In a Nutshell:

The Apex TC-531 has a unique style that may not appeal to everyone and is overall lacking in desirable features found on many other massage chairs in this price range. A 43-inch L-Track and multi-function rotating leg rest are two redeeming features but aren’t enough to make this chair worth the purchase when so many better options are available.

Overall Massage Quality
Customization options
Ease of Use
Value for the Money

Overall Rating



  • 43-inch l-track massage roller track
  • Multi-function rotating leg rest
  • 2 stage zero gravity recline
  • Space saving recline technology
  • Removable back pad


  • Limited massage techniques
  • Multi-use foot roller design may not fully compensate
  • Comparatively lacks features when compared to others

Unfortunately, the Apex TC-531 has been discontinued. We recommend checking out the Human Touch ZeroG 5.0 massage chair review.

In this Apex TC-531 massage chair review, we take a close look at the features of this one-of-a-kind chair. Plus, to help you make the best buying decision, we compare the Apex TC-531 to two similar models: the Osaki OS-1000 and the Apex Pro Ultra.

But before we begin, let’s be honest: The Apex TC-531 massage chair isn’t for everyone — you’ll either love it or hate it.

With its funky, art-deco style, the Apex TC-531 doesn’t look like any other massage chair on the market. It isn’t very sleek, and its two-tone striped upholstery is guaranteed to stand out, perhaps look out of place, among today’s modern furniture. Appearances aside, the Apex TC-531 has several features and components that warrant a serious examination of this unique massage chair. Let’s see what this chair is working with.

Apex TC-531 vs Osaki OS 1000 vs Apex Pro Ultra Comparison

Osaki OS 1000
Apex Pro Ultra
Track Length43″29″51″
Hip Rollers
Adjustable Roller Speed
Adjustable Roller Width
Air Massage
Zero Gravity
Space Saving Recline
Arm Massage
Leg Massage
Foot Massage
Foot Rollers
Rotating Leg Rest
Body Scan Technology
Heat Therapy
Vibration Massage  (in leg rest)
LCD Remote
Built-in Speakers
Number of Massage Techniques346
Number of Pre-Set Massage Programs454
Manual Mode  (limited)

Components and Features of the Apex TC-531 Massage Chair

43-Inch L-Track Massage Roller Track

The Apex TC-531 has a surprisingly long massage roller track. It’s an L-Track that extends from the neck, all the way down the back, past the hips, and under the thighs. At 43 inches long, this massage track is much longer than conventional tracks commonly found on massage chairs in this price range.

L-Track of Apex TC-531 Massage Chair

But compared to more expensive L-Track massage chairs, the L-Track of the Apex TC-531 is shorter than average. Still, finding a massage chair with such a long massage roller track for under $3000 is rare.

Multi-Function Rotating Leg Rest

Legrest of Apex TC-531 Massage Chair

One of the most unique features of the Apex TC-531 is a multi-function rotating leg rest. Equipped with massage rollers and vibration plates, the leg rest offers kneading, gripping, and vibration massage for the calves and feet. Unlike leg ottomans found on most massage chairs, the leg rest of the Apex TC-531 can be positioned in four different ways. Each position offers roller massage to various areas of the legs and feet.

By default, the leg rest is in the standard position as found on most massage chairs. In this position, the legs slip back into the leg rest, and the rollers massage the calves. With the push of a button, the leg rest rotates down, allowing the feet to rest on the massage rollers for a massage on the soles. Another turn positions the leg rest in front of the legs so that the rollers massage the front of the calves and shins. This is something you won’t find on many other massage chairs.

Finally, if you want to skip calf or foot massage altogether, the leg rest can rotate all the way back, creating a smooth surface on which to rest your legs.

2 Stage Zero Gravity Recline

Zero Gravity Recline of Apex TC-531 Massage Chair

The Apex TC-531 offers powered recline with two Zero Gravity stages to choose from. In the first Zero Gravity stage, the chair reclines back 20 degrees, elevating the legs in line with the heart. In the second Zero Gravity stage, the chair reclines back a full 30 degrees, bringing the spine closer to horizontal and the legs slightly higher than the heart.

