In a Nutshell:
Another Fujita design that looks great on paper, but has some features that are poorly executed. The Fujita KN9005 massage chair is recommended for chronic pain sufferers, who are no taller than 6’.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
If you’ve been looking for a massage chair that’s loaded with features, has a high degree of polish, and is offered at an attractive price, you’d probably want to keep looking.
Fujita makes some great massage chairs. However, they also make some models that look awesome on paper, but in practice, have many features that are poorly (or even disastrously) implemented.
Where some models are concerned, it’s like they’ve got two design teams working on it. One that’s top-notch, and a second that’s intoxicated.
This is one of those designs.
In the detailed Fujita KN9005 massage chair review that follows, we’ll cover all of this in detail, outlining what the model gets right and telling you where it goes badly astray, so you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Let’s get right to it!
Fujita KN9005 Massage Chair Features
S-Track Design & Quad Rollers
The Fujita KN9005 gets off to a strange start with an over-engineered “solution” to a problem that does not exist.
An S-Track and quad rollers are the current industry standards for a reason. The combination of these two techs allow for a top-notch massage. The S-Track is bent to conform to the shape and natural curve of the human spine and allow the rollers on the chair to move in three dimensions (along the X-, Y-, and Z-axis).
Quad rollers were seen as an upgrade to dual rollers because of how closely they mimic the feel of human hands. Thus, there’s no good reason to offer a “switch” that allows you to move from quad rollers to dual. But for some reason, this was built into the design.
Ostensibly, this was included to allow users a means of controlling the intensity of the massage. Then again, the chair already includes six intensity settings, which takes care of that problem. As far as we can see, there’s literally no advantage to this feature.
3D Body Scan
This is a well-implemented addition to the chair, and it enhances the overall massage experience. Each time you sit down, and before your massage begins, the chair scans your body and makes adjustments to the position of the rollers to ensure they’re hitting all of your pressure points.
If the technology doesn’t get it quite right, there are buttons on the remote that allow you to manually tweak both the roller positions and the width of the massage field.
This two-pronged approach isn’t an industry standard yet, but is rapidly becoming so, offering a bullet-proof means of ensuring that the rollers are exactly where you need them to be.
Inspired by NASA, Zero-G seating offers two advantages. First and foremost, from the user’s perspective, it’s amazingly comfortable, and really does give you a feeling of weightlessness.
Second, it enhances the massage experience by using your body weight to press more firmly against the chair back, which in turn, allows the rollers to render a deeper and more penetrating massage.
The KN9005 offers two different Zero-G seating positions, which makes this a strong implementation.
3D/4D Roller Technology
This is a feature Fujita has a reputation for getting right, but it requires a bit of background and explanation.
As we mentioned earlier, all S-Track and Hybrid L/S-Track massage chairs already allow their rollers to move in three dimensions. This technology, however, takes it to the next level by putting the rollers on extension arms that allow them to move some distance away from the track itself.
Usually, these extension arms are about 3” long. But, Fujita has begun using 5” extension arms on some models.
The result is that the rollers can really dig deep, and provide an even more penetrating massage.
Great for chronic pain sufferers, but something that casual and hobbyist users may find too intense. That’s not to say that a casual user won’t enjoy the chair. But, you’re almost certain to be using it on its lowest 1-2 intensity settings.
An Average Number of Options Pretending To Be More
If you’ve read other Fujita KN9005 massage chair reviews online, you’ve probably noticed that some of them make a big deal about the number of massage combinations the model offers.
Sure, we get how they reached that conclusion but we took a deeper look, and it’s mostly smoke and mirrors in our view.
For starters, the company says that their chair massages in six different ways:
The problem? You can’t actually access any of those. What that distills down to are the following techniques:
Which is fairly lackluster. You can find bargain-priced chairs that offer those techniques.
Then, Fujita tries to up the combination count by adding a variety of pre-defined partial massage modes.
Partial Mode Massage Programs
Again, the problem with this is that they could have simply included “Spot” and “Partial” buttons, and allowed the user to define their own partial massage modes.
On top of that, Fujita offers six genuine pre-programmed massages:
Automatic Massage Programs
These are genuinely good and provide a quick and easy way to start enjoying your first massage without having to sort through a bunch of options. You can just sit down, press a button, and go.
Further, all of the massages on offer (both pre-programmed and manual) can be modified by the remote through six different intensity levels.
At maximum intensity, you get a deep tissue massage, which provides tremendous value to chronic pain sufferers. Casual and hobbyist users are almost certain to find this setting too intense. But of course, there are plenty of milder settings to choose from, so that’s not really an issue.
When you clear out all the hype and fluff, what you’re left with is a chair that offers three basic and one advanced technique, and six pre-programmed massage routines.
That’s substantially lower than many of the other chairs the KN9005 competes with, and is a bit of a disappointment.
Final note: All massage options (both roller and airbag based) default to a twenty-minute duration and cannot be time-adjusted by the user.
