An expertly engineered massage gun for everyday use, the Elite easily outperforms most rivals and offers big savings on the top-end Theragun PRO.
- Ergonomic multi-grip handle
- Superior attachment heads
- Intuitive app with step-by-step instructions
- Robust carry case and wireless charging stand
- Long charge time
- Steep price for the casual user
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Theragun Elite is a premium percussive therapy tool, just one rung below Therabody’s flagship Theragun PRO device and comparable to the best massage guns available. At £375 it is priced at the top end of the market too.
The fitness tech firm claims its range of massage guns can provide a 5-in-1 wellness solution for improved recovery, performance, sleep and mobility, as well as stress relief. Can it justify that hefty price? We pitted it against some of the leading devices in the massage gun range to find out.
The Theragun Elite closely resembles the Theragun PRO. It features the same signature multi-grip triangular-shaped handle to make it easier to target the back of the legs and upper back (although the firing arm is fixed in place and cannot be adjusted as it can with the PRO).
The Elite uses the same OLED screen with a handy force meter so you don’t apply too much pressure to your muscles. At 2.2lb (1kg) and 9.5in x 6.7in x 2.8in (24cm x 17cm x 7.4cm) it is 10.5oz/300g lighter than the PRO and fractionally smaller, but comes in a similar hard-shell carry case – a smart accessory to match its premium aesthetic.
Where the guns differ most notably is battery life. The PRO comes with two 16V battery packs that can be removed and used interchangeably, so it never runs out of juice. The Elite, given its lower cost, has instead a 12V lithium-ion battery that can’t be swapped. An 80-minute charge provides 120 minutes of life – enough for almost two weeks if you adhere to Therabody’s recommended five minutes of use, twice a day.
The Elite is calibrated with the same five in-built speed settings as the PRO: 1,750, 1,900, 2,100, 2,200 and 2,400 percussions per minute (PPM). These can be customised using Therabody’s Bluetooth-enabled app to find the precise percussion for your needs.
There are massage guns that have a higher top speed, such as the Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro and MuscleGun Carbon; however, Therabody’s technicians claim their product reaches 60% deeper into the muscle tissue than the norm thanks to its amplitude of 16mm. This is essentially how far the arm, or shaft, of the device extends and retracts as it fires.
This may sound like an imperceptible point of difference, but having been massaged more thoroughly than wagyu beef cattle in testing these devices over the past few months, I can confirm that it isn’t. Each percussive strike feels like it penetrates deep into the muscle tissue, rather than just pulverising the surface.
While this amplitude is equal to the PRO, its motor isn’t. The Elite uses a QX65 brushless motor to deliver up to 18kg of no-stall force (meaning it won’t slow down when you apply pressure) versus the PRO’s commercial-grade QX150 motor. As a result, the Elite is a little noisier on its maximum setting than the PRO and Hypervolt 2 Pro, with a slightly shrill, high-pitched tone.
The Elite comes with a compact power adapter and five head attachments: a wide, curved dampener for overall use, a standard ball, wedge, cone and thumb for targeted pain points. A supersoft attachment for sensitive areas can be purchased separately for £25.
These attachments are another feature that sets the Elite apart from the competition. Imitators often fall short by using hard or hollow plastic attachment heads, whereas Therabody uses a closed-cell polyurethane foam for a firm impact with just enough give. Like a good mattress, it offers the perfect balance between hard and soft.
The Therabody app deserves special mention. It integrates with Apple Health, Google Fit and Strava to provide customised routines based on your recent activity, goals or injuries. It is also Bluetooth-enabled with an intuitive dashboard that guides you through each routine, highlighting the optimal grip, force, frequency and technique to use rather than leaving you to figure it out like some brands do.
This final point cannot be overstated. You could have the most powerful, silent, ergonomic massage gun ever assembled, then use it incorrectly and risk wasting your time – or worse, injuring yourself. Therabody has recognised this issue and designed a library of routines that tick every box, from helping energise you in the morning to helping you wind down before bed.
Therabody has created an expertly engineered massage gun range, with the Theragun PRO unrivalled in a fiercely competitive field (albeit with an eye-watering price to match). With the Theragun Elite it has retained the majority of the PRO’s enviable features, like its multi-grip handle, customisable speed settings and Bluetooth app, while forgoing some of the more professional-grade additions, like its dual battery packs.
As a result, the Elite is a joy to behold, a pleasure to use and, crucially in these lean times, £174 cheaper, making it a considerably more justifiable investment for the casual, everyday user. Right now, Therabody is also offering a wireless charging stand worth £75 free so with all those savings, for us, the Elite is the massage gun to beat.
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Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.