Everybody loves a good massage. Whether you need to relax after a long day or relieve your muscles after a workout, there’s no substitute. But there are many different massage techniques, and not all of them are useful for the same things. For example, take something like a vibrating massage bed. They’re great for shallow muscle stimulation and general relaxation. But they won’t reach deep tissues or relieve joint pain. In order to find the right massager, you first need to know the type of massage you’re looking for. And if you want to reach the deepest tissues, you’re going to want a percussion massager.
Today, we’re going to review two different massagers from the same brand. We’ll start with the Bob and Brad Q2 Mini. This, as you might expect, is a compact massager that’s designed to be as portable as possible. After that, we’ll take a look at the Bob and Brad C2. This is a larger massager with a correspondingly more powerful motor. But which one is going to be the best choice for you? To answer that question, we’ll first need to take a closer look at each of these devices. We’ll look at the physical design, the motor capabilities, and the functionality. After that, we’ll know enough to make a final comparison. Let’s get started, and see how these two percussion massage guns stack up!
Why Percussion Massage?
Before we proceed, let’s address the elephant in the room. What exactly is a percussion massager, and why would you want to use one? You might already own other massage devices, such as a vibrating massager. But as we already mentioned, different types of massage have their own benefits. So, what makes percussion massage special?
In most types of massage, the motion is side to side. This is an efficient type of motion, since you’re covering a lot of surface area quickly. That said, it doesn’t always penetrate. And with more vigorous, deep tissue massages, it’s tough to be precise. So your massage can loosen up one muscle, and make the one next to it sore. A percussion massager, on the other hand, is very precise. You can target small muscles and even connective tissue, without causing any damage to surrounding muscle. This makes it an ideal choice for rehabbing, or for chronic pain or stiffness in a particular spot.
To be fair, there are techniques that a human masseuse can use to do the exact same thing. One of the most common is to simply dig a knuckle into the affected area. That’s all well and good if someone else is massaging you. But you need to apply a lot of pressure, which means putting your back into it. It’s simply not practical to press down that hard with your knuckle. But a percussion massager is motorized. You don’t need to put a ton of effort into relieving your pain or tension. You can also keep going for a lot longer than you could if you were massaging by hand.
There are two primary reasons that percussion massage is so effective. To begin with, it loosens up stiff muscles. If you’re having issues with cramping or flexibility, this alone is a great benefit. In particular, it makes percussion massage an excellent post-workout technique. You want plenty of blood flow to recover from your workout; the looser your muscles are, the better. In addition, percussion massage can reach deep scar tissues that other massages can’t. When you’ve suffered a joint injury, scar tissue can interfere with the rehab process. By using a percussion massager, you can break down these tissues, hastening the rehab process.
Bob and Brad Q2 Mini
The Bob and Brad Q2 Mini is made to be incredibly portable. This is a truly pocket-sized massager, with a length of only 5.7 inches. And with a width of 3.4 inches and a thickness of 1.8, it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. It’s also incredibly lightweight, tipping the scales at a mere 1.3 pounds. If you’re looking for a massager you can take anywhere, it’s tough to do much better. The housing is mostly matte black, with glossy end panels. The housing is cylindrical, and the massage tip protrudes from one side, about two thirds of the way up. This design leaves enough area for an ergonomic silicone handle, which is very easy to grip.
This massager can be adjusted between five different speeds. In total, it can operate between 1,800 and 3,000 percussions per minute, in intervals of 300. This gives you plenty of flexibility, whether you want a more or a less intense massage. The 32-pound maximum stall force is a bit on the light side. But that’s to be expected from a massager this small. And on the plus side, even at the maximum speed setting, the volume is less than 55dB. That’s about the same volume as an ordinary conversation.
Operating the Q2 Mini is simple. There’s a control button on the side, which you press to turn the motor on and change the settings. Beneath it, there’s a row of five LED lights, which light up as you increase the intensity level. Our only quibble is that the button is on the handle, so you could press it accidentally during a massage. Along with the massager and accessories, the kit also includes a charcoal-colored nylon zippered carrying case. It’s reasonably durable, and it’s easy to carry around.
