REVIEW – Massagers are a hot item. The ones we typically see are percussion massagers – the ones that use repeated beatings to pound your aching muscles into submission. But sometimes, you just want a good, non-pounding massage to gently shake everything into a nice, relaxed state. Enter Dr. Massage and the Prowlr orbital massager. Rather than percussive motion, it uses circular orbital motion to vibrate your tense muscles. Let’s get into the review and see how it does.
What is it?
The Dr. Massage Prowlr is an orbital massager moves in a mostly circular way, but it does more than that. While the head is spinning in a circle, the entire mechanism also moves in another circle, creating a type of motion that covers the area in intense vibration.
Here’s a quick look at the motion.
And here’s another view with the pad removed.
You can see how the head both spins and rotates simultaneously.
What’s in the box?
- Dr. Massage Prowlr orbital massager
- Three massage heads with removable, washable covers
- Power adapter
- Manual and additional advertising documents
- Dimensions: 9.5in (24.1cm) tall x 10in (25.4cm) long
- Weight: 1.5lbs (.68Kgs)
- Noise decibels: <50db
- Stall weight: 44lbs (20Kgs) (how hard you can press)
- Batteries: 12V 2000 mA/h
- Charging time: 3 Hours
- Massage type: Orbital motion, 1200-1500-1800 RPM
Design and features
The Dr. Massage Prowlr orbital massager is covered in a rubbery soft-touch material. Its shape of it gives you plenty of ways to hold it in a variety of positions. The power adapter socket is located on this side. Toward the bottom, you can see the four power indicator LEDs.
The LEDs show the charge level and indicate when the unit is ready to use – more on that later…
The orbital head is where the magic happens.
The three massage heads slip onto the head. Each has a smooth fabric cover with elastic around the opening. Think fitted sheet. Here is the smooth head.
Here are the other two heads without their covers.
It would be awesome if the manual explained the use for each of the heads, but alas, it doesn’t. As it turns out, leaving things out of the manual is a theme here. More to come.
The back of the head of the unit features a power button and power level indicator LED ring.
Pressing the power button turns on the Dr. Massage Prowlr orbital massager. Or at least that’s what you’d assume. But it didn’t. More on that in the Performance section.
The white ring around the Roman numerals lights up corresponding to the power level selected.
Setup involves plugging in the power adapter and waiting for the LEDs to stop flashing. Then, it’s time to massage!
Performance is measured by how well the product does its job. The problem was that I couldn’t get the Dr. Massage Prowlr orbital massager to do anything at first. I pressed the button. The “I” light lit up and turned off. The massager just sat there. I tried again. Same result. I double-clicked it—the same result. Eventually, I figured it out.
Once I held the button down and waited for all three I/II/III LEDs to illuminate and shut off, the power LEDs on the side lit up. When they are lit, the massager will power up. After you turn off the massager, the power LEDs remain lit for about a minute and then turn off. This means you have to go through the whole hold the button, wait for the I/II/III LEDs to light up and turn off things before you can use the massager again. OK, it’s great that you can’t accidentally turn the massager on, but wow, it is cumbersome. Another cumbersome thing is that you must step through the power settings I to II to III to OFF every time. It would be so much nicer if, after massaging for a while, you could just turn the massager off with a click. Finally, it would be terrific if ANY of this was documented in the manual. Seriously, none of this was in print. I had to figure it all out.
Having said all that, it is a shame because overall, I like the Dr. Massage Prowlr orbital massager. I have to admit that I really didn’t feel a lot of difference in the massage type delivered from the three different massage heads, and once again, the manual doesn’t explain why you would use one versus the other. The manual does reference shiatsu massage but doesn’t explain how the massager delivers that.
Still, letting this orbit around on my lower back felt terrific. The experience is quite different from a percussive massage. It is more gentle but still delivers a nice massage.
I’ve been using it for several minutes every day for a while now and the battery is going strong. It would be nice if it charged via USB-C rather than a barrel connector. It makes for one more charger to misplace.
What I like
- The massage does feel good
- It is comfortable to use
- The three power levels should provide a nice massage option for most users, even those with sensitive or painful muscles
What I’d change
- Definitely the documentation – like perhaps providing some about the massage heads and power switch operation
- I would simplify the power switch interface
- Charging via USB-C would eliminate yet another charger
When I was a kid, my dad would throw his back out. The only thing that would give him some relief was a massage with our orbital sander. We would place a towel on his back, pop out the sandpaper from the sander and replace it with a cutout from a plastic sandwich bag. This allowed the sander to slide around on the towel and deliver a great massage. The Prowlr massager from Dr. Massage would have been so much easier. This delivers the same great type of orbital vibrating massage in a nice cordless package. If only their documentation explained how to turn it on and what the different heads do. Then, it would be a really terrific solution.