Let’s address the elephant in the room first, shall we? Why even talk about Theragun?
Well, the answer is obvious. Theragun is a behemoth in the massage gun & percussive therapy space, backed by famous athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Maria Sharapova. If you’ve ever heard of massage guns, there’s a good chance that you are already familiar with their brand. And don’t get me wrong - they are an excellent brand selling well-built products.
But amidst the glitz and the glamour behind this billion-dollar company, what consumers truly want to know is whether a Theragun is worth its price tag.
Are the hefty price tags used to fund these multi-million endorsement deals with these A-tier athletes? And are there any worthy competitors to the “massage gun throne”?
Hint - There is one
Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll learn how to choose the most suitable massage gun for your own unique needs.
If you’re buying a massage gun for the first time, these are the qualities that you should look out for when choosing one.
All other factors are secondary in nature but we’ll also cover them later on in this article.
When shopping for massage guns, most people look for those that are able to deliver intense massages. And they learn about two key ways to measure the strength of a massage gun: speed and amplitude.
The higher the speed, the faster and more intense the percussive action. The higher the amplitude, the deeper the gun pushes into the [muscle] tissue.
The Tradeoff Between Speed & Amplitude
The way massage guns are engineered means that there will always be a trade-off between speed and amplitude.
Massage guns use a component called an eccentric to convert the rotations of the motor into linear, back-and-forth percussive action.
The bigger the disk, the deeper the amplitude, but the slower the gun. And a smaller disk means a shorter back-and-forth journey for the gun-head-- that is, a shallower amplitude, at a faster speed.
If the amplitude of the massage is too shallow, the massage will be more similar to a vibratory massage as opposed to a deep-tissue massage.
Theragun has a 16 mm amplitude, one of the deepest amplitudes among massage guns in the market today. On the other hand, HYDRAGUN has a 12 mm amplitude, which in my opinion still gives a pretty strong massage that is sufficient for the majority of people.
HYDRAGUN has a maximum ppm of 3200, while Theragun has a maximum ppm of 2400. I found that I rarely use the maximum speed settings for either gun (as a regular, non-hardcore fitness enthusiast) unless I was massaging huge muscle groups such as my thighs. And even then, if my muscles were REALLY sore, I may not even crank up the speed dial to the maximum speed setting as the massage would sometimes be too intense for my liking.
Conclusion: Theragun has a slight edge here with its deeper amplitude, but I would argue that most people would not need super intensive massages. HYDRAGUN on the other hand is a more well-rounded gun with a shallower amplitude, but a higher ppm.
-[ HALF POINT GOES TO THERAGUN ]-
Have you ever been to a noisy spa? Chatty massage therapists. Nearby renovation and construction works while enjoying your massage. If you have had the misfortune of experiencing a massage while being constantly bombarded by noise, it’s very likely that you did not enjoy it.
As someone who frequently enjoys using my massage gun to relax and unwind after a tough workout, or a long day at work, let me tell you with no uncertainty that quietness matters.
Everyone’s a multi-tasker these days. Personally, I often use my massage gun while performing another activity. Either during those long and droning online Zoom meetings, or when chatting or watching TV on the couch with my family or friends.
And let me tell you that the Theragun fails miserably when used in such situations. The 4th-generation Theragun Pro is still noisy as heck, even though it is quieter than its 3rd-generation counterpart. I can hardly hear the TV, or hear others in conversation whenever the Theragun is turned on. If you don’t believe me, I’ll let the following videos do the talking instead.
What you’ll notice is that HYDRAGUN not only produces a softer sound (40-50 dB), due to its superior sound insulation with its aerospace-grade aluminium casing, but the sound produced is also duller.
The sound produced by Theragun on the other hand (65-75 dB), is of a higher pitch and is more piercing in nature. It also has one of the largest motors in the industry, which is why it is one of the noisiest guns in the market. It does sound a lot like the drilling next door when my neighbour was renovating his house last month.
-[ ONE POINT GOES TO HYDRAGUN ]-
There’s not much to say here - The sticker price of each product speaks for itself. The Theragun Pro retails at 599 USD (800 SGD/AUD), compared to HYDRAGUN which retails at 299 USD (399 SGD/AUD).
A huge part of the premium that you’re paying is probably going into their massive marketing budget and into the pockets of their A-list athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Maria Sharapova
Is Theragun truly such a great product that it warrants a retail price double that of HYDRAGUN? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
-[ ONE POINT GOES TO HYDRAGUN ]-
HYDRAGUN has a battery life of up to 6 hours, while Theragun comes with 2 batteries, each lasting up to 2.5 hours. HYDRAGUN has the slight edge here since it’s probably more convenient to have a longer-lasting single battery, which makes it more portable.
-[ HALF POINT GOES TO HYDRAGUN ]-
Ergonomics & Handle
Theragun has a very distinct and unique D-Shape handle with a rotatable head. This makes it exceptionally useful when it comes to massaging one’s lower back in particular. It’s also a little more stable to hold and easier to grip with two hands if you’re helping to perform a massage on someone else.
