Key Takeaways: The Daiwa Supreme Hybrid Chair is a “Game-Changer”
The innovative technology and customization capabilities of the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid massage chair make it a compelling choice for those seeking an advanced massage experience.
- Split Track Innovation: The Daiwa Supreme Hybrid introduces split tracks, a revolutionary technology in the massage chair industry. This feature, previously only found in S-track chairs, enables a full-body extension stretch, offering an enhanced massage experience for users seeking both L-track massages and full-body stretches.
- Dual Roller Tracks: Unlike traditional massage chairs with quad rollers, the Supreme Hybrid’s upper track utilizes dual rollers, providing a more focused and intense massage. This design allows for greater specificity and depth, particularly in the neck and shoulder area, making it a standout feature of this chair.
- Customizable Massage Experience: The chair offers extensive customization options, allowing users to tailor their massage to their preferences. You can adjust roller speed, 3D strength, airbag intensity, and more through manual programming. With the inclusion of multiple pillows and pads, users can easily modify the massage’s intensity for a comfortable and personalized experience.
Every once in a while, something comes along in the massage chair industry that I would consider a “game changer”. Not just bells and whistles, but features that really change the direction of the development of massage chairs. A few that come to my mind since I’ve been in the business would be foot rollers, multiple airbags that don’t just squeeze but also facilitate movement of the body, L-tracks, and arm rollers.
A year and half ago a new technology came along that impressed me right away and has proven to be another game-changer that I expect we will see more and more of with subsequent massage chair models: split tracks.
Split tracks represent an L-shaped roller track (aka L-track) that is essentially “split in two” to facilitate a full body extension stretch, the efficacy of which had only been heretofore seen in S-track chairs. The Daiwa Supreme Hybrid massage chair was the first model to be introduced to the US market with the split track feature. It has two separate roller tracks…one roller track that extends from the base of your skull down to your lower back and another track that focuses exclusively under the seat, hitting the gluteal and piriformis muscles.
At the tail end of 2021, Infinity came out with the Circadian Syner-D model which also has the two separate roller track. This year Luraco introduced it’s new i9 model, which has a “hinged” L-track, as opposed to two separate tracks, but is also considered a “split track” chair in that the L-track is split into two parts by a hinged section of the track.
Daiwa Supreme Hybrid
In this article I will review the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid, pioneer model of the split track feature in the USA.
Since the Hybrid hit the scene in July of 2020, it has become a very popular model, in large part because of the split track and the associated stretch program. But there is quite a bit more to that chair than the split track and I will go into depth now of the features that make this chair unique. Here are the pros and cons of the Hybrid (I will break up all my points of discussion into bullet points to make it easier to follow along):
- Dual Roller Tracks – As I have already mentioned, the Hybrid has a split track feature in the form of an upper track and lower track. What’s even more interesting and appealing (to me) is that the upper track has 2 rollers instead of the typical 4 rollers. The vast majority of massage chairs in the market today have 4 rollers, aka quad rollers. The Hybrid’s lower track is a quad roller system, but it’s upper roller track has dual rollers. What this means is that the massage force coming from the massage “arms” gets dispersed between either 4 rollers or 2 rollers. Although the 4 rollers cover more area at any given moment during the massage, the dissipation of the massage arm force makes for a more diffuse, less focal, roller massage. The 2 rollers cover less area but the massage force is focalized to that smaller area, thus facilitating a deeper, more intense massage. This is not to say that quad roller chairs can’t get intense, but the specificity of the massage is far greater with dual rollers. By the way, the neck and shoulder massage of the dual rollers is fantastic, arguably the best of any chair we carry.
- Simultaneous Seat and Back Massage – It is a unique feel to have rollers working on your neck while another set of rollers are working on your butt muscles. You can’t get that with regular chairs or even with some split track chairs. The depth/intensity of the back rollers can be adjusted, but the quad rollers in the seat are set at a fixed depth. In other words, the intensity of the seat rollers cannot be increased or decreased mechanically…only with and without pillows.
