Theragun Wave Roller Review – a smart, vibrating roller with app
The Theragun Wave Roller is a fairly firm and powerful vibrating roller that has many uses including recovery from exercise, speeding recovery from injuries and massaging cellulite. It’s a very well made, superbly packaged & well-presented product that can be charged wirelessly and controlled remotely but is it worth Therabody’s premium price tag?
Here is my summary review of the Theragun Wave Roller and, further below, are more product details, usage tips, discounts and alternative products to consider.
Verdict: The Theragun Wave Roller beats a regular foam roller if you can justify the premium price tag
Theragun Wave Roller Summary Review
Foam rollers are great for recovery, minor injuries and even warmups. A vibrating foam roller takes the humble roller to the next level and offers an easier way to penetrate more deeply and for longer. Theragun takes their Wave Roller to an even greater level of tech by adding in guided workout routines and the ability to remotely control the frequency of vibration.
The packaging is EXCELLENT, making this ideal as a present.
It’s a standard-sized, smaller roller and is easily carried anywhere and lasts for up to 3 hours.
Every fitness goer and athlete should own a roller and maybe a percussive massager too. The Wave Roller combines the effects of both in one great design. Vibrating rollers ARE better than a standard roller but they are notably more expensive.
- Very well made and from a reputable brand
- Vibration for increased effectiveness
- Smartphone app with numerous guided routines
- Apple watch remote control app
- Optional wireless charger
- Quiet on low frequency mode…less so when cranked up to 5/5
Using the Theragun Wave Roller
Simply use the Wave Roller as you would any foam roller and adjust the frequency of vibration to a comfortable level. With a combination of vibration and the weight of your body on the Wave Roller, the massage effect penetrates deeper than using a foam roller by itself.
I would say that the Wave Roller is slightly better than a simple foam roller in the sense that it does seem to penetrate more deeply and with less effort. I found that it worked especially well on my hamstrings, ITB and quads but I found it a little uncomfortable on my lats and calves. Indeed it’s best used on larger muscle groups.
There is also the laziness method for using the Wave Roller. You can position your point of pain on the roller and then adjust the vibration and let it do all the work and not ‘roll’ at all. I found that technique especially useful on my ITB where my point of pain was localised at the top of the tendon.
The lowest vibration setting is very slight and the highest setting is strong with a significant vibration effect. Overall it’s fairly quiet but by no means silent even on a carpet. If you live in a flat with a hard floor I would imagine your neighbours below might not be too happy.
The app is discussed in a subsequent section and there are graphics in the app which show you how best to roll individual muscle groups.
I’ll finish off by pointing out that the Wave Roller comes with a charger and it’s simply a case of plugging it into a mains socket.
Alternatively, there is a wireless charger, available at extra cost, and using that is even easier and you just leave the roller on the stand and it charges.
Theragun Wave Roller Specifications
- What’s Included – Wave Roller, Deluxe Carrying Bag and Power Adapter
- Accessory Compatibility – Multi-Device Wireless Charger (links to more info on Theagun site)
- Dimensions – 12.0 in x 5.1 in, (30 cm x 13 cm)
- Weight – 3.3 lbs, (1.5 kg)
- Material – Hypo-allergenic EVA high-density foam
- Battery Life and Charge Time – 180 minutes
- Battery Type – 12V Internal Lithium-ion Battery
- Warranty – 1-Year Limited Warranty (the UK version says 2-years Limited Warranty)
5 Top Tips
- It’s not entirely obvious if the device is on or if it is charging when on the wireless charger. Press the button briefly to turn the Wave Roller on and when you return it to the wireless charger the Waver Roller will be turned off and the white charger light will come on indicating it is charging.
- A RED LED light indicates low battery
- When the vibration is cranked up to 5/5 it is sometimes hard to get onto it. Start on the lowest setting and increase to 5/5 once you are in position.
- Although you can easily use the vibration modes of the Wave Roller without the app, the app is very useful if you are unsure how best to massage specific muscle groups.
- Noise is not so bad but at 5/5 and on a hard wooden surface it would be audible in any room below. Use a carpet to further dampen any noise & vibration.
