The best massage guns available tend to be expensive; that’s just the nature of the product category. Percussive massage therapy is most effective when you’ve got a powerful motor that can massage your muscles at a depth that actually reaches the fascia and deep muscles. We’ve tested a lot of massage guns over the past two years, and we thought the most effective, top-notch massage guns had to cost at least $200 — until we tested the VYBE.
Read More: The Best Hyperice Massage Guns of 2022
You can purchase the VYBE premium massage gun for $169.99 on Amazon (right now, there’s also a coupon that lets you save $20), and immediately upon trying it, this massager has become our favorite budget pick. It has impressive motor power given the price point and the curved angle handle design is easier to use than other models we’ve tested.
We’ve got a full review below, but if you’re a skimmer here’s our ultimate verdict. If you’ve got a strict budget, but still want to enjoy all the recovery perks of percussive therapy, VYBE is our top pick for you.
VYBE Massage Gun Review: How We Tested
When testing the VYBE massage gun, we used the same criteria as with every other massage gun we’ve tried — motor power, the depth/force of the gun, the number of attachments included, ergonomics and overall user experience.
Our full set of criteria:
- Overall speed range of the gun
- The size dimensions
- Battery life
- Motor power and force
- Massage gun attachments
- Overall design
- Massage quality
- Noise level
After assessing the VYBE massage gun on these criteria and comparing it to the dozens of other massage guns we’ve tested for SPY readers, it was instantly clear that VYBE was our new top pick in the budget massage gun category. If you’d like to read more about our criteria for judging and ranking massage guns, you can find all the info you need in our guide to the best massage guns.
VYBE Premium Massage Gun: At a Glance
The VYBE massage gun has impressive specs measured up against some of its competitors. It offers five different massage gun speeds, tapping out at 3200 reps per minute, which is fairly standard, but the 30-pound force of the motor is unique, and you can really feel the difference. It offers 10 millimeters of depth, which is not as deep as the Sonic or Sportneer massage guns, but in my experience, the motor force makes up for it.
It also comes with four different massage gun heads, a solid number for the price.
Unboxing the VYBE massage gun was very similar to unpacking the other budget massagers. The protective storage case comes inside the box with everything you need packed inside. Each of the interchangeable heads has its own slot in the case and the gun fits neatly in the middle. The VYBE, much like the Sportneer and Sonic massage guns, was covered in a thin sleeve of plastic for protection. In fact, the three guns were so similar to unpack that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were manufactured in the same place.
VYBE Massage Gun Review: Overall Design & Ergonomics
The VYBE percussion massage gun has an excellent design. It has a handle design rather than an ergonomic triangle, but the handle is angled much like the Ekrin massage gun featured in our main massage gun guide. This helps you add more pressure when massaging without fatiguing your hand or wrist. The handle has silicone material on it for extra grip, and the different massage gun heads are super easy to switch out.
My favorite part of this massage gun’s design, though, is the user controls. The entire massage gun is controlled by one button on top, which isn’t unique to this brand’s design. However, VYBE uses the one-button control much more effectively than the competition, and I appreciated just how user-friendly it was.
You use the button to turn the gun on/off and adjust the intensity, and it displays the battery level at the same time. If you’re not looking for a complicated machine, and like things simple, straightforward and bare-bones, then this gun is great for that.
VYBE Massage Gun Review: Quality and Effectiveness of Treatment
This massage gun packs a powerful punch. When I was trying out the Sportneer and Sonic massage guns, the first and second intensity levels didn’t feel like much, and I had to crank them up to at least the third level to feel something. That was not the case with the VYBE. Its first intensity level is impressive, and it goes up from there.
I was able to use it on many of the major muscle groups on my body — including my legs, arms, shoulders and back — without pain but while also feeling like I was effectively treating my sore muscles. At the highest level, it starts to feel faster without necessarily becoming more effective, but that’s the case with many of the massage guns I’ve tried. As an athlete that works out on a daily basis, I found the VYBE to be an effective massage tool for workout recovery.
VYBE Massage Gun Review: Noise Level
I would rate the noise level of the VYBE massage gun as moderate. It’s not nearly as loud as the Theragun products from Therabody, but it’s not as quiet as Sonic and Sportneer’s products. That being said, it’s also a more powerful massage gun than any other budget option I’ve tried, and you’re pretty much always going to have to sacrifice noise level for more power when it comes to massage guns.
Let me put it this way: If you want to watch TV while using the VYBE Premium Massage Gun, you can, but you might want to turn on subtitles.
The Verdict: VYBE Offers the Best Massage Gun Under $200
Here’s the bottom line: SPY has tested dozens of massage guns at every possible price point. Most cheap massage guns are not worth your money, as they’re generally weak and don’t last very long before crapping out. However, the VYBE is very much an exception to that rule. For just $170 (or $150 when it’s on sale), you get similar features as premium massage guns from Therabody and Hyperice that cost twice as much.
It’s going to be hard to find a massage gun as high-quality and powerful as this one for a better price point. This massage gun should be $20-$30 more expensive, in my opinion. The 24-volt motor produces deep massage at every one of the intensity speeds, and the battery life held up during our tests, so it doesn’t drain the power.
It has a design that’s easy to use, hefty without being too heavy and the user controls are very intuitive. It’s a bargain, so if the more expensive massage guns from Therabody and Hyperice are outside of your price range, go with this one from VYBE instead.
Should you buy it? Absolutely. If you’re looking for the best massage gun under $200, we’re confident this is it.