We present review of the Sanyo model HEC SA5000 massage chair. Our intent is to provide a 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 recliner for your needs. The HEC-SA5000 massage chair recliner price is in the $ 3,000 to $ 4,000 range.
Warranty & Customer Service:
Let us start at the company level and rate the warranty and customer service for Sanyo. Warranty coverage is a good benchmark of the manufacturer's confidence is its product. Sanyo gives a 1 year labor, 1 year parts and 1 year in-home service. It does cover the roller mechanism for 3 years. For a company as large as Sanyo, the warranty is a little weaker than we would expect. Sanyo did start offering in-home service, which is an important service upgrade to match others in the industry. At least with in-home service they provide 1 year. Overall, customer service is competent. They have a national hot line with 24/7 service. Turnaround time on service is ok. Our rating in this category is 15.
Comfort & Ergonomics:
When one thinks of a massage chair, you think of comfort and relaxation. The ergonomics of the chair design needs to be comfortable and fit the users. The SA 5000 has a nice appearance with the triangular armrests. The armrests are well padded and comfortable. The side view of the chair is a little plain below the armrest detail which is a little industrial from our point of view. The chair is comfortable to sit in. The upholstered back pad is plush and soft to the touch. The headrest pillow can be adjusted to accommodate different users. The leg rest is one area of concern in that it can not be adjusted or extended. Taller users may want to see how well they fit in the chair. This chair was originally designed for the Japanese market, so it is scaled for the target population. Our rating in this category is 15.
Ease of Use:
We are always concerned with how easy a massage chair is to use. There are an ever increasing number of features and options, but the manufacturers need to make it easy to use. Everyone wants the best technology has to offer, but not at the expense of a steep learning curve. We like the remote for the SA 5000. This is a clean and simple design. There are 4 automatic programs with one-touch buttons. If you like the massage you are getting and the area, then hit the Program Memory button and the chair will remember. This is like having additional automatic programs at your disposal. The side panel controls the lower body air system with individual controls for the lower body, calf, foot and thigh. Our rating in this category is 18.
The prominent features in the SA 5000 are the Stiffness Detection Sensor and the GK Rollers. The stiffness detection sensor is based on lie detection technology. This sensor detects stress points throughout your whole back. The stiffness detection gauges fatigue by monitoring changes in your perspiration and pulse rate. This information is then fed into the computer and the software will adjust the massage programs to target areas of stiffness or tight muscles. The GK Rollers are specially designed rollers that have the capability to perform a grip or grinding massage. The GK roller technology "reaches out" and grabs you. This is especially effective for the neck and shoulder area. These rollers squeeze your shoulders and neck area to emulate the grinding and kneading of a professional masseuse. Our rating in this category is 18.
The SA 5000 comes with 4 automatic programs, 4 programs stored in Memory, 4 manual massage techniques and 4 massage courses for targeted relief of stress areas. You can select from 5 roller width setting and 5 massage speed settings. The 4 full body automatic courses include: Stiffness, Relax, Recovery and Fine. Sanyo incorporates its exclusive multi-point shiatsu massage for the legs and feet. The air system covers the lower body including the feet, calves and thighs. There are a total of 24 airbags. The air only comfort course includes a multi-point shiatsu massage is delivered to the lower body for a comforting lower body massage. There is also an ankle grip massage. The ankle grip massage is performed by holding a range of built in airbags around the foot. Our rating in this category is 18.
Overall, we rate the Sanyo SA-5000 an 84/100. The SA 5000 comes with many of the same technologies as Sanyo's high end version the DR7700. The stroke length of the back rollers is 28 inches compared to 31 inches for the DR 7700, but most of the same technology is in the SA 5000. The factory warranty is just OK and you may want to explore an extended warranty to equal other manufacturer's coverage. The GK rollers are a nice feature for neck and shoulder coverage. The leg rest would be more ergonomic for the American market if there was an extension built in. If you are looking for a massage chair recliner in this category, the SA 5000 is one you should check out.