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By Doug Marks
Omega Montage Premier Massage Chair The Omega Montage Premier massage chair with MP3 player is one of the top chairs in its class ($4,000 to $5,000--see actual rank below). As with many of the chairs we have reviewed, the Omega Montage Premier has too many features to fully explain each one here. But let me describe the chair's most important features, qualities, and limitations, and especially those features that will not be found on other chairs.

As always, our review starts with the company that makes the chair. In our experience it is very clear that no massage chair is worth buying if the company that makes it will not stand behind it. Omega has shown an extremely high level of commitment to its customers and chairs, perhaps the best in the industry. Returns are rare, because of the quality of its chairs, and, within the restrictions of its returns policies, Omega honors its commitments without hassling its customers. Omega is responsive to customer inquiries and helpful if any problems arise. We give Omega a 10 out of 10 for its outstanding commitment to customer service.

Omega's commitment is reflected in its five-year warranty on the frame and three-year warranty on parts, which give the customer a high degree of confidence. These warranties sets this chair apart from some of the other leading chairs in this class.

Now to the features of the chair itself. I'll start with the weaknesses. As with every massage chair in the world, the technology simply isn't advanced enough to make a mechanical massage as good as a personal massage. Chair makers who claim to give you a massage as good as a personal massage are simply blowing smoke. Such a claim is much like an electronic razor manufacturer telling you the shave you get will be as close as a blade--baloney!

Having said that, some of these chairs (especially this one) are getting very close. And since it simply is impossible to have a human massage every time you need to relax, a massage chair can be a good substitute for the real thing (and in some ways, even better, since it never gets tired and never needs a massage in return).

Along with the inherent weaknesses of any massage chair, the Omega Montage Premier also uses air bags for the lower body massage. This can be a good thing, as it allows for greater flexibility and coverage. However, as the owner of one manufacturer of mechanically-based massage chairs told me, those air bags can never quite measure up to the force of a mechanical massage. This may be true, although the advancing technology is increasingly giving mechanical chairs greater coverage and air bag chairs greater pressure, so the difference between the two is definitely shrinking. I personally would prefer the flexibility and coverage of air bags over a deeper, more forceful massage.

Now to the positives--and there are many of them. The Omega Premier Montage offers several unique features. As a wannabe techie and music enthusiast, my favorite feature is the MP3 with headphones. All you need to do is download your favorite music onto the USB music stick and plug it into the chair. The chair can synchronize its massage to the music you choose. This is one of those extra little touches that makes a big difference.

As with the other chairs in this class, the Omega Montage Premier can deliver heat everywhere on your body. When you sit in the chair, it performs an infrared scan of your back to detect the location of your acupoints and customize the massage accordingly. The chair can accommodate users up to 6' 5" with a back massage length of 30 inches, which is very good coverage (although not quite as good as Sanyo's 31-inch Zero Gravity chair).

One excellent feature of this chair is the lower body traction function. The chair is able to grip your feet and calves in the footrest and stretch your legs from the hips down, which is intended to stretch your joints and ligaments in order to increase your range of motion. I don't know about any health claims the manufacturer might make, but stretching like this can really feel nice and add to the overall relaxation benefits of the chair.

Also in the lower body, this chair contains what Omega calls "reflexology nodes" for the feet and Footflex Massage Technology. This is a great feature that focuses the massage on refloxology points in the foot. Clearly, Omega has gotten the message from customers that the foot massage is an important part of the overall massage experience.

Working our way up, the Omega Montage Premier has a hip vibration feature that can be great for a limited time (but irritating if overused). As with all massage functions, overdoing it is a real risk, so paying attention to your massage is important. This chair includes pads that can be added to soften the massage until your body becomes accustomed to the massage "workout" delivered by the chair.

The Omega Montage has five pre-programmed massages named Relaxation, Activation, Vitality, Morning, and Night. It also has four manual massage courses for the entire back, upper back, lower back, and waist. The chair uses a back-lit LCD screen and sub-remote control so you don't have to move to adjust the chair. The chair can be reset to its original position with one touch.

The chair is covered with a high-quality leather-like material that acts like leather without the cracking and breaking that can plague real leather chairs. Its recline angle is up to 175 degrees, which is very close to a flat recline, and this full range of motion provides a very high-quality and complete massage.

The Omega Montage Premier massage chair is almost the same chair as the Omega Montage Elite massage chair, except for the look and the arm rests. Personally, I prefer the look of the Premier. Its silver body with complementary trim gives it a sleeker and more modern look, while the Elite provides a more classic appearance. However, the Premier is slightly more expensive, so the customer has to make that call.

In our experience, all the Omega chairs are well-built. They are constructed in China with Japanese components, so the customer gets the quality of the Japanese components without the high costs of Japanese assembly. Returns have been rare, and the manufacturer is responsive when concerns do arise. We've been very impressed with Omega.

Overall, (and largely because of its reliability and warranty) we rate the Omega Montage Premier massage chair a very close second in its class ($4,000 to $5,000 range). (In fact, for those who desire the lower body stretching function, the Montage would rank number one.) It is exceeded only by the Sanyo Zero Gravity massage chair, which is more expensive but has a few features that are lacking in the Montage. We'll discuss those features in the upcoming article devoted to the Sanyo Zero Gravity massage chair HEC-DR7700K.

Copyright 2010 ClickShops Inc.

(This article was written by Doug Marks and is copyrighted by ClickShops Inc. It may not be copied or distributed in whole or in part without the written consent of ClickShops. ClickShops monitors its intellectual property and will pursue all legal remedies against individuals and companies using this review in violation of ClickShops’ rights.)