Review: Hyperice Hypervolt + Vyper 2.0 Massagers
Apr 23, 2019
article & images by Nick Salazar
The Hypervolt Massager
Rather than bury the lede, I'll just come right out and say it: the Hypervolt is far and away the best massager I have ever tested. It's awesome. In reviewing the previous units, we tended to focus on four main factors that really differentiated the offerings: price, massage tips (the bits at the end that actually touch your body), sound level, and finally (to a lesser extent) industrial design. So let's analyze the Hypervolt with these in mind.
Price - The Hypervolt is $350 complete. That's a lot cheaper than the $600 Theragun. And while it's significantly more than the $200 TimTam, it is far and away better. Now, it's important to consider that Hypervolt doesn't come with a hard case or a spare battery - things that the more expensive Theragun comes with. But if those are important to you, you can buy them separately, and you'll still come out cheaper than the Theragun, overall. In the end, given what's available on the rest of the market, the $350 seems pretty fair, even if it is expensive. That's the price of a handful of massages, and in this case, I think it's worth it for sure. I do wish it came with a spare battery, or the optional charging dock, for the same price. I don't much care about the hard case, but some ability to keep a ready charge would be nice.
Massage Tips - Honestly, this is one of the most important aspects of the product - it's the piece that actually touches your body - but it seems like an afterthought for many brands. Not so with Hyperice. The Hypervolt comes with four tips, and honestly all of them are VERY good for different purposes. The large foam ball is firm, but not overly so, and works very well as an all-purpose tip. And it's probably my favorite go-to tip. Shoulders, legs, arms, hips, feet, pretty much any area of the body will be well-served by this one. But the other tips offer some very nice options as well. My second-favorite tip is the bullet-shaped one. This one is completely solid plastic, and insanely good for going deep into areas that are very meaty - especially glutes. Next up, the forked tip, also solid. Although intuitively it looks like a tip good for spinal massage (getting the muscles around your vertabrae without hitting the bones themselves), it's also VERY good as a general-purpose tip. It will massage around your muscles, similar to how an actual massage therapist will do with their hands. Finally, the blunt flat tip isn't my favorite, but it does have some good uses - I tend to use it on calf muscles. But usually I leave this one off.
Sound Level - This is the quietest unit I've ever used. It's even quieter, significantly so, than the Theragun G3PRO. You can keep the TV on and not even change the sound level when using this guy. Of course, the sound goes up in volume if you increase the speed (the unit has three speeds), or if you are really digging into your muscle. But even at its loudest, the unit is completely tolerable, and nothing like the TimTam or Homebrew units from our previous shootout. In short, this is a massager that's very easy to live with.
Industrial Design - The Hypervolt is elegant. Resembling a blowdryer, the battery doubles as your grip, power indicator (see the green band of light around the bottom), and main power switch. This is the only confusing bit - there is a main on/off switch on the bottom, and only once the switch on the battery is turned on, can you bring the unit to life with the switch on the back of the unit itself. That switch on the back toggles between off/slow/medium/fast power levels. It's simple and effective, but it's also possible to accidentally hit the switch while doing self-massage, depending on how you're holding the thing. The tips are friction fit, and exchanged with a simple pull in, pull out motion. The big vent area on the top of the unit is a little odd, but it can also be used as an additional grip if you are massaging yourself or someone else.
Misc - A few other things to note. Battery life is about 2-3 hours, depending on speed settings and how hard you're pushing. In practice, this is plenty. We just put it in the charger between sessions, and never came back to a dead unit. Perusing the internet, there seem to be a lot of very similar products from companies without a significant apparent history or online presence. In short, they look like copycats. They have the same tips, the same interface, the same kind of design, etc. Hyperice claims that they are indeed the original developers of their product, and that the apparent copycats are indeed that. And while you can score one of these other products for about $50 less than the Hypervolt, I can't find anywhere to buy a spare battery, charging stand, case, etc, for any of them. So it looks like if your unit fails or you need a new battery, you're out of luck. That $50 premium is worth it to me, to stick with a brand with easily-sourced replacement parts.
The one thing I was concerned about was a series of negative reviews on Amazon claiming early product failure on the Hypervolt, and a poor resonse from Hyperice. When asked about it, Hyperice claims they have not had a significant number of warranty claims, and generally have happy customers. For our part, our unit has worked flawlessly for the month or so we've had it, and it's been in use at least an hour every day by various folks around here. In short, I have no problem wholeheartedly recommending the product.
Conclusions - It was really hard to find any fault with the Hypervolt. Aside from its slightly odd aesthetic, some questionable online reviews, and the lack of an included spare battery, I have nothing but praise for the thing. I *really* don't want to send it back to Hyperice, so I might just be forced to buy it. And that's probably the most forceful endorsement I can give. It's not that I have any incentive, financial or otherwise, to write a good review. It's just that I think I found the end of this particular rabbit hole. For now, anyway.
Vyper 2.0, Vibrating Foam Roller
A lovely surprise, the Vyper 2.0 is a very nice upgrade to your traditional foam roller, but comes at a price.
My favorite percussive massager ever, the Hypervolt has been loved here at TriRig, by triathletes and non-triathlete family members alike. It's truly the best-in-class product as far as we are concerned.