Review of the Luraco i9 Max Special Edition
The Luraco i9 Max Special Edition has become one of our top sellers since it was introduced to the market just a few short months ago. It is one of 4 new i9 Max models, the others being the standard i9 Max, the Royal, and the Billionaire models.
The i9 Max series of chairs are an upgrade to the original i9 chair series from Luraco, which was introduced in the 4th quarter of 2021. Some significant changes were made to this new line of if i9 Max chairs, which has resulted in greater popularity for the i9 Max. I’ll touch on some of those changes in this review.
Although this review is for the Special Edition model, much of what I discuss in this review pertains to all the i9 Max models. The Special Edition is the model we have in all of our showrooms. We chose that model primarily because it has the split track PLUS dual roller mechanisms. Like other split track models in the market, the upper roller mechanism has two rollers and the lower roller mechanism has 4 rollers. This is the primary differentiating feature from the standard i9 Max. The standard i9 Max only has one roller mechanism, with 4 rollers.
Differences Between the 4 Luraco i9 Max Models
Other than the extra roller mechanism, the Special Edition comes with:
- A personalized leather name tag
- A personalized remote control
- Blood pressure cuff and heart rather monitor (that plugs into the chair)
- Back up emergency power (I’ll talk about this feature a little more, later in this review)
- A wireless cell phone charger.
Everything else is the same for all models.
The Billionaire model comes with everything the Special Edition has PLUS:
- Extra software customization
- Remote control software that displays the owner’s picture on the welcome screen.
The Royal model comes with all of the above PLUS:
- An 18K gold plated name plate
- An 18K plated remote control cover
- 18K plated trims on the arm rests and footrest
- 18K plated massage robot arms.
Now that we’ve got through the model differentiations, let’s get into this 35-point review of the new i9 Max series (particularly the Special Edition).
- The Luraco i9 Max chairs are built in Arlington, Texas. Luraco is the only company that can rightfully claim that their chairs are made in the USA. I made a video at Luraco’s headquarters about the building of the i9 chairs when they first came out. You can watch that video here to see what I saw in the building process.
- The i9 Max is a nice looking chair. It has a more traditional body style, as opposed to the newer pod-like
designs. The chairs are upholstered in an automotive industry leather. It is a durable leather but still soft enough to feel comfortable. The stitching on the back pad, arm rests, and neck pillow is also very sharp looking. The chair comes in three colors: black, chocolate brown, and taupe. The linen that is used in all the areas where the skin typically touches is black. Of interest is the 10 year warranty that Luraco attached to the leather upholstery. With reports of some massage chair synthetic leather fraying and shredding after just a few years, a 10 year warranty for the real leather is significant. While we’re on the topic of warranty coverage, the Luraco has a 3 year labor warranty and 5 year parts warranty included with their chairs.
- The Special Edition, Billionaire, and Royal models come with a personalization feature, which provides having your name imprinted onto the neck pillow leather or gold tag as well as on the display screen of the remote control.
- The Luraco i9 Max has a pouch that hangs over the right armrest, into which the remote control can be placed when not in use.
- The left armrest has a sleeve into which you can slide your phone. Underneath your phone, in the body of
the armrest, a wireless charger is located. The wireless phone charger works on smartphones with 2022 Qi technology. If your phone can’t be charged by the wireless charging pad, you can plug it into the USB port to charge. Incidentally, the wireless phone charger is only found in the Special Edition, Billionaire, and Royal models. The USB port is in all 4 of the models.
- The remote control display configuration is the same as the original i9 model as well as the older i7+ and Legend models, which have since been discontinued. It mimics the look of a smart phone and should feel quite intuitive to a first time user.
The remote control is considered the main computer of the chair. Sometimes, when you power up the chair, the “computer”, that is the remote control, will show that the software is “loading” on the screen. If your chair ever freezes, just like other computers, you will need to power down and turn off the chair. Power it back up again and the remote will load properly again.
- The Luraco i9 Max chairs are much more comfortable than it’s predecessors, principally because the headrest provides more forward support for the head. The older i9 did not support the head well, so when the user would lean their head back against the chair back, it would feel as though the head was laying back far too much. It was uncomfortable for some folks, especially those with lower range of motion in the neck. The new i9 Max series has more padding on the chair back to keep it more forward when sitting in the chair.
- The Luraco chairs are also very quiet. The company has a wall full of patents that they have received over the years. The technology they developed for creating a very quiet overall massage is one of their patents.
The two armrests can be moved back and forward, like slide doors. By moving the chair armrests back, it opens a space at the side of the seat allowing the user to slide in and onto the chair seat from either side of the chair. This is an excellent solution for folks with acute back pain, or older folks with limited mobility, to get into the chair, other than from the front (which is how one has to get onto the seat in most other chair models). You will see lit green buttons on each armrest that, when pressed, will slide the arm rest forward and back. If one side is sliding open or closed, the other side will not work until the first side has been opened or closed.
