Up to now, there have been numerous articles on our blog explaining how massage chairs work, including their various features. With this post, we return to the basics, which are not necessarily obvious to someone who has no experience with massage chairs. Well, every massage chair is electric and they’re equipped with a controller. While there isn’t much to explain in terms of the ‘electricity’ of the chair – you just need to make sure you set it up near a power socket – the control of the chair can be done in many ways, not just by remote control. The design of the remote and the functions that can be controlled with it depend, naturally, on the technological sophistication of the model. Many of our chairs can be controlled using two, three or even four methods, so when discussing the different types of control, we’re going to mention individual massage chairs several times.
Did you know… The world’s first massage chairs that were made at the Fujiiryoki factory in the 1950s were already electric. When switched on, the chair performed a kneading massage and the height of the massaging arms could be adjusted using a crank on the side of the chair.
Let’s get to the point, i.e. the different ways of controlling massage chairs.
CONTROLLERS INTEGRATED INTO THE ARMREST
Economical massage seats that offer basic functions have easy-to-use, simple controllers integrated into the chair. For example, the Massaggio brand’s compact chairs – Piccolo, Bello 2, as well as the iRest Easyq – these models have the controllers integrated into the armrest. These controllers are visually very similar. What they have in common is that the activated functions are indicated by LEDs. In Piccolo, the controller is used to select an automatic programme, the position of the massaging arms, the massage technique and the airbag massage intensity levels. In Bello 2, it’s also the position of the chair and the footrest, the speed of the massage, its width and the length of the massager. iRest Easyq offers similar controls to Bello 2. Keyton H10 – stands out from the rest of the range – this chair comes with a control panel built into the armrest, allowing the management of basic functions (the Domo model is an exception), and is the only one with a wireless remote control.
The most common way to control massage chairs is by means of a controller, which is connected by a wire to the body of the chair. In the iRest QL chair, it is a controller without a display, and the change of function is indicated by sound and LEDs. The controls for the iRest Chillin and iRest Chillin Open – both are models with simple, intuitive controls, without displays.
More advanced Massaggio brand chairs (Eccellente, Eccellente 2, Eccellente 2 PRO) feature classical control panels with displays. Their design and operation are quite similar. The functions that are active and the selected massage parameters are displayed on the screen. Thanks to the navigation keys, switching between settings is easy and intuitive. Selected settings can also be changed without going through the menu of the controller – for example, extending the massage time or selecting a technique (depending on the model). The layout of the keys on the Massaggio chair controller is well thought out so that the user can easily find main features and adjust the massage parameters to suit their needs.
The control panels of Fujiiryoki’s models (JP2000, JP3000). The manufacturer has opted for a combination of the buttons of a traditional controller (basic functions, such as switching on, reclining, heating, etc.) with touchscreen – it makes it possible, for example, to select an automatic programme or set massage parameters (intensity, position of massaging arms, or focusing the massage on a specific part). This solution lets you access the most frequently used functions quickly, and lets you easily delve into dozens of advanced settings..
The Supearl and Supearl Open chairs have controllers with touch-sensitive buttons arranged around a colour display. Brillactiq and Maesthron, on the other hand, are controlled by a panel with the entire surface sensitive to touch.
In these chairs, the arrangement of the buttons depends on the current interface screen being displayed. This is a very convenient way of control: despite the abundance of functions, it’s easy to move from one menu setting to another, each screen is intuitive, clear and easy to understand.
CONTROL WITH DEDICATED APPLICATION
Another way to control is via a mobile app that can be installed on your smartphone. The chair that offers this kind of control is iRest Maesthron – the most advanced model, not only because of all the features, but also because of the control possibilities. Controlling the chair’s operation is possible through an app using iRest’s proprietary software.
BUILT-IN CONTROL PANEL
Basic functions in more technologically advanced chairs can also be controlled using a handy built-in panel. In Massaggio Stravagante 2 i Massaggio Esclusivo 2the control panel is located in the right armrest, while in iRest Brillactiq and iRest Maesthron, it is located above the airbags that massage the forearms. This is a convenient way to change basic settings or quickly switch the chair on/off. Depending on the model, you can adjust the position of the backrest or footrest, turn on the heating, increase or decrease the massage intensity or activate the voice control.
CONTROL BY VOICE COMMANDS
Finally, we are moving away from all kinds of controllers. Some of the chairs also offer a function to use specific voice commands. This makes it very easy in terms of control – you don’t have to take your hands out from between the massage airbags to use the controller and change the settings. This type of control is found in the Massaggio chairs: Stravagante 2, Esclusivo 2, iRest: Brillactiq, Grandease, Supearl, Supearl Open and Maesthron. As we mentioned previously, this function can be activated by pressing a button on the built-in panel, or by saying the command “Hi Alice”. Once you hear the response “I’m here”, you can start issuing commands in English. For details on the voice prompts, please refer to respective chair manuals or the back of the controller.
So if you’re looking for an electric massage chair with a dedicated controller then… each chair meets the criteria. And which control method is best? As always, it depends on the user’s preference. The easiest way is to visit one of our showrooms and try it out. Come on in!