Best Massage Gun 2023 – The Crème de la Crème Of The Year
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Looking for the best massage gun gun 2023? Your search ends here. Muscle stiffness and soreness don’t wait for end-of-year roundups; there’s a need for the ultimate 2023 massage gun now, and we’ve got it.
With hands-on testing and review of over 70 massage guns in the past 18 months, we at Massage Gun Advice are intimately familiar with the massage gun landscape. We conduct numerous reviews each month, allowing us to keep our finger on the pulse of the market.
Are you ready to find the best percussion massager of 2023? Well, buckle up!
- How We Chose – The Process
- The Criteria we Used – What To Know
- Massage Gun Reviews – The Top 5 for 2023
- Best Theragun – And Why Not The Pro
- Best Hypervolt – Which One?
- Other Percussion Massagers We Tested
- Best Percussion Massager – Final Words
Short on time? Trust our expertise and check out our top picks:
- Ekrin B37 – For overall best performance. It has the power, versatility, excellent attachments, and a superb ergonomics. It’s reasonably priced and is backed for a lifetime!
- Achedaway Pro – The best high-amplitude massage gun for a fraction of the Theragun price.
- Ekrin Bantam – The best mini massage gun you can get. It’s tiny but performs way better than some of the full-sized guns.
TIP Jump right to our best massage gun picks ↓ to learn more, and grab a promo code.
How We Chose – The Process
Unlike what we did before with other guides – for instance, when we looked at best value massage guns – this time, we opted to find the best hardware money can buy today.
Obviously, we can’t ignore the value for money factor and haven’t been looking for the most expensive guns out there.
Also, we didn’t want to list the “Top 20” or “Top 30” devices like we have seen other websites do – very amateurish if you ask us!
Instead, we opted to give ourselves a bit of a challenge – pick the best device in each of the few categories that make all those devices different.
We then went to work and:
- examined over 70 hands-on massage gun reviews that we previously did in our test lab.
- narrowed the list based on the criteria explained below.
- evaluated and shortlisted the candidates.
- did head-to-head tests based on our test procedures.
- We then had a long debate to select the winners.
Below we break down the criteria and everything we believe you should know if you want to pick the best massage gun in 2023. The information includes;
- What makes each device unique.
- How to tell between a good and a poor gun.
The Criteria we Used – What To Know
Since we began doing hands-on massage gun reviews, our criteria has always reflected 3 key aspects of a massage gun that matter the most: performance, weight & ergonomics, and noise.
Another two important ones are attachments, and time on battery. And then, the two other important factors were price and warranty (our top pick is backed for a lifetime!)
Nothing has significantly changed in massage guns in the last two years, so we will also stick with these here.
When we test massage guns, we always look at three performance parameters all together: amplitude, stall force and percussions per minute.
Why examine these 3 together? One, because each parameter impacts the other in some way and affects the overall performance of a massage gun.
Also, some not-so-clever brands try to wow customers by highlighting a single aspect instead of all 3. This leads to the other two aspects being suppressed – the result is a poor overpriced device.
Let’s look at these parameters individually.
Also called stroke length, it’s the distance traveled by the massage gun head as it percusses.
High Amplitude Devices
Range: 14 to 16 mm
Brands approach this aspect differently. Some opt to make it long. We call such devices “high amplitude devices.” These tend to have a 14-16mm amplitude (16mm is the highest a massage gun can have).
Such massage guns tend to feel more penetrative. The deep hits provide the intensity needed for percussive therapy.
However, these devices tend to vibrate slower. That means the frequency of percussions is lower. Most tend to have a range of 2300-2700RPM (or PPM, percussions per minute).
Examples would be Achedaway Pro, Theraguns, Bob and Brad D6 Pro, and Hypervolt 2 Pro.
Low Amplitude Devices
Range: Below 10mm
Other brands make the amplitude of their devices short. We call such devices “low amplitude devices.” These often have less than 10mm amplitude.
They feel more vibrational and lack a penetrative feel. However, they vibrate faster, and their intensity comes from these faster percussions. Some can percuss as high as 3300-3400RPM.
They are not as robust as the high amplitude devices, but they can still do what they are intended for. However, they may not be as effective when you want a deep tissue massage – if you have ever tried one, you know what this means.
Examples of such devices include; Hypervolt (the first one, no longer in sales), Bob and Brad guns, and most cheap Amazon guns. Also, many mini massage guns fall in this category.
Medium Amplitude Devices
Range: 10 to 13mm
But there is a third category of devices that we like to call “medium amplitude devices.” These devices have a 10-13mm amplitude.
We believe this is the most versatile and perhaps universal category. These aren’t just good for massaging small group muscles; they can also hit deep into large muscle groups. You can use them comfortably around sensitive areas like the back of the neck, hands, and feet.
Note that medium amplitude devices don’t sacrifice percussions per minute as high amplitude devices do. Most tend to percuss pretty fast – expect them to go as fast as 2900-3200RPM.
