Looking like a hair dryer and available in either white or black, this massage gun is pretty stylish and won’t look out of place in most situations (including at TSA checkpoints).
With 16 mm of travel for the massage arm, it’s also capable of delivering a true deep tissue massage right to even the cores of larger muscles.
It’s not the most powerful massage gun, but most casual users won’t be disappointed.
Here’s the best part, though: despite its impressive battery life, great assortment of massage heads, and relatively low noise level, it costs surprisingly little.
The flipside to this, as with other off-brand products like the KoolerThings massage gun also featured here, is that dealing with customer service may turn out to be a less-than-inspiring experience. In this case (and unlike the KoolerThings option), the lack of a warranty is certainly a concern.
An Underdog, but Not Without Its Charms
There’s little to complain about the quality of the device itself, though. The massage heads slot in smoothly and stay put without feeling loose, while the whole device feels reassuringly solid even at only 2.2 lbs (1 kg). The smooth, hard plastic grip is not ideal, as it tends to slip in sweaty hands and transfers some vibration to your palm rather than the area you’re working on, but overall it’s not too difficult to use.
You can select from 1,000 up to 3,600 cycles per second in six increments. This is done using an LCD display and controls similar to most other percussion massage guns.
This Sylphim, however, comes with a much more useful assortment of no fewer than seven massage heads. In particular, the spade attachment that allows you to get into your transverse abdominal muscles and the stabilizers along your spine, and even do some rough-and-ready reflexology, is pretty useful. The curved head is very welcome when dealing with calves and upper arms. Most of these attachments are padded for greater comfort.
Odds and Ends
At this price point, you’d expect that the manufacturer would be tempted to cut a few corners; luckily, a travel case is not one of them. This measures about 8 x 10 x 4 inches (20 x 25 x 10 cm) and has room for everything that comes with the massage gun. You’ll also be able to charge it overseas from a 230 volt outlet, while the Sylphim’s battery life is second to none.
The machine will shut itself off after 30 minutes of work to keep you from inadvertently bruising your soft tissues. You can also pause the massage action without turning it off and having to set your speed again. The half a dozen speed options, such as those on this device, seem to be about the optimum: the measly three the Opove offers sometimes makes it difficult to find the sweet spot, while having more than a dozen to choose from (as on the KoolerThings) will only serve to confuse and annoy most people.
All in all, the low price, fashionable styling, variety of attachments, and general ease of use makes this a good gift for someone you think might like a massage gun but won’t buy one for themselves. Hardcore gym fanatics will probably choose something with a little more oomph, but the average Joe or Jane will find everything they’re looking for in the Sylphim, whether as an exercise aid or to treat a condition like sciatica or osteoarthritis.
- Inexpensive for what you get
- Good selection of massage heads
- Easy to set a comfortable power level
- Smooth handle can slip in your grasp
- No warranty
- Not all that powerful despite long stroke length