Panasonic EP MA70 Review – Massage Chair Report

Panasonic EP MA70 Review
  • Number of Airbags
  • Overall Massage Quality
  • Customization Options
  • Ease of Use
4.4

Summary

The Panasonic EP MA70 is a well-designed, versatile chair that will appeal to a broad swath of the market. Recommended for hobbyist users, people who suffer from chronic back pain, and users no taller than 6’2”.

Are you looking for a solid, feature-rich massage chair, made by a company known for its legendary quality?

Also looking for something that will blend in seamlessly with your home’s décor, but don’t want to spend a fortune to get it?

If so, then you’re going to love our Panasonic EP MA70 Review. This chair has just about everything you’re looking for, and a few pleasant surprises, as well.

In the sections below, we’ll go over everything this chair offers, and toward the end, draw your attention to a few things it doesn’t do, in order to give you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

An Overview of the Panasonic EP MA70

Before we get into the features that define this model, the first thing we need to do is clear up some misinformation about model designations.

A careful search of the internet reveals three potential variants of the MA70. The EP MA70 Panasonic, EP MA70KX, and EP MA70CX. All three that we found on Amazon bear the same product description and capabilities, so we dug deeper, going to the source material which, in this case, was the user manual.

The user manual makes no mention of any variant of the model, nor are there any standalone manuals for the variants shown on Amazon.

Our conclusion is that these are marketing efforts on Amazon to make it appear that there are multiple sub-models. The reality is, based on our research, that there’s just one: The EP MA70.

We have linked to that product on Amazon, though in your own additional research, you may well run across the variants, which is why we wanted to draw your attention to it here.

We also want to say a few words about aesthetic considerations.

While not important to everyone, they matter to a large segment of the market, and the MA70 gets this right.

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Color - Chair institute

One of the reasons people shy away from investing in a massage chair is the simple fact that it sticks out like a sore thumb and makes whatever room you place the chair in look like your chiropractor’s office.

That’s not the case with this model. When not in use, it is by all outward appearances, just an ordinary piece of furniture - a stylish recliner you’ve added to your collection. While aesthetics aren’t usually a make-or-break aspect of any massage chair, it’s nice touch, and well worth mentioning.

Having said that, ultimately, what you want in a massage chair is a great massage, so now, let’s turn our attention to the features that drive and define the MA70.

Features of Panasonic EP MA70 Massage Chair

S-Track Design

This model is built around an S-Track, which allows its quad rollers to follow the natural curvature of your body’s spine, resulting in a superior massage experience.

By itself, the S-Track is a wonder, but when combined with quad rollers, which closely mimic the feeling of human hands, the massage you get is world-class, which is the reason this combination of technology is rapidly becoming the industry standard.

As you will see, many of the MA70’s other features work with this core technology to further enhance the overall quality of the massage this chair is capable of delivering.

Panasonic EP MA70 Review STrack - Chair Institute

3D Body Scan

Also, a feature that’s rapidly becoming an industry standard, not all chairs have this yet, but an increasing percentage of them do.

Before your massage begins, the chair takes a scan of your body and makes subtle adjustments to the position of the rollers, to ensure a fabulous experience, every time.

Sometimes though, the tech gets it wrong, and in those rare cases, there are also controls on the remote that allow you to make manual adjustments to the rollers, including the ability to modify the width of the massage field.

Taken together, this gives you almost complete control over the massage you get, and guarantees an optimal result.

3D Massage Head

It should be noted that the S-Track by itself provides 3D massage action, which leads some people to believe that this term is more marketing than substance. The reality, though, is that there’s something to it.

When you get a massage from a chair with an S-Track, the rollers can move in three dimensions: Up/Down (the Y-Axis), Left/Right (the X-axis) and “in”/”out” (the Z-Axis) as the track bends to follow your spine.

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Roller - Chair Institute

3D rollers are essentially rollers with “longer fingers that allow them the flexibility to move as much as five centimeters (about two inches) farther away from the track than they would otherwise be able to do. This allows for a deeper, more penetrating massage.

