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6 of the best massage guns for percussive therapy — 01/18/2020

6 of the best massage guns for percussive therapy

Finding time for proper workout recovery is a luxury, but it shouldn’t have to be like this. Between a job, social life, and chasing eight hours of sleep, workouts often get squeezed into the day’s only free time slot. A proper cool down (let alone a massage) is usually the thing that gets glossed over, or skipped completely. What you need are the tools to help you stay on top of both your body and your schedule.

Enter the massage gun. Turns out that those mesmerising skin ripples are more than just a weird flex. This form of portable muscle therapy began with professional athletes but has trickled down into the lives of your average gym-goer who doesn’t have the time or money for foam rolling sessions on sore days – that means you, us, everyone.

The ability to give yourself a deep-tissue massage at home can be life-changing for anyone who knows the agony of chronic shoulder, neck, or back pain. When a cheap massage ball is too weak but weekly acupuncture is too daunting, a massage gun might be the perfect middle ground.

Look properly and you’ll find a range of models, all with their own unique features and specifications to suit your muscle recover needs.

How do massage guns work?

Percussive therapy is the name of the game, and it’s a more professional term for “your muscles like it rough.”

Athletes turn to deep-tissue massage for quick pain relief and faster recovery times. Here, a professional masseuse delivers forceful, rapid thumps to a specific area of the body to stimulate a specific set of muscles. The percussive therapy afforded by a massage gun lets individuals perform this same type of penetrative tissue attention on themselves without extra help, and these devices are said to provide hours worth of massage benefits in minutes.

Treating something that hurts like a punching bag may seem like the last thing it needs, but beating that damaged deep tissue into submission has a desensitising effect, and if you’ve ever tried a cheap massager on back knots, you know it takes some oomph to feel anything. These short-duration pulses enhance blood flow, soften knots, and accelerate the repair of muscle fibers, all of which can lead to better-prepared warmups and quicker recovery times. This form of self-myofascial release is huge for people who have a hard time keeping up with a routine due to delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Your mood might see a spike, too. The pressure point relief that massage provides has been linked to decreased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), an increased production of endorphins (the feel-good chemical), and even a lower heart rate.

We don’t know who needs to hear this, but percussive therapy isn’t a fix-all. A massage gun may be able to replace pricey massage appointments or heckling your gym partner to help you stretch, but nutrients from a balanced diet, sleep, and getting proper hydration are still crucial to the muscle growth and recovery process.

What are the most important features to consider?

Frequent workout schedules and high pain levels might make a £500 massage gun worth it — but in other cases, a less-intense device may be more beneficial. These are some factors to consider:

Percussion massagers vs. vibration massagers: Not all pain is created equal. Percussion massagers mimic the kneading hands of a masseuse, providing pressure strong enough to hammer below the top layers and tend to damaged muscle fibers. This is ideal if heavy-duty workouts are your lifestyle, but 60 pounds of force may simply be too much in other situations. Occasional exercisers, seniors, and folks with chronic pain may prefer the surface-level rumbling of a vibration massager, which provides the same speedy pulses with less “punch” for a more relaxing experience. Vibration massagers usually oscillate in more rapid strokes with less horsepower.

Customisation options: You wouldn’t massage a bony spine like you would a shoulder with a tough knot — you don’t need a professional to tell you that. If you have multiple muscle categories that need to be worked on and varying levels of strain, look for a device that offers different speeds (RPM) and attachment heads to target each specific muscle group. When comparing specs, remember that higher speed doesn’t always mean vigor. The amplitude (how deep the massage head will push into your body) relies on the amount of force behind each pulse, and heavier force on a slow RPM setting will feel more intense than a faster RPM setting with weaker force. 

Noise: No one wants to sit in a public place (or at home with a sleeping baby) using a device that sounds like a construction site. It might be impossible for these drill-like massage guns to be completely silent, but the reviews will let you know if the noise is tolerable or obnoxious.

Battery life: Many people depend on their massage gun for a rushed cool down in the middle of a busy schedule, and charging after every use is a huge inconvenience. The best massage guns will get up to three hours of battery life while the weaker ones max out at around 40 minutes.

What is the best massage gun?

There is a lot to know about massage guns, and it’s important to do your research before making a purchase. To make your job a little easier, we have tracked down six examples of devices that cover all the bases. 

We’ve tried to find something for everyone and every budget. You can find impressive models from top brands like Theragun and Oyria. You just need to scroll through the options and pick a favourite. Your muscles will thank you.