Examples of such devices include Ekrin B37, RecoverFun Plus, and Opove M3 Pro.
Massage Gun Amplitude Classification – Summary
|Low||up to 10 mm|
Mini Massage Guns
|Low||up to 8 mm|
Is One Amplitude Category Better Than the Others?
Not really. It all just depends on what you want from a massage gun. All these categories can do the job just fine. Why?
Percussive therapy works by overriding pain signals to the brain1. The rapid strokes of above 2000 hits per minute, produced by a massage gun, help to increase heat within the tissue and help to relieve tension (tension in your muscle tissues is what causes the pain). And since both the low and the medium amplitude guns tend to rev above 2000 hits per minute, both device types should work well.
However, the therapy will feel different for each category we just discussed. This information is important if you want to pick the best massage gun for your needs.
Some people prefer deeper and stronger hits – similar to a manual massage. Others prefer less punchy, more vibrational hits – shallow but fast percussions. It all depends on what you want to feel as you massage your body.
People with experience using massage guns will probably know what to go for. However, if you aren’t sure which category is bests for you, we recommend going for the medium amplitude category. This is often the sweet spot.
Our top recommendation here is Ekrin B37 – it’s perfectly balanced in that sense.
If you like stronger hits or want a Theragun but can’t afford one, we recommend Achedaway Pro or Bob and Brad D6 Pro. It’s our second, and third pick, respectively. They both a high amplitude, just like Theraguns, but are cheaper (and quieter).
Even so, beware of brands that try to sell you what is not true. For instance, we have encountered cases where a brand advertises the amplitude as 15mm only to check later, and it’s 10 or 12mm at best.
Stroke Length Comparison of Our Top Rated Massage Guns
Nearly all massage guns on our list fall into medium or high amplitude category. Only Ekrin Bantam is slightly below 10mm, but it’s a mini device – for a mini, it is the excellent result.
How do we Verify Stroke Length?
We always verify that the amplitude is what they say it is by measuring it with our digital calipers, as shown on the photo.
Whenever possible, we refer to actual amplitudes and not just what is advertised.
Stall force is the amount of pressure a device can withstand without stalling or stopping.
Why does stall force matter if you are looking for a top rated massage gun? Enough stall force allows you to effectively massage medium and large muscle groups. This is because you can press the device against the body, and it will continue revving.
After completing over 70 massage gun tests in our lab, we know one thing: we recommend that you stay away from devices that stall easily. This is because such devices will slow down considerably even when very minimal pressure is applied.
For instance, even if a device can vibrate as fast as 3200RPM, with low stall force, such a device may slow down to 1000RPM when pressure is applied. This reduces the effectiveness of massage therapy2.
We recommend a medium to high stall force gun instead – even when under pressure, the motor will hold and deliver an effective massage.
So How Much Stall Force do I Need?
Under assumption that the device should be versatile enough to allow effective massage on the entire body (big or small), we would recommend choosing something capable of delivering at least 30-40 lbs. of stall force, ideally more lbs.
Our top picks below are all within the desirable range and all have enough power to work even on larger muscles. They are guaranteed not to slow down under pressure.
And what’s the maximum possible? Strongest massage guns can withstand over 60lbs. of pressure exerted. We have seen some guns advertising 70 or 80lbs., but in all cases we found it to be overstated.
Stall Force Comparison of Our Recommendations
Ekrin B37 and Achedaway Pro have enough power to satisfy even the most demanding users. On the opposite side is Urikar Pro 2 – low stall force (but other interesting features). Bantam shines in the mini category – over 30lbs. in such a tiny device is pretty incredible.
How do we Verify Stall Force?
It’s not easy to measure the stall force of a device. We figure this is why most brands don’t tell you how much stall force you should expect from their devices.
We haven’t yet worked out electronic means of measuring stall force.
However, we have benchmark devices that we use to measure; Ekrin B37 and Theragun Pro. We are 100% certain of the stall force in these devices.
Percussions and Speeds
High amplitude devices tend to have a range “only” up to 2300-2700RPM. Low and medium amplitude devices tend to have a range of 1800-3200RPM.
However, we have seen brands that say their devices can rev up to 3400RPM. We often take this with a pinch of salt. In most cases, the percussion range is overstated, or the amplitude is significantly below 10mm.
In our experience, many devices tend to either have a high amplitude and low frequency or a low amplitude and high frequency; it’s almost never both.
We love devices that space the percussion range. For instance, Ekrin B37 has a range of 1400-3200RPM. The wide range is great when you need a soothing (slow) and intense (faster) massage.
Many devices come with 3-6 speeds. This is, in our opinion, an optimal setup depending on the percussion range. We don’t generally recommend devices with 20 or 30 speeds – often a marketing gimmick to lure customers in.
Note that low stall force will significantly slow down percussions even when very little pressure is applied to the device. This is why we ruled out guns with a stall force lower than 30lbs.
