Workout enthusiasts and athletes alike are faced with a tough dilemma when it comes to picking muscle recovery tools. The market offers plenty of foam rollers, compression tools (like the R8 Plus), and massage guns to get the job done. However, buyers are forced to consider and weigh price value and device quality. In 2022, ROLL Recovery released the R1 Percussion massage gun in hopes to solve that equation for consumers.
From the bat, I was struck with just how small this device was. ROLL Recovery presents the device and accessories in a small, yet sleek box. Immediately, I noticed the weight of the device. The percussion gun weighs just over a pound yet it feels well balanced and easy to hold in the hand. Inside includes stickers and paperwork regarding the brand’s 1-year warranty. The whole unboxing experience points to a device that is ready to exceed expectations.
Design & Features
The R1’s design is made with the user in mind. The form factor of the percussion gun fits perfectly in the hand. The device features “Aircraft-grade Anodized Aluminum Body” with a designated grip. The bottom holds the power button, USB-C port, and status lights. There are four different speed settings (1800rpm, 2200rpm, 2600rpm, 3200rpm) with a 40W power rating. Included in the box are four attachment heads (flat, ball, fork, and pointed). From my experience, the heads were easy to attach and felt secure and in place during use. The R1 features a Lithium-ion 2200mAh battery that provides plenty of power for multiple uses. A USB C cable for charging is included, a power adapter is not (which in 2023, it’s a gift to receive a power adapter). Also to note, R1 is flight-safe and you’re able to travel with it.
When it comes to sound, this tool is quiet. From simple tests in a quiet room with my Apple Watch, the R1 operated between 50dbs-60dbs depending on motor speeds. What I ask when it came to sound levels is “does its level bother me?” and I think that answer is no for most buyers.
Lastly, I love the colorways for this device. Coming in Carbon Black, Ruby Red, Champagne Gold, and Mint Green each color looks quite sharp. Overall, the design takes a subtle and premium approach and the color ways are a testament to that.
Pros & Cons
There’s a lot to like with the R1 as well as a few things to be aware of. First, this massage gun’s small size and portability is a huge win. Measuring 5.6” x 3.6” x 1.85” (14.2cm x 9.1cm x 4.7cm), it’s easy to throw in your gym bag or keep in your backpack. Another win for this device comes in the form of accessories. Four interchangeable heads, a carrying bag, and a USB-C charging cable. When researching other compact-sized massage devices, they typically offer just one or two interchange heads.
However, while the R1 is small and compact, it doesn’t sacrifice battery life. In fact, it goes further than just refusing to sacrifice battery life, it heavily outperforms competitors. R1’s benchmarks claim a hefty “industry leading 7+ hour” battery life. This metric doubling other compact percussion massage devices such as Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2 and even premium massage guns such as the Theragun PRO. While the battery life is easy to love, a nice touch would have been to simplify the battery status indicator. The indicator flashes at various rates according to the device’s charge but I noticed that sometimes the speeds of the flash were difficult to contrast. An easy improvement would have been to have a simple battery percentage array of lights.
A drawback to the R1 is its lack of Bluetooth connectivity. Other brands such as Hyperice and Therabody’s Theragun offer Bluetooth connectivity for their devices featuring automated speed control, battery percentage, and location-tracking via mobile app. While this feature isn’t a need, it could be a want for some buyers. However, perhaps Bluetooth connectivity could make a good addition for future percussion massage product from ROLL Recovery.
This massage gun is the real deal. For $129.99, this might be one of the best deals out there for those looking to invest in their muscle recovery without breaking the bank. While it largely depends on use case, I actually preferred the R1’s general ease of use and portability over other recovery products like ROLL Recovery’s R8 + (which I reviewed here) and other devices I’ve used. ROLL Recovery made a complete product in the R1 that outperforms competitors with a lower price, bigger battery, extra accessories, and equal motor performance. ROLL Recovery entered the percussion massage gun market in 2022 and is here to stay in 2023.
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.