Panasonic Real Pro Elite EP-3222 Shiatsu Massage Chair Review

By: James Knolan


If you are a potential massage chair buyer, then finding an unbiased review of a given massage chair can be helpful. Here are 5 important categories to evaluate the total massage chair experience. This system gives equal weight to each of the 5 categories with each category having from 0 to 20. A 100 point score means the chair and the company has achieved total excellence. The 5 categories are Warranty & Customer Service, Comfort/Ergonomics, Ease of Use, Features and Massage Therapy. The discipline of a systematic approach provides for balance help those seriously considering a massage chair. The Panasonic Real Pro EP-3222 is the subject of this review. This luxury shiatsu massage chair is in the $4,000 to $5,000 range.

Warranty & Customer Service: First is how the manufacturer rates in both warranty coverage and customer service. The manufacturer needs to stand behind its product. Panasonic gives a 1 year labor, 1 year parts and 1 year in-home service as well as 1 year shipping. Panasonic puts a machine life cap of 1,000 hours of use. Panasonic gives a short warranty combined with the 1,000 hour cap (for heavy users), the warranty rates as ok. The electronics company's such as Panasonic (or Sanyo) like to sell extended warranties. Panasonic offers in-home technician service and will pay for shipping for the first year. Customer service is through your retailer. Service times vary on the service center location. Overall Rating for Panasonic warranty and customer service is 15.

Comfort & Ergonomics: Comfort and ergonomics are important design characteristics with a massage chair recliner. Panasonic massage chairs are fairly well designed and comfortable. The armrests are padded and the material soft. The upholstery on the chair back is soft and fits the back well. The head pillow supports the head and is plush. The footrest is not adjustable, so taller buyers beware. The Real Pro Elite Elite is a 17 in Comfort & Ergonomics.

East of Use: Massage Chair manufacturers are adding more technology and features into their chairs every year. Users need to be able to quickly, easily and intuitively understand how to use the product. The Panasonic Real Pro Elite has many advanced features as well as manual options. The main remote control has the auto programs in an easy to use location. The manual controls are located inside the side panel of the remote control. Overall, this remote is fairly intuitive. The Panasonic Real Pro Elite comes with Voice Guidance which can be helpful, but usually only in the beginning or for new users. Another good feature is Focus, which enables the user to repeat the massage that just occurred. It is a repeat function, which is great if you have an area that you want to concentrate on. The Panasonic Real Pro Elite is a 17 in Ease of Use.

Key Features: The most prominent features of the Panasonic Real Pro Elite are the 33 airbags in the lower body air system and the Swede-Atsu massage system. The lower body airsytem has a total of 33 airbags and provides great coverage for the hips, thighs, buttocks, calves and feet. The compression air massage gently, but firmly squeezes the lower body to release tension and soreness. The Swede-Atsu uses rubber massage heads. These rubber massage heads coupled with the software replicate the stoking of the palms of the hand, pressing by the heal of the hand, or the kneading with the thumbs. The massage is solid and does a thorough job of relieving tension and stress. Our rating of the Panasonic EP-3222 in this category is 19.

Massage Therapy: The Panasonic Real Pro Elite comes with One 5-minute Quick Program, Four 14-minute Pre-Programs, 4 full body automatic courses, One 14-minute Self Program, 5 massage speed settings for a total combination of 14 massage courses. Automatic one button massage functions include: Shiatsu, Gentle, Deep and Refresh. The lowerbody massage is powered with 33 airbags for full coverage. The Swede-Atsu massage system has realistic massage therapy techniques similar to a massage therapist. This shiatsu massage recliner provides increased back coverage with rollers that can go wider to cover more of the back. Our rating in this category is 19.

How does the Panasonic Real Pro Elite EP-3222 stack up? Overall, our rating of the Panasonic is an 87/100. Panasonic continues to expand the range of capabilities of its massage chairs with greater back coverage, voice guidance and its Swede-Atsu massage system. The massage chair design is very modern, perhaps, too much so, but that is a matter of taste. Panasonic massage chair technology for both the mechanical and pneumatic provide for a thorough, firm overall massage. Panasonic needs to add an extendable footrest to accommodate taller people. Otherwise, the Real Pro Elite is a solid all-around therapeutic massage chair.

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