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id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Theragun Any fitness enthusiast will tell you they're familiar with enthralling videos of athletes' muscles rippling under the pressure of a vibrating self-massager. These hand-held massage guns use a workout recovery technique called "percussive therapy" or "percussion massage." 

The videos look cool, sure, but you may have wondered what's really going on as the gun repeatedly punches. I mean, it looks kind of painful, right? 

As it turns out, many people -- from professional athletes to recreational gym-goers to those with chronic pain -- love these powerful massage guns for several reasons. Percussive therapy is said to help muscles recover faster, reduce muscle pain and lactic acid build-up, improve range of motion and flexibility, encourage blood flow and more.

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OK, so you're convinced you need a massage gun for percussion therapy to recover faster from your next grueling workout and reduce muscle pain, but before you buy, you should know that these devices can cost you upwards of $500. If that's too steep, you can definitely find less expensive massage gun options, especially if you don't need the intense force of a pricey model.

Also, keep in mind that the research on percussive therapy and massage guns, in general, is somewhat limited. There's some evidence that suggests percussion therapy does help with muscle soreness, pain relief, blood circulation and general recovery, but not enough to make a conclusive statement yet. 

Below are some key things to consider when buying a massage gun including power, portability and battery life and then some picks for some of the best massage guns at varying prices, including a budget option.

Now playing: Watch this: Get weird with Razer's new energy drinks 6:35 What to look for in a percussive massage gun
Speed and power: If you work out a lot and often experience muscle soreness, you should opt for a massage gun with at least two adjustable speed and power settings -- one being less intense so you can still use the gun on very sore muscles where you are experiencing muscle tension or pain.

Type of motion: Do you want just vibration, vibration plus thumping, vibration plus a circular motion, or some other combination? When shopping for a massage gun, make sure to take note of how the device delivers the therapy.

Portability: If you're going to be traveling with your massage gun, you'll want one that can easily fit into a bag or suitcase, or one that has its own carrying case. Though most are indeed handheld massagers, some units are rather bulky. But there are a number of small, portable massage guns designed to be taken on the road so you can recover from your workouts anywhere.

Attachments and accessories: Where on your body will you use the massage gun? If you'll only use it on just your large muscles, such as your back and legs, you probably don't need many attachments or accessories. But if you intend to use it on specific areas, such as the arch of your foot or your neck, you'd benefit from attachments intended for those specific areas.

Battery life: A long battery life is always beneficial -- the last thing you want is for your massage gun to die when you need it most.

Cost: Of course, you'll want to look for a therapeutic massager device within your budget. The most expensive massage guns usually offer more speed, power and motion settings. Less expensive massage guns might only come with one mode, but can still be effective.

These products and services are independently chosen by our editors. CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and may change.

Most luxurious
Theragun G3 Pro
Theragun The Theragun G3 Pro is expensive, but it's received high praise for its deep muscle treatment from professional athletes in a wide range of sports, from basketball to CrossFit to golf. It's high-powered and efficient, delivering a max force tissue massage of 60 pounds at 40 beats per second to relieve soreness and muscle pain.

Theragun is known for being notoriously loud, unlike the quieter Hyperice Hypervolt, but athletes still love it.

If you are looking to save some money, there are also two cheaper models, the G3 for $399 and the Liv for $299.

What buyers say: "If you're thinking about buying this, GET IT!" This reviewer continued, "I got it to get over chronic tightness in my back and hamstrings. It's better than I hoped! … Bottom line: get it. You won't be sorry."

$599 at Theragun Similar features for a fraction of the price
TimTam Power Massager
TimTam The TimTam Power Massager delivers a powerful percussion therapy similar to that of Theragun, but at a fraction of the price. This TimTam model would be great for people who exercise intensely and frequently experience muscle soreness and muscle knots but don't quite have the budget for a Theragun.

What buyers say: "I've been suffering from chronic shoulder, back, and sciatica pain for many years, trying tons of different instruments and balls for some help with the pain," one buyer wrote. "The TimTam is lightweight and easy to use to target the specific areas that need relief. It does the work of a half-hour massage in five minutes. Completely amazing and life-altering.

$200 at Amazon Most versatile
Achedaway Vibration Massager
Achedaway The Achedaway massage gun has five speeds designed for very specific purposes, which can be helpful for people who want a massage, but aren't really sure what they need. The five speeds are: 1) wake up muscles, 2) fascia release, 3) eliminate lactic acid, 4) deep tissue massage, and 5) muscle recovery. 

The Achedaway gun is also equipped with an automatic stop after 10 minutes and a 5-hour battery life. Plus, it comes with four different massage heads and a nice carrying case that keeps all the charger, massage heads, and the gun itself organized and safe. 

$399 at Achedaway Quietest massage gun
Hyperice Hypervolt
Hyperice A common theme within Amazon reviews for percussive therapy devices seems to be something along the lines of: "I love this, but it's loud." A few reviews on the Theragun and TimTam even mention that the devices frighten their pets.

Hyperice set out to solve that with the Hypervolt, which uses patented technology to reduce noise for a more relaxing massage experience. A quieter massage therapy gun might be the best choice for you if you actually want to relax while using it.

Hyperice also recently released the Hypervolt Plus, which, for $100 more, is supposed to deliver a more intense massage. 

What buyers say: "I had to try someone else's before I would fork out the dough but I'm super glad we did. Works amazing on my shoulders and my wife's lower back. We sleep better, travel better, and just feel better using this thing a couple times a week."

$349 at Best Buy Our pick for best value massage gun
Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Massager
Wahl For less than $30 (although it runs for $40 on the Wahl website), this percussive massager allows you to adjust the percussion massage intensity from light to intense, and it comes with four unique attachment heads to provide super-targeted deep tissue massage relief for your different muscle groups. The only downside to this device is that it uses a cord, not batteries, so it's not very portable.

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