- Pillows – Because of the increased roller intensity of the dual rollers, for some folks the massage is just too strong. This fact did not escape the observant eyes and ears of the engineers! They included lots of pads and pillows to decrease the intensity of the massage if the mechanical adjustment isn’t enough. There are three pillows attached by a zipper at the top of the chairback, one that extends the full length of the back, one that covers the upper half of your back, and then a neck pillow. If you love the chair’s intensity, just flip all of the pillows/pads over the back of the chair and let those rollers work you over. The chair also comes with a “roving” pad that you can place anywhere you want to decrease the intensity. It is not attached to the chair at all, thus the term “roving”.
- Superior Stretch Program – I have discussed in other articles the differences between the different types of stretches. Well, up until this new technology came along, only S-track chairs could flatten out enough to give a strong “full body extension stretch”. L-track chairs could never flatten out completely, so their stretches were OK, but nowhere close to the S-track stretch. We call the L-track stretch a “hip distraction stretch”, since the stretch only really pulls the legs so you fell a bit of a pulling of the hips. But, now with the two separate roller tracks, the Supreme Hybrid is the first L-track chair that can give you that full body extension stretch. It is fantastic! The program on the chair for this unique feature is called “HybriFlex”. If a stretch is important to you, as well as an L-track massage, you can’t beat the stretch of the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid. You have to experience it, and compare it to regular L-track stretches, to fully comprehend what I am telling you.
- Wireless Tablet Remote Control – The remote control for this chair is a touchscreen wireless tablet that sits on a charging pedestal attached to the right arm rest. It is compatible only with the Supreme Hybrid (unlike the Samsung Tablet that the Ogawa Master Drive AI uses). The tablet has to pair with the chair through BlueTooth when you first turn on the chair and tablet. That usually isn’t a problem. If it is, make sure you power down the tablet and then power down the chair, as well as turning off the orange power button in the back and unplugging the chair from the outlet. Plug the chair back in, turn on the orange power button, and then power up the tablet. Pairing should work just fine.However, we have seen a few instances when pairing your own device with the chair has been problematic. We suggest that you go to the “Settings” menu option and select “Sounds”. Once you are there, select “Pad” as the Audio Output Device” (it should default to “Chair” when you turn on your chair). Then, you can go to your phone, turn on the BlueTooth feature, and look for the Supreme Hybrid chair in your list of BlueTooth devices (SPH-1). That should get your device paired with the chair.The screen and images on the tablet are large and easy to read. The images for the 12 auto programs are large and there is text describing each of the 12 programs. The manual settings are also easy to navigate. More on these later.
- Chair Body – The Daiwa Supreme Hybrid has a “pod” body style, similar to the Human Touch Super Novo. Coincidentally, both models are built in the Rotai factory, arguably the best massage chair factory in China (and over 99% of the massage chairs come from China). The chair is also a wall hugger space saver. You can place it within an inch of the wall without fear of it hitting the wall when it reclines. This body design fits most sizes of people quite comfortably. It can handle folks as tall as 6’4″ and as heavy as 300 lbs. Sometime folks with long legs might feel like the leg extension of the chair is too short. Actually, that is a problem with a lot of chairs when it comes to dealing with long-legged folks. A little tip for tall folks who are sitting in this or any other massage chair model: when the chair has completed it’s scan, and you find your legs are not extended enough, a.) make sure that you have fully extended the leg rest and, if that still doesn’t do it, then b.) lower the ottoman until your knees come down and your thighs are resting on the seat. This will work with most chairs, but something a lot of taller people don’t think to do.The Supreme Hybrid comes in the following standard colors: cream, chocolate brown, and gray/black. From time to time it shows up in a gold color and an all black color, but don’t count on those. They don’t come often and are not considered regular colors. The exterior of the chair body is a glossy plastic while the interior material is faux (synthetic) leather. They are usually a 2-tone color scheme…one color on the exterior body and another shade on the interior color.The chair has Quick Keys that are located on the left arm rest and give you the ability to turn on the chair, scroll through the auto programs, adjust body and leg positioning, pause any massage program/settings, turn on the heat, and put the chair into a zero gravity position. I should mention here that the heat function is provided to the back and the calves. You will be very lucky if you feel it at all on the back and even slightly on the calves. This is probably the weakest feature of the chair. This chair also has two options for charging your phones: on the right arm rest is located a USB port into which you can plug your older model phone. On the left arm rests there is a charging pad for the newer phone models.A feature I really like are the palm supports in the arm rests. When you put your arms in the arm rests, your palms of your hands rest on some airbags that protrude up into your palms. It is very comfortable, also providing a nice airbag compression massage.
