Panasonic Massage Chair Review

Massage Chair Review: Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner Panasonic EP-30003

The focus of this review is the Panasonic EP 30003 which is part of the Real Pro Ultra series of massage chairs. We will review some of the more relevant areas of the purchase of this product. The Real Pro Ultra series is replacing the Real Pro Elite which was the prior series of model from Panasonic. The Panasonic Real Pro Ultra EP 30003 is a mid range model in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.
First, we take a look at the post-sale protection for the consumer. This includes both the warranty and customer service in the event that you require service on the chair. The warranty covers certain aspects such as labor and parts covered by the manufacturer. The warranty coverage protects the consumer and takes some risk out of the purchase. Not all warranties are the same. Panasonic provides you with 3 years on the parts on the major components. Items like upholstery are excluded from the warranty. You also get 1 year labor and 1 year shipping of parts covered by the factory. This coverage is good on the parts, but is rather short on the labor. Panasonic is now offering in-home technician service to bring it up to the level of the best chair manufacturers. Most retailers will offer extended warranty coverage to match the better companies, but at additional cost. Customer service is provided by the retail establishment where the chair is purchased, so service levels are highly variable.
The features and options included in massage chairs are ever increasing. This means the controllers for these chairs become more complex. Therefore, ease of use is a key factor, since many features will not be used if they are not intuitive. Who has time to read the manual these days? Panasonic has deep experience in this area since they are a large electronics company. As such they include a helpful voice guidance system to navigate you through using the features. This is helpful in the beginner or for first time users. The remote is cleanly designed and fairly intuitive to use. The self programs take some getting used to, but are worth the effort. The remote is not very cluttered compared to many we see, which is a good thing.
The important features of the Panasonic EP-30003 are the Junetsu massage and the extendable leg rest. Panasonic research has yielded a new massage technique called Junetsu. This technique is aimed at deep penetration of the muscles. It uses small circular motions combined with firm pressure. This combination provides for a penetrating and invigorating massage to targeted areas of the back. Junetsu is defined as ultra fine kneading and this is an effective massage technique. The other key feature we like is the extendable leg rest. Although this is not quite as exciting as the Junetsu, it is important for the American market. With few exceptions, massage chairs are designed for the Asian market and secondarily exported to America. The typical American is taller and heavier than the typical Asian. This is reflected in massage chairs which are small for Americans. Panasonic finally introduces 5 critical inches to extend the leg rest. It is a start in the right direction.
You will want to make sure that your massage recliner is comfortable to sit in, since it can also be used as a recliner as well. Some are quite frankly, not very comfortable when not being used for massage. The Panasonic Real Pro Ultra comes with nice padded armrest covers. The upholstered chair back is plush and the synthetic leather is very soft to the touch. The chair comes with a detachable, contoured head support pillow. Panasonic has added an extendable leg rest which can be extended an additional 5 inches. This is a big improvement over their prior series without this feature. The chair is well designed and ergonomic.
This is perhaps the most important category, since the massage makes or breaks the chair. The Panasonic EP-30003 comes with automatic and manual programs. For one touch convenience, select from four 15-minute Pre-Programs, One 5-minute Quick Program. The Pre-programs or automatic programs include Shiatsu, Swedish, Deep, Stretch and Quick. Shiatsu is for severe tightness and tension; Swedish is for gentle invigoration and enhanced blood flow: Deep is for mild tightness and tension; Stretch is for a refreshing stretch of the lower body; Quick is for a variety of techniques in 5 minutes. Manual massage techniques include: Junetsu, Shiatsu, Swedish, Knead, Stretch, Tap and Full Roll. The lower body air system covers the calves and feet only.
We like the new innovative massage technique, the Junetsu introduced by Panasonic. We also like the extendable leg rest to better accommodate the American market. The chair is well designed and ergonomic. We are not impressed with the overall look and style of the chair. Panasonic should be able to produce chairs that are impressively designed on the outside, not just the inside. The massage therapies are fairly comprehensive and effective. This is certainly a contender for your attention if you are looking for a good quality and solidly built massage chair in this price range.
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