I was recently asked in an email what the differences were between the two Human Touch models, the new HT-Bali and the veteran HT-9500. I thought the question was good enough to merit a blog post comparing the two models. In this article, I will cover not only the differences but the features that they hold in common. Let’s start with the differences:
1. Aesthetically, the HT-Bali is smaller and thinner, but looks more like a traditional massage chair. The HT-9500 is a bigger, bulkier chair that looks more like a “cushy” recliner. As a result of the size difference, the HT-Bali is much lighter and, therefore, much easier to unpack and move around the house.
2. One of the knocks I’ve always had against the older HT chairs is the reach of the rollers down the low back. In the HT-9500, the rollers go down to about the waistline, but doesn’t hit the sacrum or top of the gluts at all. The HT-Bali, as with most of Human Touch’s newer massage chairs, the rollers go down to that area, which I think is fantastic.
3. The HT-Bali has shoulder and arm airbags. These features have never really been a part of many Human Touch models in the past. It’s kinda cool to see them integrated in this model. The HT-9500 does not have any airbags in the shoulders or arms, although the predecessor to the HT-9500, the HT-1650, did have vibration. But, that was done away with when the newer HT-9500 came on the market.
4. The HT-9500 is upholstered in a beautiful leather. Of the close to 50 name-brand models we carry on our website, there are only 2-3 that have leather upholstery…and the HT-9500 is one of them. A lovely feature, by the way. The HT-Bali is upholstered in the more typical synthetic leather.
5. Human Touch pioneered the integration of zero gravity in massage chairs, but the HT-9500 does not have that feature. However, the HT-Bali does and it is a lovely feature for decompressing the low back.
6. Both chairs have retractable ottomans, but only the HT-Bali has a lengthening feature in the ottoman to accommodate longer legs. The leg ottoman positioning is fixed in the HT-9500.
7. Foot rollers were not found much, if at all, when the HT-9500 was introduced to the market a few years ago. So, don’t expect to find foot rollers in the HT-9500. However, the HT-Bali does have mechanical foot rollers, which are a wonderful complement to the paddle technology used in the foot and calf massagers (see below for more discussion about the paddles).
8. The HT-9500 has a very similar remote control as the HT-7450, another old timer in the Human Touch family. That remote offers 8 different auto programs. The HT-Bali only has 4 programs.
9. The remote control of the HT-9500 is an older style push-button remote, whereas the remote control of the HT-Bali has a more ‘television-like’ remote control display with drop down menus and LCD display. The Bali remote is quite a nice looking, intuitive remote.
1. 3D Roller Massage – you can adjust the depth of the roller massage with the 3D function. Although the feature is facilitated differently in each chair, the 3D depth control is available. In the older HT-9500, the chair uses airbags to move the body of the user closer to or further away from the rollers. The HT-Bali has a more modern technology wherein the rollers themselves move in and out to facilitate the 3D depth adjustments.
2. Retractable & Rotating Ottoman – both chairs, as with many other Human Touch chairs, have a retractable ottman that hides it under the seat of the chair. Aesthetically, this is great, because without the calf and foot wells sticking out the chair looks more like a normal recliner.
These ottomans also rotate so that you can hide the calf and foot wells when the ottoman is fully deployed. This feature is very convenient if you want to use the ottoman solely as a foot rest.
3. Paddle Massage – Human Touch patented their foot and calf paddle technology years ago and it is a real winner in their chairs. Rather than airbags, the chair utilizes rubber paddles that are molded to the shape of the feet and calves to give a wonderful wave-like massage of the lower extremities. It feels much superior to the airbag massage of the same area that you will find in other chairs, in my honest opinion.
4. Body Scan Technology – Both chairs offer a scanning technology. I’m not sure exactly how sophisticated it is, but for most chairs, scanning technology involves figuring out where the head and shoulders are so that the rollers work optimally in the upper back, shoulders, and neck.
Well, that about does it for the biggest similarities and differences between the chairs. I hope this helps!
Dr. Alan Weidner