theragun elite review

Theragun Elite vs Prime Massage Gun In-Depth Review

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The Theragun Elite Percussion Massage Gun is one of the best massage guns you can buy. After months of abuse, it still delivers an enormous amount of muscle crushing power and functions like new. Read on as we take and in-depth look at the Theragun Elite and how it compares to the less expensive Theragun Prime.

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About Theragun 

The original Theragun is what put massage guns as we know them today, on the map. Originally developed in 2009 by Dr. Jason Wersland, the Theragun brand has steadily evolved into one of the top rehabilitative product focused companies on the planet. From massage guns to compression boots, they sell it all. To date, we have had the opportunity to test 4 of the massage guns–the Theragun PRO, the Theragun Elite, the Theragun Prime, and the Theragun mini. So far, they have all been outstanding.  

Relative to the quality of other massage guns we’ve tested, the ones from Theragun are all very well made. From what we gather, they’re very much invested in delivering quality products. And that truly shows with each new generation of massage gun they release. 

Ok, enough about the company. Let’s dive into the Theragun Elite and what makes it great. 

Theragun Elite Performance

The Theragun Elite is an extremely strong, well built massage gun. Thanks to its all-new QX65 brushless motor, it delivers a very strong and firm percussive massage. With a max stall force of around 40lbs and an amplitude of 16mm, the Elite is able to offer an extremely deep massage that so many crave. 

If we’ve scared you off thinking this will be too much force, no worries! Thanks to the 5 variable speeds, you can always dial back the intensity for a gentler massage experience.

So not only is the Theragun Elite powerful, but it’s surprising quiet too. Set on high it only produces about 60dB of sound. That’s equivalent to you carrying on a conversation or listening to some background music. 

Bluetooth and App

With the latest 4th generation, Theragun introduced Bluetooth connectivity into the mix with an accompanying smartphone App. Now, you no longer have to fumble around trying to figure out how to use a massage gun thanks to their guided programming. It’s all very technologically advanced, but incredibly easy to navigate.

From choosing the appropriate massage head attachment to treating a specific area of the body or condition, the App will guide you every step of the way. 

In practice, the App can be invaluable in that it will not only instruct you where to use the massage gun, but it will also indicate the amount of pressure to apply, where to grip the handle for best results, and what speed you should select. 

With the overwhelming number of worhtless Apps out there, Theragun put a lot of effort into making this one functional. 

Battery Life

As for battery life, you’re not going to have any issues worrying about recharging anytime soon. Theragun states that the internal battery holds twice the capacity of the previous model and should net you about 120 minutes of charge depending on your usage.

Considering the fact that you shouldn’t use it for more than about 10-20 minutes per session, getting a weeks worth of battery with frequent use would not be unheard of. During our hands-on time, we managed to use it an entire week and it still had at least a 30% charge left. It just kept going and going.


We really appreciated the design of the Theragun Elite. The body only weighs 2.2lbs and is shaped in such a way that it makes it very comfortable to hold in numerous different positions depending on where you need it. The triangular shape makes it super comfortable to hold, allowing you to contact those hard to reach areas of the body on your own. 

Currently, the Theragun Elite is available in 2 different colors, black and white. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to like them both. We will say this, the shiny black plastic is a fingerprint magnet, so if that might be something that bothers you, consider going for the white one. Smudges don’t show as easily. 

Continuing with the design, the placement of the on/off switch and the speed selector on the top of the handle was a smart decision. It makes it a lot easier to operate and further adds to the incredible ergonomics. 

Inside The Box

Inside the package you’ll find an attractive molded carrying case, 5 closed-cell foam massage head attachments, and a charger. Unfortunately, if you’re interested in wireless charging, that accessory stand is $79 extra. 

The charging base, although not included, is truly a fantastic option. If you’re anything like us, we hate the clutter of extra cables lying around. In this case, having the ability to not only neatly store your massage gun, but charge it too is pretty slick. 

We definitely enjoy having the option to drop the Theragun Elite on the battery charger instead of tinkering around trying to find a cable each time we need to charge it. 

Theragun Elite Pros and Cons



Theragun Prime vs Elite

For as much as we love the Theragun Elite, a lot of people are interested to know how the Elite compares to the Theragun Prime model.