How do we Verify Percussions?
Many brands overstate the percussion range – especially the maximum figure. For this reason, we measure the range ourselves.
We use a digital laser tachometer to do this. We use the same tachometer for every device we test (as shown on the photo). This way, the results are consistent.
Weight and Ergonomics
The weight of the device plays a crucial role in maneuvering it. It’s not going to be comfortable maneuvering a 3-pounds power-drill-like device.
For our list, we only included devices that are light enough to maneuver easily. We went for guns that weigh 2.2-2.3 pounds. We also shortlisted a mini gun (Ekrin Bantam) that weighs 1.1 pounds. The new, 2nd generation Theragun mini now also weighs 1.1 lbs.
Ergonomics are important when you need a DIY massage. It matters how you hold the device when massaging certain parts.
For instance, it’s sometimes hard for the elderly to effectively massage their lower back and hamstrings.
We believe that the T-shaped guns aren’t the best for this kind of massage.
Our top recommended guns have great ergonomics. For instance, Theragun (all three full-sized guns) and Bob and Brad D6 Pro have multi-grip handle design, Ekrin B37 and Achedaway Pro have angled handles, and Urikar Pro 2 has a smart 180-degree rotating arm.
Noise levels emitted when operating the device are an important consideration. You don’t want a buzzing machine next to your ear when massaging the neck area.
Good to know: high amplitude massage guns, those with longer head travel, are generally louder than their low-amplitude counterparts.
Fortunately, most guns these days are reasonably quiet, especially at low speeds. However, some are quieter than others. We give those extra points in our ranking.
Our top picks are hushed and will not disturb normal conversations or TV watching.
How do we Verify Noise Levels?
Again, we often don’t trust the figures advertised by the brands. To be accurate, we check this ourselves.
We use a high-quality dB meter. We also note how the sound feels – smooth or harsh.
Brands tend to use attachments to wow customers. Many prefer quantity over quality.
Many cheap brands will offer up to 15 attachments. We recommend not falling for this marketing trick.
Many of these attachments are variations of the 4-5 base attachments – they often feel exactly the same.
For example, Lifepro Dynaflex comes with 10 attachments, but if you take a closer look at them (first photo), you will notice that there are very minor differences between some of them.
We believe 4 or 5 well-varied attachments are good enough to massage the entire body.
Choose quality over quantity. For instance, check whether there is a soft attachment – the best massage guns will have at least one. Cheap guns often only have hard attachments.
Check for the installation method – regular push-n-pull requires some force and, in cheaper devices, may wear out the gasket around the device’s head (after some time)
The convenient method is twist-to-lock (Ekrin B37S) or something nicer.
Also, check for a pouch to store the attachments or a carrying case.
This isn’t an issue in 2023. Most guns can go for a week or two on a single charge. Also, bigger batteries tend to add to the weight of the device.
That said, we gave more points to devices that can go for 4+ hours on a single charge.
Busy Physios and Chiropractors love removable batteries. Most guns don’t have this option. Others that do include Achedaway Pro, Hypervolt 2 Pro, and Theragun Pro.
Other Things We Look At
- Extra Features: We check for extra features such as dynamic speeds, heating mode, pressure sensors, etc.
- Build Quality: We inspect how well a device has been put together, how good materials are as compared to the best guns out there (e.g. cheap, thin plastic vs thick, rubberized one; plastic vs metal body).
- Warranty: Cheap devices offer a 1-year warranty or nothing at all. Best brands offer a lifetime warranty (e.g. Ekrin). Ease of returns, friendly support is also important.
- Price: We consider guns that offer the best bang for the buck.
Massage Gun Reviews – The Top 5 for 2023
Ekrin B37 – Best Overall
There’s hardly anything wrong with Ekrin B37.
Ekrin built a robust reputation at a time when Theragun and Hypervolt were the only top brands around. Ekrin gave us cheaper but high-quality guns, and backed them a lifetime warranty.
Most of their guns are half the price of a Theragun or Hypervolt, but feel the same, if not better, quality.
We personally tested all the Ekrin guns, and although Ekrin B37S is the top gun among them, our top recommendation is the cheaper Ekrin B37. It has everything we touched on in our guide above.
- It has the sweet spot medium amplitude – it can be percussive and gentle when needed.
- It has a wide percussion range of 1400-3200RPM. This is a real range; we tested and verified it. Many devices advertise this kind of range, but don’t actually get there.
- It has 5 speeds – awesome setup to have on a massage gun with that kind of percussion range.
That said, this gun’s strongest part is probably its stall force, especially when used with fast strokes.
Even though we have tested and reviewed many high stall force guns, few can rev up to 3200RPM and have a stall force of 57lbs. This is pretty strong and, at high speeds, is nearly impossible to stall.
But the stall force isn’t just strong at the highest speed setting. The lower gears have more power than most other guns we have tested. For instance, the first speed has nearly 30lbs. Many guns don’t even do that for their top speed!