Heated Massage Rollers!

This is a great feature that’s only just starting to make its way into a few models, but we’re extremely happy to see it.

A significant percentage of massage chairs on the market today offer a heat function. Most of the chairs that do offer it in the lumbar area, and a few take it a step further, also offering calf heat.

Heated rollers amount to a secondary heating system that applies to the whole back. The rollers don’t get outright hot, but they warm enough to give the sensation that you’re being massaged by warm human hands, and provide just enough heat to give you a more satisfying massage experience that just feels better.

This is a brilliant feature we hope to one day see in every massage chair on the market.

Our only complaint with this feature’s implementation is the fact that the heated roller heads are a secondary heat system, and the MA 70 uses them as a primary. There is no lumbar or calf heat offered in addition to the heated rollers, which we feel would add greater therapeutic value.

Hideaway Ottoman

This is another feature we love, and the key piece of technology that allows the chair to disguise itself as an ordinary recliner. When not in use, the leg massage ports can be folded up into the chair so they are hidden from view which improves its aesthetic appeal.

Loaded With Options

The Panasonic EP MA70 offers more massage options than most other chairs in its price range, making it extremely attractive to potential buyers.

Massage Styles

  • Ultra-Knead (“Junetsu” Massage Style)
  • Shiatsu
  • Swedish
  • Kneading
  • Rolling
  • Tapping (Can be combined with any of the other techniques)

In addition to the massage styles, you can choose from a variety of body-specific manual modes, ordering a massage of your:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Mid-Back
  • Lower Back
  • Full Back

The chair also comes with several pre-programmed massage routines, which include:

  • Refresh
  • Hip
  • Deep
  • Neck/Shoulder
  • Shiatsu
  • Lower Back

Of particular note here is the deep massage program. There aren’t many chairs being sold today that offer a true deep massage, and if you suffer from chronic back pain, you’ll get tremendous therapeutic benefit from this feature (Note: Hobbyist users will likely find this massage far too strong to be enjoyable!)

All of these massage offerings can be adjusted via the remote through three different intensity settings.

Air Massage Mode

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Airbag - Chair Institute

The Panasonic MA70 massage chair has a total of thirty-three Second Generation Airbags strategically positioned throughout the chair to render a full-body air massage.

This is about average for a chair in its price range. You’ll certainly enjoy the air massage you get from the MA70, but compared with its competition, it’s about average.

Where the heated massage rollers provide a superior roller-based experience, this one is simply on par with what other chairs in the mid-range can deliver.

As with the roller-based massage, you can adjust your experience via the remote, through three intensity levels.

One other thing to note about the chair's Air Massage Mode is that like the roller-based massage options, you have the option to activate a whole-body massage, or get an air massage that focuses on specific areas of your body:

  • Shoulders
  • Hand/Arm
  • Back
  • Leg/Foot

Again, this kind of fine-grained control is fantastic and allows you to create exactly the experience you desire.

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Main - Chair institute

Memory Function

Another feature we want to call special attention to in our Panasonic EP MA70 Review is the memory function. This is a rare feature, only offered in a small number of massage chairs on the market today, and we can’t understand why.

Memory is cheap and ubiquitous. It would cost almost nothing to add this to every chair being sold today, and yet, almost nobody does.

The MA70 gives you three memory slots, which allows you to create a trio of custom massage experiences, save those settings and recall them at the touch of a button.

Multiple members of your family can save their favorite settings, or you can create a variety of specialized routines for yourself, at your preference. A great feature not offered in nearly enough models, in our view.

Calf & Foot Massage

Here, the Panasonic MA70 takes a slightly different approach than other models.

It’s common to see the calf massage rendered via airbags in the leg ports, but for the soles of the feet, rollers are most often employed.

The MA70 utilizes airbags for the entire foot and calf massage. There are no rollers. Instead, the chair relies on the action of the airbags in the leg ports to press the foot into a sole plate containing stationary Shiatsu heads.