These are the best massage guns in 2021.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Powerful action • Quiet technology • App features

The Bad

Serious athletes only • Battery life could be longer

The Bottom Line

A top-of-the-range model from the best brand in muscle gun technology.

Theragun Elite

A favourite with gym diehards and pro athletes for its power and features.

  • Strokes per minute:
    1,750 to 2,400
  • Stroke depth:
    16mm
  • Speed settings:
    5
  • Battery life:
    120 minutes
  • Included heads:
    5
If you’re looking for the very best in muscle gun technology, there’s one brand that stands out above all others — Theragun. It’s the name to beat when it comes to high-quality and precision performance.
The Theragun Elite puts the brand’s trademark power into your hand, helping get 60% deeper and delivering multiple speeds. The power is balanced with QuietForce technology for near-silent, unobtrusive performance. 
As with other Threagun models, the ergonomic multi-grip gives incredible leverage to work into and soothe muscles – plus, ease strain or tension in your hands. Other features include five multipurpose heads, smart app integration, and an easy-to-read OLED screen.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Price • Quiet Glide technology • Six replacement heads • Battery life

The Bad

Could be more powerful

The Bottom Line

This budget-friendly device offers effective relief for your tight and tired muscles, without making loads of noise.

Oyria Personal Massage Gun

The Oyria Personal Massage Gun keep noise to a minumum thanks to its Quiet Glide technology.

  • Strokes per minute:
    Up to 2,560
  • Stroke depth:
    12 mm
  • Speed settings:
    3
  • Battery life:
    360 minutes
  • Included heads:
    6
For anyone new to the massage gun game, spending hundreds of pounds on a device can seem like a big risk. You don’t need to spend big though, because the Oyria Personal Massage Gun offers effective relief at a low price.
This deep tissue massager provides up to 2,560 percussions per minute, and claims to help relieve muscle stiffness and soreness, increase blood pressure, improve the overall health of the body’s soft tissues, and prevent fascitis which is a painful inflammation caused by adhesion between the fascia and muscles.
It stays quiet even at its most powerful, putting out no more than 50 dB. This is thanks to the Quiet Glide technology and brushless motor, that combine to ensure you’re able to use this device in the office without grabbing the attention of every one of your colleagues.
You get the choice of six replacement heads and three speed settings, helping users to customise their experience depending on what needs attention. The cordless massager is also equipped with 2,500mAh lithium battery, so it can keep working for over six hours on a single charge.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Price • Speed options • Touchscreen • Battery capacity

The Bad

Length of the cable

The Bottom Line

A great product that proves you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds to get the best.

FYLINA Muscle Massage Gun

Comes with a 2,600mA rechargeable battery for up to eight hours of use from a single charge.

  • Strokes per minute:
    1,800 to 3,300
  • Stroke depth:
    16 mm
  • Speed settings:
    20
  • Battery life:
    480 minutes
  • Included heads:
    6
A device is only as good as its battery, because once something has run out of juice, it’s useless.
The FYLINA Muscle Massage Gun comes equipped with a 2,600mA rechargeable battery that can last for up to eight hours after just two to three hours of charging. The massage gun will also automatically shut off after 10 minutes to avoid unnecessary power loss. It’s refreshing when you don’t have to constantly worry about power.
This massage gun operates between 1,800 and 3,300 strokes per minute, and you have the choice of 20 speed settings. You also get six replacement heads included with your purchase, meaning you can target different parts of your body depending on what needs the most attention.
Noise is always something to consider when it comes to massage guns, because you are inevitably going to use them in public places. FYLINA claim that this device never goes above 50 dB, which is reassuring.

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Image: john lewis

The Good

Six attachments • Battery life • Powerful • Bluetooth enabled

The Bad

Pricey

The Bottom Line

Reduce muscle soreness, improve mobility, and increase relaxation with this powerful massager.

Theragun PRO

One of the most powerful percussive therapy devices with the features to help you recover.

  • Strokes per minute:
    2,400
  • Stroke depth:
    16 mm
  • Speed settings:
    2
  • Battery life:
    150 minutes
  • Included heads:
    6
If you’re looking for a relaxing massage, the Theragun PRO probably isn’t the device for you. This is a seriously powerful percussive therapy device that helps with muscle soreness, mobility, and relaxation.
The Theragun PRO is one of the most advanced recovery tools on offer, with a continuous battery life, rotating arm, and brushless motor. It works hard to stimulate circulation, generate heat, and release your deepest tension.
The Therabody app connects seamlessly via Bluetooth to deliver customised routines. The app will even guide you through each wellness routine, showing you all the unexpected ways the device can help enhance your life.