In both Zero Gravity positions, your body’s weight distributes evenly across a horizontal plane. This allows your spine and the muscles throughout your body to decompress and deeply relax. Relaxing in the Zero Gravity position is especially beneficial for relieving stress, tightness, and swelling in the legs while promoting proper circulation.

Space Saving Recline Technology

When the Apex TC-531 reclines, it moves forward on a particular track instead of backward like most massage chairs. This allows you to place the massage chair a few inches away from the wall instead of several feet, saving significant space in the room.

Space Saving of Apex TC-531 Massage Chair

Removable Back Pad

The backrest of the Apex TC-531 is removable which allows you to customize the comfort of the chair to a limited degree. When you remove the pad, you’ll be in closer contact with the massage rollers, leading to more massage pressure and a deeper massage.

Massage Techniques and Programs of the Apex TC-531

One of the downfalls of the Apex TC-531 is a relatively limited selection of massage techniques and auto programs. If you’re looking for a chair with lots of options and customization, the Apex TC-531 isn’t it. But if you’re okay with having only a few roller massage techniques to choose from, you may find that the Apex TC-531 suits your needs well.

Manual Mode Massage Techniques

Since the Apex TC-531 doesn’t have air massage capabilities, all of the massage functions are performed with massage rollers using the following techniques:

  • Shiatsu
  • Kneading
  • Tapping

Each technique can be operated individually or combined with the others.

Massage Techniques of Apex TC-531 Massage Chair

Pre-Set Auto Massage Programs

The Apex TC-531 features only four pre-set auto massage programs. They are:

  • Energy — a kneading massage for neck and shoulders
  • Spa — a relaxing whole body massage program
  • Ease — a tapping and kneading massage for upper back
  • 30 Min. Comfort — A gentle, varied massage program that lasts 30 minutes

Apex TC-531 Dimensions

Chair Dimensions (upright)51”L X 30”W X 46”H
Chair Dimensions (reclined)65”L X 30”W X 46”H
Chair Weight181 lbs
Recommended User Maximum Weight265 lbs

A Few Thoughts on the Apex TC 531 Massage Chair

As you can see in this Apex TC-531 review, this is a bare-bones massage chair. While it does have an L-Track massage roller track that’s longer than most standard roller tracks, it has very few massage techniques and pre-set programs which could be a serious drawback for potential buyers. The unique multi-use foot roller design is somewhat of a redeeming factor, but is it enough to make the chair worthy of your purchase?

To help you get a better overall feel for the Apex TC-531, let’s see how it stacks up when compared to two other popular massage chair models that should be on your radar. First, we’ll go over the Osaki OS 1000 which has a very similar price tag to the Apex TC-531. Then, to give you an idea of what else is available on the market, we’ll take a look at the Apex Pro Ultra which is about twice the price as the Apex TC-531 but comes highly recommended if there’s extra room in your budget.

Apex TC-531 vs. Osaki OS 1000

The Osaki OS 1000 massage chair is one of Osaki’s more affordable models and is comparable in price to the Apex TC-531. Regarding overall quality of components and build, the two chairs are very similar, which makes sense since the same manufacturer makes the Osaki and Apex massage chairs.


The Osaki OS 1000 looks like a modern massage chair whereas the Apex TC-531 looks like it’s straight out of the 1970s. So if you want a massage chair that will blend in with the rest of your furniture, the Osaki OS 1000 has the advantage over the Apex TC-531.

Apex TC-531 vs. Osaki OS 1000: Osaki OS 1000

Massage Track

While the Apex TC-531 has a 43-inch extended L-Track, the Osaki OS 1000 has only a 29-inch track. But when it comes to massage tracks, length isn’t the only thing that matters.

