Sunday, March 1, 2009

Massage Chair Review: Sanyo SA5000 Massage Recliner

By James Knolan

We present review of the Sanyo model HEC SA5000 massage chair. Our intention is to provide a massage chair buyer with an objective review and evaluation of a given massage chair. We use a 5 category system. Equal weight is given to each category. Each category can earn from 0 to 20 points. The points are then summed up to provide you with an overall score. The 5 categories cover the following: Warranty & Customer Service, Comfort/Ergonomics, Ease of Use, Features and Massage Therapy. This system gives us a disciplined process of evaluating a massage chair. We hope you find this helping in your search for the best massage chair for your needs. The Sanyo HEC-SA5000 massage chair recliner price is in the $3,000 to $4,000 range.

Warranty & Customer Service: The warranty coverage helps to reduce your risk in any electronics purchase. This gives you protection of defects from manufacturing of the product. The SA 5000 comes with the following warranty coverage: 1 year parts, 3 years roller mechanism, 1 year labor and 1 year in home technician service. We think the 1 year in home technician service is a good addition for Sanyo. We would like to see all parts covered for 3 years like the top manufacturers do. The customer service is good. Sanyo has a 24/7 call center which is technically competent. The SA-5000 earns a 15 in this category.

Comfort & Ergonomics: This section looks at the ergonomics of the design for comfort and relaxation. This chair comes with padded armrests which are soft and comfortable. The head support pillow is adjustable and contoured to support the head. The back pad is plush and well padded. The leg ottoman is in a fixed position and cannot be adjusted. This can be a drawback to taller users. The layout of the remote control is good and within easy arms reach. There is a wired sub remote that has minimal adjustments included. The SA5000 earns a 15 in this category.

Ease of Use: With the number of features increasing every year in massage chairs, keeping the remote controls simple and easy to use is paramount. We like the simple, yet functional design of the SA 5000 remote control. You have 4 one-touch buttons for automatic massages. There is a Program Memory function which will record the last few minutes of the massage and store it for later use. There is a wired sub remote for the pulse monitoring which must be held during the massage. The manual controls are neatly located in a side panel of the remote control. We give this massage recliner an 18 for ease of use.

Key Features: Sanyo introduces some innovative technology in the SA-5000 massage chair. The have a stiffness detection system and a unique roller system called the GK rollers. The stiffness detection system monitors your pulse rate and your perspiration. The software then is able to determine areas of stiffness in the body and to direct the chairs attention on these areas. The GK rollers are specially designed mechanisms that allow for a gripping massage. The rollers can extend outward over the shoulders and neck areas to perform this unique gripping massage. This is very relieving for tight and soreness in the neck and shoulder region. We give Sanyo an 18 for key features.

Massage Therapy: This massage chair comes equipped with 4 full body automatic courses including Stiffness, Relax, Recovery and Fine. There are also 4 programs stored in Memory, 4 manual massage techniques and 4 massage courses. Select from 5 roller width setting and 5 massage speed settings. This model also comes with an air system for the lower body. This system has 24 airbags and covers the feet, calves and thighs. There is also a multi-point shiatsu massage for targeting the lower body for a soothing and relaxing lower body massage. The massage therapy is very effective in the SA 5000 and it scores an 18 in massage therapy.

How does the Sanyo SA-5000 stack up? We give this massage chair an 84/100 in our overall rating. There is some innovative technology contained in this mid range model. We are impressed with the GK roller system which is also in the high end Sanyo model. This provides superior coverage of the neck and shoulder regions. The warranty coverage is a bit light on the parts side and you may want to consider an extended warranty. The memory program is another nice feature enabling the chair to memorize a particular massage and its settings for repeat use. If you are looking at a mid range massage chair, this one is definitely worth a serious look.

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