The Hydragun is a relatively new and highly-rated percussive massage device. It's made by a Singapore-based company and shipped from locations around the world, including the United States.
The main feature of the Hydragun is how quiet it is - it's said to be the quietest on the market. Yet most massage guns are quiet now, and while the Hydragun has many good features, at $299 it's still quite expensive.
There are many alternatives at this price, including the Theragun Prime and the basic HyperVolt, while the ExoGun, and our very own AlphaGun X are at least $100 cheaper. Some even come with more features.
There's also one crucial feature the Hydragun lacks (like premium alternatives such as the HyperVolt and Theragun), and that's a wide range of speed settings.
So in this Hydragun review, I'm going to cover:
1. What the features of the Hydragun are
2. What's good about the Hydragun
3. What's bad about it
4. How it compares to others, including the AlphaGun X, which is $120 cheaper.
What's good about the Hydragun?
The Hydragun is marketed as the quietest percussive massage gun, and indeed it is quiet - it emits less than 50dB when in use. This is quieter than most, which make about 50-60dB of sound, but as of 2022 it's now rare for any massage gun to be very loud.
The Hydragun has a max RPM of 3,200 and a stall force of 40lb - both these are about average. Weighing about 2.3lb, it's slightly lighter than most massagers.
The Hydragun has 6 speed settings, ranging from 1,300-3200 RPM. This is more than the Hypervolt or Theragun, but much less than some alternatives which have up to 30 speeds.
The Hydragun has 7 massage heads that are designed to target various parts of the body, and three have polished hard metal ends. This is more than most devices - even some of the most expensive have only 3 or 4 heads.
The Hydragun has an amplitude of 12mm, which is similar to most massagers. The top of the range Theragun ($599) has a 16mm amplitude, while the Hypervolt ($299) and AlphaGun X ($179) have a 14mm amplitude.
With up to 6 hours of battery life, the Hydragun has a long battery life - the Theragun has about 2.5 hours and the AlphaGun X up to 5 hours.
The Hydragun does not come with any bluetooth features like the Theragun and Hypervolt do, so it's probably fair to say it's more comparable to the budget end of the market than the premium end.
Indeed, users might prefer more speed settings or heads than a bluetooth app, so this could in fact be an advantage for the Hydragun.
Overall it's a well built device that's very quiet has a long battery life. The Hydragun also comes with a carry case and 30 day returns.
What's Bad About the Hydragun?
While the Hydragun offers a more quiet massage experience than any alternatives, for many users this is a smaller advantage than it sounds.
Most massage guns are't that loud anymore - most make about as much noise as an electric toothbrush.
Other than its quietness, the Hydragun offers fairly average features. It has 7 heads - more than the Hypervolt (has 5) but less than the AlphaGun X (has 8).
The amplitude of 12 is also comparable to most budget massagers (its the same as the Opove, ExoGun, and many very cheap devices on Amazon) and slightly lower than the HyperVolt ($299) and AlphaGun X ($179), which both have an amplitude of 14mm. This doesn't make a big difference though.
However, where the Hydragun really falls short for a $299 device is on the number of massage programs. With a Max RPM of 3,200 and 6 speeds the Hydragun is average at best. For much less money, you can get a massager with as many as 30 speeds.
The Hydragun has fewer speed settings than other devices we compared:
There are two potential problems with having a limited range of speeds:
1. It means the Hydragun effectively only has 6 massage programs - there are cheaper alternatives with 5 times as many as this.
2. The speed settings do not increase gradually, but in steep increments. For example, if your body is very sore, the lowest setting of the Hydragun might feel too powerful - and there's a big jump in RPM between each setting as there are only 6.
If the Hydragun had more speeds, you could start at a lower intensity for very sore or painful muscles and move up more gradually.
A massage gun should be as pleasant to use as possible - the more adaptable the speed, the more comfortable it should be to use.
While the Hydragun has some good features, there are much cheaper alternatives that offer a more versatile massage experience.
The Top Alternatives
The Hydragun attempts to sit between the premium and lower-cost devices, but at $299 it can look expensive.
For $299 you could get the basic version of the HyperVolt or Theragun (although the top models are up to $599), and for at least $100 less you could get a device with roughly the same features but many more speed settings - which make it more customizable.
The Opove and ExoGun are both popular low-price alternatives. The Opove has only 5 heads, 3 speeds and 4 hours of battery life, but it's much cheaper than the Hydragun at $199. It will be louder than the Hydragun, but it still won't wake the neighbors up.
The ExoGun has quite similar features to the Hydragun. It has 5 heads and 6 speed settings and costs $199 - $100 less than the Hydragun. But unfortunately the Exogun can take up to 30 days to ship to the USA.
Finally, there's the AlphaGun X. The AlphaGun is similar to the Hydragun in design, and both have a powerful motor, strong outer casing and a carrying case.
But in addition to that, the AlphaGun X has 30 speed settings instead of 6, 8 massage heads (instead of 7) and is cheaper than any of the alternatives discussed so far - its currently on sale for $179.
The combination of 10x the number of speeds and more massage heads makes the AlphaGun X capable of a much wider range of massage programs - e.g. for different body parts, for when you're very sore, if you only want a very gentle massage, etc.
Not only does it have a much lower minimum speed (of 1,000 RPM), but you'll be able to increase the intensity much more gradually between the Alpha's 30 speeds compared to the Hydragun's 6.
Unlike many massage devices in the same price range, the AlphaGun X is shipped from the US and delivery is free. Delivery usually takes 3-7 days.
The AlphaGun X has a higher stall force (50lb) and a slightly higher RPM of 3,500, so overall the power level is greater.
The only places the AlphaGun comes second is battery life and noise - but not my a long way.
The Hydragun has up to 6 hours battery life and the AlphaGun X has up to 5.
Although the Hydragun is the quietest on the market, the AlphaGun X is not exactly loud - at its top speeds it makes as much noise as an electric toothbrush, and much less at lower speeds.
Key reasons to consider the AlphaGun instead:
1. The AlphaGun is $120 cheaper than the Hydragun. The AlphaGun X comes with more speeds and heads but costs $120 less than the Hydragun.
2. The AlphaGun has has 30 speed settings compared to the Hydragun's 6. The Alpha has an LCD screen where you can select between 30 speeds from very gentle to intense, making it significantly more customizable - gentle when you're particularly sore, intense when required, and at very gradual increases in between.
3. The AlphaGun has 8 massage heads while the Hydragun has 7. In addition to many more speeds, more heads means the AlphaGun is more adaptable and tailored to your whole body.
4. The AlphaGun has a 3,500 RPM motor. The max speed of the AlphaGun X is slightly higher than the Hydragun's 3,200 max RPM and the minimum speed is much lower at 1,000 RPM - so it has a wider range of speed (massage intensity) settings.
The AlphaGun offers very similar features to the Hydragun, but for $120 less and with extra features including more speed settings and massage heads.
It also has a 30 day money back guarantee and a one year warranty.
Four key reasons to try the AlphaGun instead:
1. It's cheaper at $179 compared to $299+ for the Hydragun
2. The Alpha has more massage heads: 8 compared to 7 with the Hydragun
3. The AlphaGun has a digital control panel and 5x as many speed settings
4. The AlphaGun has a 3,500 RPM motor - the higher max speed than the Hydragun
5. The AlphaGun is shipped free from Chicago and usually delivered in about 3-7 days.
So, for a limited time you can get a powerful and versatile massage gun for $120 less by choosing the AlphaGun X.