I suffer from sore muscles and headaches so much that it seems unusual when my body doesn’t feel bad. A lifetime of full-contact sports and general anxiety is likely the sole reason for my laundry list of aches, though this does come with somewhat of a silver lining: regular massages are a must.
That is when I can afford them. Since I don’t always have the money (or time) to go to a professional, I’ve become more and more interested in the consumer-facing massage tools that have entered the market as of late. One such device I had the opportunity to test is the Hyperice Hypervolt.
A portable, personal massage device, the Hypervolt allowed me to calm the soreness I typically deal with from my active lifestyle through self-myofascial release. anyone looking to loosen their muscles or soothe aches and pains should buy one. Here’s why.
The Hypervolt comes with four interchangeable heads: round, flat, bullet, and fork. Each head is built from hard plastic with the exception of the rounded head, which is hard foam. The attachments all fit conveniently in the provided carrying case, along with the unit, which weighs approximately 2.5 pounds.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery runs for just over two hours per charge and recharges in under six hours using the supplied 24-volt adapter. If the two-hour run time isn’t enough for you, Hyperice offers additional batteries for $80, allowing you to keep the device going while your other battery charges.
The massager has three different speed-strength level settings: 30Hz for 1,800 percussions per minute, 40Hz for 2,400 percussions per minute, and 53Hz for 3,180 percussions per minute. Each Hypervolt device also comes backed by a one-year warranty through Hyperice.
An intuitive setup process
Setting up the massager was easy and intuitive, though I did have to wait roughly two hours for the battery to completely charge before I could first use it. The user manual notes that the first charge may take up to six hours, so plan accordingly. The device comes fully assembled out of the box and all you need to do to start using (after charging) is to choose a massage head, put it into the slot in the front, and power it up.
After the battery charged and I installed the desired head, I ran into a bit of confusion. I pressed the button on the back of the massager to start it up but, strangely, nothing happened. A quick consultation of the operating directions showed me that there are not one, but two power buttons: one on the base of the battery and another on the back of the device (this one also adjusts the speeds). Once I flipped on the battery’s power button, the button on the back of the unit worked fine.
Premium personal massages
At least some part of my body is sore at any given time throughout the day. Whether I’m pounding the pavement on long runs or trying to stuff my large frame into a car or plane seat, I routinely get sore muscles that seem remedy-proof.
This is where the Hypervolt personal massager helped change my perception of pain management — and helped ease those sore muscles better than ibuprofen ever could. Best of all, it’s TSA-approved which makes any cross-country flight much more tolerable.
I mainly use the Hypervolt to work through the pain I feel in my neck, shoulders, and back, as well as for spot work on my legs and feet. Generally, I use the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 for my legs but I like that the Hypervolt targets specific problem areas that have knots or other soreness.
When I use it on my neck and shoulders (the areas that seem to always be the most painful), the Hypervolt massager helps me work through muscle pain before it becomes a headache. I’ve found the lowest setting is ideal because the massager shakes the head, which often turns out to be too intense for me when it’s on a higher setting.
With my feet, on the other hand, I can let the Hypervolt go to town on its highest setting. With any device that vibrates so drastically, durability is always going to be a concern but, fortunately, Hyperice constructed the Hypervolt out of heavy-duty materials. During my time with it, I never noticed any parts coming loose or it showing signs of any future durability issues.
Another aspect of the Hypervolt I enjoyed was how quietly it runs while in use. On its highest setting, my sound meter registered only 60 decibels from 12 inches away. Even when I while using it on my neck, I was still able to hear audio from my television without cranking up the volume.
Not many faults
The Hypervolt wasn’t an easy device to nitpick. Perhaps I could argue that a hands-free design, like the Pulse 2.0, would be beneficial. As it is, using the Hypervolt hands-free means enlisting the help of a family member which isn’t always the easiest thing to do — they do have better things to do than make sure I’m comfortable, after all. Thankfully, the device runs quiet enough that I can tune into a TV show while working my knots out.
Another minor nitpick would be with the companion case. While it’s a nice inclusion, and certainly useful for storing and transporting the Hypervolt, I found the individual massage heads to fall out of their spots if the case gets jostled around too much.
The Hypervolt does an outstanding job of easing my chronic pain and keeping it from spreading throughout my body and even helps loosen me up prior to working out. However, at $299, it’s not exactly a drop in the bucket. To me, it’s worth the investment. The benefit it gave me of both alleviating my sore muscles and inching me about as close as I can to being considered pain-free was all I needed to see to be convinced of its worth.
Physical therapists and other professionals who manipulate muscles may also find the Hypervolt is useful since it packs more power than hands alone. At the very least, it can be implemented as one part of a larger physical therapy routine.
But the Hyperice Hypervolt’s best feature is its high quality. In the two months I used it, the device never showed any signs of wear and tear. It routinely performed well each time I fired it up, not to mention the fact I never found a pain the massager wasn’t able to soothe. If you’re looking for the best self-myofascial release product, the Hypervolt personal massager is a smart solution.
- Should you buy it? Though it doesn’t compare to the magic fingers of a licensed massage therapist, the Hypervolt portable massager can do an excellent job of filling in. The device pays for itself when you factor in the ability to stretch the time between professional massage appointments. It’s also an invaluable tool for athletes who want to loosen up sore muscles before or after training sessions.
- What are your alternatives? If you’re not ready to drop $350 on a top-of-the-line massager, there are several respectable alternatives available at about half the price. Here are a few popular solutions:
- Theragun Mini ($199): Theragun’s new Mini is the brand’s first highly portable massage gun. It offers similar PPMs as its higher quality kin yet costs a fraction of the price. Though there are limitations regarding its no-stall force (which is to be expected because of its size), the Mini is an impressive little massager that’s the perfect entry level device for anyone just getting into massage guns.
- TimTam Power Massager ($199.99): The TimTam also has a 90-degree massage angle and comes with a carrying case. However, it only comes with one massage head (attachments are sold separately), and it only delivers a maximum of 2,000 percussions per minute. This might be a good option if you don’t want more intense massaging.