Ogawa Active SuperTrac Massage Chair Review
- Number of Airbags
- Overall Massage Quality
- Customization Options
- Ease of Use
An unusual design. Most of its features are excellent, but there are a few things that will leave you underwhelmed. It’s clearly above average, but falls short of true excellence.
Recommended For: Hobbyists or casual users. People who suffer from chronic lower back pain.
Are you tired of finding the same old, run of the mill massage chair designs? Do you get the feeling that every chair you’ve looked at lately has that “been there, done that” feel to it?
If so, then you’re going to love our in-depth Ogawa Active SuperTrac massage chair review. Even if you ultimately decide it’s not the massage chair for you, it’s different. It’s interesting. It’s exciting.
It’s also not for everyone. The SuperTrac is, in some ways, an unusual collection of features. While we admire the innovative spirit of the designers, and we think it’s a fine chair, some things about it left us disappointed and wanting more.
You may disagree, and if so, this might be the perfect chair for you. Either way, we’ll go over all its features and limitations in the sections below so you’ll have a complete picture.
An Overview of the Ogawa Active Supertrac Massage Chair
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Ogawa Active Supertrac Massage Chair
- 2 Ogawa Active Supertrac Massage Chair Pros & Cons
- 3 Ogawa Active Supertrac Massage Chair Review Conclusion
First impressions matter, and if you’re looking for a massage chair that blends in seamlessly with your home's décor, this isn’t one of those. There’s no mistaking what this chair is, or what its primary function is.
It looks like a giant Comm Chair on a starship, especially with the LED Chromotherapy lights on.
Never heard of Chromotherapy?
The chair features soft blue LED lights which some people say helps them to relax and enhances the overall enjoyment of the massage experience. If you’re not a fan, no worries, the light is quite soft and not bothersome, but if you are, this chair’s got it.
It’s not an unattractive design, but as we said, there’s no mistaking what it is, and it’s probably going to clash with the rest of your room’s décor. Not a deal breaker for most people, but something to at least keep in mind.
It’s also a big, hefty brute of a chair, measuring 60” x 33” x 49” and weighs in at a healthy 285 pounds, so if you’ve only got limited space in your home, finding a place to put it might present a bit of a challenge. It’s also not built with space-saving technology, so you’ll need at least 10” of clearance between the back of the chair and whatever wall you set it near.
The upshot here though, is that it can support users up to 6’4” tall and people who weigh up to 300 pounds, so it’s a solid piece of furniture by any reckoning.
The Roller-Based Massage Experience
Let’s jump right into the meat of it though. If you’re interested in a massage chair, you’re more interested in its massage characteristics than its aesthetics. Let’s start with the good:
L-Track + Quad Rollers
The Ogawa SuperTrac is built around a very long L-Track, which massages you from your neck, all the way to your glutes and the backs of your thighs. It also employs quad rollers which are the current industry standard and feel remarkably like human hands.
ZERO GRAVITY RECLINE
In addition to that, the chair offers not one, but two Zero-G seating options, plus a “Bed Recline” option that allows you to recline until you’re flat on your back, just like you’d be if you were lying in bed. All three positions help enhance the roller-based massage by using the weight of your own body to press you more firmly against the seat back, which allows the rollers to render a deeper and more penetrating massage.
All of that is fantastic, but here’s our disappointment:
The rollers are only 2D. Most chairs offered at this price point utilize 3D roller technology, which allows the rollers to move out and away from the massage track, rendering an even deeper and more therapeutic massage. We expected to see that technology here and were disappointed when we didn’t. Although it’s not as big a deal as it first appears, for reasons we’ll get into a bit later on.
In any case, our view is that the roller based massage is very good. It certainly won’t disappoint you, but it falls slightly short of being excellent, and for the price you’re paying, it should be next-level good in our view.
3D Body Scanning
This is becoming increasingly common, and is, for all practical purposes an industry standard for chairs offered in the SuperTrac’s price range. Each time you sit on the chair, it will take a scan of your body and make subtle adjustments to the position of the rollers.
Most of the time, the chair gets it right, but on occasion, you may find yourself having to make a few tweaks and adjustments, and the SuperTrac allows for that, with adjustment buttons on the remote. All that to say, you have all the control you need to ensure that the rollers are hitting exactly where you want them to, every single time you use the chair.
Not as Many Options as We Were Hoping for
Regarding massage techniques, there are a total of six on offer:
We love the fact that there are two advanced techniques, and that Swedish is one of the two. Not many chairs offer it, so it earned extra points from us.
Auto Massage Programs
In addition to that, you also get eight different auto-programs. These are:
While the others are standard fare offered in one form or another by most massage chair manufacturers, these three truly are unique.
