
If you have frequent gigs at different venues, it is very likely that power outlets in each of them will be very different between one another, making a noise gate pedal a must-have. Feel free to browse our options a bit longer, and then get down to some playing!