Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Armband
Category: Running Monitor Accessories
Recommended for: sportsmen and sportswomen who are keen on tracking their heart rate whilst training, but who want to avoid wearing a chest strap based heart rate sensor.
- Forearm / upper arm based.
- Comes with two size straps, one large and one small.
- Very lightweight, barely noticeable on.
- Works with Bluetooth compatible products (smart phones as well as running watches).
- Works with ANT+ enabled devices and equipment.
- Can be used with most fitness apps.
- Easy to use and charge.
- Does not record heart rate through water.
- Rhythm+ is compatible with Garmin and Polar (Bluetooth compatile) watches, but please note that it won’t be able to do a fitness test on a Polar watch or give you running dynamics data on a more advanced Garmin watch. For advanced heart rate features you need to have a brand specific heart rate monitor strap. Depending on the watch you have you might get different heart rate data. For example on the M400 it displays heart rate and heart rate zone reading, also min / max / average heart rate.
There are people who don’t mind wearing a chest strap and then there are people who hate it. In my case, I have a heart rate monitor strap at home but I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve used it. Even though I like the idea of training according to my heart rate, I’ve always found difficult using a chest strap.
I really like how invisible Rhythm+ feels. You can even hide it under a short sleeve tee, unaware of its existence. Simply press the ‘S’ button on the unit and a little blue/red light starts blinking. That turns on the optical sensor and an orange and green light on the inside start sending light through your skin and measuring your heart rate. In order to switch it off, you need to hold the ‘S’ button for 2 seconds.
The device itself doesn’t display any data. You need to pair it with a Bluetooth Smart capable phone. For that you will need to download an app. Or you can pair it with your running watch. It transmits on both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart.
I borrowed a Polar M400 from my friend and it worked really well. On most watches you will need to go to the heart rate settings. With M400 you go to General Settings and then to Pair and Sync. It finds Rhythm+ in seconds and then you are ready to go :-)
Let’s question the accuracy. That was the first question I asked before I started using it. The advantage of having an armband heart rate monitor is that it does not move. It wraps tightly around your arm. With wrist-based sensors it can be a different story. Sometimes people lose the signal because of wrist movement. We don’t realise it but we do move our wrists a lot. Comparing an armband to a chest strap, again even people who use chest straps sometimes experience transmission drops. I have read quite a few reviews and seen some comparison charts, and the verdict? The accuracy of Rhythm+ the vast majority of the time is pretty solid.
For me the verdict is clear. I have it and I use it. It’s not sitting in the drawer but is keeping me company on my runs. It made me listen to my heart more. I enjoy using it and I hope you will too :-)
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