This is always a welcome addition to any massage chair, and Fujita’s implementation is about average.
The offered heat is in the lumbar area, and is binary. There’s no way to precisely control the temperature.
That’s not uncommon, making this an average, but not an exceptional implementation. Even so, heat plus massage provides more therapeutic benefitthan massage alone. Hence, people who suffer with chronic lower back pain will really appreciate its presence and are likely to make regular use of it.
Air Massage Mode
Fujita is notoriously bad about two things. They seldom make their user manuals available online, and they don’t tend to publish the precise number of airbags their chairs utilize, which leaves us with two options.
We can either take the chair apart and count the airbags, or estimate the number based on the schematics they provide.
We opted for the latter approach, and based on a careful count, we estimate the number at thirty-eight. These are Second Generation Airbags, so that’s not horrible, by any means, but also, there’s nothing exceptional about it. It’s on par with, or very slightly inferior to many of the chairs it competes with.
The result is a good, but unexceptional air massage that you can modify via the remote through three different levels of intensity.
For chronic pain sufferers, this will be the defining feature of the model, and the biggest reason you’ll consider buying it.
The body stretch function works in much the same way as a chiropractic adjustment does, providing almost immediate pain relief by taking pressure off compressed discs in your spine.
Compressed discs are the leading cause of back pain, chronic or otherwise, which makes this the most powerful therapeutic feature the chair offers.
A word of warning though: The body stretch is quite aggressive, and if you suffer from severe chronic pain, you may find it too strong to handle without a bit of warmup. In that case, your best bet is to enjoy a massage with heat activated first, and then move to the stretch routine.
Casual users are likely to steer clear of this feature altogether, while chronic pain sufferers will adore it.
Foot and Calf Massage
The majority of the airbags in the KN9005 are located in the leg massage ports. As such, the calf and foot massage is very high quality. It’s made even better by the fact that there are also rollers at the bottom of the foot wells, which give you a combined air/roller massage for your feet.
If you spend several hours of each day standing, this is almost certain to be your favorite aspect of the chair. Even if you don’t, it’s destined to be in the top two or three. It’s one of the strongest features the model has to offer, and is very well implemented.
In our view, this is the worst feature of the chair. The only benefit it provides over and above what other models offer is the fact that by strapping on the headgear, you can use the chair to massage your temples.
Most other models that offer a head massage simply build it into the chair itself, offering a head and neck pillow with a recess that allows the rollers and/or airbags to massage the back and sides of your head, without requiring you to manually strap gear onto your body.
We view this as an unacceptable requirement for minimal gain in functionality, and honestly…it looks ridiculous too.
For whatever reason, though, Fujita is fascinated by this implementation, and you see it in a variety of the models they produce. We wish it would vanish. Seriously.
Extendable Ottoman (not really)
Although Fujita claims that this model has an extension module built into the Ottoman, the reality is that if you’re taller than 6’, this chair won’t accommodate you. The quality of the calf and foot massage will suffer.
This is one of the most persistent complaints from users who have purchased the chair, and is something to be mindful of when you’re making a final decision.
Unnecessarily Complex Remote
Earlier, when we were talking about the number of massage options available, we mentioned that a lot of the “options” the company talks about aren’t really options at all.
Because of that, there are a lot more buttons and nested menus on the remote than there need to be.
Rather than having so many pre-defined partial massage modes, it would have been much simpler to strip all that out and just include a “Spot” and “Partial” button, and it would give the user much more fine-grained control over the experience.
In this case, our view is that the remote’s usability suffers because the company tried hard to mask the fact that this model doesn’t have as many important options as they like to pretend it does, and that creates more of a learning curve than there should be.
The remote itself isn’t horribly designed, but you will find yourself hunting for features until you’re used to its layout.
Pros & Cons of the Fujita KN9005 Massage Chair
As you can see, we have kind of a love/hate relationship with this model. On the one hand, there are some features that Fujita absolutely nails. The things they get right, they tend to excel at.
Unfortunately, this design is also saddled with a number of features that either try to solve for problems that don’t actually exist, or are implemented in cumbersome or substandard ways.
The biggest thing we’d like to see added to the mix would be an extension module on the ottoman. Most of Fujita’s other models have this, and can accommodate users up to 6’5” in height, so we know they can do it. Why they opted not to in this case is a complete mystery.
Our only other big complaint is the lack of massage techniques and combinations.
Other than that, we’d just like to see them strip out the over-engineered solutions, streamline their features and implement them in ways that are less cumbersome.
Fujita KN9005 Massage Chair Review Conclusion
There’s no denying that the KN9005 offers a ton of high value therapeutic features. That’s great, but this model comes with some serious limitations in the form of poorly implemented supporting features.
If you’re really desperate to get access to the features the chair implements well, and can live with its shortcomings, this model is recommended (as long as you’re not taller than 6’!). Having said that, there are plenty of models to choose from that don’t suffer from its shortcomings.
References & Resources