- The sliding armrests also play a part in the stretch program. This is a subtle, but very interesting feature. On the inside of the armrests is where the arm airbags are located. When you get into the chair and select the stretch program, the chair will automatically slide back an inch or so. When the chair reclines, preparatory to the stretch beginning, the arm airbags will grab a hold of both arms and hands and while reclining, the armrests will slide forward that inch, which will add to a stretch of the arms. It is an effective and clever way to include an arm stretch in what is normally a torso and hips stretch.
- The sliding armrests can also be used to move the armrests forward or back to allow the user to situate the arm airbags on the part of the arms and hands that he or she wants the chair to massage. If someone has longer arms, and wants the hands and wrists to get massaged, the sliding armrests can be move all the way forward. If the user has short arms and wants that forearms to be massaged, the sliding armrests can be moved back to accommodate the shorter arm length.
- The shoulder airbags also have a housing mechanism that can be moved up and down to adapt to a taller or shorter torso. It is not an electronically adjusted feature, but there are pins on either shoulder airbag housing that, when pulled allows the housing, and, thus, the shoulder airbags, to be easily moved up and down. It is a little tough to find the pins. They are located directly above the shoulder airbags. If you reach with your fingers between the two airbags on each shoulder, you will feel the head of the pin. You then squeeze it between your index and middle finger ,or thumb and index finger, and pull it out. That releases the shoulder airbag housing, allowing you to slide the housing up and down.
- Below the arm airbags, you will find the arm rollers. There are 4 in each arm. They move in a circular direction along the axis of each arm. They will rotate under your forearm, wrist, and hand. As in point #10 above, the arm rests can be moved forward and back for positioning of not only the arm airbags, but also the arm rollers under the forearm and wrist/hand. This allows you to position the arm rollers exactly where they are needed.
- Your arms are massaged by the airbags pushing down on your arms, thus pushing your arms onto the arm rollers. If you want a more intense arm roller massage, increase the intensity of the airbag compression of the arms.
The footrest of the Luraco i9 Max chairs has three parts; upper segment, mid-segment, and the foot massager. It has 1 calf roller and 3 foot rollers and, because of it’s extra segment, can accommodate taller bodies with longer legs. If you want to extend the legs further out, you can gently press your heels against the back of the foot massagers and the footrest will lengthen.
- The Luraco i9 Max series can handle people as tall as 6’10” (no other chair that I am aware of can handle that tall of a body) and as short as 4’7″. The recommended maximum user weight for these chairs is 300 lbs.
- If you have been following my articles or videos for any amount of time, you know that the split SL-track feature is the latest and greatest innovation in our industry. A couple of years ago, some models came out of the Rotai factory in China with the split track. Luraco was the first to produce chairs with another, patented version of that feature. The SL-track is “split” into 2 separate tracks that are hinged between the low back and the seat, whereas the other predecessors are split into two completely separate roller tracks. The hinged track allows the track to flatten out because of the hinge system.
- The Luraco i9 Max Special Edition has two separate roller mechanisms, one for the top of the split track and one for the bottom of it. The lower roller mechanism has 4 rollers, whereas the upper roller mechanism has only 2. The dual rollers can dig deeper in to the neck and shoulder muscles. The strength of the dual roller massage is quite a bit stronger than that of the 4 roller mechanism.
Massage Intensity Adjustment: The Luraco has a very unique feature that we don’t see on other chairs. You can adjust the roller massage intensity of the neck, independent of the mid back, independent of the low back. So, if you want a stronger neck massage, and a lighter mid back massage, you can adjust each area independently of each other. You can also adjust the compression intensity of the arm airbags, independent of the calf airbags, independent of the foot airbags. Most, if not all, other massage chairs have one intensity adjustment. You can increase or decrease the roller massage, but it will affect the roller intensity of the whole spine. Likewise with the airbags, there is only one airbag intensity adjustment and it will increase the compression intensity of all the airbags simultaneously. But, Luraco works differently, and much more effectively, than that. I love this feature. The intensity settings for all 6 areas are rated 1-5, with 1 being the least intense and 5 being the most intense.
- During the stretch program the only segments that operable are the low back rollers and the arms and feet airbags. You can adjust the intensity of those three areas only during the program, because no other areas are involved in the stretch program.
- The 1-5 intensity grading system also applies to the heat feature of the chair, #1 being the lowest heat setting. The Luraco i9 Max chairs come with heat for the hands, feet, and low back.
