The new Osaki Pro Maestro massage chair is the latest in a growing list of high end 3D L-track massage chairs (3D refers to the ability of the chair’s rollers to be moved forward and back to increase or decrease roller massage intensity, respectively, and L-track refers to the roller mechanism going all the way from the neck down to under the seat). This seems to be a trend in the industry right now with some good models are already here, i.e. the Human Touch Novo XT & XT2, the Infinity Presidential, the Luraco Legend, and the Osaki Pro Ekon. I call this the “new generation” of 3D L-track models – feature rich and quite a bit more expensive than 2D L-tracks and the earlier generation of L-tracks. They are all built in good factories, which may justify, in part, the increased price point of this list.
I will review the Osaki Pro Maestro massage chair based on having spent 2-3 uninterrupted hours sitting in it, reading the owner’s manual and trying to figure out how the remote control works. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy getting through the learning curve. Of course, I’m an older guy and I’m sure my kids could have done it in half the time, but I found this chair to be less intuitive and user friendly in terms of getting an understanding of how it works via the remote control. That could be attributed to a.) my age, b.) a remote control that is not very intuitive, and c.) an owner’s manual that doesn’t adequately show or explain the functionality of the model (this last point could be said for many massage chairs from most massage chair companies!). Reading the literature or a literature review will certainly NOT give you the gist and nuances of how this chair actually works. I hope that the time I spent on it will be reflected in my insights and observations and prove to be very helpful for you as you try to decide if this is the chair for you.
Having said all that, the Maestro does have an app by which the chair can be operated. I have not used the app yet and have not become familiar with how it works. But, one of our customers who did noted that the app is a far easier way to operate the chair than the remote control. In my opinion, that is a good thing! Any comments about the app functionality would be greatly welcomed by everyone in the comments section below. Once I figure out how to make it work, I’ll add to this review.
I should mention that this chair is built in the EasePal factory in China, which is also the home of the Cozzia and Ogawa models.
Some of these points I make are very particular and detailed, which makes this review a bit long. You may even feel, at times, like I am just creating an update to the owner’s manual. In a way, I guess I am. But, I have to get this detailed so that you understand what is not intuitive and clear about this chair, which was a source of some frustration to me when I was going through everything on my own for the first time. So, let’s get down to it.
Overall, we all love this chair. Staff from both of my showrooms really think this chair is a winner, including myself. It has strengths and weaknesses like all chairs, but I would have to say that the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses.
- Owner’s manual – It does not answer some questions, like how to adjust the 3D rollers from the remote control, how to explain and adjust “Strength”, how to adjust speed, and what the manual settings entitled “Characteristic I-IV” mean to name a few. You will learn more from using the chair and figuring it out on your own. The manual gets you started but you have to labor through the learning curve to figure it all out (and I’m not sure that I have figured it all out yet myself!). The book itself and the text and images are easy to read and see, but the info doesn’t feel complete (again, this is common with many massage chair companies models).
- The Maestro is a nice looking chair, combining the harder plastic exterior and the softer synthetic interior. It’s trim and color combos are quite appealing in my opinion. The foot massager has the enclosed toes, which contributes to the more sleek and modern look of the chair. Just beware if your foot size is greater than a 13!
- Speaking of the foot massager, when you first put your feet into it, foam pads on both sides of your feet will make it feel like you can’t get your feet in. Just wiggle your feet in between the pads and they will slide through to the bottom of the massager. The foot massager is definitely a strength of this model. Between the foot pads (which move from side to side in a wave-like pattern) and the mechanical foot rollers under your feet, you will love the way this chair works your feet over. No airbags at all for the feet in this chair.
- Calf Massage – like most massage chairs the Maestro uses airbags to compress the side and back of the calf muscles. But, it also uses the same airbags to knead the side of the calf muscles! A very nice feature if you suffer with tight calves or do a lot of standing, walking, or running during the day.
- This chair has a fabulous neck and shoulder massage. I would go so far as to say that it has the best neck and shoulder massage of any other 3D L-track chair I’ve tried (and we’ve got quite a few!). It does a particularly good job at the base of the neck where the shoulders meet the neck.
- I had my neighbor, who is 6’4″, try out the chair to see if he fit in it. The rollers actually went right up to the base of the skull, which is not a common occurrence in a lot of chairs. The only issue for him was that the foot massager, which is closed toe, was too small for his size 14 feet. Size 13 is probably the maximum foot size for a comfortable fit in this model. The width of the chair is comfortably snug and that snugness is a bit too tight and too narrow for some bodies. It is not as wide as the Novo XT2 or the Osaki Ekon, which are models you might want to check out if you are concerned about the narrowness of the fit of the Maestro.
