Chest strap heart rate monitors are noted for being annoying and irritating to wear and with them sometimes come abrasions to the skin. I have had the opportunity to test several optical heart rate monitors over the past 6 months. Microsoft, although providing a reliable GPS, failed at providing a reliable optical heart rate monitor.
The Scosche Rhythm+ Optical Heart Rate Monitor has been one of the most reliable I have tested. It’s simple, inexpensive, and extremely reliable. The Rhythm+ is a simple strap that velcros around your wrist or forearm and uses an optical sensor to measure heart rate.
It comes with two different size straps depending on your wrist or forearm size.
It has no display so you will need to pair this with another device. While some may initially find this to be a negative, the positive is you can still keep your favorite GPS watch and just ditch the chest strap.
It communicates via ANT+ technology as well as Bluetooth so it should work with any GPS watch as well any smart phone. I used it with my Garmin 610, Bryton Amis 430, iPad, and my iPhone with no issues. It can be 100 feet from a device and still provide a reading. It’s powered in by pushing the button on the sensor and you will see a red light appear that flashes. Holding the same button for 3 seconds will power it off.
As for accuracy, I have found it to be extremely accurate matching up against my Garmin chest strap as well as the popular optical heart rate monitor from Mio Global. I did find it to work best when placing the strap on my forearm with the sensor on the lateral aspect of my arm as pictured.
The strap is comfortable and does stay in position even on long 20 mile runs. I have even made this my dedicated heart rate monitor in my office when performing running form analysis exams where heart rate is measured while the subject is running. I am able to view the heart rate on an iPad and not interfere with the patient.
The battery life is described lasting 8 hours but I’m not sure how to test or view the amount remaining. It has never died during any of my workouts but I charged it once a week. It’s charged by attaching it to the included charging base which plugs into a routine USB port or charger.
Cleaning is also simple. The strap can be washed with warm soapy water and the sensor can be wiped clean with a disinfectant wipe or solution.