If you’re curious about the differences between the Infinity IT 8500 and the 8800, you’re in the right place. In this Infinity 8500 vs 8800 review, we’re walking you through each feature these massage chairs have in common and the features that set them apart. Plus, we’re showing you how they stack up to the newer Infinity IT 8500X3 model. Let’s get started!

 
 
 
N/A
N/A
$6,799.00 ($6,799.00 / Count)
Massage Technology:
Dual Rollers
Foot Rollers
Body Scan
Heat Therapy
S-Track
USB Port
Built-in speakers
Zero Gravity
Massage Technology:
Dual Rollers
Foot Rollers
Body Scan
Heat Therapy
S-Track
USB Port
Built-in speakers
Zero Gravity
Massage Technology:
3D Massage
Foot Rollers
Body Scan
Heat Therapy
S-Track
Bluetooth
Built-in speakers
Zero Gravity
Massage Programs:
4
Massage Programs:
4
Massage Programs:
9
Massage Techniques:
6
Massage Techniques:
6
Massage Techniques:
4
N/A
Massage Technology:
Dual Rollers
Foot Rollers
Body Scan
Heat Therapy
S-Track
USB Port
Built-in speakers
Zero Gravity
Massage Programs:
4
Massage Techniques:
6
N/A
Massage Technology:
Dual Rollers
Foot Rollers
Body Scan
Heat Therapy
S-Track
USB Port
Built-in speakers
Zero Gravity
Massage Programs:
4
Massage Techniques:
6
$6,799.00 ($6,799.00 / Count)
Massage Technology:
3D Massage
Foot Rollers
Body Scan
Heat Therapy
S-Track
Bluetooth
Built-in speakers
Zero Gravity
Massage Programs:
9
Massage Techniques:
4
09/22/2023 02:00 am GMT

About Infinity Therapeutic

Since its introduction in 2009, Infinity Therapeutic massage chairs have been quickly gaining popularity for two main reasons. First, Infinity massage chairs combine features not often found together (but you wish were) while still managing to stay affordable. Second, they are a reputable company with US-customer support — a big draw for those who want to some peace of mind after spending a few thousand dollars.

Their headquarters are located in Seabrook, New Hampshire, although their massage chairs are manufactured in Taiwan or China.

Now that we’ve introduced you to the company, let’s learn more about the Infinity 8000 series.

About the Infinity 8000 Series

The IT 8200, IT 8800, IT 8500 and IT 8500X3 are all from the Infinity 8000 series. The 8200 was the first model in the series followed by the 8500 and then the 8500X3.

With each new model, Infinity built upon the previous one by adding new features and upgrades, so the 8500 has more features than the 8200 and the 8500X3 has more features than the 8500.

You may, be wondering… where does the Infinity IT 8800 massage chair fit into the equation? Good question.

The Infinity IT 8200 and the Infinity IT 8800 are the same chairs with different model numbers.

This is because the Infinity IT 8800 is primarily sold through tradeshows, not online retailers, while the Infinity IT 8200 is only sold through massage chair retailers. So each feature on the Infinity IT 8800 is also on the Infinity IT 8200 massage chair.

In 2012, Infinity introduced the Infinity IT 8500, and today it’s the best selling Infinity model. Although the IT 8500 is similar to the IT 8800, it incorporates new technology, which we’ll explain below.

Shortly after the introduction of the IT 8500, Infinity introduced the IT 8500X3. It offers all of the same popular features as the IT 8500 but has new roller technology (hint: the 3 in the name stands for the number of roller dimensions) as well as other new additions, which we’ll walk you through below.

Now that we have some context for the models, let’s get into the features.

Common Features on the Infinity 8500 and 8800 Massage Chairs

Body Scan Technology

Before your massage begins on the Infinity IT 8800 and 8500, the chairs perform a body scan. The scan uses optical sensors to detect your height, shape and shiatsu points. After the scan is complete, the chairs automatically adjust the rollers to fit your body.

Why is this important?

Let’s say you’re 5’5” and your friend is 5’11”, and you both want to use the same massage chair. If it doesn’t have a body scan, you’d both be getting the same massage, but it would be treating you very differently. The massage rollers might be treating your friend’s upper back perfectly, but when you get the same massage, the rollers might be above your shoulders or touching your neck. Case in point: body scan ensures the rollers are treating the right areas for an effective (and enjoyable) massage.

