Hypersphere Mini review: Powerful and portable relief

A small but effective self-massage orb for treatment at home and on the go.
By Becky Wade Firth  on 
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Hypersphere Mini review: Powerful and portable relief
Small but mighty! Credit: Hyperice
Hypersphere Mini by Hyperice
The Bottom Line
The Hypersphere Mini by Hyperice is a vibrating self-massage ball that’s well designed and efficient for precise bodywork, both at home and on the road.
Buying Options
Mashable Score 4.75
Cool Factor 4.5
Learning Curve 5
Performance 5
Bang for the Buck 4.5
The Good
  • Nice size
  • Versatile shape
  • Grippy surface
  • Powerful vibration
The Bad
  • Battery life could be longer
  • Requires floor space and effort to use

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While they can’t replace the healing hands of a trained professional (at least yet), recovery tools have come a long way in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago that foam rollers—big cylinders of varying firmness that you lay on the floor and then roll back and forth over as a form of self-massage—were a novelty, mostly found in specialty sports stores and elite locker rooms. Now, there’s a whole world of recovery tools that come in just about every size, shape, and texture imaginable, with high-tech features such as vibration, compression, and temperature control.

The Hypersphere Mini by Hyperice, currently priced at $79, is one such techy tool. Roughly the size of a large orange but heavier and with a grippy rubber surface, it’s a deep tissue massager meant to pinpoint muscles that are sore, tight, or generally in need of some care. Like a foam roller, it’s placed on the ground and then rolled across using whatever body part requires attention at the moment: a hip flexor, calf, or hamstring, for example. But unlike lacrosse and tennis balls, which have long been used by athletes for similar purposes as the Hypersphere Mini, this tool ups the massage ante by offering three levels of vibration.

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After two weeks of daily testing (between five to ten minutes per session), here’s where I stand on the Hypersphere Mini:

The size is great, and actually travel friendly

While most recovery tools purport to be “travel friendly” and are indeed TSA approved, they’re so bulky, long, or heavy that the odds of me actually packing them for a plane trip are slim. The Hypersphere Mini is an exception. It’s slightly smaller than a softball and weighs just one pound, so it would fit fine inside a carry-on (and is TSA approved for that) and also wouldn’t make much of a dent in a checked bag. Not only would it be handy for pre- and post-run self-massage, it may also nudge me to spend a little time on my legs and glutes at the end of a long travel day, which never fails to leave me feeling stiff and tight.

The shape adds versatility

It may take some getting used to for foam roller veterans, but I’ve recently grown to love the shape of the Hypersphere Mini. The orb makes it easy to pinpoint specific areas such as a calf knot, and it’s also a perfect shape for rolling out feet—which, from my marathoner’s opinion, are easy to neglect but critical to keep loose and stay on top of. It’s true that a sphere can’t target as extensive of an area as a cylindrical foam roller can, meaning it’s probably not the best choice for a generally sore back, for example. But as I see it, what you lose in breadth, you make up for in precision.

The texture lets you use it anywhere

One session made clear that the Hypersphere Mini’s surface was thoughtfully designed. The hard outer shell allows for a deep and effective massage, while the grippy rubberized texture prevents it from sliding around smooth surfaces. I tried it out on shaggy carpet, hardwood floors, and a yoga mat, and got in a good massage in each place. In addition, there are shallow ridges all around the sphere that help it stay in place while unattended—something I cannot say for the lacrosse and tennis balls that this tool has replaced.

The vibration packs a punch

For such a small object, the Hypersphere Mini is surprisingly powerful. Even just holding it, it’s apparent that the vibration is strong, and it gets increasingly so as you toggle through the three different levels (low, medium, and high). When it’s on the ground and under the pressure of body weight, it’s even more powerful. I was able to dig as deep as I wanted everywhere I tried, including thicker muscles like glutes that comparable devices often cannot handle.

Interestingly, the regular Hypersphere, which is significantly larger and heavier than the Mini, has a high-torque 30-watt motor, while the Mini’s is 40-watt. That gives the smaller version a leg up, in my books.

The battery life is sufficient

The Hypersphere Mini’s battery lasts two hours, which seems to be standard for at-home recovery devices these days. (That’s comparable to other Hyperice tools I’ve reviewed, including the Hypervolt and Vyper 2.0, and as good as or better than the regular Hypersphere, which lasts up to two hours). Although a bigger batter would be nice and require less frequent charging, a couple of hours actually goes a pretty long way when each use lasts from a few to about ten minutes—a solid self-massage session, especially with the vibration component. If you think you’ll be a more frequent user, keeping the charger nearby and making a habit of juicing it up overnight would be an easy way to ensure it’s always ready when you need it.

Roll with it?

Two weeks into my Hypersphere Mini trial, I don’t have much criticism for this compact, powerful self-massage device. The size, shape, and texture make it easy to use anywhere, whether at home or on the go, and the three levels of vibration provide all the intensity I want in a recovery tool. At its current price of $79, it’s also quite affordable—less than what a typical hour-long in-person massage runs, and with a longer payoff, too.

The only drawback I can think of (besides the fine but not stellar battery life) is that, unlike some devices like the Hypervolt and Venom Back that can be used while seated or standing, the Hypersphere Mini requires some floor space and effort. But handheld devices have their own issues that should be considered too, including the reality that you can get a deeper massage when using pressure from your whole body rather than relying on arm strength alone.

Final verdict: While I’d still recommend pairing at-home bodywork with that by a pro (such as a sports masseuse, soft tissue therapist, or chiropractor), the Hypersphere Mini by Hyperice would be a valuable tool in any active person’s quiver, and seems well worth the cost to me.

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Topics Health

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