HYDRAGUN on the other hand, has a 99° handle which makes it slightly easier to reach one’s upper and lower back muscles. When using HYDRAGUN for my back, I sometimes find myself using my right hand to hold the handle, and my left hand to hold the body of the massage gun. The handle also has a nano silicone wrap, which gives it a sleek and smooth feel, which I really like.
Overall, I would say that Theragun has a slight edge here.
-[ HALF POINT GOES TO THERAGUN ]-
The industry standard for massage gun warranties is 1 year and Theragun is no exception. At HYDRAGUN, we made a conscious decision to improve the offer and extend the warranty duration by another 0.5 years.
-[ HALF POINT GOES TO HYDRAGUN ]-
Both brands offer a 30-day risk free money-back guarantee. So there are no winners here.
Both brands come with 6 attachments. Theragun comes with 2 soft attachments while HYDRAGUN comes with 2 flat metallic attachments.
Display & Interface
Theragun has its own phone app, allowing a user to customize its speed setting and perform certain massage routines and wellness programs. Theragun comes with a LED screen, and two separate speed buttons, along with the power button.
On the other hand, HYDRAGUN has a simpler interface, with LED lights indicating its speed, stall force and battery level, and a single button.
Personally, I do prefer HYDRAGUN’s simple and intuitive interface, though I could see why others might prefer Theragun’s. I never found an urge to go through the trouble of downloading Theragun’s app to use its advanced features and only found myself using its core functionality.
Having owned and tested both massage guns myself, I would say that the HYDRAGUN is a more well-rounded gun that is more suitable for the majority of people, both in terms of strength, quietness and price. If you’re planning to use a massage gun for pain relief and management, or if you are a fitness enthusiast who trains a few times a week and want to reduce the amount of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) that you are experiencing, this could be the ideal massage gun for you.
However, the Theragun could be a good option for someone who belongs to the top 1% of all athletes and find themselves needing the deepest and strongest massage available. It’s the priciest gun in the market, but if price is not an issue to you and if you use your body to make a living as an athlete, then you might want to consider forking out the extra money to get it.
Obviously, I may be biased in my review of both guns, so check out what some of our satisfied customers have to say.
"I love this recovery tool I have been using on my 1 on 1 PT clients and myself. They love it and one of my clients wats to purchase one."
Most popular object in the house!
"I bought this to manage chronic back pain as recommended by my chiropractor. Its reduced my use of analgesics, I also use it before and after runs. My boyfriend who is a serious athlete know uses it after swims and my kid uses it during stay at home long zoom meetings. Its the best purchase ever!!"
Quiet good worker
"Very quiet and the feel of the “gun” is solid and handy. Loving how quiet it is and the long battery life. Prefer this over theragun."
Awesome product - silent, effective and life changing
"I bought the Hydragun after hearing about it from a friend who was singing praises about it. And he was not wrong. After tennis or running, despite a lot of stretching I my gluten and calves would be sore and ache. Now a quick Hydragunning really has made a big difference. Everyone in the family now uses it - while watching our favourite sitcoms, someone is using it on their feet or shoulders or calves. Good solid built, and silent."
"This is one of the best investmentsof a product that I have made in a long time. I am working remotely from Home because of COVID and my glutes and lower back are feeling it because unlike working at a normal office , I tend to sit longer and forget to get up and move. Less distance to move when working in a condo too. I live in Alaska and in winter, my walkways and streets are icy so I don’t get out to walk or run. I researched the other top 2 Products and after reading many reviews from both professional and common folk, Hydragun won me over, Also the best value for what you receive. Since I line in Alaska, I am also used to extra long delivery times. Even Amazon prime rarely can deliver in 3 days so when I heard this was being shipped from Singapore well, you know what my thoughts were and then my surprise when it arrived within a week. Performance....it is definitely quiet. One of the reasons why I chose it. Another reason was a comparison I read about the materials used. The rubbery grip is great. It feels secure in your hand and makes up for the fact that it is not a “multi position handle”. I am not a professional sports person so the 6 speeds are plenty for me and give plenty of “punch”. It fully charged within a couple of hours and I used it immediately. It was one of those AHA moments, like “so this is what all the hype is about”!!!!! It is not a cure all but I hope with time it will loosen up those heavy duty knots in my lower back and glutes, It surely relieves them long enough to go about my daily routine."
My new 2nd best friend...
"Well... my wife is still No. 1 on the list but I am so impressed with the Hydragun.
I ordered the Hydragun to aid my recovery from DOMS when I returned to playing badminton again after a ten year layoff. Prior to ordering I had terrible muscle soreness from one week to the next after playing, especially on my calves and achilles tendons. Now, using the various Hydragun attachments I’m pretty good for another game after a couple of days (1 days rest after playing). I use the Hydragun when I get home from the club, have a hot shower and do a bit of stretching and the difference I feel the next day is amazing (I could hardly walk the next day previously). Also, it’s so quiet... this was one of the reasons I bought it in the first place. I can sit next to my No. 1 best friend and massage away quietly while watching TV. It doesn’t impact on the viewing one little bit and it feels just great on my sore muscles after exercising."
Author: Gary B
Senior Content Writer @ HYDRAGUN
Owner of both HYDRAGUN & Theragun G4 Pro
DISCLAIMER: This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a doctor when in doubt.