- This chair has 3D/4D roller depth adjustment and, in my opinion, has the capacity to produce the deepest and strongest roller massage of any L-track chair on the market. It has 8 depth settings, the highest of which dug really into my spinal muscles. I was actually kind of shocked at how deep the rollers dug. So, if you want and L-track and a really deep, intense massage, the Maestro is a definite option.
- Interestingly enough, the only way to increase or decrease the depth of the 3D/4D rollers is through the quick keys on the right arm rest. You cannot adjust the depth from the remote control, which I found odd. I thought you might be able to touch the screen button 4D indicator to adjust it, but that won’t do it. Maybe it really can be adjusted from the remote control and I just couldn’t figure out how to do it!
- Quick Keys – as I alluded to in the above point, the chair has what I like to call “Quick Keys”,
located on the inside aspect of the right arm rest. Those keys include the “4D” depth adjustment (“4D+” and “4D-“), a zero gravity positioning button, a power button, a pause button, and an “AUTO” button to initiate the Demo program. It also has a USB port to plug in your device for charging purposes.
- The remote control fits in a slot on the left arm rest. It has a spooled cord so you don’t have a loose cord to get stuck between the seat and the arm rest. A similar slot is located on the right arm rest, but that is for your phone. The remote control looks very simple at first glance. Don’t be fooled! Once you get into you’ll see what I meant earlier when I said it is not very intuitive. You may want to have the owner’s manual nearby when you get going with it. I was actually quite frustrated with I when I began going deep into the chair functionality (I hope the app makes the control of the chair easier and certainly more intuitive).
- You will see two basic sections of the remote: the touch screen at the top and the touch keys at the bottom. The screen will show you where you are and what the chair is doing. You will use the touch screen and touch keys for chair function and navigation. Their are 4 touch keys:
- Reset (upright chair schematic image) – this is a nice feature. When you select an auto program, the chair will recline to a pre-programmed default position. If you want to sit up and continue to enjoy your massage program, press this button and the chair will return to the upright position while still continuing your selected program.
- Main Page (up arrow) – this button will allow you to change the screen display from the
main page to the massage details page.
- Position (reclined chair schematic image) – this button will bring up the chair positioning screen where you can adjust the chair back and ottoman positioning by touching the respective arrows on the screen. You will also find the zero gravity positioning button and the button to turn on and off the side panel blue LED lights.
- AUTO – press this button and the chair will automatically start the Demo program.
- The main program screen is where most of your functions are selected and adjusted. The screen will show you the following 6 options: “Neck/Shoulder”, “Lower Back”, “Auto”, “Manual”, “Advanced”, and “Air Massage.” This is the part of the review where you could get confused. Why? Because I was quite confused figuring it all out. Bare with me and it should make some sense when I am done with points #13-20.
- “Neck/Shoulder” and “Lower Back” each have their own sub programs. For example, the 4 subprograms for the Neck/Shoulder option are “Relax”, “Recover”, “Rolling”, and “Shiatsu.” The 4 subprograms for the Lower Back option are “Relax”, “Recover”, “Deep Tissue”, and “Kidney Care.”
- “Auto” lists the main 8 auto programs of the Maestro: “Demo”, “Relax”, “Swing”, “Stretch”, “Scraping”, “Shiatsu”, “Lady”, and “Rejuvenate.” At the time of the writing of this article, the owner’s manual calls the Lady program “Gentle Relief” and the Gentleman program “Rejuvenation”.
- When you select any of these 8 auto programs, a screen display will appear that has 4 icons: “4D Mechanism”, “Strength”, “Intensity”, and “Speed.” Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find anywhere a way to adjust speed or strength. Only the 4D mechanism can be adjusted from the arm rest Quick Keys and the air bag intensity can be adjusted from the “Air Massage” option of the main screen. To further frustrate me, once you have changed the air massage intensity, you can’t go back to the display screen for the program you are in to see the changed level on the “Intensity” icon (or any of those 4 icons for that matter). Very strange indeed!
- When you go into the “Manual” section of the remote control, prepare to be confused! You’ll see 4 menu options: “Neck/Shoulder”, “Upper Back”, “Lower Back”, and “Full Back.” When you select “Neck/Shoulder”, “Upper Back”, or “Lower Back” the screen will display 4 options labeled “Characteristic I”, “Characteristic II”, “Characteristic III”, and “Characteristic IV”. It turns out that these are each auto programs for 3 of the 4 Manual program options. I have no idea what each one does or what makes one unique from another. That is nowhere to be found in the owner’s manual. The counter intuitive thing about this is that you can’t adjust the modes, speed, or permanent roller positioning during any of these “Manual” and “Characteristic” programs. So, from what I can tell, there isn’t anything manual about them. However, if you choose the last option, “Full Back”, you can now select and adjust the roller mode (kneading, tapping, shaitsu, and rolling) as well as select a spot or partial massage. This is the only place where the spot and partial massage and roller modes can be selected, adjusted, and set. Although the “Spot” and “Partial” options are displayed in all of the manual subprograms, it can only be permanently set in the “Full Back” program. If you try to move the rollers in those other programs, they will move but as soon as you take your finger off the screen the rollers will go back to the pre-set positioning for that particular program.