What does it mean for this kind of stall force? Well, it means:
- The device will not slow down the percussions to accommodate the pressure applied. The percussions are constant across all speeds, even when pressure is applied for a deep massage.
- It’s possible to get a penetrative, aggressive massage even on large muscle groups.
- Since the device has a medium amplitude, it can be used with little or no pressure to deliver a soothing massage. It’s up to the user to decide what kind of massage they need. It’s like an all-terrain car with a lot of engine power; you can take it to a tough rally and later use it at your wedding to carry the bride – in either case, it performs excellently.
That said, the more expensive B37S has even more stall force on low gears — it starts at 36lbs. We don’t think it is a must-have, though, as the ~30 to 57 lbs. range is usually more than enough even for bigger guys, pro athletes or even weightlifters.
The ergonomics are well thought out. Ekrin introduced the angled handle which in our opinion the second-best handle after the Theraguns’ handles.
The handle allows for a more natural grip and reduces tension and fatigue to the holding hand.
You can easily reach the lower back, and the elderly can easily massage their hamstring – see photos below. It only weighs 2.2 pounds, and it’s easy to maneuver. Plus, it’s convenient to hold it when massaging a loved one.
It’s also a quiet gun. It’s probably not the quietest we’ve ever seen, but it probably carries the day as the quietest high-frequency massage gun. The others don’t rev up to 3200RPM.
Also, the sound produced is smooth, so you can use it while watching the TV, without turning up the volume.
It’s a durable device. We’ve had our unit for almost two years now. We use it daily and sometimes extensively. It still looks new. The battery is still as strong as new; it’s a Samsung branded battery, and that’s probably why. We charge the battery once every 7-10 days.
We love the fantastic attachments on this device. They are nicely varied as well. It’s a set of 4 attachments, including;
- The fork attachment with enough space between the two tips (some brands make them narrow).
- A ball attachment – it is a semi-soft one.
- A flat attachment – great for large muscle groups, or when you want an aggressive treatment.
- A bullet attachment – best for triggerpoints and pin-point massage. Also great for foot massage.
There is also a carrying case you can use when you need to take the gun with you.
Ekrin offers a lifetime warranty for all their massage guns. This is one of the reasons we love the brand. You can return your device if it’s faulty and get a replacement immediately. You can also try it for 30 days and return it if you don’t like it (for any reason).
The customer support is awesome as well (we have tested it incognito to see how they handle it).
This is likely the best executed massage gun we’ve tested. It’s from a trusted American brand, it’s better equipped than most guns on the market, and has a touch of class.
Yes, the more expensive B37S is slightly more sophisticated (pressure sensor, two more heads and even harder to stall at low speeds), but in terms of overall value for the money, the B37 is really hard to beat. It also has a wider percussion range than its more expensive sibling.
Father’s Day DEAL ALERT
Get 25% off Ekrin B37S (and any other Ekrin massager), only lasts until the end of June 18th! Use the MGADAD25 coupon at the checkout, and pocket $82,49. Click here to apply the coupon. Ps. you won’t get a better deal, guaranteed!
Ekrin B37 It goes for a fraction of price of top Theragun. The regular price is $229.99, but with the MGA20 code, you get a 20% discount. That makes it $183.99. Buy it at ekrinathletics.com.
ps. the same discount coupon applies to its slightly more robust sibling, Ekrin B37S. It normally costs $329.99. With the promo code, it costs $263.99.
LEARN MORE Our hands-on reviews: Ekrin B37 review and Ekrin B37S review.
Achedaway Pro – Best for Pros
We’ve had our Achedaway gun for nearly two years now, and have been consistently impressed with it. It’s a different proposition if you would rather not use Ekrin B37/B37S – a high amplitude gun over a medium amplitude Ekrin.
One thing we like about Achedaway’s top gun is how they stay true to the advertised specs (most aspects aren’t overstated).
We have seen guns that advertise a 16mm Theragun-like amplitude only to deliver something different.
Achedaway matches Theragun Pro in many aspects. We confirmed the 16mm amplitude.
In our test lab, we also confirmed that the stall force is about 60lbs. – Achedaway slightly overstates it as 80lbs. but we are certain that figure isn’t correct. For perspective, we compared it head-to-head against the Theragun Pro stall force. The power difference is negligible.
For percussions, Achedaway Pro has more compared to Theragun Pro. We often don’t associate high amplitude with more percussions. Achedaway sought to break that barrier.
Instead of pursuing something similar to Theragun Pro’s 2450RPM, they went for a max of 2700RPM, 10% more percussions. This means that Achedaway can be penetrative and intensive as well.
What about the sound and noise produced? It’s even more impressive here. Achedaway achieved a feat that Theragun has struggled with for a while.
