The world of handheld massage guns is vast and wide: filled with brushless motors, interchangeable massage gun heads, ergonomic handles and mini massage guns as well. Right now, a search on Amazon for “massage guns” returns over 1,000 results, many of them top-tier budget massage guns that’ll deliver the percussive therapy you need for a discounted price. However, when it comes to the best massage guns money can buy, two brands stick out: Therabody and Hyperice, a.k.a the makers of the Theragun and Hypervolt.
Read More: The Best Theragun Alternatives of 2022
Hyperice was founded in 2011 with the mission of making high-end fitness equipment accessible to the masses. Therabody started in 2008 after their founder suffered a traumatic motorcycle accident, and couldn’t find a tool that soothed his pain. Both brands have an impressive lineup of technologically advanced, high-end massage guns available at premiere, middle-tier and somewhat affordable price tags. Both are well-designed, and both, frankly are worth your money.
But you didn’t click on this article because you’re curious about the ways in which these brands are tied. No, you’re curious which one is, at the end of the day, better. We have an answer for you, keep reading to find out what it is.
Theragun vs. Hypervolt
No two brands are toe to toe in the fitness space like Theragun and Hypervolt are. They’ve both created essentially identical massage gun lineups, with Theragun edging out Hypervolt by having four guns instead of three. However, they both have a premiere option with the Theragun PRO and Hypervolt 2 Pro, as well as a more basic option with the Theragun and Hypervolt 2.
The Theragun Elite is Therabody’s additional gun, which lacks a clear purpose in the lineup, and puzzled me a bit when I was reviewing it. You can find my full review of the Therabody massage gun line here.
Therabody Massage Guns:
- Theragun PRO — $599.00 on Amazon
- Theragun Elite — $390.00 on Amazon
- Theragun Prime — $299.00 on Amazon
- Theragun Mini — $150.00 on Amazon
Hyperice Massage Guns:
- Hypervolt 2 Pro — $399.00 on Amazon
- Hypervolt 2 — $299.00 on Amazon
- Hypervolt Go 2 — $199.00 on Amazon
The Hypervolt Go 2 is Hyperice’s latest rendition of their portable massage gun the Hypervolt Go. It’s not a miniature gun, per se, but it’s smaller, more compact and definitely easier to travel with than their larger, regular-sized guns.
Read More: Hypervolt Go 2 Review
For simplicity’s sake, rather than comparing the entire lineups of both massage guns head to head, I’m going to do an in-depth comparison of the Theragun Prime and Hypervolt 2, both of the brands “basic” massage guns. I’ll end the piece with a more general discussion of both brands, their “wow” factors, and then deliver a verdict on which one is ultimately the better choice.
Theragun Prime vs. Hypervolt 2
The Theragun Prime and Hypervolt 2 are each brand’s simplest massage guns, built for the masses with the same price tag. $300 is still a lot to spend on a massage gun, but it’s more affordable than the more premiere options from either brand. Neither gun sacrifices a whole lot for the average user in shaving off a few hundred dollars, and I’d recommend either gun to anyone with a large-but-not-ridiculous budget for a new recovery tool.
Let’s break down some specs. Please note: for some objective criteria the two brands measure things differently. Motor power, for instance, is measured and quantified differently by the brands.
Theragun vs. Hypervolt: At a Glance
- Theragun Prime: 5 built-in speeds, 1750, 1900, 2100, 2200 and 2400 reps per minute
- Hypervolt 2: 3 build-in speeds
- Theragun Prime: 2.2 pounds
- Hypervolt 2: 1.8 pounds
- Theragun Prime: 2 Hours
- Hypervolt 2: 3 Hours
Motor & Power:
- Theragun Prime: QX65 motor, 16 millimeters of amplitude, 30 pounds of force
- Hypervolt 2: 60 watt motor
- Theragun Prime: 4 head attachments
- Hypervolt 2: 5 head attachments included
Theragun Prime vs. Hypervolt 2: User Experience
The Theragun Prime and Hypervolt 2 are both easy to use, easy to set up right out of the box and come with plenty of power for the average person. They both come with user-friendly features that set them apart, but if you’re considering purchasing a recovery device and want it to be easy to use, they both check that box.
The Hypervolt 2 has the standard L-shape common with most massage guns, with a grippy silicone handle and even weight distribution that makes it easy to hold. It has intuitive controls for the on/off switch and the signature Hyperice LED light band along the bottom that indicates battery life. The Hypervolt 2 also packs a ton of power into its motor, the SPY editors who have tested it have rarely gone past the first speed and felt plenty of impact.