An image of a skeletal back bone

Additionally, the scan aligns the rollers to your shiatsu points. These points, according to ancient Japanese and Chinese medicine, are the areas on the body through which energy (life force) flows. Together, these points form meridians, which are networks of shiatsu points that correspond to organs, for example, the liver.

It’s believed that when one of these meridians gets blocked, illness occurs. Traditional therapies like shiatsu-style massage, acupressure and acupuncture work to clear these blocks and bring balance to the body.

Although a massage chair is a “machine,” it isn’t perfect. So if you find the body scan doesn’t find the exact position of your shoulders or you want to refine the position a little more, you can manually adjust the location using the remote.

Quad Rollers With 30-inch S-track

Once your scan is complete, your massage begins. The Infinity IT 8500 and IT 8800 both have four rollers, two on each side of your spine (often called dual or quad). These rollers move along a 30-inch S-Track that extends from the neck to the tailbone on most users. For reference, S-tracks generally range from 25 inches to 33 inches. So a 30-inch track is on the longer side — great news for taller users.

So what is an S-Track and how is it different from other tracks?

There are three main track types: straight tracks, S-Tracks, and L-Tracks. Straight tracks are straight from top to bottom. S-Tracks are curved to replicate to the natural shape of your spine. And L-Tracks extend from the bottom of a straight track or S-track into the seat of the chair, allowing the rollers to move under the buttocks and thighs.

An image of Quad Rollers With 30-inch S-track

A quality massage chair will, at the very least, have an S-Track. Since S-Tracks are shaped like your back, they keep the rollers in close contact with it. Straight tracks, on the other hand, are known the lose pressure in curvy areas like the lower back and neck.

Mechanical Foot Rollers

In the calf and foot massager ottoman on both the IT 8800 and IT 8500 are mechanical foot rollers. These rollers aren’t your average spinning rollers (like on many Osaki models) or protruding nodes (like on the Inada DreamWave or Panasonic EP30007), they are similar to back rollers and perform multiple massaging actions.

An image of Mechanical Foot Rollers

There are three rollers for each foot (six total): one in the front, one in the middle and one on the soles. The rollers spin and knead to treat the shiatsu points on the bottom of your feet. There are three levels of speed for the foot rollers, but no intensity adjustments. So if the foot massage feels a little too intense, a pair of thick socks or a small towel over the rollers will lessen the impact.

Air Massage

Most mid to high-end massage chairs have air massage. Why? Because airbags can treat the area rollers can’t — the arms, hands, sides of the shoulders, calves, etc. Airbags have also opened up a new world of massage techniques: stretching.

Air Massage

Full-body stretch programs depend on airbags because they are what grip the body and hold it in place as the chair reclines and inclines perform stretching. Airbags are also responsible for advanced massage techniques like rotation — both of which you get to experience on the Infinity IT 8800 and 8500. We’ll cover the stretch program later in the review, but now let’s take a closer look at the advanced air massage options…

Generally, airbags perform compression massage which presses and releases to increase circulation and move stagnant fluids from the muscles. And that’s the type of massage you can expect on your arms, hands, calves, and feet. But in other areas like the neck and seat on the Infinity IT 8800 and 8500, the airbags have a few tricks.

Neck Rotation Pillow

At the top of the headrest on both the Infinity IT 8500 and 8800 is a neck rotation pillow. Inside the pillow are airbags that inflate in alternating intervals to rotate the neck from side to side.

An image of Neck Rotation Pillow

Imagine this: Your head is on a pillow. Two airbags on either side of the pillow inflate to grab your neck. Now, the pillow transforms from a flat square to a “V” shape, and your neck is sitting comfortably in the middle. Then, the left side of the pillow deflates. When it does, your neck gently rolls to the opposite side.

Then, the right side deflates and left side inflates. When it does, your neck gently turns to the right side and so on. This back and forth motion performs a soothing rotation that gently stretches the neck muscles.

Seat Swivel

Inside of the seat on the Infinity IT 8500 and 8800 massage chairs are airbags. These airbags do two things: first, they inflate to lift the body and then they shift from side to side to gently swing the lower body. This movement performs gentle lower back stretching and mobilization.