While most high amplitude guns tend to rattle and make unpleasant noise (read Theraguns), Achedaway Pro has a quiet and smooth sound. It’s not only the quietest high-amplitude gun, but it’s also among the top 5 most quiet massage guns out there.
Achedaway Pro comes well-equipped, with 4 nicely varied attachments. Two are metallic ones – real metal, not a cheap imitation. There is a soft attachment included here as well. You will need it for delicate areas. There is also a carrying case included.
Other features worth mentioning for this gun include great ergonomics; the angled handle helps to reduce wrist fatigue (our photos demonstrate this).
As far as the size is concerned, it’s also bigger and bulky compared to the B37 but smaller than Theragun Pro and Bob and Brad D6 Pro.
It has a removable battery. You can buy it along with a spare battery if you are a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or would like to use it extensively.
It comes with a 2-year warranty. So, not as great as Ekrin’s lifetime warranty but better than Hypervolts and other Theraguns not called Theragun Pro (Pro also has 2 years). Most guns have a 1-year warranty or less. They offer great customer service as well.
It usually costs $299, but with our exclusive MGA60 coupon, you get a $60 discount that makes it $239. You get great value for money here.
LEARN MORE Read our hands-on Achedaway Pro review.
Bob and Brad D6 Pro – Best Theragun-Like
Bob and Brad isn’t the name that comes to mind when you are thinking of any Theragun Pro-like massage gun, let alone a strong one at that.
After all, the company is best known for making affordable, entry-level devices. However, we are confident their new, professional-grade D6 Pro massage gun will leave an impression on you.
The recently-released D6 Pro looks as close to Theragun as you can only imagine. So close, that we have been wondering if they didn’t perhaps crossed the red line. Impressively, however, not only the look-and-feel is similar, but so is the performance, according to our findings from the extensive month-long test we’ve performed.
It comes with a whooping 60 lbs, or so, stall force. We did a number of tests and it felt just like the mighty Theragun Pro. This is top tier power, be careful with it.
Not only that, what’s the force without the push? The D6 Pro may be nearly unstoppable but the push, which is the amplitude here, is just as impressive. 16mm is on par with Theraguns and our second pick Achedaway Pro, so this device punches to the bone.
The percussion range is also Theragun-ish. We measured 1460-2460rpm, when Ekrin and Achedaway both max out at 3200rpm and 2750 rpm, respectively.
What does it mean? Well, it won’t match the fast-revving B37 or the Achedaway’s gun, but it is still a reasonably intensive push for a 16mm stroke length device, fast enough to override pain signals to the brain and make the percussive therapy effective.
It has 6 speed settings to regulate these percussions per minute. There is also dynamic mode which adjusts the speed automatically.
Even so, it’s a rather quiet gun considering the power it packs. 54-67dB is great, although it’s not as hushed as the Achedaway Pro, which has a smoother sound too.
Apart from its power, the D6 Pro has good ergonomics with a multiple-grip handle. It has a unique design to go with everything, but keep in mind that all that makes the gun quite large, and also on a heavier side (2.8lbs). That said, it’s built with a touch of quality and comes in a nice carrying case.
It sells on Amazon for about $250 and the last time we checked, it was possible to select a coupon box. Then, save an additional 10% by using the MGADVICE code at the checkout. Great value!
LEARN MORE Our hands-on Bob and Brad D6 Pro Review.
Opove M3 Pro (New) – Best Budget
We have known Opove for a while now. They initially just cloned Hypervolts and branded them. Their clones were cheaper compared to the main Hypervolts.
They changed tact, however, and have been producing unique devices. They recently announced the new and improved M3 Pro massage gun. We’ve got it, tested it for 3 weeks, and we feel it deserves a spot in this p. At least as a budget choice.
It’s cheaper than the three above-mentioned guns. If you can’t afford them, this is the one for you.
It’s affordable and can perform well. It almost feels like a natural alternative to Hypervolt 2 Pro – it looks similar. However, it doesn’t have flashy features like a pressure sensor, Bluetooth connectivity, or dynamic modes, which the 2 Pro has.
But you get great basic aspects that matter. For starters, you get a 12mm amplitude (we confirmed it is 12mm indeed – see photo below). This kind of amplitude is within the sweet spot range.
It also has just about enough stall force for a deep tissue massage – around 40lbs., slightly more than Hypervolt 2 Pro. Note that Opove advertises 70lbs but it sounds too good to be true. Still, a decent result.
It has a verified percussion range of 1300-2600RPM. This is much lower than Ekrin B37. However, it can start really slow and is a good option for a soothing non-aggressive massage. But it may not perform as well when you need an intensive massage – 2600RPM at the max percussions is so-so at best.
But the main reason we included this gun in our list is its sound (or lack thereof). It’s incredibly quiet. It’s probably the quietest gun we’ve tested so far. We can point to the few percussions per minute as the reason. Even so, some guns don’t rev much but still rattle loudly. This one’s different – it’s incredibly hushed.