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Heat - Chair institute

In our view, this is an inferior approach. Rollers allow for a more dynamic, and ultimately more satisfying massage.

There’s nothing wrong with the calf portion of the experience, but we found the foot massage to be somewhat limited and lacking. Not sufficiently so to call this a deal breaker, but it’s certainly something to consider.

If you spend several hours a day on your feet, and are specifically looking for a chair that gives a great foot massage, then this model probably isn’t for you.

Body Stretch Function

Our Panasonic EP MA70 review would not be complete without drawing special attention to this feature. We love the way Panasonic does body stretching!

About body stretching in general, not many chairs offer it, so it’s always nice to see when a company opts to include it, because few features provide greater or more immediate therapeutic benefit.

Utilizing the airbags located in the leg ports of the chair to hold the user in place, the chair begins to recline. The effect is quite similar to going to your chiropractor for an “adjustment.

It’s effective because one of the leading causes of back pain is spinal disc compression, and this maneuver relieves the pressure on those discs. If you suffer from chronic back pain, this will probably wind up being your favorite feature. A truly fantastic feature addition.

What we especially love about the way Panasonic chose to implement the feature is that in addition to using it in “Whole-body-stretch Mode,you can also order stretches that are limited to certain specific regions of your body. These include the chest, hips and legs.

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Remote - Chair institute

More options are always better, and this allows you to focus on just the areas that need attention. Great stuff!

Amazingly Easy To Use

Panasonic gets extra points for ease of use, despite the fact that this chair has a stunning array of features that should mean a significant learning curve.

The company solves this problem brilliantly by providing a well-designed “smart” remote that can talk you through mastering the chair. Then, once you’re comfortable navigating through the various options, you can simply mute the voice help.

We love this implementation because it makes the complex, simple!

Pros & Cons of Panasonic EP MA70 Massage Chair Review

As you can see from our Panasonic MA70 review to this point, this chair has a lot to offer. Having said that, there are still a few things we feel could be improved upon. That’s what we’ll cover next.

  • One of our chief complaints about this model is the timer. All of the massages on offer default to a non-adjustable fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes is the industry standard, and it’s a bit of a mystery why Panasonic has shown such reluctance in embracing it.
  • There’s no way to adjust the default massage times, and if you want a longer massage, you’ve got no other option but to wait until the current massage ends, then select a new one, or re-select the one you were just enjoying for another fifteen-minute interval.
  • As we noted earlier, the absence of lumbar and/or calf heat, in addition to the heated rollers is a missed opportunity in our view.The inclusion of this feature would give the chair another powerful therapeutic benefit.
  • Another issue we have with the EP MA70 is that they embraced home use and aesthetic in a halfhearted way. It was great that they made the decision to include the hideaway ottoman. In the spirit of that decision, the addition of space-saving rechnology would have been a natural fit and made it even more attractive for home use.
  • The chair also lacks MP3 support, which in our view, is a missed opportunity, because Panasonic is known for making high quality speakers,and this could have played to two of the company’s strengths.
  • Finally, we’d love to see the inclusion of an extendable ottoman in a model update, so that the chair can accommodate taller users.

Note that none of these are outright deal breakers unless you’re taller than 6’2”, but we feel they would make the MA70 an all-around stronger product.

Panasonic EP MA70 Massage Chair Review Conclusion

There’s a lot to like about this chair, and we highly recommend it for hobbyist use, and for anyone who suffers from chronic back pain.

We would be reluctant to recommend it to taller users (anyone over 6’2”) or to people who have chronic lower extremity/foot pain, because in our view, the foot massage is slightly sub-standard.

If that’s the feature you need most, there are other models that will better suit your needs. For a significant percentage of the market, however, this is an excellent choice.


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References & Resources

HomeMassage ChairsBrandsPanasonicPanasonic EP MA70 Review – Massage Chair Report

  • Chair Institute
  • January 5, 2021
  • Panasonic

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