The seat swivel was made famous by Inada with the introduction of the DreamWave massage chair. In fact, the DreamWave gets its name from its DreamWave seat rocking technology. However, it’s important to mention the technology on the Inada DreamWave is a bit more refined and targeted (the DreamWave also costs a few thousand dollars more, so!)

In total, the air massage on the Infinity IT 8500 and 8800 treats the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, hips, buttock, calves, and feet.

2 Levels of Zero Gravity

A very popular feature and buzzword in the massage chair world is Zero Gravity. There’s a lot of confusion out there about Zero Gravity. So what is it?

What it’s not is a make-you-weightless machine. Massage chair companies haven’t outsmarted gravity yet! However, Zero Gravity can give you the sense of weightlessness.

Side view image of Infinity IT 8500

In Zero Gravity, you’re reclined into a neutral position, and your legs are elevated above or are leveled with your heart. Your weight is shifted to and held by the backrest, removing pressure off of your spine and lower body which helps your muscles to decompress and relax.

The Zero Gravity position also uses gravity to its advantage by reclining your body such that its weight (and gravity) holds you on top of the roller heads for a more effective and deeper massage. On the Infinity IT 8500 and 8200 there are two levels of Zero Gravity, with the second level being more reclined. You can quickly and easily enter the position by pressing the “Zero Gravity” button on the remote.

Heat Therapy

On the Infinity IT 8800 and IT 8500, you can add soothing warmth to your massage thanks to heating pads in the lower back. As the heating pads radiate warmth to the lumbar area, it has two benefits.

First, it dilates the blood vessels to increase circulation (and the flow of damage-repairing nutrients). Second, it relaxes the muscles so the rollers can penetrate deeper into the tissues. You can add heat therapy to any automatic or manual massage program.

Music System and Speakers

On the Infinity IT 8800 and IT 8500, there’s a USB port that lets you connect music to the chairs. The only problem is you first have to put your music on a USB drive and then stick the drive into the port which is on the back and bottom of the chair — not an ideal location if you ask us. Once the music is connected to the chair, you can control all of the settings — volume, pause, play — using the remote control.

An image of IT 8500 in Black color

The Infinity IT 8800 has speakers located on the outside of the chair, above the shoulders. Since they’re not on the inside, the speakers point away from the chair and deliver sound away from you instead of toward you. The benefit of which — it seems — is that it fills the room with music.

But if you want to make the music more personal (and silent in the room), there’s a headphone jack you can plug your earbuds into. The IT 8500 has a different speaker system altogether — more on that later.

Pedestal LCD Remote

Both massage chairs come with a large pedestal remote. The remote is stationed next to the chair. It has a large LCD screen that displays the active functions as well as the remaining massage time. All of the chair’s functions are controlled using the buttons on the remote — there is no screen interface (like on an iPhone or similar device). The buttons are clearly labeled.

Overall, the remote is very easy to use. The only complaint may be that it’s difficult to tweak your massage settings while in a deeply reclined position.

An image of Pedestal LCD Remote

Massage Techniques and Auto Programs on the Infinity IT 8500 and 8800

The IT 8800 and the IT 8500 offer the same number and style of massage techniques and programs, however, some of the technology that powers them is different. We’ll go into more detail about the differences later in the article. So keep that in mind as we go through the techniques and programs. Both massage chairs perform six techniques, including:

Massage Techniques

Functions

Kneading

Uses small circular motions to grab and stretch the muscles
TappingUses light, quick tapping strokes
Kneading and TappingCombines circular movements with light tapping
ShiatsuMeans “finger pressure,” applies pointed pressure down into the muscles
KnockingPerforms tapping but alternates sides of the spine
Music SyncSynchronizes massage movements to the rhythm of your music

While six may not seem like a lot, these techniques (minus Music Sync) cover the fundamental movements of shiatsu-style massage.

Auto Massage Programs

Using a combination of air massage and roller techniques, the Infinity IT 8500 and IT 8800 massage chairs perform four auto programs. These programs are fully automated and require minimal effort on your part.

In fact, there are only two steps involved: first, press the button for the auto program you want to enjoy and second, enjoy it. So if you like the idea of sitting in a chair and letting a mechanical masseuse take care of the rest, the auto programs are for you.

