If you find yourself wondering what to buy for the runner in your life who has everything, I suggest checking out the Addaday BioZoom Edge ($150) with Bluetooth and an optional smartphone app. It’s a portable, easy-to-use handheld percussive massage device designed to promote recovery from workouts, competitions, or basic adulting.
Addaday’s website does a great job of spelling out details such as the difference between percussive and vibration therapy, contraindications and risks, tech support, as well as detailed instructions and videos for both the device itself and the optional free app. I love details, and I found the website offerings to be everything I needed to figure out how to use the BioZoom Edge without difficulty.Shop the Addaday BioZoom Edge
Why Use a Percussive Massage Device?
Why use a percussive massage device like the Addaday BioZoom Edge? Addaday claims that when used correctly, it can decrease pain and muscle soreness from activity — hello, DOMS! — increase blood flow and circulation to the muscle and surrounding area, accelerate warmup and recovery, and increase range of motion by promoting relaxation and decreasing tension. As a physical therapist, I always look for evidence in the form of peer-reviewed studies to back up such claims, and to date, there aren’t any compelling ones, or many studies at all. Anecdotally, however, percussive tools feel really good when properly applied with respect to how one’s body prefers.
Percussive therapy devices don’t replace the expertise of physical therapists, massage therapists, or other body workers, but they can be a helpful stop-gap between visits or during travel. At price ranges anywhere from $40 to $600, it can be a little overwhelming knowing which options to try and which features are genuinely important if you’re unsure of your personal preferences. At $150, the BioZoom Edge is considered a midrange device, but many of the features compete directly with those priced from $300 to $600.
There are pros and cons to any device, but considering I’m not a very tech-savvy individual, I’ve been very impressed with the simplicity of the free companion app which connects via Bluetooth to guide your sessions.
Addaday BioZoom Edge Features
The Addaday BioZoom Edge comes in a protective, foam-lined box that includes the massage gun, five attachments, and the charger. Unfortunately, there’s no actual carrying case included, which would be immensely helpful, so when I travel with it, the entire box comes too.
My kitchen scale indicates the massage gun itself weighs 1.9 pounds (30.5 ounces/864 grams). The battery lasts approximately two hours per six-(or-less)-hour charge, so for my peace of mind, I don’t travel without the charging cable. The battery ranks at the top tier of all massage guns, which is impressive, given the comparative cost.
Addaday recommends keeping the battery above the half-charge level for optimum function, so the only time it takes the full six hours to charge is for the initial use. The device has an easy-to-use hard on/off switch at the base of the device which I appreciate.
The device itself is billed as whisper quiet during operation, and it is indeed easy to speak or listen over it. The only exception to this is the beep when pressing the mode button — it’s rather shrill and usually gets the sleeping dogs’ attention. The large digital display makes it very easy to toggle settings regardless of the amount of light in the room.
The display indicates Bluetooth connectivity, battery level, program, mode, and plus/minus touchpads to navigate within the program chosen via the app. Speed adjustments can be made on the handle during treatment with just the touch of a finger to the buttons, allowing easy customization in manual mode or using the app.
Addaday BioZoom Edge Attachments
The five attachments are easily interchangeable and create different pressure intensities and comfort levels. The app guides you as to which attachment to choose, but as always, the choice is yours as determined by your preference.
- Blue Polygon: High-density foam, excellent on very tense muscles like my upper traps and posterior shoulder region, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and along my iliotibial band.
- Yellow Smiley Face Ball: The density feels similar to the blue polygon, but the smooth surface makes it feel a bit less intense. I use it similarly to the blue polygon but also on my calves.
- Small Red Ball: The squishier, less-dense foam makes it the least intrusive and most comfortable. I’ve used this along my arch and heel, shins, forearms, and shoulder blade region.
- Pronged White Fork: The two-pronged varied-height hard plastic keeps me from using it that much, honestly. It’s designed for fascial work.
- White Rounded Cylinder: This also feels hard like plastic, like the fork. I’ve experimented with it a bit on my upper traps of steel and along my iliotibial band, but I still prefer the foam options. This one is designed to specifically address a deep area in a small region.
With any massage device, there’s always the chance you can over-treat, resulting in soreness or even soft tissue injury. However, Addaday does use the proprietary Stall Force Technology, which means if you’re pushing too hard, it will stall out and quit temporarily.
Think of it like the red light that flashes on your electric toothbrush, but instead of the red light, this quickly shuts down to avoid injury. You can restart the program after a brief pause.
Addaday BioZoom Edge Bluetooth App Function
The Addaday BioZoom Edge’s free Bluetooth app is a feature that sets this device apart and allows it to compete directly with the most expensive options on the market. There’s a bit of basic personal and activity data to enter in the beginning, and then the next screen allows you to select programs based on your goals, length and intensity of your athletic activity, current stress level, amount of sleep the previous night, and if you’re in pain or not. You can also select programs based on a complaint such as “my shoulder hurts” or “runner’s knee.”
Because it’s designed for multi-sport athletes, many sport protocols are available — nordic and downhill skiing, snowboarding, climbing, cycling, swimming, and running are front and center. Programs run from two to 21 minutes for most regions or complaints, and helpful diagrams and videos show you angles and positioning suggestions.
If you like to program your own sessions, you can do that, but only piece by piece. For example, you can program “Two minutes on level three for shoulder rotators,” and then separately save “Four minutes on level five for upper traps,” but as far as I can tell, you can’t program the combination together.
The app does keep track of recent sessions to customize your recovery strategies. The app is pretty brilliant, especially if you’re not an anatomy and biomechanics professional.
For a choose-your-own-adventure experience, simply select and attach which tool you’d like to use, turn the switch to “On” at the base of the device, and press “Mode” to start the percussion. You can increase or decrease the speed with the buttons easily accessible by your fingers as you hold the machine. That’s it! When you’re finished, touch “Mode” again to cease percussion, and turn the machine off via the switch at the base once again.
Addaday BioZoom Edge Overall Impressions
I was a bit skeptical when I first received the Addaday BioZoom Edge almost a year ago: I couldn’t imagine choosing technology over my foam roller and Thera Cane. However, this percussive massage gun has taken its rightful place in my lineup, and after a year of moderate use, it’s still performing exceptionally well.
I’d love to see a more compact travel version of this exact device perhaps weighing less and in a carrying case. This is a fabulous tool for recovery when self-sufficiency and time is of the essence.Shop the Addaday BioZoom Edge
Call for Comments
- Do you use a percussive massage device, and have you tried Addaday?
- How has recovery technology helped you in your daily life and training?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]