It has a carrying case and a separate pouch for the 6 attachments. One of the attachments has a soft silicone head. Ironically, the attachments have a feel of better quality compared to Hyperice attachments. They are not all made of hard plastic; they feel softer.
Overall, this might be one of the most promising sub-$150 massage guns out there today. It’s super quiet and offers decent specs.
The new Opove M3 Pro will retail for $199, but for a limited time, you can get it at the introductory price of $119 (no coupon code needed). Get it at opove.com here.
LEARN MORE Our hands-on Opove M3 Pro Review.
Ekrin Bantam – Best Mini
Mini massage guns are the new hype in the massage gun industry today. They are highly portable and smaller than full-sized guns. Even so, they don’t come with all the features and advantages.
For instance, many lack power (low stall force), have low amplitudes, and some may not match full-sized guns in percussions per minute.
You will also not get many accessories with these smaller devices. The battery capacity may be lower. In our experience, for every 10 mini guns, only one passes the threshold we have for them.
But Bantam is a different beast of its own kind. That may be paradoxical, but wait until you hear what it has to offer.
The Bantam can literally fit in your jeans pocket; it’s that tiny. However, it performs better than some of the full-sized devices out there.
For instance, it has a stall force way over 30lbs. (35lbs. to be precise). Even Theragun mini doesn’t come close to this.
In fact, the bigger Theragun Prime has about the same stall force. Even Hypervolt 2 lags behind Bantam in stall force, and the Hypervolt Go 2 might be bigger but has nothing on Ekrin Bantam.
We measured the stroke length, and it is just under 10mm, which is expected from mini devices. Only Theragun mini has a 12mm amplitude. However, we would pick the Bantam over Theragun mini any day.
That is because the Bantam has way more stall force and a better percussion range – 2000-3200RPM compared to Theragun mini’s maximum 2450RPM (we verified all these figures in our test lab).
In fact, the Bantam has the same percussion range as the bigger Ekrin B37S.
We did many real-situation tests with the Bantam.
So what can you expect from the Bantam with this kind of specs? Well, you can expect to work.
We found this out during numerous hiking trips. We also occasionally take to gravel bikepacking trips. We used it 2-3 times a day en route on our legs and arms (we carry heavy backpacks).
The Bantam was effective in relaxing our arm and leg muscles. We did full body massages in the evening, which significantly reduced DOMS3. We fared better than guys who didn’t use it.
The Bantam has a moderately juiced battery (probably because of its size). With 1600mAh, Ekrin was likely looking to keep the weight low. Nevertheless, it has a pretty decent time on battery. The battery is USB-C charging – which is great for convenience.
You get 4 nicely varied attachments. We mostly use the flat attachment. The bullet attachment is great for trigger points, and we use the super-soft ball attachment on sensitive areas. There is a small and handy carrying case included.
The Bantam has the same angled handle as the bigger B37. However, the handle circumference is significantly smaller. The materials used to make it are great. The handle is rubberized.
The Bantam is quiet and doesn’t shake excessively like some of the cheap devices out there. It’s incredibly durable as well. We’ve had it for one and a half years, and it still works like it’s new. The Samsung branded battery still works great.
Any flaws? Perhaps just one, minor one: it has the controls all backward. We are used to seeing the main button at the top. This one is at the bottom. Not a big deal, you get used to it after a few sessions.
The Bantam comes with a lifetime warranty and goes for $149.99, but you can get it for $119.99 if you use the MGA20 coupon – a 20% discount, save $30.
LEARN MORE Read our in-depth Ekrin Bantam review.
The above four are, in our opinion, the best massagers in each category. As it is easy to see, there are no representatives of the giants of this industry there.
Of course, we cannot ignore them, so let us share our thoughts on Theragun and Hypervolt. Which of their massagers do we consider the best?
Best Theragun – And Why Not The Pro
Theragun FATHER’S DAY SALE
Therabody is offering up to $170 off on gifts for Dad, including the Theragun massage guns and other recovery tools. Explore all the available deals.
Theragun started the whole percussive devices thing. We are big fans of their products. We often mention them in all our guides and occasionally mention how we compare Theraguns with the different guns we test.
But which is really the best Theragun in 2023?
Our choice is not obvious; we pick Theragun Elite over (everyone’s choice) Theragun PRO. Interested why?
While Theragun PRO may have all the big specs and fancy trinkets to go along with those – 16mm amplitude, 60lbs. of stall force, removable batteries, and an adjustable arm – it still falls short of what we aimed for in our guide.
Here are some points we noted before we picked Elite over PRO:
- Based on our experience, Theragun PRO isn’t really the most practical gun for personal use. Compared to every gun on our list, it’s a white elephant.
- Theragun PRO is bulky. Even the carrying case sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s practically twice thicker than Elite’s carrying case. The gun itself is 3 pounds heavy – good luck massaging your lower back with that drilling machine.
- Theragun Elite is smaller compared to the PRO.
