Want to supercharge your training? Strapping on a good and stylish heart rate monitor is the way to go about it. With a chest strap heart rate monitor, you not only get accurate stats, but also allows you to set heart rate training in specific zones improving on the efficiency of your regime.
Companies are now adding heart rate monitors into the running watches and fitness trackers. These heart rate monitors rely on optical sensors to detect blood racing through the veins. But as most studies have found out about the wareable, while the sensor is a great way to ditch the chest straps, and a great way for beginners to be cautious about their heart rate, for high accuracy, the chest strap is the best option available.
When purchasing a heart rate monitor, accuracy is one factor in mind and why you need a chest strap. On the other hand, if you simply want to add color to your workouts, with little interest in the specific bpms, then a wrist heart rate monitor will do the trick.
Here are a few recommendations from us.
Best chest strap heart rate monitors
MyZone MZ-3 offer a simple beat per minute recording. This chest strap works whether you are running, swimming, rowing, cycling, or working out in the gym and awards your points based on your bpm. Instead of simply scoring highly based on the reading, the strap is designed to study your effort and handicap your levels.
Just like the Tickr X, MyZone can store up to 16 hours of data which means you no longer have to carry your smartphone with you while exercising. MyZone MZ-3 will cost you $149.99 to own.
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Wahoo Tickr X
Although this chest strap has taken a back seat over the last few months, giving way for some of the trending tech-filled fitness bands, the Wahoo chest strap is not dead yet. In fact, the Tickr X is the highest ranked heart rate monitoring devices on the bands boasting of a four and a half out of five star rating in most reviews.
The Wahoo Tickr X offer an internal memory capacity for up to 16 hours of your heart rate data. In addition, it offers motion analysis and tracks your cycles too. It allows you to workout without your smartphone. You can transfer the data recorded during the workout session at home.
The Wahoo Tickr X retails at $99.99.
Garmin HRM Tri
Garmin is the ultimate pro tool for seasoned Triathletes. This tin and light chest strap heart rate monitor can be used when biking, running and even when taking a swim.
It features an in-built accelerometer to monitor cadence, vertical oscillation as well as the ground contact time data. The strap also offers heart rate storage while underwater, making it the ideal tool for the three main disciplines available out there.
The Garmin HRM Tri is also designed to ensure that there is no exposed seam with all the edges soft and rounded to prevent rubbing or any underwater difficulties.
It will cost you $130 to walk away with this heart rate monitor.
Suunto Smart Sensor
Suunto claims to be the best Smart Sensor as the world’s smallest Bluetooth Small HRM. The censor is unfeasibly tiny and almost the size of a quarter. This sensor clips into the Suunto color coded belts and the compatible Movesense clothing. It will store your heart rate data when swimming, although it will not send the updates in real time. While training on land, the tiny stud will track your heart rate and calories burned.
It Bluetooth Smart technology offers direct pairing with Suunto’s Movescount app on both Android and iOS phones as well as the Ambit devices. Weighing only 40g, the tracker is no heavyweight, and only waterproof to 30m.
This heart rate monitor will cost you $79 to own.
Best running watches with built-in HRM
The TomTom Spark is an addition to the series of previously well-received HR and fitness trackers by TomTom but with an integrated music player. With a 3GB internal storage capacity, users get over 500 power ballads with a super-charged Running Trax option and bespoke dance anthem over the Ministry of Sound.
The in-built hear rate monitor means you no longer have to wear the traditional heart rate chest strap. The watch also offer GPS tracking to sum it up as an all-in-one fitness tracker par-excellence. The TomTom Spark is available in a series of bundles that include Bluetooth Headphones.
For $200, you can spice up your workout with this tracker.
Garmin Forerunner 235
The Garmin Forerunner 235 comes with its own and unique bespoke optical in-built hi-tech heart rate monitor. It includes a full GPS tracking technology, water resistance, coupled with the effective Garmin Connect software. While the HR data from running is not quite worth the money, it is still usable during steady running sessions. In addition, the Garmin Forerunner 235 can keep track of the resting heart rate and steps when worn round the clock, making it the ultimate companion for the hardcore fitness fans.
Check out our full Garmin Forerunner 225 review.
The Forerunner 235 is currently retailing as $299.99.
Mio Alpha 2
The Alpha 2 heart rate monitor take the EKG-accurate reading from your wrist. It features easy to configure Heart rate zones, LED lashing light alert mechanism to indicate current zone, and is compatible with several fitness apps.
The internal memory can hold up to 25 hours of workout with the pace, speed, calories and distance covered captured by the accelerometer.
One noticeable caveat is that this HRM may not an ideal all-rounder compared to its price.
The Fitbit Surge boast of its optical heart rate sensor coupled with the PuerPulse technology that automatically monitors stats after every new seconds and uses this data to maximize your training while tracking the calories burned with great accuracy. These apps feature a nifty trick up their sleeves. They plot all the heart rate data on a graph and allows you to review data from several weeks whenever you want. One drawback with the Fitbit Surge is the price, design and display, as well as the basic smartphone notifications.
The Fitbit Surge will cost your $249.
Best fitness trackers with HRM
Garmin Vivosmart HR
The Garmin Vivosmart HR offers on-wrist heart rate monitor with a little less intrusion compared to wearing one of the GPS watches from Garmin all day long. This wrist band offer round the clock HR monitoring and with all day wear being advised. However, there are some flops. It lacks and in-built GPS making it unusable to runners. The accuracy too dwindles with high intensity workouts as well as wrist flex during weight lifting.
Take a look out our full Garmin Vivosmart HR review.
$149.99 is the price to pay for this fitness band.
Just like every other wrist-based heart rate monitor, the Blaze shares similar problems when used for high intensity workouts why it seems to succumb to hefty lag time coupled with motion noise. However, it is still a good buy for your gym workouts and on the road, especially if you are not over concerned with pinpoint accuracy.
On a positive side, the resting heart rate monitoring is among the best, and if you eliminate the technical graph of its competitors, the Fitbit’s app offers an easily accessible way to keep track of your workouts.
The band is retailing at $249.99.
Jawbone UP3 and UP4
The UP3 and UP4 share common similarities expect the NFC payment feature on the UP4. The two fitness bands feature hi-tech bioimpedance sensors that automatically keep track on the resting heart rate and uses the data to let you know how to best take care of yourself. With the new update, users get passive heart rate monitoring as well.
These bands cab easily tell the activity you are doing and automatically adjusts themselves. The Smart Coach feature feels more like a personal trainer, but on your wrist, and will be there to give you encouragement and boost your motivation when you need it the most.
The Bands are retailing at $179.99 each.
Headphones with Heart Rate Monitoring
Jabra Sport Pulse
Jabra Sport Pulse takes a unique approach where by it monitors your heart rate from your ears. These wireless in-ear headphones eliminate the need to have a chest strap or a watch on, and takes reading from the lug holes, sending the data to your smartphone through Bluetooth as you go.
The Jabra Sport Pulse headphones are a comfortable fit and offer neat audio options. However, some heart rate reading from these wearable can be dubious and it is an expensive acquisition.
For $199.99, you can enjoy your music and keep your heart rate in check.