A compact, inexpensive, and quiet percussive device that might not pack a ton of amplitude for those who like a ton of “punch,” but still gets the job done on most muscle groups
Price (and including three tips)
Lower amplitude than competitors
Low-speed setting is barely useful
If you haven’t heard of them yet, percussive massage devices are basically a tool that oscillates at a certain speed (its frequency) at a certain depth (its amplitude). Each time the head of the device impacts and retreats from your muscles, brands say the vibration increases blood flow to the treated area. Think of getting a sports massage—that moment where they’re actively peppering your back with pressure, that’s percussive treatment. Many proponents point to a 2014 study that says vibration therapy can help reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) post exercise. In other words, you’ll feel less sore when you use percussive therapy (device or otherwise) and prevent muscle tissue damage. Others also like to use percussive therapy pre-workout to help eliminate sore spots and increase blood flow before beginning. While percussive devices are nothing new, commercial models have traditionally been in the $300+ range, some have been loud, and many are quite large. While many physical therapists are tellingly buying them and using them, the casual triathlete has likely been shopping and wondering if it’s worth it (or building them as a DIY project with a reciprocating saw and foam attachment). The good news is that—like everything—percussive massage devices are getting smaller, quieter, and cheaper—all three words that we’d use to describe Addaday’s new Biozoom Jr.
Addaday Biozoom Jr.: The Specs
A little bit of background on Addaday: Unlike brands like Theragun (or Therabody, as they’re called now) and Hypervolt, Addaday’s roots are not necessarily in percussive devices, but they have been in the massage game for a bit. Better known for their high-end massage chairs or more “every day” massage devices like foot massagers and back massagers, Addaday had already released its full-sized Biozoom that was measurably less expensive and claimed to be quieter than its competitors. The Biozoom Jr. is a compact version—a more portable device along the lines of the Theragun Mini.
The specs for the Biozoom Jr.:
- Three speeds that range from 20Hz-53Hz (or 1200-3180 “percussions per minute,” a term other brands use)
- USB-C rechargeable battery that lasts up to 90 minutes (though we actually found it went longer)
- A “throw” or amplitude of 6mm (we’ll dig into this later, pun intended)
- Weighs under 1 pound
- Tops out at around 65 dB on high when measured at less than a foot’s distance
- Includes three tips: a high-density blue geodesic foam sphere for big muscles, a thumb-shaped low-density foam tip for targeted compression, and a smooth low-density sphere that glides along more sensitive areas
Addaday Biozoom Jr.: The Good
On paper, the Biozoom Jr. is certainly ahead of its class. Weighing in at under a pound, costing less than its competitors (even before taking into account that it includes three tips instead of just one), and boasting a quieter motor than almost anything we’ve seen (see our unboxing for comparison), the Biozoom Jr. ticks off a lot of the boxes for things that really bother us about other percussive devices. This is most likely the percussive device that’ll finally push people over the edge on purchasing one and giving the technique a try. Even the smaller details are fantastic: USB-C charging (while other brands still mostly use a bulky AC adapter) that lasts even more than the advertised 90 minutes, a lower operating temperature than others, and a good variety of included tips name a few. We loved the design, the way it fit in our hand, and the fact that it would be easy to bring this just about anywhere and be able to get some use out of it. If there’s an argument for a device being “better” because you’re more likely to use it, then this is definitely better than most.
Addaday Biozoom Jr.: The Not-So-Good
Of course nothing is perfect, and the (long) list of good features needs to have a few asterisks for accuracy. First, while there are three speeds, we found the first speed to be so light that the motor would actually bog down if we tried to press down even moderately hard. That said, the two upper speeds are more likely where most people use these devices anyway. And while there are arguments for and against increased amplitude (you might think of it as “power”), 6mm is one of the lowest throws we’ve seen on a percussive device. The Theragun Mini, for example is 12mm, while full-size devices range from Hyperice’s 13mm to Theragun’s 16mm. The amplitude is basically the amount of “punch” a device gives, and the Biozoom Jr. definitely falls on the lower end. Is this bad? Not necessarily—as some people prefer a massager with less throw. But for those who tell their masseuse to go “really hard,” for instance, you’ll likely be slightly disappointed. Also, while the battery life is fantastic on the Biozoom Jr., the fact that it shuts off automatically after 10 minutes of use (maybe to prevent from overheating?) can be a little annoying.
Addaday Biozoom Jr.: Percussive Conclusions
Like everything, there’s no “this is good” and “this is terrible,” and particularly with the Biozoom Jr., this is a great device for some people (those looking to save some money, get lots of tips, charge it easily, carry it more often, etc.) and not so great for others (those who love a deep, deep massage). If you’ve been on the fence about checking out percussive devices because they’ve been too expensive or you think you might not use it that much because they’ve (traditionally) been too loud, too heavy, or too awkward to bring with you, buy the Biozoom Jr. If you’ve already been using a percussive device and you know you’d like something smaller, but prefer a lot of amplitude and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks (also on tips), then the Biozoom Jr. probably isn’t for you. At least for me, I’m more likely to use something that is more accessible and at-hand—so even though it might take a little more elbow grease, I’ll probably use a less-expensive, smaller, and quieter device about twice as much as something more expensive, bigger, and slightly louder. Looking at the big picture, I love the fact that Addaday could have an impact on “democratizing” the percussive device industry. Some of these devices have been too expensive for too long, particularly given what goes into them, and if Addaday’s features/prices help drive down the cost to the consumer, then I’m all for it.