Fawn, Lumbar Heat, Infinity 8500

Each program has an intended benefit, for example, “Refresh.” And the sessions run for 10, 20, 30 or 45 minutes depending on the time you set, with 20 minutes as the default.

Let’s take a closer look at the auto programs…

  • Recover is a powerful deep tissue massage that’s excellent for your pre- and post-workout regimen.
  • Refresh is an energizing full-body massage that’s designed to “wake up” the body and revitalize the mind.
  • Relax is a soothing and gentle massage that’s a great way to prep for bed or relax the body after a long day of work.
  • Extend is by far the most popular auto program. It’s a full-body stretch program that combines air massage and roller techniques to deliver one of the best stretch programs available on any massage chair. During the program, airbags in the shoulders inflate to hold your back against the chair, while airbags in the calves and feet inflate to grab and hold your lower body. Then the chair goes through a sequence of massage movements. During one part of the massage, the chair reclines to stretch your lower back and lower body. Then, during another part of the massage, the ottoman raises and lowers to offer a different angle of a stretch. All the while, rollers move up and down your back, helping to increase the stretch. Both chairs can recline up to 178 degrees — that’s nearly parallel to the ground.

Manual Massage Programs

In addition to the four automatic programs, the IT 8500 and IT 8800 have three location-based manual massage options. These options let you target your massage on a particular area — good news if you want to treat a small sore spot or work out a particular knot. The three programs are:

  • Point focuses the rollers on a single point.
  • Partial confines your massage to a specific area.
  • Back massages the entire back.

On the IT 8500 and IT 8800 you have full control over where the rollers go. If you want them to focus on the middle of you back, select Partial and then adjust the location of the rollers until they’re in your desired location.

Manual Mode Options on the Infinity 8500 and 8800

Brown, Decompression Stretch, Infinity 8500

But the Infinity IT 8500 and IT 8800 don’t stop there. Each offers a solid variety of manual mode options that let you customize your massage experience. The options include:

  • Roller width. Choose from three roller widths: narrow, medium, and wide. Narrow brings the rollers closer to your spine and wide extends them away from your spine.
  • Back roller speed. Adjust the speed of the rollers up to six levels.
  • Foot roller speed. Adjust the speed of the foot rollers up to three levels.
  • Roller position. Adjust the location of the rollers with arrows on the remote.
  • Air intensity. Adjust the intensity of the air massage up to five levels.
  • Air location. Choose from three air massage areas or combine them. The areas are upper body, arms and shoulders, or legs and feet.

Now that we’ve covered all of the features the Infinity IT 8800 and Infinity IT 8500 have in common, it’s time to look at what sets them apart.

Unique Features on the Infinity IT 8500 massage chair

On the surface, the Infinity IT 8500 is almost indistinguishable from the IT 8800, but inside the chair are some technological advancements that enhance the overall quality of your massage, including:

Spinal Correction Stretching

On the Infinity IT 8500, the airbags in the upper body are a little more advanced and perform a firm grip on the shoulders during the stretch program, pulling the shoulders back and into a proper posture. As the airbags grip the shoulders, airbags in the ottoman grip the legs. At the same time, the rollers massage the back, and the Seat Swivel program is activated to perform spinal correction stretching.

Accu-Roll for Shoulder Massage

The Infinity IT 8500 also performs an Accu-Roll massage that uses sensors in the shoulders to detect the precise location of the shoulder to carry out a comprehensive upper body treatment.

Tru-Grip “V” Stretch

In the same vein as the spinal correction stretching, the Infinity IT 8500 uses the same advanced airbag technology to perform what they call a “Tru-Grip ‘V’ Stretch.” This incorporates all of the chair’s airbags to grip and stretch the body.

Intersound Technology and Speakers

In addition to the technology differences, there’s one more significant difference between the Infinity IT 8500 vs 8800: the speaker system.

On the IT 8800, the speakers are on the outside of the chair and point away from you. On the IT 8500, the speakers are on the inside of the chair and point toward you.

Infinity calls this upgrade “Intersound Technology.” It still requires a USB of your music to work, but this way you’ll enjoy a more personal music experience. And like the IT 8800, if you want to even more privacy, you can plug in headphones. 