Unlike the Apex TC-531, the Osaki OS 1000 has an “S-Track” — an “S” shaped massage track that closely matches the curvature of the human spine. This unique shape keeps the massage rollers in close contact with the body, maintaining consistent massage pressure throughout the entire range of the track.

The track of the Apex TC-531, although long, doesn’t have the same “S” shape as the Osaki OS 1000, making it less efficient in delivering a genuinely therapeutic massage.

Air Massage

While the Apex TC-531 only offers roller massage, the Osaki OS 1000 combines roller massage with air massage technology. 20 airbag massagers are located at strategic points throughout the lower portion of the Osaki OS 1000. These airbags inflate and deflate, compressing and releasing the muscles. This action is very soothing and helps promote proper circulation throughout the body.

Leg and Foot Massage

Both the Apex TC-531 and the Osaki OS 1000 offer leg and foot massage but in very different ways. As we covered earlier, the Apex TC-531 uses a multi-function leg rest equipped with rollers to massage the legs and feet, though separately.

Apex TC-531 vs. Osaki OS 1000: Zero Gravity

The Osaki OS 1000, however, has a leg ottoman that massages the legs and feet simultaneously using air massage technology. The OS 1000 doesn’t have any rollers in the leg ottoman, but overall, it offers a more thorough massage for your legs and feet than the roller system of the Apex TC-531. Plus, with the Osaki OS 1000, you don’t have to constantly change the position of the leg rest to massage various areas like you do with the Apex TC-531.

Zero Gravity

One advantage the Apex TC-531 has over the Osaki OS 1000 is true Zero Gravity recline. The OS 1000 does offer a full 170 degrees of recline, allowing you to get completely horizontal, but doesn’t enable you to achieve the weightless feeling afforded by Zero Gravity.

Massage Techniques and Pre-Set Massage Programs

Four massage techniques and five auto massage programs give the Osaki OS 1000 a slight advantage over the Apex TC-531, which has three massage techniques and four massage programs. But the real difference comes down to the manual mode controls of the Osaki OS 1000. In manual mode, you can choose a massage technique, adjust the speed and width of the massage rollers, change the intensity of the air massage, and choose the areas of your body you’d like massaged.

Your options are much more limited with the Apex TC-531. You can choose a massage technique or a pre-set massage program, but that’s about it.

The Winner?

While the Apex TC-531 has a longer massage track, the modern appearance, the addition of air massage, and the robust manual mode controls make the Osaki OS 1000 a more attractive massage chair overall. Given that the two chairs are so similar in price, unless you love the retro look of the Apex TC-531, there’s really no reason why you wouldn’t choose the Osaki OS 1000 instead.

Apex TC-531 vs. Apex Pro Ultra

The Apex Pro Ultra is about twice as expensive as the Apex TC-531, but with the increase in price comes a ton of great features that could easily justify the bigger spend.


We’ve established that the Apex TC-531 has a particular style that may not appeal to everyone. If that’s an issue for you, the Apex Pro Ultra will make a much better choice.

The Apex Pro Ultra has a very modern look that would complement and blend in with furniture of all styles and designs. It would fit in well in a home theater or living room just as well as it would in a more formal office setting.

Apex TC-531 vs. Apex Pro Ultra: Apex Pro Ultra

Massage Track

Both the Apex TC-531 and the Apex Pro Ultra have L-Track massage roller tracks. So what’s the difference? The Apex Pro Ultra has a much longer massage track, measuring 51 inches… 8 inches longer than the Apex TC-531. This means that more of your body will benefit from roller massage, from your neck, well into your thighs.

Dual Hip Rollers

This feature is something that’s not only absent on the Apex TC-531 but rarely found on any massage chairs on the market. In addition to an L-Track, the Apex Pro Ultra features a pair of reflexology rollers positioned alongside the hips. This gives you extra kneading massage action on the thighs and hips in addition to the air massage in the area.

Air Massage

The Apex Pro Ultra features a robust air massage system made up of 30 airbags positioned throughout the chair. These airbags offer compression massage for the shoulders, outer shoulders, lower back, and hips.

