Boss OS-2 Overdrive/Distortion Pedal Review

The Boss OS-2 is an attempt to combine a classic overdrive sound with a distortion pedal. The result is tons of versatility in terms of your tone and distorted sounds while maintaining the integrity and simplicity of a Boss effects pedal. While I don’t think the OS-2 lives up to individual standalone effects such as the DS-2 and SD-1, it is a fantastic effect pedal that many guitarists would love to have on their pedalboard.

So, without wasting time, let’s dive into my review of the Boss OS-2 Overdrive/Distortion pedal.

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Boss OS-2 overdrive/distortion pedal rating

The Boss OS-2 is best described as an all-around gain pedal. Some guitarists prefer to have individual overdrive, distortion, and fuzz pedals on their pedal chains. But if you want to conserve space, the Boss OS-2 is a great option, as it is one pedal that can do it all! By adjusting the pedal’s settings, you can go from the slightest tube amp overdrive to the heaviest distortion with the OS-2. 

Frontman Philosophy Score

4.45 out of 5

Sound: 5
Features: 5
Price: 4
Durability: 5


  • 2.87 inches x 5 inches x 3.8 inches
  • Buffered bypass
  • Battery powered (9V)
  • Weighs 14 oz
  • Analog pedal

What’s great?

  • Combines overdrive and distortion into one pedal
  • Most versatile Boss distortion pedal. You can play blues and heavy metal with the same pedal
  • Very affordable for such a good-quality pedal

Some downsides?

  • Must have a power cable, as it eats through batteries fast
  • Tone has too much high end and can sound thin


My score: 4 out of 5

35% of the total score

The pedal’s sound is the most important thing to consider when purchasing a new pedal. The last thing you want is to spend $100 on an effect pedal only to hate how it sounds. The Boss OS-2 has a full-bodied distortion and an overdrive tone that embodies classic 60s tube amps. However, where the amp really shines is in its versatility. This pedal can be used for powerful heavy metal guitar riffs or just to get a classic overdriven blues sound.

While this distortion pedal is great at what it does, It doesn’t quite live up to the sound of the DS-1 or SD-1. These standalone pedals pinpoint the perfect tone for overdrive and distortion, and while the OS-2 combines the 2 pedals well, there is something lackluster about the sound. The distortion tone is also a bit thin, with not enough low end. 

That being said, the tone is still definitely full enough for most guitarists, and this pedal can certainly be used for gigs and recording sessions.


My score: 5 out of 5

30% of the total score

The Boss OS-2 is incredibly straightforward to use, with 4 control knobs that make adjusting your overdrive and distortion sound simple.

The unique feature of the Boss OS-2 is the “Color” Knob, which allows you to dial in more heavy distortion or overdrive. With the color knob turned all the way to the left, you get overdrive, turn it all the way to the right, and you get distortion. Anywhere in the middle is a blend of the 2 effects. Check out my article that covers the difference between distortion and overdrive.

In addition, you can adjust the “drive”, which controls the amount of gain in your signal. The “tone” knob controls the amount of low/high end that comes out. 


My score: 4 out of 5

20% of the total score

You can purchase the Boss OS-2 for just under $100, which is a really good price for such a quality pedal. While there are cheaper distortion and overdrive options out there, you won’t find the 2 effects combined into one pedal for this price from any other maker. 

I had to knock off a point for price because the power cable is not included in the standard price. The power adapter is essential because the OS-2 eats through batteries pretty fast, so if you don’t already have an AC power adapter, you’ll have to buy one separately.


My score: 5 out of 5

15% of the total score

Boss pedals are made to last. I still use my Boss Super Overdrive that I bought used more than 10 years ago. All Boss pedals are cast with thick metal and built to withstand the wear and tear of being literally stomped on constantly for years. The Boss OS-2 will last for decades and will likely need minimal repairs unless you plan to run it over with your car (and even then, it might still work).

Boss pedals also come with a quality guarantee and a 5-year warranty, so you can rest assured that if something goes wrong with your pedal, you will get a free repair or replacement from Boss. The warranty does not apply to any misuse or abuse of the product or if you make any modifications to the product.

Wrapping up

The Boss OS-2 Overdrive/Distortion Pedal is an excellent option for guitarists who want to have an all-in-one gain pedal that can do it all. If you are after a specific distortion sound, you will be better off going for a stand-alone pedal, but this is one of the most diverse-sounding gain pedals on the market!

Wanna learn more about guitar effects pedals and how they work? Check out my complete guitar to effects!