- By the way, 3 of the 4 modes in the “Full Back” manual program (kneading, tapping, shiatsu) have 2 options each. I noticed that roller speed was the primary difference between each mode option.
- The “Advanced” icon on the main program screen has 4 options to pick from: “Calf Kneading”, “Foot Kneading”, “Air”, and “Heating.” The first three options are their own programs. They cannot be deployed while another program is running, unless you want to immediately stop the program you are in and begin the program you just selected, i.e. “Calf Kneading”, “Foot Kneading”, or “Air.” “Calf Kneading” is a program where the calf airbags inflate and knead your calves. “Foot Kneading” involves the mechanical foot rollers and the foam pads moving from side to side in a wave-like pattern at the side of your feet. “Air” is a full body program where only airbags are used…no rollers. You CAN select the “Heating” option when you are in any program and it will immediately start up the heating element so that you can enjoy some warmth during your selected massage program.
- A side note to the heating topic. Unlike most other massage chairs, the Maestro does not have heating pads but uses heated rollers to provide therapeutic heat for the back. Not many chairs offer this, but it is a feature that customers really like.
- “Air Massage” – this is the place you go to when you want to adjust the air bag compression intensity. You can go here when you are in any program that uses airbags to adjust the degree of compression. Remember, though, from point #15 above, the chair remote won’t let you go back to the original screen of the program that you’re in once you’ve left it to adjust the airbag intensity. The literature states that the Maestro has 30 airbags. What’s interesting about the airbags is that, from the remote control, you can turn off and on any of the regional airbags. The vast majority of other massage chairs will allow you to turn off or on the airbags, too, but you can’t turn off certain airbags without shutting them all down. It is an all or nothing adjustment. The Maestro allows you to turn off certain airbag sections while also allowing you to adjust the compression intensity in those airbags.
- When it’s all said and done, this chair actually has more than the 8 auto programs that the literature says that it has. If you add up all the programs and subprograms I’ve listed over the last number of bullet points, you’ll get something closer to 27 auto and semi-auto programs.
- A note about the “Stretching” program. I found it to be a very weak program on this chair. Massage chairs typically perform a stretch by reclining the chair back as far back as possible, while at the same time dropping the ottoman with the airbags inflated, and most L-tracks don’t have fabulous stretch programs because of the inability of the L-track to flatten out. The Maestro doesn’t recline very far back because of the L-shaped roller track and when the ottoman drops all you feel are the calf airbags inflating on the calves. No pull or stretch of the low back at all. Very disappointing. Having said that, one thing the chair does well during the stretch program is combine shoulder airbag compression and mid to upper back roller movement, which really accentuates a good posture! If you want a 3D L-track (or any L-track for that matter) that has a good stretch, check out the Infinity Presidential massage chair. It’s J-track, a variation of the L-track, allows for a flatter recline and stretch. The best of any of the L-track models out there.
- The Maestro has a longer body scanning period than most Chinese-made chairs. I’m not sure what it’s doing, but the chair measured me well for my massage. I couldn’t find any info about it in the owner’s manual. No complaints at all about it, though. I’d just like to know how comprehensive the scan is. Like most other massage chairs, the Maestro gives you 3 seconds at the tail end of the scan to adjust the shoulder height if you feel the chair is not measuring you accurately.
- When the chair reclines at the beginning of a program or if you change a program or the zero gravity positioning during any program, the chair’s ottoman will electronically extend and retract. You will need to push down with your heels when the ottoman has retracted to your preferred leg length. If you don’t push your heels down to stop the retraction, you will have to go into the “Position” button of the touch keys and move the ottoman out to accommodate your leg length.
- As far as the BlueTooth connection goes, on my iPhone the chair is labeled/identified as MC171213135. Look for that on your BlueTooth phone settings and the chair will connect easily enough. The speakers are quite good for a massage chair, and that’s saying a lot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sound.
- If the remote control screen goes black (goes to sleep), just touch anywhere on the surface of the remote and the screen will wake up again. Also, the power button is located at the top edge of the remote and not on the main viewing surface.
I hope you found this review helpful. It will help you appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of this chair as well as give you tips to help you climb that learning curve a little quicker.
Dr. Alan Weidner
P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.
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