Purchasing a smart hoop is thrilling, bewildering and daunting all wrapped up in one experience. Let’s be real- you’re about to drop around $400 on a piece of plastic. This magical hula hoop BETTER be the absolute best fit for you and fulfill every single one of your hooping requirements. With so many smart hoops on the market offering so many unique selling points, it takes weeks of research and weighing options before choosing. But we’ve put our two personal favorites, the Psiko hoop and the Hyperion, head to head so you can determine which hoop is best for your unique flow.
ROUND ONE: TUBING
HYPERION: The Hyperion hoop comes in HDPE, polypro and colored polypro (violet and aquamarine) tubing. Right now, the Hyperion only comes in 3/4″ tubing. A 5/8″ is currently under development but they haven’t yet released a date when this model would be available for purchase. An amazing feature unique to the Hyperion hoop is it comes with one free down or upsize. With the Hyperion, you don’t have to worry about your hoop becoming obsolete as your flow and preferences evolve overtime.
PSIKO: Psiko’s tubing is wonderfully dynamic. The tubing options include HDPE and Polypro both with 3/4″ outside diameter and 5/8″ internal diameter. As PP, or Polypro is typically more flexible in nature when given the HPDE comparison, Psiko offers two options: “medium stiff,” or “regular hard.” Psiko’s PP options vary in elasticity leaving the hooper to decide which is the best fit given his or her skill level. An additional feature, one that is integral to the hoops craftsmanship, is its sanding. The artisan who hand makes these hoops brilliantly sands its innermost part to give your flow some more grip and bolster the hoops LED magnificence
ROUND TWO: WEIGHT
HYPERION: The Hyperion is not balanced. When purchasing you’re given the option to add a 1.9 oz counterbalance, offsetting the weight of the battery and ensuring you receive a perfectly balanced hoop. It’s up to the specific hooper to decide on the trade off of a lighter hoop you can whip around with ease or a hoop that won’t budge when doing tricks like palm/hand spins.Overall, this isn’t exactly the lightest smart hoop on the market but the plethora of advantages the Hyperion comes with may just push you to overlook it.
PSIKO: The Psikohoops weight is yet another fantastic feature as it is customizable depending on the tubing of your choice. The hoop is available in two weights; the HDPE tubing is around 7.85 ounces where the PP tubing weighs in at around 7.45 ounces (0.4 ounces lighter).
The medium PP is more resistant to cracking where the hard PP is stiffer making it subject to cracks given any potential “accidents.” Given the fluctuation in the hoops elasticity, I would place a stronger emphasis on its stiffness as opposed to weight. That being said, the hoops weighs in at around the same number as Hyperion’s, but it is the hoops elasticity that adheres to your flow. I own the medium PP and I honestly love its weight, it isn’t too light, and the grip in conjunction to its careful sanding has worked wonders concerning balance. That and I can’t put it down given its unprecedented vibrancy.
ROUND THREE: BRIGHTNESS/ FEATURES
HYPERION: Connected my Hyperion for the first time was a bit disorienting. It took a few seconds to adjust to the 155 (give or take depending on size) maximum-brightness LEDS. The Hyperion is capable of displaying over 16 million colors and comes with 9 reactive motion sensors. 3 linear motion, 3 rotational, and 3 magnetic sensors work in tandem with your flow to produce some seriously breath-taking moments. Peep the video below to see it in action at Electric Forest last year.
PSIKO: Let’s get down to this baby’s features. Dubbed the “Psychedelic Sensually Interactive” (PSI) hoop, it does not fall short by any means. Its brightness, again, comes from the tubing and sanding options. You can also adjust the brightness given three settings. The PP options will give the user a more translucent and vibrant hoop due to its ingenious sanding. The hoops’ sanding increases light diffusion; however, you can request a clearer tube if you so choose (by direct request only). The Psikohoop bolsters, literally, 100,000,00 different displays. As opposed to Hyperion’s hoop, all of Psiko’s functions are motion reactive through 20 “signal moves” and six orientations. Check it out in action below.
ROUND FOUR: PATTERNS
HYPERION: A Hyperion fresh out of the box comes preloaded with over 1,400 kaleidoscope patterns and is set to shuffle modes every ten seconds. This is perfect for getting acquainted with the multiple folders of jaw-dropping patterns your hoop is preloaded with. I’ve had my Hyperion for months and each time I turn on my hoop I’m still surprised by something new. 1,400 beautiful preloaded patterns are truly just the starting point for you and your hoop.
Each Hyperion is entirely customizable. A multitude of chasers and effects can be layered on top of each pattern allowing for limitless combinations. You can even store over 1,000 more of your own designs, your friends designs or download more from the Hyperion hoop makers! Patterns designed for the SpinFX Phoenix hoop also work on the Hyperion and patterns are automatically scaled up, down or repeated to fit any size hoop.