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Image: amazon

The Good

8 hour battery life • Super quiet • Carry case

The Bad

Clunky design • Lacks advanced features

The Bottom Line

This lightweight option is great for beginners or gym newbies.

HOPOSO Massage Gun

These high-powered vibrations are great for general soreness and a more peaceful experience.

  • Strokes per minute:
    1,200 to 4,800
  • Stroke depth:
    10mm
  • Speed settings:
    30
  • Battery life:
    480 minutes
  • Included heads:
    6
The HOPOSO Massage Gun provides a well-rounded massage experience that should suit almost everyone.
The motor is powerful but quiet, which is ideal for anyone who needs to use their device at home but doesn’t want to disturb their nearest and dearest — or doesn’t want to draw attention at the gym as everyone else goes about their routine. The battery is long lasting too. 
The HOPOSO Massage Gun also comes equipped with six detachable massager heads – allowing to work your preferred body part or massage style – plus 30 massage speeds. Operated by an easy-to-use touch screen. Though it’s lacking some hi-tech features from pricier models this is a great beginner’s muscle gun.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Good battery life • Carry case • Small, lightweight

The Bad

Not for serious gym pros • Limited features

The Bottom Line

A great device to keep handy for workouts on-the-go and muscle massage emergencies.

Addsfit Portable Mini Massage Gun

Small, effective dual-purpose muscle gun that fits easily into your travel bag.

  • Strokes per minute:
    1,600 to 3,000
  • Stroke depth:
    6mm
  • Speed settings:
    3
  • Battery life:
    360 minutes
  • Included heads:
    2
This muscle gun measures just over 12cm in length. It prides itself on being lightweight — which it absolutely is at just 360 grams — but you’ll feel the quality of its build and design in your hand. It’s made for quick and easy portability — just put it in your bag and you can put it to work on your muscles anywhere, anytime. 
It’s powered by a high-torque, brushless motor that keeps the stokes up but the noise down. It’s small and handy but versatile too. It comes with two heads — a flat head for larger muscle groups and a pointed thumb head for specific targeting — and has three speed settings between 1,600-3,000 RPM.
Recharging is just as convenient. It plugs into a USB Type-C lead and has a surprisingly long battery life of 400 minutes. Available in both grey and pink to suit your style.
All of the best waterproof speakers for every budget — 01/08/2020

All of the best waterproof speakers for every budget

Being able to take your music with you wherever you go is one of the great wonders of smartphone technology, and is improved by a portable Bluetooth speaker that can boost the sound quality. Ideally though, you want a Bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof.

Besides protecting your beats from a sudden downpour, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker can come along to a pool party and you don’t need to worry about a thing. Some portable Bluetooth speakers even float in the water, becoming a cool feature piece to show off to your friends. 

There are hundreds of different Bluetooth speakers out there, and it’s tough to know which one’s right for you. This is where we can help, as we’ve done the hard work and researched the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market, so you can find something that works for you.

You want to focus on a few important things when considering your options. For one thing, not all waterproofing is the same. It’s easy to get confused by IP ratings that tell you exactly how waterproof (or merely water-resistant) something is, but ideally you want something that’s at least IP67 rated. That means it can be submerged in about a metre of water for 30 minutes without any issue. All the speakers listed here are at least IP67 rated.

You’ll want your speaker to be lightweight, as a portable Bluetooth speaker will seem a little pointless if it’s tough to carry around. The output quality should also be a priority, so we’ve also taken into consideration how good your music is actually going to sound. Life’s too short for dull sounding beats, right? 

It’s also important to consider battery life. Your Bluetooth speaker is portable for a reason and you don’t want to have to take a charger with you everywhere you go. Being able to charge the portable speaker and not worry about it for the rest of the day is the sweet spot here. 

Range is the final thing to think about. If you’re sitting nearby your speaker, it doesn’t really matter. But if you’re having a party, you might want the flexibility of moving your phone (and you) quite far away from the setup. There’s never a time where you want less range so you might as well aim for the best Bluetooth range possible, right?

