In our busy daily lives, we usually sit in front of the computer for too many hours, and we get used to looking down at smartphones too much a day. As a result, most of us get a stiff neck and suffer from neck pain to different extents. To deal with it, a massage therapy seems necessary. However, to find an ideal neck massager can be tricky. Some massagers are either too bulky to use or with ineffective massage effect. After testing and comparing, Jeeback is the only one that basically covers all our needs, allowing us to relieve neck pain anytime, anywhere.
Who is this for
If you are suddenly hit by neck pain, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Nowadays, lots of adults are suffering from different degrees of neck pain. You may think it’s a small problem. But if you ignore it, it can be more serious than you might think. It will impact both your physical and mental well-being, and even cause other serious problems (such as neck strain, osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis, spinal stenosis, etc.).
Therefore, a comfy massage therapy on a regular basis can effectively help you relieve muscle tension and tackle the pain points in the neck. Regarding cost and expense, buying a massager is obviously a more budget investment than the regular treatment by a massage therapist. Every time you have a massage therapy at a spa or a massage studio, it typically charges more than expected. Instead, a massager is a one-time only charge.Massagers can help reduce muscle stress and tension. But if you suffer from serious neck disorders, we suggest that you should first consult your doctor, and you’d better get the permission of your doctor to use these massagers.
How we picked and tested
When we searched “Neck Massager” online, we found many types of massagers. They mainly vary in massage principles and detail design. After hours of researching and poring through avalanches of customer reviews, we picked out 7 massagers for hands-on testing based on the following criteria.
Seven massagers we picked for testing
Before considering massage effect, we think the top priority is whether a massager can fit perfectly on our necks and shoulders. If a massager makes you feel uncomfortable for the first time you put on it, then needless to say how it will work on you. In our opinion, there are two factors that can affect the fit: the weight of the massager itself and the size of your neck. If a massager is large and heavy, it will do nothing but only add additional burden to your shoulders. Also, a neck massager should fit different people’s necks (either thin or thick necks).
We gathered up six colleagues with different thickness of necks, and let them put on the massagers. Then we weeded out those products that we unanimously thought it awkward and uncomfortable to wear.
When you buy a neck massager, you are expecting that it can bring you an enjoyable massage therapy at home. To find the most comfortable neck massager can be subjective, because the massage methods, intensity and so on are all up to your personal preference. Therefore, whether a massager comes with different modes and strength levels is crucial.
To test the performance and massage effect of each massager, our six colleagues tried on each massager for at least 15 minutes. After that, we wrote down the personal feeling and ranked those seven massagers according to our using experience.
The heat function is an important feature for a neck massager because it can add gentle warmth on our necks, which can help us to further relax muscles pain, soothe fatigue, and stimulate blood circulation. So, we eliminated those products with poor heat effect.
Compared with traditional large-sized massagers, portability is the biggest advantage of the headset-style neck massager. So, we prefer the compact models which are easy and handy for us to carry around every day.
Also, we tucked each massager into our daily backpacks, briefcases, and lady’s purses, and then ruled out those bulky models.
Ease of Use
If you want to buy a massager for your family members (especially for the elders), ease of use is also a critical factor you need to prioritize. In our opinion, a massager should come with a remote control unit for us to easily operate the massager. Otherwise, when we want to set the mode or intensity, we need to take the massager off, which would be definitely inconvenient.
Why choose portable massager instead of the large ones?
In our tests, we found different types of neck massagers on the market. They are mainly divided into two types: shawl-style large massagers and headset-style portable massagers. We bought several products back for testing.
Headset-style portable massager (left) & Shawl-style large massager (right)
In the beginning, our colleagues all had a good impression on the shawl-style massagers, because they performed well and offered a comfy massage experience. However, after using it for a few weeks, we decided not to recommend this kind of massager in the end.
Why? It’s not user-friendly! Firstly, this kind of massager is too bulky and too heavy. It’s tough to put on this big guy. That also means you can’t use it anywhere. Moving around with it can be difficult. Next, to hold it in place on your shoulders, you need to grasp its straps. Well, can you imagine that? It’s just like your arms are applying plaster casts which limit your arm movements.
Last but not least, most of the shawl-style massagers are bundled with cables and need to plug into AC outlets. This makes them less portable and greatly limits their usage scenarios.
So, based on overall consideration, we incline to recommend the headset-style portable massagers.
Does low-frequency TENS pulse treat pain?
We found that most portable massagers employ low-frequency TENS pulse principle. So, what on earth is low-frequency TENS pulse? Does it treat pain?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is the use of low-frequency electrical current to treat pain. Medically, the pulse current below 1000 Hz is called low-frequency electrical stimulation. The low-frequency electrical current travels through electrodes and into the skin stimulating specific nerve pathways to produce a massaging sensation that reduces the perception of pain. Compared with other methods of pain management, it’s non-invasive and has few side effects. Currently, many physical therapy devices use this technology to treat pain.
