Time has been kind to Panasonic, as they continue to innovate with their massage products. Over the years they’ve avoided a lot of the technical weaknesses that have bothered competitors. So if you need a slick looking massage chair with all of the bells and whistles, then you’re looking at the right company.
Panasonic EP-MA73KU Real Pro Ultra Prestige
- 1 Panasonic EP-MA73KU Real Pro Ultra Prestige
- 2 Swede-atsu Companion Massage Lounger
- 3 Real Pro Ultra Massage Lounger
- 4 Panasonic Leather “Urban” Massage Chair
- 5 Panasonic
Starting off the list is the high priced Real Pro Ultra Prestige, one of the best chairs to exist in the entire industry. Even though it’s on the expensive side, it shows the innovation and tech from Panasonic. Black and Brown are the colors available, which both look luxurious in any setting. When not using the massage chairs functions, the ottoman is reversible so that you can make it look like a regular lay-z-boy chair. That proves that both the electronic and standard modes offer full body comfort to your liking. Covered in black synthetic leather, users are guaranteed to enjoy the finer points of the chair.
The advanced portions of the chair use a 3d massage system to push the rollers in all directions on the back of the chair. By getting away from the usual static movements, the Real Pro Ultra Prestige gives a much better full body massage. The fixed place control panel is slim in design, but still contains all of the great one touch functions found in other luxury chairs. Buyers that want to go big and not look back will find few chairs better than the Real Pro Ultra Prestige.
Swede-atsu Companion Massage Lounger
Last on the list is the Swede-atsu, and right out of the box it is impressive with four pre-set programs. When you play with the eight manual modes, the chair is capable of eighty combinations. It is the perfect chair for users that like to play with customization options. All of the advanced massage modes can be set up by strength and speed, so reading the manual is necessary for maximum efficiency. All of this comes in a high priced black model with a professional design.
The Swede-atsu comes from a long line of approved loungers by the American Chiropractic Association. Multiple air bag mechanics work wonders for the lower part of the body, decreasing and increasing at specific increments to provide a lifelike massage. Using a 135 square inch massage area, the chair does an admirable job of coverage. Other notable features are the height adjustments and neck roller. Maximum weight is 264 pounds, which is above average for a model of this size. Swede-atsu is a nice ‘middle’ choice when browsing the many available chairs from Panasonic. Its balance satisfies a lot of buyers that want to step up from their smaller massage chairs.
Real Pro Ultra Massage Lounger
Sometime trying something different than the flagship chair has led to entirely new series. That’s how the Real Pro Ultra became a big seller. As the first version in the series, this is where the Real Pro Ultra Prestige got the bulk of its ideas from. The price is still high with this model, but significantly less than the revised version in the top spot. Right from the start users can jump in with a five minute quick massage, a preprogrammed routine that takes care of all of the necessary zones on the body.
With a total of 36 airbags in the chair, users can also make their own customizable massage routines that target key parts of the body. This is extended with a four person and six program memory optional feature that adds up to twenty-four customizable routines total. When stationary the chair is roomy without being too big for the room it is being put in. It has the ‘right size’ for home and office setups, even with the fixed place control panel on the side of the chair. For a fraction of the price, customers can get a luxury Panasonic chair with all of the bells and whistles.
Panasonic Leather “Urban” Massage Chair
The EP1285KL has received some of the highest reviews out of any Panasonic chair. It is a high priced choice with space savings in mind, and is a direct competitor to the iJoy line from Human Touch. Fitted with high quality leather, this model has the best ‘quad style’ massage technology available in the industry. There are four preset programs, including the exclusive Chiro mode that destresses even the most tired parts of the body. Other available modes are shiatsu, quick and Swedish.
When you go beyond the presets, there are eight manual modes including the hard to find Hawaiian and soft shiatsu. Using the advanced tethered remote won’t be a problem, and is easy to get used to without needing to read the manual. The only color available is black, but it is well done with brushed aluminum accents. For the price, it holds up well in modern living areas with other high priced furniture. In areas that are tight in space, this is still the top chair from Panasonic that gives you all necessary features without any of the bulk. The popularity of the Urban continues to rise, and is a serviceable massage chair for multiple areas.
Formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd, the Panasonic brand is a Japanese company known for being a leader in the electronics industry. They go toe to toe with big brands like Sony and Toshiba in multiple areas, especially televisions. Founded in 1918 by Kōnosuke Matsushita, they have gone from creating lightbulb sockets to revolutionizing multiple parts of the electronics industry. Their massage chairs served as a departure from their main electronics line, and allowed the company to try out unique technologies. A lot of their biggest competitors haven’t made the leap into massage chair products, so Panasonic has a head start on the name brand market. With their chairs integrating some of their electronic products into the design/functions, the massage chair line will continue to grow at a fast rate.
Prices are all over the place, with a lot of that having to do with good variety in the models. Panasonic massage chairs seem to average between the mid to high price points, with their top of the line models being expensive luxury choices. Consumers still get a lot of value for their money, not only with brand name recognition, but also with Panasonics use of high quality components. There are no cut corners when buying any of their chairs, so it is a good return on investment. If there is one downside, it’s that they don’t have any super low priced chairs available for purchase.
There are plenty of notable features that come packed with Panasonic chairs. Here is a small list that separates them from the rest of the competition.
Thermal Massage Technology – Rather than just concentrate heat into one portion of the chair, Panasonic is able to distribute to a wider area. Cooldown and heat up time is fast, so users can expect to feel the difference within seconds of starting a massage.
