A few years ago, I downloaded a sound meter app on my phone and took readings from all of the chairs on my Utah showroom floor to determine which one was the quietest. It was an interesting study. It’s been awhile now and we have a whole new crop of massage chairs in that same showroom so I figured it would be a good time to redo this little study to see which of the current line-up is the quietest. Before I go into the results, I want to go over a few pieces of information for greater context of what these numbers are based on.
- I used the app “dB Meter” to make the measurements. My phone is an iPhone 6 version.
- The readings are made in decibels, which are sound measurement units.
- These measurements were made in my Utah showroom. The store is on a busy street, separated from that street by an easement and a parking lot with 2 sides of parking stalls, so there is some ambient traffic noise which may or may not have come into play within the dB ranges.
- The measurement range takes into account air bag compressor sounds, air bag inflation and deflation sounds, roller modalities like kneading and tapping, and body sounds created by the chair back and/or ottoman moving or chair body frame sounds. It also takes into account times when the chair is relatively silent without those additional sounds.
- The measurements began AFTER the body scan feature had completed.
- The normal dB range, when the chairs were all off with only the ambient sounds of the showroom, was 38-39 dB’s.
- The measurements were made with the chairs in full recline and the microphone of my cell phone facing the head area, which is location from where the user would be listening when using the massage chair.
- I removed the highest and lowest figures of each chair.
- The measurements were made without a body in the chairs so that all the sounds could be picked up by the phone. When an actual body is in the chair, some of those sounds will be muted by the user’s body mass.
- All the head/neck pads (and cervical massage units, i.e. DreamWave M.8) were removed. Full back pads were also removed.
- No changes were made to the default roller and air bag settings of each chair.
- For chairs that had a “Demo” or “Quick” program, that particular program was deployed. For those that didn’t, the first program on the auto program list was chosen. The program for each chair is listed next to the chair model and dB range.
Chair Models & dB Ranges
- Luraco iRobotics 7 Plus: 46-51 dB (Demo program)
- Luraco Legend Plus: 48-51 dB (Demo program)
- DreamWave Classic: 50-53 dB (Quick program)
- DreamWave M.8: 48-60 dB (Quick program)
- Positive Posture Brio: 48-54 dB (Quick program)
- Human Touch Novo XT2: 50-60 dB (Demo program)
- Infinity Riage x3: 48-54 dB (Working Relief program)
- Infinity Overture: 47-60 dB (Demo program)
- Infinity Genesis: 48-55 dB (Sport Refresh program)
- Osaki Maestro: 49-54 dB (Demo program)
- Osaki Ekon: 51-63 dB (Sports Refresh program)
- Titan Jupiter: 49-63 dB (Power program)
- Panasonic MA73: 50-61 dB (Deep program)
Notes & Observations
The ranges are attributed to the fact that at some moments during the chair programs the air bags are being deployed or the chair back and/or ottoman are moving. During the lower end of the ranges, it was typically just the rollers that were in play. Conversely, the air bags and chair movements could be attributed to the numbers at the higher end of the ranges.
Once again, the Luraco chairs have proven to be the quietest. That didn’t completely surprise me since they are noticeably quieter than the others to everyone who sits in them. Though quieter, they were not that far ahead of some of the other models. The Brio and DreamWave Classic were very close at the higher end of their ranges.
Although some chairs were quieter than others, it surprised me how close they really all were when looking at the objective dB results. For example, I had expected the Infinity Genesis and Osaki Maestro to be quite a bit louder than the Luraco chairs since they sounded louder to my ears when I sat in them. However, they were only a few dB’s higher than the Luraco chairs.
Among the “loudest” were the Osaki Ekon and the Titan Jupiter. The Ekon’s high end can be attributed to the “creaking” of the plastic body shell of the shoulder airbags. When those air bags deploy with the body of the user offering resistance, the creaking becomes obvious. To replicate that during the testing, I used my hands to push against the shoulder airbags to mimic that resistance. Since the shoulder air bags are near the ears of the user, this was a measurement that needed to be considered when assessing sound levels. The Jupiter’s air bag deployment was the cause of it’s higher dB measurement.
I was surprised that the DreamWave M.8, Infinity Overture, and Human Touch Novo XT2 were as “loud” as they were. I had pre-supposed that they would have measured quieter at the high end.
In closing, I will say that as the massage chair user, you will be more acutely aware of the sounds of your new chair during the honeymoon phase of your chair ownership. After a short time, you will become oblivious to those sounds and the chair will be just “normal” and “perfect” for your home or business.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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