Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Lower back pain relief made easy

The Venom 2 Back targets lower back pain and discomfort with heat and vibration

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review: Pistured here, a woman putting on the belt in front of cutrians
(Image credit: Hyperice)
T3 Verdict

The Hyperice Venom 2 Back's updated design boasts an increased treatment area, faster heating, easy-to-understand user interface and longer battery life. Thanks to the three different heat/vibration settings, you have nine different massage options to play around with. It can also connect to the Hyperice app via Bluetooth, enabling you to initiate and further customise your sessions.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Large treatment area

  • +

    Heats up fast

  • +

    User-friendly operation

  • +

    Connects to the Hyperice app via Bluetooth

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Size limits its application to areas other than just the lower back

  • -

    Lower heat levels than its predecessor

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Therabody recently launched a bunch of new products, and among these was the fifth-generation Theragun Pro, which, at first glance, looks similar to the 4th Gen machine but actually offers some improvements over its predecessor. Are these significant enough for people to consider updating? How good is the 5th Gen Theragun Pro? I was determined to find out.

The best massage guns have come a long way, but one thing hasn't changed much since we started hearing about them in the media: Therabody – well-known for its Theragun range – is the brand people associate the most with these devices. There are many different versions of Theraguns, from the small Theragun mini (4th Gen) (of which there is also a new version; review coming soon) to the top-of-the-line Theragun Pro.

How does the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) compare against other Theraguns and other massage guns, such as the Hyperice Hypervolt 2? Should you buy one for yourself? What is it good for? Let's explore.

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Price and availability

The second iteration of Hyperice Venom 2 Back was announced in September 2022 and is available to buy directly from Hyperice US, Hyperice UK and Hyperice AU for a recommended retail price of $249/£269/AU$449.95. It's only available in one colourway/version.

The original Venom Back can now be bought for cheaper, even directly from Hyperice (it was down to $169 in the US at the time of writing). There are some key differences between the two models (please see below), but thanks to the price drop, the Venom Back is worth considering. Alternatively, consider the also recently launched Hyperice Venom Go, which can be used in almost any area of the body thanks to its compact form factor.

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – What's new?

The Hyperice Venom Back 2 is significantly different from its predecessor. The treatment area has more than doubled (from 44.5 square inches to 94 square inches), yet it feels less bulky than its predecessor. The new belt also heats up six times faster (according to Hyperice) and features HyperHeat, which delivers a faster, more consistent distribution of heat across a greater surface area. Battery life also increased from two to three hours, and the Venom 2 Back is now Bluetooth enabled.

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review

(Image credit: Hyperice)

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Design and build quality

Although, in principle, the new Venom 2 Back and the original Venom Back are similarly-made, thanks to its more compact form, the new iteration of Hyperice's heat and massage belt less bulky and more premium overall. The new belt has a much larger treatment area, yet the neoprene belt itself is slimmer and easier to wrap around the waist. The level of compression is also easy to change using the velcro strap, although don't expect crazy compression levels; this isn't the Hyperice Normatec 3 Legs compression boots, after all.

The user interface has also been updated; the buttons located around the edge of the control unit make it easier to operate the Venom 2 Back without looking. There are dedicated buttons for turning the belt on, changing the heat settings and switching between vibration modes. LED lights next to each button indicate which setting the Venom 2 Back is on, whereas, on the previous model, you had to check the display that faced away from your belly. Unless you're a contortionist, it's a bit challenging to do so.

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Features

The Hyperice Venom 2 Back offers compression, heat and vibration. You can apply compression by physically tightening the neoprene belt; the other two features are controlled by the compact unit at the front of the belt.

There are three heat options: Level 1 (113F/45C), Level 2 (122F/50C), and Level 3 (131F/55C). This is actually under the heat levels provided by the original Venom Back, but in return, you get a much faster warming experience. Of the three heat levels, Hyperice only recommends the first one to be used directly on the skin; the other two when worn over a t-shirt or a top.

As for vibration, the different modes don't make the vibration stronger; instead, they offer different patterns to switch up your massage game. The first one is continuous vibration (and, therefore, drains the battery the most). The second mode could be visualised by this pattern: — — — — — — (long-long-long). The third one mixes up things and feels like this: – – — – – — – – — (short-short-long). Overall, there are nine different massage/heat combinations to choose from, depending on your preference.

Hypeice Venom 2 Back review

(Image credit: Hyperice)

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Performance

I suffer from mild scoliosis, so I almost constantly have back problems. That said, my lower back isn't the issue; pain stems from the core of the thoracic spine, which is located a bit further up the back. Initially, I thought the Hyperice Venom 2 Back wouldn't be able to help much in alleviating my discomfort, but I was wrong! As it turns out, you can wear the belt like a sling bag thrown over the shoulder, which provides heat in the upper back area – exactly what I needed.

Of course, the Venom 2 Back is best suited for lower back issues, particularly period pain, and it works wonderfully to soothe that type of ailment. Or so I've been told by my fiancee, who was happy to try the Hyperice Vernon 2 Back during the testing period. In fact, she was so fond of it that she managed to drain the battery in just a couple of days, as she went full whack on the heat/vibration for as long as possible (the belt cuts off after around 15 minutes to avoid overheating). That was enough of a seal of approval for me.

I'm not surprised she was so keen on using the belt; the heat distribution is excellent. The Venom 2 Back heats up rapidly, which makes it all the more suitable for wearing the belt directly on the skin. I hate putting on heart rate monitors during cold months (I get around feeling the chill by wearing the strap over my t-shirt for a few minutes until it warms up), but the Venom 2 Back heats up to a decent level within a matter of seconds, which made me want to use it more often.

As for how much it speeds up recovery...  That's the purpose of the belt. It's supposed to soothe pain, not boost your recovery, at least in my opinion. This doesn't mean the compression, heat and vibration provided by the Venom 2 Back aren't helpful for recovery, but since it can only be used in a specific area, its applications are limited.

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Verdict

There are much cheaper ways to apply pressure and heat to your lower back to help relieve discomfort; you can get heated pillows, hot water bottles and different compression straps, all of which will help you tackle one symptom or the other. However, the Hyperice Venom 2 Back can provide compression and heat plus vibration at the same time to help you blast through pain like a pro.

The updated design boasts an increased treatment area, faster heating, easy-to-understand user interface and longer battery life. Thanks to the three different heat and vibration settings, you have nine different massage options to play around with. Not to mention, the Venom 2 Back can now connect to the Hyperice app via Bluetooth, enabling you to start and further customise your sessions.

Is the Venom 2 Back an essential purchase? If you haven't got any issues with your lower back – whether it's the result of poor posture or due to period pain – it will be hard to justify the price tag of this otherwise excellent massage belt. If you do, though, the Hyperice Venom 2 Back can help you feel less miserable, and that's worth the premium.

Hyperice Venom 2 Back review – Also consider

Therabody recently launched its RecoveryTherm belt (retailer link), which provides heat not just in the lower back area but all around the core. It's also cheaper than the Venom 2 Back, and – surprise! – provides three levels of heat and three modes of vibration modes. Battery life is also the same (three hours).

Omron's HeatTens (retailer link) offers a more targeted approach. It combines heat with TENS technology (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), which stimulates the nerves by sending small electrical signals into the area. It's pretty cheap, too.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.