Full Body Comfort – There are plenty of great massage chairs in the world that are fantastic when in operation but uncomfortable when idle. Panasonic worked from the ground up to create a chair that was comfortable even when you don’t have it turned on. Their best products are proven to be just as comfortable as expensive modern day furniture for lounging, sleeping and sitting.
Junetsu Kneading Techniques – Mimicking Junetsu massage techniques, the rollers inside the chair knead like no other product. There are multiple different types of kneading techniques, sometimes up to ten depending on the chair. For tired bodies this can make all the difference in the world between a good or great massage.
All of these features have been refined by Panasonic, notably the Junetsu Kneading Techniques. The design of the system is innovative enough that the company decided to include it multiple massage chairs. Only a select few competitors have launched similar kneading programs with this type of efficiency.
3d Massage System
This entirely unique 3d massage system will be familiar to customers that have used 3d mapping systems in other chairs. Panasonic expands on the technology by using a motor that moves in in multiple directions, even back and forth. When paired with the other mechanics of the chair, the 3d massage system will be able to detect the body type of the user and adjust the motors appropriately for a better massage. And since the rollers move freely in all directions, there are no restrictions on the effectiveness of the massage techniques.
There was some concern by customers about the power usage of Panasonic branded chairs. It started out as a rumor that they would use more energy than other massage chairs due to the brand adding in more features. That isn’t true at all, and Panasonic models use no more energy than the competition. Mechanically, there are more moving parts in their chairs, but that does not add to power consumption. You can set up the most intense massage possible and still use the same amount of juice as a desktop computer. And as a customer if you are measuring performance by size of the chair, then Panasonic still comes out as a top five performer.
Every single Panasonic massage chair has a professional design, usually in black or brown. No other company does the black sleek look better than Panasonic, and it fits well with the rest of their electronics. In any modern media centric room, the default design of the company is perfect. You can even drop one of their chairs into a current office setting and it would fit right in with the rest of the furniture. Their design is made to be compatible, even if it doesn’t have a lot of color options.
Whether it is a tethered remote or fixed control panel, Panasonic has their customers covered. As a maker of remotes, the company is the best choice in the entire industry when it comes to designing their massage remotes. Everything is in order, color coded, and spaced enough so that you don’t press multiple buttons. It is the most painless remote control to use for a massage chair, and is a big selling point of all Panasonic massage products. Anyone that has purchased from the brand before will be instantly familiar with the setup. Newcomers will get so spoiled that they won’t want another remote control type- it’s that good!
Being a big worldwide brand doesn’t always lead to good warranty service. Thankfully Panasonic doesn’t fall into that category and offers excellent warranties and customer service. Not only can this be seen in their marketing, it can also be seen in the helpful design of their website. You can navigate it by computer or phone, with several helpful options and FAQS available in a single click. When something goes wrong, there are a lot of ways to get in contact with Panasonic so they can make it right.
A good bulk of their products are made out of leather or leather-like material. The massage chairs that are made out of leather are in a completely different category, yet sometimes the price doesn’t reflect that. Customers can grab a pure leather massage chair from Panasonic at a cheaper price than a faux leather from a competing company. There is a lot of pride in the quality of the material they use, which is highly resistant to rips and tears. So in homes that have a lot of activity from pets and children, Panasonic’s material is the best to have around.
Their chairs are average or large in size, with only the Urban standing out as a smallish massage chair. The size probably has a lot to do with the advanced mechanics they put in their products which need space to operate. When you’re looking at getting the smallest chair possible form their line, the Urban is the only one that really meets the requirements without being too stripped down. And even at the smaller size, it retains a lot of the premium qualities of Panasonics luxury models. Buyers that are strictly in the model for small massage chairs will have a hard time finding one in the lineup if it isn’t the Urban.
As mentioned before, Panasonic uses top notch leather and faux leather. Longevity isn’t a problem with their materials, and the same applies to the electronic components. Remotes in particular are resistant to damage, which is no surprise when you consider they already had base designs to work with. Just like their television remotes, the durability of massage remotes remains largely unaffected by heavy use. When you’re buying a massage chair that will be used by multiple people, there are no fears that a Panasonic model will throw in the towel early.
Massage chairs need more than just great design to fit in with day to day furniture. That is where the customization of some Panasonic items fit in. One notable example is their models that come with a reversible ottoman. A simple flips makes the chair indistinguishable from any other piece of furniture. This is a rare feature, and one of the many customizations that they include in top models so that it fits in with any setting. Using a reversible ottoman also works as a comfort feature, letting you kick your feet up and relax with extra cushioning.
Pros And Cons
As the biggest brand in the industry, customers have a lot of great things to say about Panasonic. Here are some of the good and bad things about their massage chairs.
- The most professional design in the industry
- Uses real leather on their top models
- Great rip and tear protection to ensure longevity of materials
- The best remote control design available
- High customizability to blend in with regular furniture
- Proven warranty protection for the short and long-term
- Only one really good ‘small’ massage chair
- Not a lot of low priced massage products
With all that said, Panasonic is a provider of luxury massage chairs that prices their products well enough to touch some of the entry level market.
Urban vs. iJoy
Panasonics Urban is compared to Human Touch’s iJoy, and for good reason. Both of these cater to customers that want massage chairs of high quality but of small size. Benefits of the Urban are the calve/foot massager, which is missing or not as complete in the iJoy series. The Urban also has a higher height/weight max, with better overall material in its design. For media users, iJoy benefits because of its external power support and smaller size.
There are a lot of great choices from Panasonic, one of the big leaders in worldwide electronics. Massage chairs just so happens to be another one of the specialties where they excel. Consumers looking for a luxury tag without too high a price will get lasting value from this brand.