To use them, place the chair in one of the two Zero-G seating options or in “Bed Position” and make your selection. Once you do, you’re treated to a world-class massage that combines the massage rollers and airbags as they gently massage you from your neck to your toes.
In our view, these three massage programs are the chair’s strongest feature. Yes, they’d been made even better with the presence of 3D heated rollers, but even without them, they’re three distinct slices of massage heaven that you’re going to flat-out love.
It gets better though because, in addition to that, the chair also offers both spot and partial massage. If none of the pre-programmed options are to your liking, you can always enter manual mode and get your massage, your way. Plus, all massages can be time-adjusted to a maximum of thirty minutes, which is fantastic.
On top of that, the rollers can be adjusted through five different speed levels. Although curiously, there’s no way to adjust the massage intensity, which is a feature we missed, and wish had been included. All in all, though, this is a very strong feature implementation that beautifully showcases the chair’s capabilities.
A Very Good Air Massage
The Ogawa Active SuperTrac features 56 Second-Generation airbags strategically located throughout the chair. This isn’t as many as some other, comparably priced chairs, but is above average, with results as you might expect. The air massage (adjustable via three levels of intensity from the remote) is very good, but falls short of being excellent, except when used in one of the "unique" massage programs we talked about earlier.
This is one of the two big therapeutic features on offer, and the presence of heat is always a welcome addition. Given the price of the chair, we wanted to see more here, though. Heated foot wells would have been a nice start, and perhaps even some ability to control the temperature. Alas, neither of those are included.
Still, if you suffer from chronic lower back pain, this is likely to be your favorite aspect of the chair. The massage (which is supposedly a deep tissue massage, but we found to be not quite strong enough for that, even when reclined in a Zero-G position) is strong enough that, when combined with heat, will provide some therapeutic benefit.
Again, we were underwhelmed here. Although having body stretch present in any form is a good thing, there’s nothing exceptional about it.
Not to say that it doesn’t provide some therapeutic benefit, but if you’re buying a chair on the strength of its body stretch, this isn’t the one to get.
If you want to stick with Ogawa, get their flagship model, the Smart 3D, which utilizes a very aggressive Thai stretch, or one of the models offered by Kahuna, which uses their excellent, and lower-intensity “Yoga Stretch.”
On the other hand, if you’re a hobbyist or casual user, and just want body stretch in some form, this will certainly get the job done and leave you with no complaints.
Calf & Foot Massage
This is yet another feature that we liked but wanted more from. It’s arguably better than the calf and foot massage offered by Ogawa’s flagship model, the Smart 3D, because where the Smart 3D utilizes just airbags for the calf and foot massage, this chair uses a combination of airbags and foot rollers, which is exceptional.
In a perfect world, we’d love to see heat added to the foot wells, but even without it, if you have a job that sees you spending several hours a day on your feet, and they’re screaming by the time you get home, this is probably going to be your favorite feature. It would be overselling it to say that it has a tremendous amount of therapeutic value, but it sure feels good!
Again, with the underwhelming features!
Most chairs at this price range have built-in Bluetooth speakers. This one doesn’t. It does have a USB charging port, so you can plug your smartphone in and listen to your favorite music via earbuds. That’s not nothing, but Bluetooth speakers would make it a whole lot better.
A Slight, but Manageable Learning Curve
This is a rather curious feature for Ogawa. Most of their other models don’t use a remote at all, but rather, give you a full-sized touch-screen Android tablet, which makes use of the excellent Ogawa app to control the functioning of the chair.
The SuperTrac is almost a throwback, utilizing a remote as most other companies offer.
That’s not a bad thing. The remote is exceptionally well designed and organized, and you won’t have any particular difficulty finding buttons for any function you’re interested in using.
Owing to the number of options that chair puts at your fingertips, there is a learning curve, but it’s a fairly gently sloping one. You can be enjoying your first massage in a matter of minutes, and inside of an hour, you’ll be controlling the chair like a boss. Kudos to Ogawa on that front!
Ogawa Active Supertrac Massage Chair Review Conclusion
Unfinished or not, it’s an undeniably strong model and well deserving of the high score we gave it. If the company comes back later and addresses some of this model’s shortcomings, it could well wind up with a perfect five-star rating from us, which almost never happens.
As it stands now, we wouldn’t have any problems recommending it to hobbyist or casual users. If you have chronic lower back problems, you can get some therapeutic benefit from it, but you’d probably be better served by getting a chair with stronger therapeutic features (true deep tissue massage with 3D rollers and a more aggressive body stretch, for starters). Even so, it does have some therapeutic value for some users and is provisionally recommended on that front.