Therabody is the parent organisation for the Theragun brand and its focus is on high-end wellness tech although they sell other wellness products like CBD oil. They boast the recent acquisition of one of my favourite recovery products, PowerDot – Review, as well as having this impressive list of investors 2 Chainz, Maro Itoje, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nicky Jam, Josh Allen, Rodney Jerkins, Kyle Allen, Karlie Kloss, Lance Bass, Mau y Ricky, Cody Bellinger, Shawn Mendes, Troy Carter, DK Metcalf, Kat Cole, Jordan Palmer, Will Compton, Pokimane, Kirk Cousins, Albert Pujols, Daniel Craig, Marcus Rashford, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, Rihanna, Sam Darnold, Suzy Ryoo, Kevin De Bruyne, Shiza Shahid, Brent Faiyaz, Maria Sharapova, Pau Gasol, Ryan Sheckler, Andrew Gertler, Breanna Stewart, Ashley Greene, Marcus Stroman, DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Timberlake, Julianne Hough, Bobby Wagner, Desmond Howard and Russell Wilson & Ciara.
Therabody and HyperIce seem to be two of the key brands in this sector that we shall see more from in the years ahead.
The Apple Watch app for the Wave Roller is a simple on/off remote control. Whilst very limited in functionality, it IS handy to be able to stop/pause/start the roller from your wrist rather than reaching for a larger phone device. On the Apple Watch SE, I didn’t get the ‘force’ option that the app store suggested would be available (image below).
The Therabody app for iPhone/iPad is a little more interesting and has a frequency control as well as the ability to stop/start/pause the roller or, indeed, many other Theragun products. Another impressive feature is a series of routines that guide you through using the roller for warmup, recovery, wellness and rehab. Each routine is good, with timed components, progress indicators and simple graphics that show you how to perform each rolling action.
Other Theragun Products
The Theragun sub-brand has 5 product areas, namely Powerdot (electrical stimulation), Recovery Air (Compression), a fitness mat!, their famous percussive massage guns and the Wave Series of rollers of which the Wave Roller I am reviewing here is one.
The two other Wave products are the Wave Duo and Wave Solo which are globe-shaped versions of the Wave Roller.
There is a range of accessories for most of Therabody’s products and the relevant one for the Wave Roller is the super-handy wireless charger, shown below, which will also wirelessly charge other Theragun products.
The Duo model is for the back, spine and neck and the Solo is perhaps a more useful product that is suitable for pinpoint massaging in many locations.
Wave Solo – buy from Amazon
Alternatives to the Theragun Wave Roller
There are many kinds of foam roller that typically start at £10/$12 and which come in different degrees of ‘nobbliness’ as well as differing degrees of hardness, they will probably last a year or so for one person in regular use. However, those are not smart products and if you are looking for something smart and a little different then I could suggest looking at these.
JoxJox and Hyperice are also worth looking at, although Hyperice is even more expensive with their Vyper 2.0 vibrating massager coming in at $200…ouch!
I’ve not tested any of the other products and would point out that the motor is put under a significant strain by the weight of your body, the point being that less well-made products will not last as long as the Wave Roller.
Must Read: Thumper Mini Pro Sport Massager Review
Theragun Wave Roller vs. Hyperice Vyper 2.0
The Hyperice is more expensive and has 3 frequency settings unlike 5 on the Wave Roller.
If you are a heavier athlete then you would go for the much firmer Hyperice Vyper, although the Wave Roller is more comfortably firm.
The Wave Roller has more features like the ability to control with an app and to use a wireless charger plus its battery lasts longer and the Wave Roller is also slightly lighter, slightly smaller and thus easier to carry.
Takeout: Wave Roller wins in EVERY respect, including price, unless you are specifically looking for the firmest of rollers.
Price, Discounts & Availability – Theragun Wave Roller Review
The Theragun Wave Roller has good availability in a variety of stores including Amazon and directly from the manufacturer, I’ve not yet found any discounts and will them to this review when I see them
- The Wave Roller is priced at $149, £125 or Eu149
- Its wireless charger is priced at $79, Eu79 or £75
- Buy from Amazon: here