What’s the Difference? Infinity IT 8500 vs 8500X3

It wouldn’t be totally fair to compare the Infinity IT 8500 vs 8800 and not introduce you to the 8500X3. After all, if you’re interested in one of the Infinity 8000 series, the 8500X3 is a model worth learning more about.

Since the Infinity 8500X3 is the successor of the 8500, it has all of the same popular features as the IT 8500 — Zero Gravity, foot rollers, heat therapy — with some additional ones that take the chair to the next level. There are four major differences between the Infinity 8500X3 vs 8500, including:

3D Massage Rollers

Remember our hint about the “3” in the title? It denotes the number of dimensions of the rollers which means the Infinity IT 8500X3 is not a 2D massage chair like the IT 8500; it’s a 3D massage chair. So in addition to moving up and down and side to side, the rollers on the Infinity IT 8500X3 move inward and outward.

This inward movement controls the depth the rollers penetrate into your back, which is another way to describe the intensity. You can adjust the intensity of the rollers up to five levels from gentle to deep tissue — good news if multiple users with different intensity preferences want to enjoy the chair.

Additional Massage Programs

The Infinity IT 8500X3 has two additional automatic massage programs or six total. These programs focus on the neck and shoulders or waist and spine. Plus, there are three 3D programs: Massage Extend, Deep Shiatsu, and Healthy Breath. So, the total massage programs on the IT 8500X3 is actually nine.

BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY

Another major upgrade on the Infinity 8500X3 is its music system. Rather than using a USB, the chair connects to your music device with Bluetooth — no adding music to a USB or plugging it in.

Simply turn on the Bluetooth on your device and the remote, select your favorite playlist from your device, and you’re ready to enjoy a massage with soothing sounds.

Remote Control

The final difference between the IT 8500 and the 8500X3 is the remote. You’ll remember on the IT 8500 it’s a big pedestal remote. On the IT 8500X3, however, it’s a slim handheld remote.

The remote has an LCD screen through which you navigate the chair’s functions. All of your setting selections happen through the interface (much like an iPhone). It’s sleek, easy to use, and very intuitive.

infinity-8500-vs-8800-massage-chair-reviews-8500x3-remote-control-Consumer-Files

Which Massage Chair is Best? Infinity It 8500 Vs 8800 Vs 8500×3

The difference between the IT 8500X3 and the IT 8500 is greater than the difference between the IT 8500 and the IT 8800. But the price difference between each is similar — about $1,000 between each model. So the Infinity IT 8500X3 is about $5,500, the Infinity IT 8500 is about $4,500, and the Infinity IT 8800 (IT 8200) is about $3,500, though they can sometimes be found deeply discounted on sites like Amazon.

  • Price aside, if you want the chair that has the best massage technology of the bunch, the Infinity IT 8500X3 is the clear winner both in terms of roller technology and massage programs.
  • If you want the most affordable, the Infinity IT 8800 (IT 8200) is the way to go.
  • However, if you want a mix of the two — technology upgrades and affordability — the Infinity IT 8500, which is the most popular model, won’t disappoint.

Infinity IT 8800 vs IT 8500 Massage Chair Specifications

Infinity IT 8800Infinity IT 8500

Chair dimensions (reclined)

74L x 35.4W x 36.3H74L x 35.4W x 36.3H

Chair dimensions (upright)

59L x 35.4W x 45.7H59L x 35.4W x 45.7H

Maximum user weight

325 lbs325 lbs

Recommended user height

5’1″ to 6’4″5’1″ to 6’4″

Power Consumption

220W260W

Chair weight

229 lbs229 lbs

Colors

Brown, Black, TaupeIvory, Brown, Black, Taupe

Infinity 8500 vs 8800 Massage Chair Review Final Thoughts

Both the Infinity IT 8500 and 8800 (8200) massage chairs are compelling buys. They’re both packed with popular features like Zero Gravity and foot rollers, plus use advanced massage technology like stretching, neck rotation, and seat swivel. But if you want just a little more in terms of massage quality, the IT 8500 is the way to go.

And if you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, we recommend the Infinity IT 8500X3 because of its 3D rollers and additional massage programs. No matter what you choose, we hope our Infinity 8500 vs 8800 review gave you the information you need to make an informed buying decision.


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