They say if you want the best shiatsu massage chair you should always buy Japanese. Well, Sanyo are Japanese, so do all its chairs give you the best possible shiatsu at a fair cost. The answer is yes, some models give a great massage at a great price but some others fall short and you’d be better off looking at other brands – even non-Japanese at that.
There’s no denying that Sanyo makes some of the best robotic massage chairs on the market and is firmly placed in the top tier of Japanese manufacturers like Fuji, Inada and Fujikura. Its chairs don’t come cheap costing upwards of $3,000 and at this price you really do want value for money. But if you do want a decent shiatsu massage you do have to look at chairs with a minimum price tag of around $1,800. And despite what Japanese manufacturers might tell you, many non-Japanese companies also make chairs that deliver a great shiatsu massage.
The cheapest model is the Sanyo HEC-SR1000K massage chair retailing for around $3,000. It’s been designed to have a sleek, lightweight and contemporary look. It has wooden arms and wood trim on the foot rest. Unlike other chairs it isn’t thick or bulky looking and its black faux leather gives it an understated look of luxury. However, I really don’t like the overall look of this chair. This is manly because of the back legs/stand. Far from looking sleek and stylish, it looks kind of industrial or like an after thought and it isn’t helped by the exposed metal and grey trim.
Like all Sanyo massage chairs it comes with something called Stiffness Detection. Using pulse, perspiration sensors and vibration the chair adjusts the massage output automatically to relax and invigorate stiff joints and muscles. There are 7 massage programs: Neck and Shoulders, Waist, and Leg – the remaining programs comes from a combination of the Leg with the other 3 programs. The chair comes with power recline to an angle of 170 degrees.
The programs and back and shoulder massages are good; however the chair lets itself down in the foot massage area. Basically the foot massager doesn’t do that great a job, and at this price I’d want more. A better option, and a few hundred dollars cheaper, is the Human Touch HT 125 massage chair. It has a better, sleeker and more pleasing design, has comparable massage functions and programs and the foot massager is much better.
The Sanyo HEC-SA5000K massage chair retails for around $4,300 and is a much better option if you have the budget. It comes with everything that the HEC-SR1000K has and much more. There are 4 memory courses, 9 automatic courses and an amazing 83 manual course combinations. There are also 5 massage speed settings. And, this model comes with a decent foot massager for both calves and feet – there are airbags and a multi-point heated shiatsu massage.
For what you get the HEC-SA5000K offers very good value for money and I would recommend it.
The Sanyo HEC-DR7700K massage chair costs over $5,000 and is the most well-appointed of the models. It has everything that the HEC-SA5000K has but it also comes with 2 antigravity positions, an air only massage for a very relaxing massage and an ankle compression massage. However, with its price tag it puts the HEC-DR7700K in direct competition with the Inada ROBO massage chair. The ROBO chair comes with 3D rollers and the very technically advanced feature of voice control; you can actually sit back and control just about every operation of the chair with just your voice.
Which of the two chairs gives a better massage is a subjective opinion. Personally, I like both just as much, so all I will say is that, if you are considering the HEC-DR7700K, it may be worth your while taking a look at the Inada ROBO as well.
Japan massage chairs offer the best massages in my opinion.