The Theragun Prime’s biggest pro is its ergonomic multi-grip, triangle shape. This is a common construction amongst all of Therabody’s massage guns, and it truly does make a difference. It’s easier to hold behind your back if you’re trying to massage your trap muscles, mid- or low-back. The Theragun Prime’s control panel is less comfortable to use than the Hypervolt 2’s button when changing speeds and turning it on/off. It’s also slightly heavier than the Hypervolt 2, but it’s hardly noticeable when you’re using them.
Theragun vs. Hypervolt: Noise Level and Price
Both of these massage guns produce noise, because they both have powerful motors that work really well. This correlation is a simple fact of the product category: the more powerful the gun the louder it’s going to be. However, I’ve never used a massage gun that’s obnoxiously loud or disruptive to television watching, reading or other noise-sensitive activities. As a reviewer, it’s never been a super important category for me in general, but I understand why it is for some consumers.
The Theragun Prime produces a noise level equal to standing next to a microwave during use, and the Hypervolt 2 produces about the same level of buzz. The noise levels for both increase as you go up in speed, and get louder when in contact with your body.
Both of them have the same price tag: $299.00. This price is worthwhile for both. I’ve been doing long-term testing on the Hypervolt 2 for close to two years now, and it’s held up. I’ve been testing the Theragun Prime for less time, about 6 months, but all signs point to its durability being about the same. They’re both excellent recovery tools, and worth a few hundred bucks at least.
Theragun Prime vs. Hypervolt 2: My Verdict
So, which one is my favorite? Between the Hypervolt 2 and Theragun Prime, I have to go with the Theragun Prime. In my mind, Theragun’s multigrip pushes it over the edge across the board, but more on that in a bit.
The Theragun Prime is easier to hold, comes with a slim sack for protection during travel and has higher quality massage gun heads. The Hypervolt 2 is a strong contender, but the lack of carrying case bothers me, as well as L-shape design which is not my preferred massage gun construction.
Theragun vs. Hypervolt: Which One is Better?
If we’re talking Therabody vs. Hyperice, and both brands in a general sense, Therabody edges out Hypervolt, but they both have strong arguments for buying their massage guns.
Both Have Very Strong Motors
The strength of these guns feels proportionate to one another. Both will give you plenty of power, relief and therapeutic massage with the first few speeds. Both pack a punch on those tender parts of your back and legs that haven’t been stretched enough post-workout. Both feel powerful when vibrating in your hand.
Both Have Effective Speed Ranges
Like I said earlier, both have speed ranges that’ll work wonders on anyone’s body. I’m a firm believer that the average person does not need the power of the Theragun Elite and PRO to help their body heal effectively. The Theragun Prime has five speeds while the Hypervolt 2 only has three, but you don’t really need those final two speeds on the Prime. If you’re like me, a.k.a an average person who isn’t a masochist, the first few will do just fine.
Both Come With High-Quality Massage Gun Heads
The massage gun heads coming from both brands are solid. Therabody makes them slightly smoother and heftier, in my opinion, but I have very few objections about both. The Theragun Prime comes with four, which is all you need.
Both Have Other Top-Notch Recovery Equipment
Hyperice and Therabody are clearly direct competitors in the massage gun space, as well as the larger recovery space. Therabody has a pneumatic compression system called RecoveryAir, Hyperice has a very similar-looking lineup of products called Normatec and Venom.
Therabody has their Wave series of vibrating foam rollers and massage balls. Hyperice has the Hypersphere and Vyper. Full disclosure: I have not tried all of the products that either brand makes, but from an outsider’s perspective they all look top-notch and interchangeable quality-wise.
Therabody is Better: Here’s Why
Therabody has a few notable features that set it apart.
1. The Ergonomic Multi-Grip
I’ve discussed it a few times so I don’t want to repeat myself, but the multi-grip is what divides Therabody from everyone else. It makes it easy to grab the gun in any which way and apply pressure to your body where you need it. It makes it easier to hold, lighter to grab and also, from a visual perspective, it makes their devices look cooler.
2. The Supersoft Foam Head
This is a small detail, but it’s one that really stuck out to me during testing. The Theragun PRO comes with a Supersoft head attachment that’s made with high-quality, soft foam and designed to be used on especially tender areas or injuries. In the dozens of massage guns I’ve tested, I haven’t experienced a head like that one, or a similar feeling to using that particular head. It’s great, and sets this brand apart as one that understands the bodies it’s trying to serve, and wants to do it as well as possible.
3. Storage and Travel Cases
The fact that Hyperice massage guns cost similarly to Therabody’s guns but don’t come with cases is a mark against them. Sure, sometimes cases get bulky, but if you’re investing in something that expensive you want to know it’s not going to get banged up in your gym bag, or in your car on the way home. And you don’t want to have to buy your own case to make sure that happens. Hyperice does provide small cases for the massage gun heads, but I’d rather they make one that can hold everything — the gun and heads — together.