By >Akihabara News Team
[Quick Review] Panasonic Neck Refre (Nekkulifurre) (EW-NA11-S)
There was a debate here at Akihabara News HQ as to who would be reviewing this neck muscle stimulator gadget from Panasonic. The idea of a massage sounds great, but I believe it was the electric part that spooked everyone. Nobody wanted to try this thing, but I have been suffering with a sore neck for a while now, so I was willing to try anything. This product offers the same kind of experience that one might get at a sports massage clinic or chiropractor, before the massage or the bone cracking begins.
The Neck Refre has a simple design with two stimulation pods. The whole device wraps around your neck, and the pods, which have adhesive rubber pads on them, rest side by side on the back of your neck. The controls are also simple, with a single turn dial to turn the power on and increase the stimulation level, and a button to change the stimulation course. This control unit, which also houses the 3V battery, rests on the right side of the user’s neck. It comes with a battery and storage pouch.
Trial and “Stimulation”
After a bit of confusion in set-up (it took a few minutes to figure out that one of the pieces included in the box was just a cover for storage), I was ready to go. The image on the box suggests that this is a device that wraps around the back of your neck, and should be worn while working away at the computer, but I opted to emulate the real treatment experience, and lay down on my stomach with a pillow under my chest and forehead. I tentatively turned the dial and was very relieved to find that the sensation was very mild. I turned the dial up a bit more, but not all the way until I found a comfortable stimulation level. After a while I was curious about the course setting button, so I pressed it. It was not clear how many different courses there are, but my basic impression was that you could either have the stimulation pulsing alternately on the left and right sides of your neck, or pulsing on both sides at the same time.
The experience overall was enjoyable, and my neck really does feel better today, but there were some definite aspects of the design that I thought could have been improved. While I realize that this is meant to be a compact device that could fit in a desk drawer or a travel bag, I think that the experience would have been greatly improved if I could hold the control panel in my hand and see what I was doing. I was confused about which way to turn the dial in order to make it stronger or weaker, and I was scared of turning it up too high. It would have also been good to have some sort of display that indicates that course the machine is set to. Although I am a bit scared of it, I do want to use this product again; I do think that it is only one part of a neck treatment and would definitely want to follow up with some hands-on massaging afterwards.