The MuscleGun Carbon is well built, light, and portable enough to take on a trip, with four included massage heads suitable for a variety of muscle groups. Controls are quick and easy to master, plus the battery runtime is more than suitable for most needs. The MuscleGun certainly hits the right spot with its power delivery via a super smooth brushless motor. There’s a supporting app too, which helps you to milk a little more out of its potential. It’s a good value mid-budget option.
Good range of power modes
Nicely designed and well balanced
Particularly easy to use
Basic selection of four massage heads
Fewer power socket adapters than its rival
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The MuscleGun Carbon closely resembles many other massage guns on the market, but has everything you need to tackle muscle pain and tension. It arrives in a stylish padded bag that includes the gun itself, a range of interchangeable heads plus an instruction manual and power adapter.
The MuscleGun Carbon delivers a versatile range of massage using up to 3,200 beats per minute, via a selection of intensity settings. It’s also complimented by an app called Deep. Overall, the package is a simple one, but pretty effective at taking on everyday muscle issues without the need for professional physio (though like any percussive massager, it's not a replacement for one-on-one treatment).
Price and availability
The MuscleGun Carbon was released in November 2020, and is currently available for £199.99 instead of the regular £229.99 on the company's UK website. There’s also a free ab wheel thrown in for good measure, plus free postage and packing, though presumably that is a time-limited offer.
The same devices is listed $199 from the US MuscleGun website, though at the time of writing was sold out.
That's a mid-range price for a massage gun – less than the HoMedics Physio Pro Massage Gun at £299.99 (about $410 / AU$550), but more than the excellent Power Plate Mini+ at $179.99 / £179.95 (about AU$250).
The MuscleGun Carbon definitely feels solid, with a robust dog-leg shaped design that sits in your hand nicely. It’s well balanced, and because it’s only around a kilo in weight, the gun should be pretty easy to hold for longer periods of massage.
There’s a port on the bottom of the handle so you can connect the power adapter when the gun needs a recharge. On the end of the main body, at the opposite point where the massage heads connect, you’ll find a circular power button, plus small LEDS. One side indicates available battery power up to around six hours, while the other side shows which massage intensity you’re using from one through to five
Prolonged use will require you to plug in the MuscleGun Carbon and recharge it, but the 2,550mAh battery seemed fairly resilient to us. When we did need to plug in the adapter and wait for a full charge it took a similar amount of time to the four hours or so of the Shavron unit. We like the way that everything can be packed away into the zip-up travel back too, which makes this another portable option.
The MuscleGun Carbon's brushless motor delivers power very nicely indeed. Selecting one of the four heads, round, bullet, flat and fork, you push your choice into the round slot in order to lock it into place. The only potential issue is how well the heads remain secured in place after prolonged use.
Nevertheless, the percussive massage works well across the power range of 1,400 to 3,200 percussions per minute. The heads themselves seem well made and can be wiped off after use without any fuss. In fact, the practicality of this unit, which comes in a handy carry case is one of its main strengths. You could easily pack it into a suitcase or carry-all for any on-the-go treatment needed during a trip or between sporting events.
The manual is basic, but delivers a decent overview of the MuscleGun’s capabilities. The supplementary Deep app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, is also worth exploring. It widens the scope of what the MuscleGun can do. However, we found that like most percussive massagers, the best way to acquaint yourself with its potential is to spend time using it. The sporadic 10-minute sessions we enjoyed achieved positive results on the usual suspects, like aching calves from too much running and soothing tension in the neck and shoulders.
Overall, we found nothing to dislike about the performance of the MuscleGun Carbon. It doesn't stand out as exceptional, but it's well built and dependable.
First reviewed February 2022
Buy it if
You're on a budget
This massage gun is an affordable but effective way to tackle muscle strains or to help relieve tension.
Your needs are relatively simple
There's a pretty basic selection of massage heads to choose from here.
You want a massage gun for the gym or office
The MuscleGun Carbon's portable carry-bag package will be useful if you’re on the go.
Don't buy it if
You need a more potent massager
This isn’t a professional-level solution and there’s no heated head as found on some pricier rivals.
You want extra plug adapters
If you're going to be traveling the world, there are other massage guns that offer more options.
Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.