A good waterproof Bluetooth speaker won’t be the cheapest Bluetooth speaker out there, but it will stand you in good stead for a number of years to come. You want a speaker that is rugged and can take a bit of a beating if needs be, so that it fits into your active (or chilled) lifestyle. Think of it as planning ahead when you spend a little more than usual on one. 

These are six of the best Bluetooth waterproof speakers on the market right now.

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Image: amazon

The Good

IP67 rated • Easy to carry around • 10-hour battery life

The Bad

No speakerphone • Sound is a little limited

The Bottom Line

Looks super stylish and is the perfect addition to your pool party.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

A great option all around for quality sound and effective portability.

  • Weight:
    420 grams
  • Battery life:
    10 hours
  • Features:
    100+ foot wireless range, two 40mm active drivers, two 46x65mm passive radiators, floats on water
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is pretty small yet mighty where it counts. It looks very cute, thanks to its ball like design and it’s available in a bunch of different bright colours. That might make you underestimate it but you’ll be surprised by the quality, once you hear it play. 
Besides being pretty loud at all times, the clarity of sound is high-end for the price and the overall sound quality is remarkable. Mid-basses thump with power that belies its size. 
To make it even more appealing, it actually floats on water. That’s thanks to its inflatable ring that works as its own personal lifesaver. Toss it in the pool and enjoy the sound. If it happens to sink, it’ll be good in up to one metre of water for 30 minutes. You can pair it with two devices simultaneously too, which is great if you want to have two DJs controlling the music at your party.
It’s also pretty rugged so if you happen to drop it or drunkenly throw it across the garden, it’s going to survive a little rough housing. The only issue here is that there’s no speakerphone option, but that’s hardly a problem if you’re just after great sound with your buddies. 

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Image: amazon

The Good

Great sound quality • Charges your phone

The Bad

Heavy

The Bottom Line

A solid effort by a respectable Bluetooth speaker manufacturer, the JBL Charge 4 is dependable whether you’re indoors or out.

JBL Charge 4

Ideal for flexible living and use, it can easily move from inside the house to the garden.

  • Weight:
    800 grams
  • Battery life:
    20 hours
  • Features:
    30+ feet wireless range, two 1.7-inch drivers and two passive radiators, speakerphone facility
It’s convenient to have a speaker that looks just at home indoors as it does outside next to the pool. That’s the thinking behind JBL Charge 4. It has a great battery life, it’s completely waterproof, and it’ll still look good resting on a table in your living room. 
It’s a fairly chunky design so don’t expect it to be the most lightweight of speakers to carry around. The weight is worth it though, thanks to it packing in a battery that’ll last about 20 hours, and a powerful speaker to boot.
Like the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom, it’ll survive being submerged in up to a metre of water for 30 minutes but, obviously, it’s going to sink pretty fast. 
You can hook up multiple JBL Connect based speakers to augment the sound with stereo playback supported through two speakers. It sounds great too, with music really being projected across the room or yard in a clear and powerful fashion. Expect the deepest bass you’ve heard in a while.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Compact • Lightweight • Easy to attach to things

The Bad

Short battery life • No 360 sound

The Bottom Line

Not every waterproof Bluetooth speaker has to be for taking outdoors, as this is perfect for listening to music in the shower.

Bose SoundLink Micro

The Bose SoundLink Micro is perfect for listening to music while hitting the shower.

  • Weight:
    290 grams
  • Battery life:
    6 hours
  • Features:
    Lightweight, tear-resistant strap, speakerphone, rugged design
Many waterproof Bluetooth speakers are designed with pool parties or hiking in mind. Sometimes though, you just want to be able to hear music or podcasts while you’re in the shower or bath. The Bose SoundLink Micro is an ideal size for that. It’s compact and lightweight, while still being rugged enough to withstand you tossing it around or knocking it into a pool of water by your feet.
It’s not going to win prizes for style, but it’s very travel friendly and the sound quality is what you would expect from Bose. It has a strap directly attached to the bottom so you can easily fasten it to objects, like your bike or a towel rail, or simply a hook next to your shower. Flexibility is key here, so you can easily move the Bose SoundLink Micro around your home. 
Where the Bose SoundLink Micro falters a little is its six-hour battery life. This isn’t a speaker to take out hiking for the day, although its sound levels are surprisingly high enough to carry when outdoors. 
We think this speaker’s greatest strengths lie at home. It’s perfect for moving around wherever you go about your business throughout the house. Conveniently, there’s Siri and Google Assistant support too.  

