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.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – Price and availability
The fifth iteration of the Theragun Pro was announced in September 2022 and is available to buy directly from Therabody US, Therabody UK and Therabody AU for a recommended retail price of $599/£549/AU$899. Currently, it's only available in one colourway (Black), but Therabody often launches different editions of its massage guns, so watch this space.
Despite having the same RRP, the 4th Gen Pro can now be bought for less, even directly from Therabody, which is probably due to the launch of the new Pro. Not to mention other Theragun models that retail for ess than the Pro, even at RRP, such as the Elite or the Prime. These are less feature-rich than the Pro, though.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – What's new?
The most significant improvement to mention here is the redesigned brushless motor is said to deliver the same power as its predecessor but with 20% less noise. Also new are the four visually-guided routines built into the device via the OLED screen; these can be swapped in and out in the Therabody app. There are two new massage heads included in the box (Micro-Point, Thumb).
The fifth-generation Pro can be charged via USB (excellent; we don't need drawers full of old charging cables), and it now has a removable Li-Ion battery that you can swap out for a fresh one, so you don't ever have to stop massaging with the gun. Considering the Theragun Pro is designed for professional environments, this could be a game-changer for massage therapists working with teams of athletes.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – What's in the box?
In the box, you'll find the Theragun Pro device, and six attachments, of which four were included with the 4th Gen Pro (Standard Ball, Dampener, Wedge, and SuperSoft) and two new heads (Micro-Point and Thumb). There is a USB-C cable and adapter, a removable Lithium-ion battery, a soft case (for the massage gun) and an attachment pouch (for the attachments, obviously).
It's nice to see Therabody includes soft cases for their devices; it's so much nicer to store and carry these things around in a container instead of on their own. The massage gun can get dirty, and crumbs clog up all the wrong areas when thrown in the gym bag on its own – it's best to keep the Theragun Pro in the case.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – Design and build quality
The Theragun Pro (5th Gen) looks very similar to its predecessor. Of course, the handle is still the familiar triangle shape – I doubt much innovation can go into changing that – and the large blue plate covering the rotating joint is also the same. The body of the device is still black, covered in a nice-to-the-touch rubber-like coating.
From what I can tell, the main difference is the small blue bar added on the plate where it says 'THERAGUN PRO' and, of course, the removable battery that adds a button just above the lower edge of the device. Other than that, put the 4th and the 5th Gen Theragun Pros side-by-side, and an average person would find it hard to tell the difference.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – Features
You might think a massage gun won't have many features apart from pummelling your muscles, and you are right – that's what they do best. However, how they deliver this battering sensation differs from brand to brand. Therabody is proud of the fact that the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) can deliver 16 mm amplitude (how much the head travels in and out when the massage gun is switched on) and 60 lbs of no-stall force (the force it takes to stall the motor).
The Theragun Pro (5th Gen) has five built-in speeds (1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400PPMs) that can be further customised through the Therabody app. Speaking of the app: it's highly recommended you use the app to set the Theragun Pro up so you can make the most of the massage gun. The Therabody app will not only help you customise the Theragun Pro by letting you swap pre-set workouts in and out, but it can also suggest workouts based on your preferences and ailments.
There are loads of different workouts available for various applications, including cycling recovery, football warm-up, and my favourite, Tech Neck, which helps alleviate the effects of staring at your laptop/phone all day. The app tells you how long the workout lasts and what attachment to use; from there, you start the workout and follow the on-screen instructions.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – Performance
One thing is sure; the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) is a powerful ally in recovery. I'm a massive fan of any device and technique that speeds up recovery, hence why I keep on trying equipment such as the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots (a firm favourite of mine for leg recovery). The massage provided by the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) is what Dr Jason Wersland calls an active modality, meaning you have to put some work in to make it work (unlike using the JetBoots).
The new pre-set workouts make it easier to use the gun for inexperienced users. You pick the workout on the OLED screen, press start and batter your pain away. I find it a bit confusing to include these on the Theragun Pro, not because they are confusing to use but because I thought the Pro was intended for – err – pros. I feel that professional massage therapists or chiros – a.k.a. people willing to pay the premium for such a device – wouldn't need pre-set programmes on the massage gun. But I'm not a massage professional, so what do I know?
From a massage experience point of view, the fifth-gen Pro delivers almost the same experience as its predecessor. The speed options are the same, the amplitude is the same, and the feel of the machine is also the same; the main difference is the sound level, which is, in fact, noticeably quieter than before. And although the fourth-gen Pro wasn't deafeningly loud, any reduction in sound levels in our noisy life is welcome.
As for the two new attachments, the Thumb is a good addition and replaces the all-too-pointy Cone. As I was told during the initial product demo session, the brand tried many different shapes before they settled on this one, as this represented the shape of the thumb the best. It works well and provides a firm but not excruciatingly painful experience.
The Micro-Point head is a different story. The Pro inherited this attachment from TheraFace, a much calmer massage device aimed at facial therapy. Now, the issue is that the 16mm amplitude of the Theragun Pro makes the skin-stimulating effect of the small brush completely undetectable; the Pro is too strong for this kind of massage.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – Verdict
The Theragun Pro has always represented the most cutting-edge technology Therabody had to offer; it's their most powerful, customisable, professional-grade massage gun. The fifth-generation Pro delivers a flawless, firm massage experience that professional athletes crave and that can help speed up recovery or prevent injuries by readying the muscles for exercise before the session.
The redesigned brushless motor is quieter and delivers a lot of force. The high amplitude movement of the Theragun Pro (5th Gen) ensures you get a refreshing massage experience time after time. For those who find this level of percussive power too offensive, the SuperSoft head (included in the box) will help them ease into the 'proper' Theragun experience.
Some of the new features (e.g. pre-set workouts) are probably aimed at less experienced users, which is slightly contradictory, considering the Theragun Pro is the pro's choice, who most likely don't need them. The two new attachments are a bit hit-and-miss, with the thumb being an excellent addition and the Micro-Point – well – pointless.
If you have the previous-gen Pro, there isn't much point in upgrading to the new version, as it offers more or less the same massage experience, only quieter. The reduced noise level is a nice touch, and so is the removable battery (and the USB charging), the latter of which pros will surely appreciate.
Theragun Pro (5th Gen) review – Also consider
If you need something more compact than the Theragun Pro, the revamped Hypervolt GO 2 might be a good option. It feels more premium than ever, and although it's not quite as powerful as the full-size Hypervolt 2 (or the Theragun Pro), and you also miss out on Bluetooth connectivity, none of those will be a hindrance at this price point. Read my full Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2 review.