At first glance, they’re nearly identical in design. However, beyond that there are a number of key differences that set the Prime vs Elite apart that you should know about. Are the differences enough to justify the $100 price premium? We’ll provide the facts and leave that decision up to you.

theragun elite vs prime
Theragun Elite $399
theragun prime vs elite
Theragun Prime $299

Theragun Elite vs Prime Exterior Design

Versus the Elite, the finish on the Prime is matte black. It’s not quite as flashy and lacks that polished aesthetic, but honestly the matte finish has its advantages.

As we previously mentioned, the shiny finish of the Elite attracts fingerprints like mad. If you’re a bit OCD, the Prime’s matte finish will save you the hassle of carrying around a microfiber towel to wipe it down at every given moment.

The other unassuming benefit of the Prime’s matte finish is that it’s actually a bit grippier in the hand versus the slick finish of the Theragun Elite. A small but noteworthy detail. 

Comparisons of the Theragun Prime vs Elite

In a lot of ways, the Theragun Prime and the Elite are more similar than different when it comes to the features that matter most. 

Prime vs Elite Theragun Prime Theragun Elite
Number of Speeds 5 5
Massage Head Amplitude 16mm 16mm
Battery Life 120 Min 120 Min
Stall Force 30 lbs 40 lbs
Attachments 4 5
Smart Capabilities LED Indicators, Bluetooth®, App-Guided Presets OLED Screen, Bluetooth®, 3 Built-In Presets, Force Meter
Dimensions 8.9 in (22.5 cm) x 6.3 in (16 cm) x 2.9 in (7.3 cm) 9.5 in (24.0 cm) x 6.7 in (17.0 cm) x 2.9 in (7.4 cm)

As you can see from the table, the Prime vs Elite are the exact same when it comes to the number of variable motor speeds, the amplitude, and battery life. What the Theragun Prime lacks is the OLED screen with the built-in force meter, has slightly less stall force, and doesn’t include the Wedge closed-cell foam massage head attachment. 

Theragun Prime vs Elite Stall Force

As you can see the Prime’s motor produces 10 lbs less stall force than the Elite. But what does that mean exactly?

Stall force refers to the amount of force the massage head can produce as it percusses the body. The higher the force, the more impact you’re going to feel. In other words, if you’re someone that prefers a really deep, hard hitting massage, a higher stall force would be a priority. 

For all intents and purposes, the Prime’s 30lbs of stall force is more than adequate in the majority of real world massage scenarios. However, that extra stall force might come in handy when you’re trying to work out knots in meatier areas of the body like the quads or glutes.

The bottom line is this:  With the Elite, you’re able to apply just a bit more downward pressure into the muscle without stressing the motor. 

Elite vs Prime Smart Features

The built-in smart features is the other area where the Elite vs Prime differ just slightly. Let’s start with the screen first.

The Theragun Elite comes equipped with an OLED display vs LCD display on the Prime. For the unaware, OLED is a newer screen technology that is capable of producing better picture quality through improved contrast. The differences are pretty apparent when it comes to big, modern television sets, but in this case, the benefits are negligible. 

Because it’s only outputting the battery life and basic settings, the tiny OLED screen doesn’t really do much over the LCD screen found on the Prime. 

The other difference between the Prime vs Elite is the Elite’s ability to program 3 built-in presets. In short, you can create presets with varying speeds, times, and force based on your preference. It’s a simple solution for those that like automation. In our opinion, it’s a neat feature, but dialing in the speed manually on the Prime isn’t all that difficult. 

Theragun Prime vs Elite: Is it worth it?

So here’s the $100 question: Is the Theragun Elite worth the $100 price difference over the Theragun Prime?

The answer to that is subjective, but when you fundamentally compare the Prime vs Elite and how well they massage, they’re nearly identical. And for that reason, if you’re money conscious, wanting the most bang for your buck, the Prime is an excellent choice. 

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, you are going to be extremely happy with the Theragun Elite. 5-star reviews are plentiful on every outlet where the Elite is sold. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that has anything negative to say about it.

If you suffer with chronic muscular aches and pains, the Theragun Elite is going to be your new best friend for sure. It consistently delivers a smooth, powerful massage experience that rivals every other massage gun available. 

Get The Theragun Elite

With advanced features and and next-level percussion, the Theragun Elite is best you can buy.

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Complimentary therapies to massage guns: Muscle stimulator, Infrared SaunaVibrationFoam Rolling

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