The Apex Pro Ultra also features unique armrests lined with air bags offering compression massage for the forearms, wrists, and hands. The leg ottoman of the Apex Pro Ultra, also lined with air bags, helps compress and squeeze the calves and feet.

Foot Rollers

In addition to the air massage for the calves and feet, the Apex Pro Ultra features a pair of dual foot rollers under the soles of the feet. These special rollers have two rows of reflexology rollers, giving your feet a thorough massage. The airbags of the foot rest are used to press the feet down onto the rollers for an even deeper massage.

Heat Therapy

Heating pads in the lumbar portion of the backrest of the Apex Pro Ultra warm and relax the muscles of the lower back. Heat therapy isn’t available on the Apex TC-531.

Body Scan Technology

The Apex TC-531 offers very little in terms of customizing the fit of the massage chair. The Apex Pro Ultra, however, is equipped with an automatic body scan system that measures your height, width, and maps the unique contours of your body. During a massage program, the chair automatically adjusts the position of the massage rollers, so they massage your body in all the right places.

Apex TC-531 vs. Apex Pro Ultra: Zero Gravity

With body scan technology, you get a more precise, more efficient, and overall more therapeutic massage than without. This feature is one that certainly drives up the price of the Apex Pro Ultra, but it’s definitely worth it.

Built-In Speakers

Somewhat of a bonus feature, the Apex Pro Ultra features a pair of speakers positioned on either side of the headrest. Using a connection cable, you can plug in your smartphone, mp3 player, or other music playing device and listen to your favorite music through the built-in speakers while enjoying your massage.

Massage Techniques and Pre-Set Massage Programs

The Apex Pro Ultra has double the number of massage techniques found on the Apex TC-531. In addition to shiatsu, kneading, and tapping, the Apex Pro Ultra has a technique called “dual,” along with rolling and punching. Regarding the massage programs, the Apex Pro Ultra has the same number as the Apex TC-531, which is four.

Keep in mind that the Apex Pro Ultra does offer air massage, so all of the massage programs will be much more robust than those of the Apex TC-531 which only uses roller massage.

Manual Mode Massage

Here’s where the Apex Pro Ultra really outshines the Apex TC-531…

In addition to the massage techniques and auto massage programs, the Apex Pro Ultra has a set of manual mode controls that allow you to customize practically every aspect of your massage experience.

A “portion” control lets you select the specific area of your body you’d like massaged. A “spot” button allows you to stop the massage rollers on a particular spot on the back for focused massage pressure. Up and down arrows let you manually control the position of the massage rollers to focus on tight spots that need extra attention.

Apex TC-531 vs. Apex Pro Ultra: Remote

Roller width and speed can be customized, each with three levels of adjustment. You can also choose the body locations you’d like air massage along with the intensity.

Final Thoughts on Apex TC-531 vs. Apex Pro Ultra

It’s true that there’s a significant price difference between these two models. But if you are considering investing in a massage chair at all, it’s in your best interest to make sure you buy the one that will benefit you the most in the long run.

The biggest downfall of the Apex TC-531 is that you are extremely limited as to how much you can customize your massage. Other features like air massage, dual hip rollers, and heat therapy make the Apex Pro Ultra the clear winner. But most of all, if customization and control is important to you, spending the extra cash on the Apex Pro Ultra is highly recommended.

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review Conclusion

As you can tell from our Apex TC-531 massage chair review, this chair has some significant drawbacks in terms of appearance, ease of use, and customization options. Being on the lower end of the price spectrum, the Apex TC-531 would make a decent massage chair if you aren’t bothered by its retro style, especially considering it has longer-than-usual massage track.

If you’re ready to purchase a massage chair, we recommend investigating the other models we’ve included in this review — the Osaki OS 1000 and the Apex Pro Ultra — to ensure that you end up with a massage chair that will serve you well for years to come.

Official Manufacturer Support

References and Resources:

Apex | Osaki | Spine Health | Wiki: Massage Chair