Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Massage Chair Review - Human Touch 1650 Massage Chair

We rank the Human Touch 1650 number three in our top category ($4,000 to $5,000), because it is a truly outstanding chair. Human Touch is a little bit more prone to customer service issues than some of the other top-level massage chair manufacturers, which slightly limits our enthusiasm for this chair, but feature for feature, the Human Touch 1650 matches or exceeds every other chair in this category, with very few exceptions.

Walk with me through this chair's numerous features. First, let's step back and look at the classic design of the chair. Some people prefer a futuristic-looking massage chair, since it is packed with cutting-edge technology, but Human Touch has chosen to package their advanced technology into a beautifully classic style. With just a quick glance, you may not even realize this is not a regular recliner.

But sit down in this chair, and your eyes will be opened. With the touch of a button, the fully retractable foot and calf massager presents itself. You may put your feet in the calf wells and wonder what massage to do first. Well, why don't you try the back stretch function for a start. The calf wells gently grip your calves, and the chair slowly reclines, gently massaging and arching your back for a truly refreshing stretch.

Next, the air bags begin massaging your feet and calves. We've discussed the pros and cons of air bags and mechanical rollers in our Omega Montage review, so we won't do that here, but we're definitely sold on air bags for the feet and calves. They give the massage function a great deal of flexibility for the feet and calves, where flexibility is crucial, even if the strength is not quite as good as the mechanical rollers.

The Human Touch 1650 has two massage programs and three speed settings to control massage of the feet and calves. Add to that the under-feet acupoints, and you have a great deal of control in the type of massage you want for your lower half. The foot and calf massager also has a vibrating function, which is said to enhance circulation. We aren't doctors, so we don't know whether circulation is improved, but we do know the vibration is a truly relaxing function.

Now to the seat. The seat delivers what Human Touch calls its Air Impulse massage. It is made up of 8 pods that deliver a two-stage pulsing air massage. In short, it massages your buns and the underside of your thighs with a gentle air technology massage, which Human Touch calls "analog pressure pointing with pulsing force." In layman terms, this means the massage moves and pulses, giving you a relaxing rub.

Pause with me for a moment to discuss how we describe these massage chairs. We often get questions about what these different terms mean, and it's difficult to describe them. Let's be honest about it--the only way to truly understand the massage delivered by these chairs is to sit in them, but the only way to help an individual wanting to purchase a chair online is to describe these chairs in a way that can be understood and almost "felt" by the reader.

So let's return to the Human Touch 1650. I left off with the seat. It is made of high-quality leather and a visco-elastic foam seat cushion. In other words, it provides gentle seating that spreads pressure over your entire back end, not just on a few pressure points. The massage is able to work through the padding without being irritating.

Moving up into the back, the first thing we noticed was the heating. The chair, like many other chairs, provides heating to your lower back to help relax your muscles. The chair also provides acupoint detection in the back to help customize your massage. This feature is not as advanced as the Sanyo system, but unless you are very very particular, your back massage will still be fully satisfying and therapeutic.

You can customize your massage intensity with a massage comfort number. Simply press a button on the remote control to either increase or decrease the intensity of your massage.

This brings us to the very convenient remote control. It allows you to control everything about the chair, and it is handier and more intuitive than some of the other controllers on the market. You can choose any of the 8 pre-programmed massage functions, change the intensity, and control any of the myriad other functions of this chair. While you may overlook the importance of the remote control, we feel it is really an important part of the massage chair experience, and Human Touch has done an excellent job making their control convenient and complete without turning it into a monster-sized control panel.

The pre-programmed massage functions are sore muscle relief, sports and back therapy, leg/foot/hip therapy, neck and should relief, after-work stretch, morning energize, night-time soothing, and auto demo. If you want to go beyond these programs, you can customize your own massage right from the remote control.

The massage length is 27 inches, which is shorter than the Omega and Sanyo chairs in this class, so you should look to one of those chairs if you are taller than average; it reclines up to 170 degrees, again less than some of the other chairs, but completely adequate; and the maximum weight for the chair occupant is 285.

As you can tell, we're very much sold on this chair. However, we're not as excited about the customer service Human Touch offers or their 90-day limited warranty. Human Touch's returns policy is also more restrictive than other manufacturers in this class. Problems can be corrected, with some time and effort. However, Human Touch is not as committed as some of our other manufacturers to keeping their customers happy after the sale. Don't get the wrong idea-almost every Human Touch customer is thrilled with his or her chair and would buy it again, but for that rare customer who has something go wrong, the most convenient, least expensive, and quickest fix is going to come from Sanyo or Omega, who each have much longer warranties and better returns policies.

Notwithstanding this issue, though, we're very pleased to rank the Human Touch 1650 as our number three chair in the $4,000 to $5,000 range. When you buy your HT 1650, you will be in good company, because the Human Technology is the preferred technology of the American College of Chiropractic Orthopedists. You won't be disappointed with its style, versatility, performance, and convenience.

This article was reviewed for which sells most massage chair brands and attempts to provide unbiased reviews for its best massage chairs. Reviews of the rest of the Top 25 can also be found on the same site. More information on this specific product can be found at

Article Source:

No comments: