Massages are commonplace for professional athletes like runners, cyclists and basketball players, but for the rest of us, they’re still a luxury. The good news is that there are tools you can buy to mimic a massage — and they’re easy to use. The Hyperice Hypervolt Plus and Theragun PRO are two of the best-selling recovery tools on the market right now. And these top-of-the-line products from the top names in percussion massage are ripe for a head-to-head comparison.

Handheld massage tools are like foam rollers on steroids and studies have shown that using one can help eliminate soreness. Both the Hypervolt Plus and Theragun PRO are massage tools that use percussive therapy to warm you up and cool you down. The two devices are similar in shape and weight, each with an easy-to-use on and off button.

Going out on a long run? Use each along your major muscle groups (hamstrings, quads, calves) for roughly 15 seconds before exercising and then use for up to two minutes on all those same groups post-workout. Each can be charged via long cords and both have small indicator lights to let you know how much battery is left. There are five built-in speeds on the Theragun and three on the Hypervolt. Both feel pretty similar, but make varying noises as you push and press into your muscles.

To figure out whether the Hypervolt or the Theragun is right for you, we compared the newest model from each brand on four factors: Design, Charging, Performance and Price. Here are our findings.

Hypervolt Plus: $399

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Theragun PRO: $599

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Factor 1: Design

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The Theragun PRO’s lines are lovely...
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hypervolt plus
...while the Hypervolt Plus is a bit more of a handful.
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The Theragun PRO's on/off button is user-friendly and in a logical spot, and the ergonomics of the handle make sense. The four different angles of the arm also provide added range, so it's easier to hit upper back muscles. While the look may have you thinking you're about to re-do a deck, the smooth design fits great in the hands.

The Hypervolt Plus handle is the opposite — clunky and awkward. It has a two-inch diameter battery pack embedded in the handle, which makes it too wide for comfort. Turning the Hypervolt Plus on is a two-step process — flip the on/off switch at the base of the handle, then press the circular power button located where the air vents are, opposite the head attachments. However, we like that the Hypervolt features display lights, so you know immediately that it is powered on, and at which level.

The Theragun PRO comes with a carrying case that also accommodates six attachments, two rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries and a charging cable (all included). You can buy Hypervolt case ($49) that fits the five included attachments plus the AC cable and 24 V charger. But honestly, both the PRO and Hypervolt Plus are small and solid enough that they can easily be thrown in your gym bag — without a carrying case. The PRO weighs 2.9 pounds, just a bit less than the Hypervolt Plus, at 3 pounds.

Winner: Theragun PRO for its natural-feeling ergonomics and intuitive interface.

Factor 2: Charging

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The PRO’s battery swaps out easily...
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...while the Plus’s indicator lights are handy.
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The Theragun PRO comes with two Lithium-ion battery packs — both of which look like they belong on a workbench, plus a battery charging cable. Similar to a power drill, the battery slides in and out of the larger handle. The benefit here is that when one battery dies, you can swap it out for the other.

With the Hypervolt, you pop out the handle where the battery is stored and plug the base into a three-piece contraption similar to the Theragun. There is an AC cable, power supply and another cord to plug it into the wall. With just one battery, once it runs out, you have to charge it, but we found in earlier testing that the battery lasts longer than anticipated. You can also buy an additional battery for $80.

Both the Theragun PRO and the Hypervolt Plus offer 150 minutes of battery life per charge. Not unlike a power tool, the PRO starts to slow down after a lot of continuous use and/or when its charge level dips below 50 percent. The Hypervolt Plus, on the other hand, supplies steady power even as its charge level drops.

Winner: Hypervolt Plus claims the edge for its consistent power flow.

Factor 3: Performance

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The PRO’s head angle boasts four positions... 
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... while both products offer app-based features.
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Larger muscles like glutes, hamstring and quads can handle the higher levels of intensity on both the Hypervolt Plus and Theragun PRO, while smaller muscles, like calves, call for lower levels and a light touch. Your body feels vibrations differently mostly depending on receptors from your brain, so both massagers take some getting used to, especially if you have never used one before.

The Hypervolt Plus pairs with the Hyperice app via Bluetooth for automated speed control. The Theragun PRO pairs with the Therabody app, allowing you to further customize the vibrations, selecting any speed between the scientifically 1,750 to 2,400 percussions per minute (PPM) range. Both brands have taken pains to make their products run less loudly at any speed. Theragun calls its tech QuietForce while Hyperice goes with QuietGlide. While the two guns are hardly silent, the Hypervolt Plus is slightly less resonant.

Both options offer a lot of ways to dial in your restorative vibes. The Hypervolt Plus features three different speeds as well as five different head attachments, enabling you to hit your muscles all kinds of ways. The Theragun PRO not only offers four head angles, it also has six different attachments, plus five speeds — and the ability to further customize the intensity through the app. The Hypervolt Plus tops out at a bonkers 3,200 PPM, while the Theragun PRO maxes out at 2,400 PPM.

Winner: Theragun PRO for its greater range of angles, attachments and intensity.

Factor 4: Price

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Everything included with the Theragun PRO... 
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...and everything included with the Hypervolt Plus.
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It's impossible to ignore the fact that the Theragun PRO costs significantly more than the Hypervolt Plus: $599 vs. $399.

The performance features outlined in the previous category clearly play a role here. The Theragun PRO's included carrying case and extra battery also contribute to the fact that it costs $200 more than the Hypervolt Plus, which employs more of an a la carte approach. If you were to purchase the latter product's optional carrying case and battery, your total would be $528.

It's also worth noting that both brands offer a range of more accessible massage guns, too. Theragun offers the Mini ($199), Prime ($299) and Elite ($399). Hyperice offers the Hypervolt GO ($199) and the classic Hypervolt ($299).

Winner: Hypervolt Plus claims this category for going easier on your wallet.

Verdict

The results here kind of speak for themselves, and you can prioritize accordingly. If gorgeous design and unmatched customizability are paramount, the Theragun PRO is your choice. If a over-the-top power and a lower price point are key, the Hypervolt Plus is ideal. You really can't go wrong with either, but when push comes to shove, we will take the more premium Theragun PRO.

Key Specs
Weight: 2.9 lbs. (PRO); 3 lbs. (Hypervolt Plus)
Max power: 2,400 PPM (PRO); 3,200 PPM (Hypervolt)
Interchangeable Heads: 6 (PRO); 5 (Hypervolt Plus)
Power Levels: 5 (PRO); 3 (Hypervolt Plus)
Battery Life: 150 minutes (Theragun); 150 minutes (Hypervolt Plus)

Hyperice Hypervolt Plus
amazon.com
$399.00
$349.00 (13% off)
Theragun PRO
theragun.com
$599.00