- Did we mention that Theraguns are noisemakers? Well, Theragun PRO is the number one noisemaker. Elite is quieter.
- We think you probably won’t ever use the adjustable arm on PRO. Since Theragun have a multi-grip handle, the adjustable arm is an extra you likely won’t need. Also, since Elite is smaller, it will be easier to maneuver – even without an extra fancy arm.
Does Elite perform better than PRO?
Well, Elite has 40lbs. of stall force, which is not as great as the PRO, but good enough for most people, including athletes.
They both have the same 16mm amplitude, the same percussion range, an OLED display, and a pressure sensor.
However, Elite lacks one attachment that comes with PRO, but that shouldn’t worry you; it costs $25-$35 to buy one.
Who would Theragun PRO benefit the most then?
We would recommend Theragun PRO for professional physios and chiropractors. It’s the most viable gun for them. Big guys, like bodybuilders and weightlifters probably need more stall force than Elite’s 40lbs. They can also easily handle the weight.
But in our opinion, everybody else should go for Theragun Elite because it’s more powerful than the entry-level Theragun Prime. It’s also better equipped, with a carrying case and more attachments.
Key Cons of the Elite vs. Our Top Picks
- Elite proved to be louder in our test, and has a harsher sound compared to our picks above.
- It only has a 1-year warranty. Theragun Pro has a 2-year warranty.
- Elite’s attachments are pretty good, but, in our opinion, not as varied as in our top recommendations (e.g. flat head, and fork head aren’t included).
- Elite is expensive. It costs $399. Theragun does price drops from time to time, by about $50, so you might want to wait to buy it cheaper. Even so, it is still miles more expensive than Ekrin B37, or even Ekrin B37S and Achedaway Pro.
LEARN MORE Here are our detailed reviews of Theragun Elite and Theragun PRO.
Best Hypervolt – Which One?
Hyperice is Therabody’s rival. Hyperice is also a giant in the business and focuses on recovery tech.
Their Hypervolts have been around for a while now. But which is the best Hypervolt? The choice here is simpler because there are only 2 full-sized guns; Hypervolt 2 and Hypervolt 2 Pro.
We pick the Hypervolt 2 Pro; it’s the best Hypervolt in 2023.
Even though it has a low stall force by its standard, it’s still okay for most people. It also comes with a 14mm amplitude. This puts it in the high-amplitude devices category. It revs up to 2700RPM (we checked).
If we compare it to Ekrin B37S and Achedaway Pro, it underperforms. Achedaway Pro has about 100 more percussions with a higher, 16mm amplitude. Ekrin B37S has up to 3200RPM.
What about Hypervolt 2?
Hypervolt 2 is weaker than Hypervolt 2 Pro, and at this point, we are barely squeezing the 2 Pro into our guide. However, Hypervolt 2 is lighter and has a 12mm amplitude – this is a medium-level amplitude that can still give strong punches.
It will be a good choice for women, the elderly, smaller people, and pretty much anyone who’s starting with massage guns.
But are Hypervolts worth their inflated prices?
Well, we believe Hypervolts don’t have anything unique to offer the 2023 market. The app and bluetooth is all they have and that is pretty much it.
Even though Theraguns are expensive as well, their ergonomics still make them stand out. Theraguns also have a high amplitude that isn’t very common on the market today.
Hypervolts are still premium guns and are made of high-quality materials. However, brands like Ekrin are catching up fast. Even the Opove M3 Pro is of a similar quality. Besides, other brands are making their devices lighter, improving their ergonomics with each iteration, have better warranties and accessories, and they cost way less.
If you want to support the Hyperice and love the hype around their products, you can go ahead and get their devices – they are good massagers, you won’t be disappointed. However, if you’d like to save $100 or more, you are better off picking one of our top choices.
LEARN MORE Read our in-depth Hypervolt 2 review and Hypervolt 2 Pro review.
Other Percussion Massagers We Tested
Urikar Pro 2 – Best of the Rest
We like this massage gun because it’s a good budget option. We pitted it against Opove M3 Pro, but it didn’t get enough votes to feature at the top. However, it has some pretty decent features that we like.
- A heated mode that allows you to have a heated therapy massage. It has a special ceramic attachment that warms up to 104-113 degrees Fahrenheit (we tested it, it worked great)
- It has different modes, including dynamic speeds.
- It has great ergonomics even though it’s large. The arm moves in two positions for a better reach – it works great.
- It’s cheap, even cheaper than the Opove gun.
We chose Opove M3 Pro and not Pro 2 because:
- It’s built better – higher quality materials compared to Urikar Pro 2’s. It’s also more compact.
- Opove has a premium feel. Urikar feels a bit plasticky.
- Opove has more stall force (~40lbs. compared to 25lbs. Urikar is quite weak in this aspect).
- They both have the same 12mm amplitude, but Opove percusses faster. Urikar only percusses up to 2050RPM.
