Best Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor
One of the most popular trends in the market for fitness accessories at the moment is activity trackers. Whilst these are great for encouraging an active lifestyle, what is absolutely music to my ears is the growth in the market for heart rate monitors. The advent of new technologies means there are now ways other than just having a strap and a watch (although this is still my method of choice).
What this means, is you have a much more convenient way of storing and comparing your heart rate, whilst also adding more insightful data to this e.g. distance run/ cycled etc. What I want to do is give some thoughts on what I think are the clear market leaders and best bluetooth heart rate monitors.
Best Bluetooth Heart Rate Strap
1. Polar H7
For me, Polar are one of the absolute giants in heart rate technology and they continue to lead the way and embrace new technologies and methods of training. With the Polar H7 strap, they have made what I believe is the best Bluetooth heart rate strap. What I like about this, is its ability to connect to a multitude of different devices including Polar’s own watches, Concept2 PM5 monitors and the iPhone and Android App – Polar Beat.
- Provides live and accurate heart rate to all Bluetooth enabled devices
- Compatible with iOS (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch) and Android devices
- Strong battery life – ideal for endurance athletes and those who do long active holidays with lots of running/ cycling/ swimming.
- Connects to majority of gym machines you might use e.g. stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, stepper
- Incredibly comfortable, adjustable and durable strap
- Available in multiple colours – black, blue and pink.
Below is a great video giving an introduction and summary, better than I ever could!
2. Wahoo TICKR
The Wahoo is very much the new kid on the block, but it is making huge waves and disrupting the old guard including Suunto, Garmin et al making them a real contender for the best Bluetooth heart rate strap.
The Wahoo TICKR is now the official heart rate monitor for Team Sky – current Tour de France champions, and an event where live tracking of heart rate is more important than any other.
For the tech savvy and ‘early adopters’ of new technology, I would recommend the Wahoo TICKR!
- Live and real time heart rate data
- Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible
- Built in memory meaning you can use without having your device with you (and sync later)
- Ability to connect also to GPS watches including Garmin and Polar.
- Rep counting for interval training when used with the Wahoo App
As with the Polar, here is a great video for the Wahoo TICKR.
Best Strapless Heart Rate Monitor
Staying on the theme of new technology – wrist based heart rate monitors are becoming big news as they get more and more accurate. As with above – I believe that there are two clear leaders here (excluding highly priced GPS watches geared more towards runners & cyclists), and both are on their second release, where they have built on the feedback from their initial entries into this market.
1. Mio Alpha 2
This is a chunky watch that tracks your heart rate and is geared towards serious athletes. The company is pretty new, but they are gaining credibility quickly for the quality of their technology. I absolutely love the look of this watch, and it comes packed with features.
- Wrist based heart rate, even when sweating through exercise
- Track activity including steps, distance and calories
- Sync to Bluetooth enabled apps
- Water resistant up to 100ft / 30 m
2. Fitbit Charge 2
If you are in the market for a strapless heart rate monitor, then there is no way that you have escaped hearing about the Fitbit. It has been a bit of a game changer, and is very much the most popular out there.
Fitbit do a number of models, but the Fitbit Charge 2 is the latest and best rated so far (plus I think looks much better than the original). For even more info on the Fitbit Charge 2, see my review Fitbit Charge 2 vs Garmin Vivosmart HR+
- Wrist based heart rate tracking, carried out continuously throughout the day
- Ability to give heart rate zones including Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak
- Smart functionality to link to your mobile device (connected via Bluetooth)
Best Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone
If you have made it this far, then you’ve been introduced to a number of market leading products that exist. If you are looking to track and monitor your heart rate on your iPhone then you need to make one big decision that we have covered – do you want to use a strap or do you want to use wrist based heart rate monitor.
The devices mentioned above all come with their own native apps for both iPhone and Android and this also feeds into the decision. However, I believe that by far the best heart rate monitor for iPhone is the Wahoo TICKR. As you can imagine, you need the strap, but you should connect it to the Wahoo Fitness App, and the suite of other apps available from Wahoo.
Key App Features
- 7 Minute Workout – workouts loaded into the app, with logic to count your reps based on movement in the strap
- Utility – ability to test and check up on your Bluetooth heart rate strap
- Wellness – track your weight and BMI over time
- Runfit – GPS fitness tracking for cardio, running and walking etc.
- Wahoo Fitness – GPS app for running and cycling