If you want a fully automated massager, you’ve got options. Not long ago, we reviewed the Urikar AT1. This massager has automated massage cycles for different body areas. It’s sometimes useful and sometimes not, but it’s worth taking a look at.
Battery and Accessories
The Bob and Brad Q2 Mini’s internal battery has a capacity of 2,500mAh. That’s enough for four hours of operation, which is a lot of massaging. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll get less performance the higher your intensity setting is. Recharging is also easy, and takes only about 3.5 hours via USB Type-C. A charging cable is included in the kit.
For the massage tip itself, you’ll have five different choices. They’re all interchangeable, and can be swapped out in just a few seconds. This makes the Q2 Mini exceptionally versatile, and capable of being used all over your body. Here’s a quick look at the five tips:
- The ball head is totally spherical. It covers a mid-sized area, and is designed to be used for massaging larger muscles.
- The bullet head is shaped like a lead fishing anchor. It has a smaller tip, and it’s designed for targeted massages on joints and deep tissue.
- The air cushioned head is something we haven’t seen before. It actually compresses as you massage, so it doesn’t apply as much pressure. This is great for dealing with bruises, where you need a very gentle massage.
- The forked head is a specialized head that’s shaped like an NFL field goal post. It’s made for massaging your spine, and relieving stress in your back and neck.
- The “flat” head is wide and circular, although the contact surface is actually slightly convex. Still, it’s a good general-purpose tip you can use on almost any part of your body.
Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun
The Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun has a matte black housing with a traditional, L-shaped design. It’s bigger and beefier than the Q2, with a total length of 8.66 inches. The massage head extends 7.32 inches, so you’re looking at a significantly larger profile. That said, the total weight is only slightly heavier, at 1.5 pounds. The silicone grip is easy to hold on to, although it’s straight and cylindrical rather than being contoured.
This massager also has five settings, spaced out in intervals of 300 percussions per minute. That said, the range is slightly higher, at 2,000 to 3,200 percussions. The stall force of 35 pounds is slightly higher, as is the maximum volume of 60dB. Like the Q2, the C2 has a single control buttons, with blue LED lights to indicate the intensity. But it’s located on the back instead of the handle, so it’s hard to activate by accident. You also get a grey cloth carrying case with a zipper closure.
Battery and Accessories
The C2 Massage Gun uses the same 2,500mAh battery as the Q2. That said, because it has a larger motor, you can expect slightly shorter battery life. On the high end, this can come out to about 3.5 hours. This is the same amount of time it takes to charge. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about your battery running dead on its own. If you accidentally leave the massage gun running, it will automatically shut off after 20 minutes.
In our opinion, the battery life of both the C2 and Q2 Mini are acceptable. They offer enough capacity for multi-hour sessions without any interruption. Rarely, if ever, will you find an athlete using their massage gun for more than a few hours during a single session. Charging between uses is incredibly easy and surprisingly quick.
If you need longer battery life, consider the Saluko Massage Gun. Not only does it have a five-hour battery life, but it also has a very rugged design. On the downside, it’s not as powerful as the C2, or even the Q2.
The C2 comes with the same types of massage heads as the Q2. The ball head, air cushioned head, and forked head are all identical, so there’s no point in belaboring the point. That said, the bullet and flat heads are a bit different, and are worth mentioning. The bullet head is a bit pointier, which makes it a bit more targeted. Then again, it also increases the intensity compared to a blunter tip. The flat head, on the other hand, is trumpet-shaped, with a completely flat front surface. This seems to distribute pressure more evenly than the Q2’s convex flat head.
As you can see, both of these massagers have their own strengths and weaknesses. The Bob and Brad Q2 Mini is surprisingly powerful for the size, and can fit into your pocket. It’s also got all the attachments you’ll ever need in a percussion massager. On the other hand, the Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun is significantly more powerful. With both more stall force and a higher maximum speed, you can reach deeper tissues. The only downside is that it’s a bit larger, so you can’t carry it in your pocket.