- The Luraco i9 Max chairs have 9 auto programs. When you turn on the chair, it will default to the “Health”
program. The remaining programs are “Soft”, “Demo/Quick”, “Morning”, “Night”, “Sport”, “Shiatsu”, “Stretch”, and “TV/Recliner”. The last program, “TV/Recliner” is only a positional program. There is no massaging involved when in this program. It only allows you to turn on the chair and adjust the chair recliner and ottoman height/length. Interesting program. I’ve never seen one like it before. If you change from one auto program to another, while it is massaging you, the chair will NOT have to rescan you. The initial scan is good for the length of the program (max. 30′), even if you change programs.
As with all other massage chairs, the Luraco i9 Max chairs come with manual settings, so that you can create your own massage program instead of using one of the 9 pre-set auto programs. The manual settings are extremely easy to use – you simply press your finger on the area(s) of the body where you want the rollers and airbags to function. If you select a spot and the rollers don’t quite hit it right, you can use up and down arrows to move the rollers to exactly where you want them to be.
- The Luraco i9 Max chairs come with a memory function, meaning that you can save a program profile of you for future use, whether it is an auto program or a manual custom program. That way, you don’t have to start a new program and wait for the scan to fit your body every time you get in the chair. It is all memorized by the chair when you save it to a profile and all you have to do it select that saved profile for the program to begin, with all of the associated scan results for you body. You can save up to 5 different programs, either for other members of your household or for different auto programs that you have used for yourself.
- Bluetooth speakers to which you can connect your devices. The chairs also come with a menu of 5 relaxing music choices to listen to when you are using the chair. Of course, you can mute the background music, if you prefer silence or if you want to listen to your own playlist while using the chair.
- A very interesting feature that comes with all Luraco i9 Max chairs is the OTA or “over-the-air” technology. This technology allows Luraco to update your chair’s software through the wireless connection to Luraco’s headquarters in Texas. They can make instantaneous changes to the your software without having to send a new motherboard through the mail to you. Very efficient and inexpensive for both the customer and Luraco.
- Regarding the roller massage itself, the rollers can move up and then down when working on a section of your spine. I believe this is what Luraco calls their patented 3D “Butterfly Technology”. I had it working on my neck, which is sore spot for me, and the rollers would move up my neck while kneading my muscles and then change directions to move down my neck doing the same thing. Most chairs will move up the whole spine and then move down thew hole spine afterwards. The Luraco moves from segment to segment and moves up and down within that segment before moving on to the next segment.
- The rollers do a great job on the neck muscles and the suboccipital muscles (those muscle connecting the top of the neck with the base of the skull). It really felt like the rollers were grabbing my neck muscles.
- The rollers also do a great job on the low back muscles. The rollers of many other chairs do not move forward enough to fully reach the low back muscles and massage them. This chair has no problem reaching my low back spinal muscles at all. And I loved it!
- When a program ends, you can have the chair return to it’s neutral upright position or stay reclined if you want to sleep. Simply turn on or off the “sleep setting” toggle in the settings of the chair.
- If you want to keep people from using your chair, you can set a passcode that only you know.
- As with most massage chairs, you can adjust the chair positioning. You have the option to recline or incline
the chair back, lift the seat, lift and drop the leg rest, and put the chair into a zero gravity position. Whatever program you are in, the position settings you can change are highlighted in green. Those that you can’t adjust in a given auto program are highlighted in gray. One of the issues I have with this chair is that it can’t be reclined further or less than the preset default position of each auto program. I found that only in the “TV/Recliner” program can you change the recline or incline position of the chair.
- One feature of the chair that I like, and which I truly appreciated when I was taking notes during the testing period for this review, is the pause button. You can pause the massage chair functions of the chair, yet stay in a reclined position. This works great if you want to sleep or if you want to write something on a pad of paper (as I did numerous times when I was testing out this chair!). Then just press it again to start the massage functions right where you left off.
- Here are the functions and perks of the Special Edition that you don’t get with the standard i9 Max model:
- Blood pressure cuff and heart monitor
- Personalized leather tag and remote control display
- Wireless phone charger
- Hinged split track with a second roller mechanism on the upper half of the track (dual rollers)
- Back up emergency power. We haven’t touched on this feature yet, but it is a fabulous perk. What happens if their is a power outage while you are in your chair? If you are young and still fairly perky, you can probably crawl out of the reclined chair with some moderate effort. But, what if you are very limited in your movement, but age or pain? Well, if the power goes out while you are using the chair, the back up emergency battery kicks in immediately and brings your chair upright so that you can get out of it. Brilliant idea, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like it.
This is a very feature-rich chair. The care and engineering that has gone into the new Luraco i9 Max series ofchairs is commendable. There are so many features that we haven’t seen before make this a must see for anyone in the market for a new massage chair. The fact that it is an American-made chair is very meaningful for many potential customers.
I hope you found this review helpful. Feel free to each out anytime with questions about this article or the chair. I am always at your disposal.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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