The portable massagers work by delivering low-frequency electrical impulses through electrodes plates to stimulate the muscles and the nerves beneath the neck skin. So, they can relax muscle pain and tension, soothe fatigue, and improve blood circulation. For the first time you use this kind of massager, you can feel slightly shocked, but it’s normal. It will not harm you. When your body adapts to it, the sharp feeling will disappear after a few minutes.
Our Pick: Jeeback Wireless Portable Neck Massager
In our busy daily lives, we usually sit in front of the computer for too many hours, and we get used to looking down at smartphones too much a day. As a result, most of us get a stiff neck and suffer from neck pain to different extents. To deal with it, a massage therapy seems necessary.
However, to find an ideal neck massager can be tricky. Some massagers are either too bulky to use or with ineffective massage effect. After testing and comparing, Jeeback is the only one that basically covers all our needs, allowing us to relieve neck pain anytime, anywhere.
Relax your neck muscles effectively
Frankly, after trying several sets of headset-style portable massagers, I was expecting to be unimpressed with the rest. What I wasn’t expecting was that the Jeeback neck massager would be such a joy to use. Aha, one of my colleagues even screamed out, “This is exactly what I need!”
The Jeeback neck massager comes with three massage modes and 15 strength levels. You can select your desired mode and strength according to the endurance of your body and your personal preference.
Similar to other portable massagers, Jeeback also uses low-frequency TENS pulse principle. But the three-node design makes it rise above the competition in massage effect. Unlike the traditional two-node design, this unique design has two advantages.
Firstly, as it has three nodes, it can cover a large area on your neck, offering you a deep-tissue massage. Next, when you use the two-node massager, it may move or slide off, which would lead to the electrode balance losing, and cause a sense of piercing pain. On the contrary, Jeeback adopts three-node design to make the positive and negative electrodes stay connected.
Heat function adds gentle warmth
Apart from that comfy massage effect, this massager also provides a heat function. Our colleagues love this function as much as they love the massage effect. Particularly in chilly winter days, you will feel like you are wearing a warm scarf on your neck. Other neck massagers we tested also have a heat function, but their heating effects are inferior to the Jeeback’s.
Differ from traditional U shape design
We were thoroughly impressed with the ergonomic design of Jeeback. It’s the only neck massager we tested that employs an L shape design. Unlike the U shape, it can fit closely on your shoulder and your neck. This design can transfer the overall weight to the forward and relieve pressure on your neck, so that it can deliver a more enjoyable massaging experience. I must say, Jeeback does deserve to be lauded for its thoughtful detail design and overall comfort.
L shape (left) & U shape (right)
Relax anytime, anywhere
To be honest, we were satisfied with the massage effect of most large massagers, but the point is, they are too big and too heavy to take on the go. In comparison, Jeeback did a good job of handling portability and comfort. It weighs only 190g, and it’s about the size of a normal headset. Therefore, you can easily carry it in your daily bag.
Jeeback neck massager is about the size of a normal headset.
In addition, it has a built-in 1400mAh battery, so you can enjoy massaging anytime, anywhere, without cable hassles. Compared with those massagers that are bundled with cables and need to plug in AC outlets, this cable-free feature represents a boon for usability. Moreover, Jeeback uses the mainstream USB-C port, which is rare to see. That means you don’t need to take an extra cable for it on the go. Your cellphone’s USB-C cable can also charge it.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
There are two ways to operate Jeeback massager: remote control and MI HOME APP. It’s very convenient, especially the MI HOME APP. Open the APP, all functions and features have icons and descriptions that are easy to understand. You can easily adjust your desired mode on your phone. But we notice that in some regions, the MI HOME App can’t find the Jeeback G2 device to add. You need to switch the region into Chinese mainland in the APP setting.
Operating via the APP is indeed a nice bonus. Among all massagers we tested, Jeeback is the only one that supports APP operation. Therefore, personally, that flaw doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. After setting the region, you can use the APP as well. And in this regard, we also consulted Jeeback and got the feedback that they are currently working hard on applying for adding more regions in the App.
SKG Portable Neck Massager: This massager is hot selling online. We also had high expectations for it. However, after testing and comparing, it has a few defects as follows.
Firstly, it uses the two-node design. During massaging, it may move or slide off, which would lead to the electrode balance losing, and cause a sense of piercing pain. Next, it employs a U shape design with a small inside diameter, which makes it a bit tight for people who has a thick neck. What’s worse, it doesn’t provide remote control, let alone APP. So, we can tell how inconvenience it is to operate it.
PGG Portable Neck Massager & JYK Portable Neck Massager: These two massagers have the same problems as the SKG. Yeah, there are many similar neck massagers flooding the market. But most of them vary in small details which lead to huge differences in actual user experience.
YSHUANG Portable Neck Massager & BF Portable Neck Massager: These two massagers both have four nodes. At first glance, they look high-tech. But, compared to our pick Jeeback, the massage effect is inferior. The extra node won’t cover our neck well, only to make us uncomfortable.
JH Electric Durable Full Body Massager: As mentioned before, we were satisfied with the massage effect of these large massagers, but the point is, they are too big and too heavy to take on the go. This one is no exception. The bulky size and the annoying bundled cable make it less portable and inconvenient to use.