- Even though Urikar is quiet, Opove is extremely hushed.
That said, this Urikar is a great budget buy, cheaper than Opove with a discount code.
It only costs $149, but you can get it below $100 if you use the PRO2 coupon code at checkout.
To learn more, navigate to our hands-on Urikar Pro 2 review.
Four More Worth Highlighting
We considered these for our list. Unfortunately, they didn’t make the cut. We’ll highlight them:
This is an interesting heavy-duty percussion massager. It has an adjustable arm that locks in 4 positions. You can use it to massage yourself at different angles.
It proved to be a powerful one in our test; it has a 13mm amplitude and a stall force in the mid-40s. It also has a decent percussion range.
However, it’s bulky and loud. It also has too many speed settings. But, it can be a worthy buy if you don’t mind the negatives.
Also, Lifepro is another brand that offers a lifetime warranty on their devices.
It usually costs $199, but you can use the MGA10 coupon to get a 10% discount. Get it here at lifeprofitness.com.
LEARN MORE in our full Lifepro DynaFlex review.
Sportneer Elite D9
This one has better quality than most of the guns in this section. It’s perhaps even better than Urikar.
We love the angled handle and how quiet it is.
However, it’s no match against Ekrin B37, Opove, and Achedaway Pro in performance. It’s not really penetrative and has a so-so stall force.
It also lacks quality attachments. For instance, it doesn’t have a soft attachment – they are all hard plastic.
It’s reasonably priced, though. It costs $119.99, or you can use the AFDKOF coupon and get it for 10% less – $107.99.
Read More Our hands-on Sportneer Elite D9 review.
This one is a solid performer. It has a 12mm amplitude and up to 40lbs. of stall force – pretty impressive.
It also comes with a detachable battery – something rarely seen with budget guns.
However, it’s quite heavy and weighs 2.6 pounds. It also has a thick handle that is less comfortable to hold. It’s probably better suited for heavily built folks.
It’s not versatile enough to make it into our top choices, but is a decent percussion gun nevertheless.
It costs $164 with the MGA5 code ($5 Off).
You can buy it at recoverfun.com.
LEARN MORE Our hands-on RecoverFun Plus review.
Bob and Brad X6 Pro
Bob and Brad are the most famous physiotherapists on YouTube. They enjoy quite a following there.
This is their second best-performing device after our top 3 pick D6 Pro. It has a decent stall force that is close to 40lbs. It’s about the same as the RecoverFun Plus above.
We awarded it extra points because of the all-steel attachment. You can freeze or heat the attachment for a quasi-cold or hot massage. We also love how quiet it is.
However, we disliked the vertical handle and how plastic-y it feels. It also felt a bit vibrational, but other than that it is a pretty solid device.
Check the latest price at Amazon.
LEARN MORE Our hands-on Bob and Brad X6 Pro review.
Best Percussion Massager – Final Words
So which is the best massage gun in 2023? Well, hopefully, we have provided the best answer.
We do hands-on massage gun reviews almost daily. We have explained our criteria and our choices – what makes them great. We believe it’s wise to pick a versatile massage gun that can work on all muscle groups. Such a device should be powerful enough and well-equipped.
We picked different guns, but they are all effective. You can choose the best one for you.
We highly recommend Ekrin B37 because it’s the most versatile gun on the market today. As for Theraguns, we believe Elite is the most reasonable choice. Even so, you are better off with Achedaway Pro. It offers the best bang for your buck.
Lastly, if you have to pick a mini massage gun, it has to be the Bantam. It’s the best by far.
If you still have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading, and happy massaging!
- 1.Konrad A, Glashüttner C, Reiner M, Bernsteiner D, Tilp M. The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles’ Range of Motion and Performance. J Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(4):690-694. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33239942
- 2.Trainer J, Pascarella M, Paul R, Thomas S. Acute Effects of Percussive Therapy on the Posterior Shoulder Muscles Differ Based on the Athlete’s Soreness Response. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2022;17(5):887-895. doi:10.26603/001c.37254
- 3.Imtiyaz S, Veqar Z, Shareef M. To Compare the Effect of Vibration Therapy and Massage in Prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8(1):133-136. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2014/7294.3971
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Post Update History
Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!
Current version last updated on:
June 2, 2023: Updated for June 2023 (pricing, promo codes, where to buy information).(By: Luke)
May 18, 2023 Added clarification on how percussive therapy works; added more references; minor edits and corrections.(By: Luke)
April 10, 2023 More photos added to device galleries.(By: Greg)
March, 7 2022 Fact-checked and reviewed for accuracy. (By: Dr. Alex Stone, DPT)
February 15, 2023 Update for 2023: more facts, and photos from our test lab.(By: Luke)
December 20, 2022 Added Bob and Brad D6 Pro following our extensive review. (By: Luke)
October 10, 2022 Updated with new findings on Ekrin Bantam after field-testing it while on a hike.(By: Luke)
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