- Massage Intensity – As a 3D/4D massage chair, the Supreme Hybrid has the ability to provide more and less intense roller massages. However, it is a little different than a more typical 3D/4D massage chair. If you look at a typical auto program display on the tablet screen, you will see 2 different things that appear similar, are related, but are different. The “3D Strength” scale is a representation of how strong the overall massage is for this particular program. There are 12 auto programs in this chair and each of them has a different configuration of massage intensity.For example, the “Sweet Dreams” program has a generally less intense roller massage. The intensity can scale from 0-5, 0 being the most gentle and 5 being the most intense. The intensity of a program like “Sweet Dreams” will fluctuate from 0-5, but rarely hitting 5. It will spend most of it’s time in the 0-2/3 range. Now, if you go to the “Force” choices to the right of the “3D Strength” scale, you have the choice of “Gentle”, “Soothing”, and “Vigorous”. These choices make the “3D Strength” go higher up the 0-5 scale more often. If you choose “Gentle” the 0-5 scale of 3D strength will stay close to the bottom range. If you choose “Soothing”, the 0-5 scale of 3D strength will move higher up the scale, maybe hitting 5 once. If you choose “Vigorous”, the 0-5 scale of 3D strength will move up the scale more often. So, in summary, the roller intensity of each program is pre-set to run between 0-5 on an intensity scale. The name and description of the program will give you an idea of how intense it is. However, when you use the “Force” options, that will affect how often the 3D strength will go higher or lower up or down the scale. I hope that makes sense.The misconception for new users of this chair is that when you press “Vigorous” the assumption is that whole roller track digs deep into the back muscles to give you a stronger massage. Or, when you press “Gentle”, the whole roller track moves away more from the back muscles to give you a more gentle massage. The force options really only affect how often the rollers dig deeper or less deep into your back muscles within the pre-set auto program. If you want a more intense massage or a less intense massage, select a program that offers it.By the way, you will see a setting called “Reset When Finished” just above the “Force” setting. If you switch that on, the chair will come back to it’s full upright position when a program ends. If that feature is turned off, the chair will remain reclined after the program ends. If you want to stay asleep when your massage ends, turn that option off!
- 12 Auto Programs – As I described in point #7, if you want a massage that is lighter or stronger, just select a different program! As you can see from the photos below, each program comes with a name, which is, for the most part, pretty clear as to what it might provide in the way of a massage. But, it also has a blurb written about it below the program name. This makes it even easier to know which program to choose. When you turn on the chair, 3 program options will appear: HybriFlex, Refresh, and Deep Shiatsu. If you want one of the other 9 auto programs, just swipe the screen and the auto programs and manual program options will appear. The 12 program names are HybriFlex, Deep Shiatsu, Refresh, Royal Treatment (one of my favorites!), Stress Relief, Recovery, Neck & Shoulders, Back & Spine, Lower Body, Morning Buzz, Refreshing Nap, and Sweet Dreams.
- Manual Programming – When you select the “Manual” menu icon, you can now begin to create your own custom program. Set the roller modality you want, including the roller speed and 3D strength. You can then go to “Options” and select which airbags to deploy and with what intensity, turn on back & leg heat (as I mentioned before, nothing very special at all with that setting), and/or turn on foot rollers. If you go to the “Adjustments” menu option, you can change the length of the massage program, the zero gravity positioning, and the leg & body positioning. You can also use the “Adjustments” options for any auto programs.
Some other features of the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid include:
a.) Voice feature where the chair will tell you what it is doing through the speaker system.
b.) 1 year labor & 3 years parts coverage. You can purchase additional extended warranty options for parts and/or labor coverage, but you have to do it directly through Daiwa. Retailers do not sell their extended warranty options on our websites, unlike the other massage chair companies.
I really like this chair. I hope this review helps you in making your decision about a new massage chair. Feel free to reach out to me or my staff with any other questions.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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