PSIKO: The Psikohoop comes loaded with an entirely Psiko-unique LED strip that is almost solely motion oriented. The appeal and intrigue of the hoop lie within its “quivers.” The hoops self-proclaimed “quivers” are something that I including many other proud owners are still trying to grasp fully. In other words, it takes time. With literally, 1,000,00 quivers, which are congruent to “patterns” the hoop presents endless possibilities. Its quivers, or patterns include but are not limited to shapes, symbols, and words (my favorite being its recently discovered black and gold stars). Not only is the hooper presented with something new each time they pick up their hoop, but they learn something new about their body as well. As a hoop without any buttons or keyboards, all of its modes are controlled through movement and orientation.
The hoop begins to adhere to your body movements accordingly, and thus you can save its features and patterns through repeated orientation, or by its “lock” and “save” modes. This also allows you to change color, pattern, and speed. You can also set changes on the hoop to music by just tapping on the hoop to any given beat. It’s wild, amazing, and oh so beautiful.
ROUND FIVE: BATTERY/ BATTERY LIFE
HYPERION: Unfortunately, there’s a battery gap in the Hyperion that’s visible when the hoop is in use. It’s about a 1.5″ gap; barely noticeable, but it’s there.
Every Hyperion comes with four rechargeable, removable 14500 (AA size) lithium ion batteries (perfect for festivals), a wall adaptor and a USB adaptor. A single charge lasts about four hours. Some hoopers may prefer a seamless hoop without a gap, but the gap does make traveling with the hoop and changing the battery extremely simple.
PSIKO: Fortunately, the hoop is free from any battery gap. The hoop bolsters continuous sequences that are not interrupted by any technicality including its battery. Further, the hooper isn’t signing up for an awkward LED spacing that a battery gap would elicit. As opposed to one concrete battery that would block the LED’s continuum, three AAA lithium ion battery’s are placed sporadically throughout the hoop. When I first unboxed the hoop, I was confused as to where the battery was until I discovered its discreet access point.
The hoop comes with a wall adapter and an extra USB (you can order additional chargers, cords, and adapters for around $4). Although the hoop is said to last at around the same time as Hyperion’s, take note that as a smart hoop it is EXTREMELY sensitive and thus gets tired just as the hooper would. Yes, the hoop can last for an extended period but exhausting the hoops battery will only batter the hoop and employ poor performance down the road. Please be sure to keep its sensitivity in mind when keeping the hoop on full charge (ex. If you need to find your friends at a festival and your hoop is running low on juice, reserve the hoop for its recognition as opposed to performance).
ROUND SIX: WARRANTY/ CUSTOMER SERVICE
HYPERION: Excluding water damage or physical damage that breaks or kinks the hoop tubing, the two-year Hyperion warranty completely covers any electrical problems you may have with your hoop. If anything fails within the first 90 days of owning your brand new hoop baby, the hoop makers will cover shipping both ways.
The Hyperion hoop comes with extremely reliable customer service and the owner of the company, Scott Miller is always there to answer any questions you may have before or after you purchase your Hypie.
PSIKO: All Psiko products are beautifully hand-crafted, and the Psikohoop is no exception. While it is customizable, its construction takes up to a week and then it is extensively tested. Given its craftsmanship, the hoop still bolsters an incredibly generous warranty. The maker promises a six-month warranty and even provides his personal cell phone number should anything go awry. Weatherproofing, care, charging and other instructions explicitly stated in their handbook are not included in this warranty. Psiko, however, will replace tubing for $60 and repair the connector for free given:
– No blatant mishandling (i.e., water damage)
-No purposeful removal of the connector
-No forceful USB port breakage
In sum, if you treat your hoop with care especially given its tubing options, Psiko will take care of you.
ROUND SEVEN: CONTROLS
Hyperion: The Hyperion comes with a 7 button keychain remote and a 44 button remote that wirelessly control the patterns, chasers, brightness and timing. Getting used to the controls can be a little time consuming and confusing at first, but the owner’s manual the hoop comes with does a great job breaking it down for you. The more you play with it, the more amazing features you’ll discover!
Psiko: The Psikohoop is entirely different than any other smart hoop on the market. This is not to say that it exceeds the capabilities of other hoops on the market, it is rather simply different in orientation and mechanism. That being said, most smart hoops feature clear controls (such as Hyperion’s mentioned above), whereas Psiko does not. As said before the hoop is free from any external control; the hooper cannot control its settings via buttons, keyboards or computation. Rather, almost all of the hoops quivers, or settings, are controlled by the hoopers movement and subsequent motion of the hoop. Some displays are not action respondent, meaning once activated they will rotate through a series of pre-set patterns and sequences; however, they are all precursors to millions of quivers the hoop has to offer.
Although these quivers may seem intimidating, they are actually fascinating and addicting once you discover what activates them. While some hoops are respondent to one type of motion (i.e., Hyperion’s linear and rotational sensors), the Psikohoop responds to all movements giving it an added dimension. With 100,000,000 different displays not only will you find something new with each touch, you are guaranteed a Psychedelic Sensually Interactive Experience. My vote is always with Psi, but I strongly suggest you get a feel for which smart hoop would fit you and your vibe best.
That’s up to you, of course! We’re more than confident you’ll absolutely love either of the two. They’re both incredible and are truly the best hoops on the market. Happy hooping!