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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

Omron TENS Unit HVF 128 vs iTENS: A Comparison Guide

iTENS large wings and refill gel pads

The Omron TENS unit HVF 128 and iTENS are some of the most popular and effective electrical stimulation devices in the market. They utilise Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy to relieve pain. Both products are portable with adjustable intensity levels and multiple programs. However, they differ in the type of electrodes, stimulation modes, and other features. Omron TENS is a traditional wired device, while the iTENS is a wireless TENS unit with smartphone connectivity.

A TENS machine is a battery-operated device that delivers low-voltage electrical currents through adhesive electrode pads. They come in various styles and features that relieve different types of pain. These differences target specific areas of the body and provide different modes of relief. In this article, we will review the two devices in terms of types, programs, and controls. This comparison guide can help individuals decide the most suitable device for their pain relief.

Omron TENS Unit HVF 128 vs iTENS – Device Type

The Omron TENS Unit HVF 128 is a traditional wired TENS machine. It has a handheld remote control, which contains several functions. The device includes long-lasting gel pads that can be placed on different parts of the body. It has a contoured design that can fit joint areas. Moreover, the handheld design allows for easy control and adjustment.

On the other hand, the iTENS is a wireless device that uses Bluetooth technology to connect to a smartphone or tablet. It features innovative wing-shaped pads in small and large sizes to fit different areas of the body. Individuals may get spare long strip wings for pain that radiates downwards. In addition, the iTENS app is compatible with the latest iOS and Android devices.

The iTENS uses adhesive patches that are pre-loaded with gel. It is also made from hypoallergenic material to minimise the possibility of skin irritation or allergic reactions. Both devices are easy to apply on the skin and provide good adhesion. However, they may differ in the efficiency of pad placement due to the type of device.

Advantages of a Wireless Unit

  •  A wireless TENS unit allows a wider range of motion. It provides greater mobility and flexibility as there are no wire restrictions during use.
  • It enables faster pad placement. There is no additional set-up required in connecting the device to the electrode pads. Hence, users can easily apply the pads and start the therapy.
  • A wireless TENS machine is more compact. It does not add significant weight when going out or travelling. Likewise, it is discreet under the clothes.
  • It minimises the need to buy additional accessories like electrode cords and batteries.
  • It reduces the risk of accidental shocks or burns due to frayed wires.

TENS therapy modes and programs through a smartphone app

Omron TENS Unit HVF 128 vs iTENS – Therapy Modes and Programs

There are several differences between the Omron TENS Unit HVF 128 and iTENS with regard to programs and settings. The Omron TENS unit features programs for specific regions, including the shoulder, arm, leg, sole, waist, and other joints. It also includes four massage types and special modes for soothing numb or stiff muscles and relieving severe acute pain.

The iTENS app offers automatic therapy modes for body areas and health conditions. It includes treatments for the back, abdomen, hands/feet, and joint pains like the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle. Moreover, the pain programs feature common chronic conditions like osteoarthritissciaticafibromyalgiabursitis, and other neuropathic pains. Additionally, it has modes for muscle pain, muscle relaxation, and muscle spasm relief.

Omron TENS therapy and iTENS offer optional treatments through low and high-frequency stimulation. It includes the burst, continuous, and modulation modes, which vary in the rate and number of pulses. Overall, these programs can help individuals find effective pain relief solutions without the need for medications.

How TENS Works

TENS works based on two theories: Gate Control and Natural Opioid Release. The Gate Control Theory suggests that electrical stimulation closes the nerve pathways in the spinal cord. When the electrodes are placed, the currents pass through the skin and stimulate the sensory nerve endings. It helps block pain signals from reaching the brain.

The second theory suggests that using mild currents or low frequencies triggers the release of endorphins. They are neurotransmitters that inhibit the nerve cells from sending pain messages. It also stimulates the motor neurons to boost blood circulation, reducing inflammation in swollen areas.

A woman holding a smartphone while using a TENS machine on the back and elbow

Omron TENS Unit HVF 128 vs iTENS – Controls and Display

One of the key differences between Omron TENS unit HVF 128 and iTENS is the controls and display. The control panels of Omron contain the soothe & relieve mode buttons, controlling the level of stimulation. In addition, the unit includes treatments for soft mode, hyper mode, massage and regions. Selecting a therapy involves pressing these buttons several times until the light indicator points to the desired treatment.

The wireless iTENS offers manual and smartphone options. In manual mode, users can use the device alone. They can increase the intensity by pressing the increase/decrease button on the centre disc. Conversely, the smartphone app provides more flexible controls. It has a large display and user-friendly interface that helps users personalise their treatments.

From the menu, individuals can select from body parts, conditions, manual mode, and favourites. Each option has access to more specific treatments. The manual mode allows personalisation of the frequency and intensity during treatment. Meanwhile, the favourite enables individuals to store customised settings for faster use.

Safety Considerations

The instruction manuals include product warnings to review before use. It is essential to follow the safety precautions to avoid any potential harm. Firstly, TENS should not be used on sensitive body parts. It includes the spinal column, head, chest, and front and sides of the neck.

Secondly, individuals with serious medical conditions should consult a healthcare professional before using a TENS machine. It includes pregnant women and people with electronic implants, heart problems, abnormal blood pressure, epilepsy, and sensory disorders. Lastly, the increase in intensity must be gradual to prevent any discomfort or pain.


The Omron TENS unit HVF 128 and iTENS are premium TENS devices that offer drug-free pain relief. Omron is a traditional device consisting of wired electrode pads, while iTENS is a wireless TENS unit with smartphone connectivity. They work by stimulating the sensory nerves to block pain signals and release natural painkillers. Thus, many people prefer electronic stimulation as an alternative to pain relief. They also have varied frequency and intensity levels and auto-therapy modes for convenient use.

The programs include treatments according to common body aches, massage, and muscle stimulation. Furthermore, the iTENS app provides specific therapy for chronic pain, post-operative pain, and muscular injuries. These features enable efficient pain management. Ultimately, the choice of device will depend on special needs and preferences. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a health professional to ensure the safety and efficacy of pain treatment. They are available in pharmacies or online without a prescription.

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