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Image: amazon

The Good

Alexa support • Rugged design • 360 degree sound

The Bad

Relatively heavy

The Bottom Line

If you want a poolside smart assistant, the Ultimate Ears Blast is the speaker to get.

Ultimate Ears Blast

Control everything through Alexa for a truly hands-free listening experience.

  • Weight:
    640 grams
  • Battery life:
    12 hours
  • Features:
    150 foot wireless range, Alexa support, 360 degree sound, two 1.4 inches active drivers, two 3.2 inches x 1.5 inches passive radiators
Having hands-free control via Amazon Alexa is a great part of modern living. Who wants to touch buttons when you can just talk to your tech? Relatively few smart speakers are also waterproof, but the Ultimate Ears Blast is a notable exception. 
With its 150-foot Bluetooth wireless range and 330-foot WiFi range, you can use it to not only play whatever music you feel like, but also control everything that works through your Alexa unit. It’s kind of a game changer for when you’re sitting at the pool and you suddenly realise you need to do something important. Besides that, it’s simply a great Bluetooth speaker. 
Its build quality means it can survive a few knocks, thanks to its tough rubber coating around the speaker. Plus, there’s a metal D-ring for hanging it up from a hook or branch. 
You can pair it up to eight different Bluetooth devices, and its Alexa services means you can easily access Amazon Music, Tune-In, Deezer, and (recently added) Spotify. However, there’s no support for Alexa Calling and Messaging right now, and some users have reported it’s not as accurate as a conventional Echo. 
However, reassuringly, sound quality is exactly what you would expect from Ultimate Ears. Bass is strong but not overwhelming, and mids and lows are easy to spot without any distortion, even at maximum volume. 360-degree audio helps, too. 
Battery life isn’t amazing at 12 hours but it’s perfectly respectable for when you’re hanging out in the garden. If you’re keen to enjoy Alexa through your waterproof speaker, the Ultimate Ears Blast is the speaker for you. 

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Image: amazon

The Good

Fun light show • 360 degree sound

The Bad

Sound quality isn’t the highest

The Bottom Line

If you’re not too fussy about high sound quality but you want super fun lighting, then the JBL Pulse 3 is perfect for a party.

JBL Pulse 3

It’s waterproof, of course, but the focus is on fun.

  • Weight:
    962 grams
  • Battery life:
    12 hours
  • Features:
    360 degree sound, three x 40mm transducer, light sequence show, speakerphone
JBL doesn’t just make practical sounding speakers. It also makes super fun ones. That’s the thinking behind the JBL Pulse 3. It’s waterproof, of course, but its focus is on fun. That’s because it looks kind of like a 1970s lava lamp, but it has its own light show that flashes according to the music it plays. 
Its body is made up of a smooth plastic that acts as a light diffuser for the built-in LEDs while still protecting it from water with a IP67 rating. Its sound projects in 360 degrees so wherever you’re located, it’ll sound the same. The issue there is that the quality isn’t quite as high as others in this price range, but that’s not to say it’s massively inferior. 
Highs and lows are reasonably balanced, and the bass is full bodied if not quite as meaty as other JBL speakers. That’s a small price to pay for something that looks this fun though. Watching the light show unfold in time with the music you’re listening to is great when you’re all gathered around the pool or beach. Even if it does mean that battery life is a little low at 12 hours. 
For a fun party piece, it’s hard to go wrong with the JBL Pulse 3. There’s even a speakerphone facility, and the option to hook it up to many other JBL speakers through the app.  

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Image: amazon

The Good

Good audio • Can link with another XB12 speaker • Dustproof

The Bad

Can suffer distortion

The Bottom Line

A well balanced speaker that provides excellent value for money, especially considering the sound quality.

Sony SRS-XB12

Compact and lightweight, but powerful.

  • Weight:
    244 grams
  • Battery life:
    16 hours
  • Features:
    46mm mono speaker, passive radiator, compact, dustproof
The Sony XB12 speaker is something to consider if portability is your priority and you are looking at the smaller end of the spectrum. This speaker is able to strike a nice balance between size and power compared to other speakers at this scale, especially as a one channel speaker. 
One way this balance is established is through the improved bass performance, which can always be a question mark for small speakers. And with a 16-hour lifespan on the battery and waterproof capabilities, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. 
You can even pair two SRS-XB12 speakers together to play your tracks with stereo sound. This creates a better separation between left and right channels, giving your music greater depth and creating a more immersive effect.