Since the massage gun was introduced to the fitness market a few years back, it has been slowly but steadily moving away from the “nice-to-have” category to the “must-have.” A massage gun is a percussive device that targets sore muscles through the use of quick pulses. They’re marketed giving the benefits of massage therapy from the comfort of your home.
Among the many benefits of using a massage gun are:
– Boosting post-workout muscle recovery
– Increasing blood flow to soft tissues
– Preventing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
– Promoting relaxation
– Improving sleep quality
But with so many massage guns in Australia right now, how do you decide which one is best?
First, let’s look at what you need to consider before buying a massage gun.
When it comes to massage guns, power means the speed and the amplitude. Speed is how fast the device pummels the skin while amplitude refers to how deep those punches go. The speed therefore affects how soft or hard the massage is going to be and the amplitude defines how shallow or deep it is.
Current massage guns have an amplitude of 11-16mm and between 2 to 6 speeds.
While designs vary, massage guns in general look like power tools. Some are more utilitarian-looking than others and some look sleeker and more futuristic. More than the aesthetics however, one must consider the material and the build.
Composite plastic is strong but is also heavy. Aluminum, on the other hand, is lighter and more durable.
One other factor that most people don’t really look at when buying is the noise level. You may think this is a non-issue, but when turning on the massage gun brings the attention of every person in the gym, you’d be wondering why these things do not come with silencers.
3. Battery Life
Most of the available massage guns today come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. They average between 2-3 hours of battery life.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. These devices are being advertised as handy, home massagers that you can also use in the gym anytime your sore muscles need them. So, you’d want a massage gun that’s easy to carry.
Finally, you’re sinking some hard-earned cash into these devices. You’d want something that lasts you a while. And if it gets damaged somehow, you want to make sure that it’s covered by warranty. Most brands offer 1-2 years warranty.
Apart from these five considerations, you may also want to check how the company you’re buying from handles after-sales issues. Do they have good customer support? Are they responsive? You don’t want to be stuck chasing support for the smallest of issues.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the review. For this, we chose what’s popularly considered the leader and pioneer in the massage gun space – the Theragun. We’re comparing this to relative newcomer, the Hydragun. The latter is making waves in social media, amassing loyal followers and solid reviews. But can it dethrone the Theragun?
Theragun vs Hydragun Review: Which Should Australia Choose?
For the purposes of this comparison, we’re using the Theragun Pro. There’s currently only one model of Hydragun at the time of this writing. Each of the comparison points below fit within the considerations listed above. There’s a TL;DR at the bottom, if you want to skip to our verdict.
1. Packaging – aka What’s in the Box?
· Protective Carrying Case
· 2 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
· 6 Attachment Heads with Travel Pouch
· Lithium-Ion Battery Charger
· 2-Year Warranty
· 30-Day Return Guarantee
The Theragun carry case fits the massager and the 2 batteries only. Attachment heads come with a travel pouch that fits all 6. The batteries are swappable and provide 150 minutes of use each.
· Protective Carrying Case
· 6 Attachment Heads (4 regular and 2 stainless)
· 3-pin AC Charger (G-Type/UK-Type)
· Universal Adapter
· 1.5 Years Warranty
· 30-Day Return Guarantee
The Hydragun’s carrying case fits the massage gun, all 6 attachment heads and charger.
What we think: Both these massage guns come with rechargeable batteries. It’s great that the Theragun comes with an extra battery to easily swap one out when it’s drained, however it still only comes up to a total of 300 minutes of use. The Hydragun meanwhile, can last up to 7 hours depending on usage, according to their website.
It would also be more convenient to have the device and all the peripherals in one place. The Theragun carry case is sturdy, but big and clunky. The Hydragun case fits everything in and is slim enough not to take too much space in backpacks or lockers. We also like that it automatically comes with a universal adapter. You can buy an adapter at the Theragun website but it will set you back almost A$50.
Finally, the Theragun has an edge with their 2-Year warranty coverage. They weren’t lying when they claimed to be “industry-leading”. Most companies only offer 1 year. Hydragun offers an 18-Month (1.5-Year) warranty.
Packaging Winner: Hydragun. While a 2-year warranty would have been awesome, the new kid on the block still trumped the pioneer on battery life, convenient carry case and the extra savings on the adapter.
2. Weight and Gun Design
Theragun Pro: 2.9lbs (1.3kg)
Hydragun: 2.3lbs (1kg)
The Theragun Pro weighs a bit more than the Hydragun. This may not seem much but when you’ve been massaging for some time while battling soreness, it can spell a big difference.
When it comes to the design, the Theragun has the more distinctive look. The triangular handle on the Theragun is easily recognizable. More than that, the adjustable head angles and ergonomic handle makes it easy to focus on whichever part of the body you’re targeting.
The Hydragun looks just like what you’d imagine a massage gun to look, that is, gun-shaped. The handle is in a 99-degree angle and covered in silicon though so it’s still easier to grip, even when sweaty, than most other massage guns out there.
Both devices however can be a bit hard to turn on. Both can be simple sometimes. But for the Theragun, pressing too long can sometimes fire it straight into the higher setting. The Hydragun, for its part, sometimes requires a harder push to turn on.
Weight and Gun Design Winner: We’ll call it a tie.
3. Noise Level
Theragun Pro: 75dB
The Theragun Pro comes with “QuietForce Technology” while the Hydragun has proclaimed they’re the quietest massage gun. What you should know: the Hydragun at the highest setting is still quieter than the Theragun.
While this may not sound like an important factor, trust us when we say that massaging your neck or shoulders can be very unpleasant with a very loud device practically on top of your ear.
Noise Level Winner: Hydragun
4. Speed and Amplitude
Theragun Pro: 5 built-in speeds (1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, and 2400ppms) and app-controlled customizable speed range (any speed between 1750-2400ppm); 16mm amplitude
Hydragun: 6 speed settings (1200 up to 3200rpm); 12mm amplitude
Hydragun offers more options when it comes to speed settings. The wide range allows for more customization per the user’s needs. However, the Theragun comes with greater amplitude so it allows for a deeper massage.
Speed Level Winner: It’s a tie. This one really depends on what you need. If you’re looking for deep massages every time, get the Theragun. If you’re looking for a more balanced gun, the Hydragun is the better pick.
Theragun Pro: A$699, A$899 for Product (RED)
The Theragun is definitely at the higher (highest?) end of the price range. However, each PRO purchase comes with a free Percussive Therapy Live Digital Course that’s taught by Theragun Master Trainers. So maybe think of the extra cost as paying for a digital tutorial. However, do note that it’s easy to find how-to-use guides on the internet.
Price Winner: Hydragun
Final Thoughts (TL;DR)
The Theragun Pro is a good, quality massage gun with a nice ergonomic design and powerful massage heads. Because of the greater amplitude, it packs a bigger punch. If you’re looking for deeper massages and do not mind the hefty price tag, this is for you.
The Hydragun massage gun provides better battery life, a quieter motor, more speed options and better portability. It’s perfect for people who want more range with their massage- from light to hard, with less noise. Over-all, the Hydragun feels like the best value for your money.
What have you decided to get?