Scosche RHYTHM: An accurate pulse rate monitor without a chest strap!

Over the last few years I've came across a number of people who have wanted the equivalent of a heart rate monitor to track their workouts but for various reasons, didn't want to wear a chest strap. Until now, I've been pretty stuck on an alternative pulse/heart rate monitor to recommend to them, then along came the Scosche RHYTHM. 

The problem with many pulse monitors worn without chest straps is that they tend to be pretty inaccurate when compared to a chest strap heart rate monitor. The RHYTHM is different. It's comfortable neoprene strap is worn on the widest part of the forearm, the RHYTHM combines to alternating LEDs with a photo sensor to measure your pulse continually. Additionally, it had a built in accelerometer to contextualise the pulse readings to the type of workout and provide very accurate information such as calories burned, speed, pace and distance.

The readings from the RHYTHM are synced via Bluetooth to the free smartphone app which is very easy to set up (simply download, pair the device via Bluetooth and input basic information into the app such as your weight and height. I guess this is the only issue I've had with the RHYTHM - there's no display for real time feedback like there is on my Polar FT4 HRM and I kind of like that during cardio sessions. The data sent to your app is also stored in the cloud at www.scosche.com where you're able to see lifetime workout stats and trends and also switch between devices (for example, you're iPad for working out at home and your iPhone for a gym session or a run in the park).

The app itself let's you set a workout goal, such as a target heart rate zone or an amount of calories you wish to burn. During your workout it'll show you your current pulse, heart rate zone, calories burned and also the calories remaining in your goal if you've chosen then option. I particularly like the lock screen function of the app, allowing you to lock your iPhone's screen with the app data displayed for quick viewing (unlock it with nothing more than a swipe). 

Another handy feature is that you can stream music through the RHYTHM app and then use the buttons on the front of the RHYTHM to adjust volume and play/pause a track. 

The RHYTHM is powered by a lithium-ion battery and can provide up to 6 hours of continuous monitoring or last for a week worth of 45-60 min gym sessions. It's charged using the included cable which clips onto the back of the device. 

Overall, I'm really impressed with the RHYTHM. I tested it against my Polar FT4 HRM during a dance workout and there was only a difference of around 35 calories by the end of the session. The device is very comfortable to wear, easy to put on (no need to faff around with a chest strap that needs running under the tap beforehand!) and it won't slip down your arm during even the most energetic workout. Sometimes the glowing LED on the front can be a little distracting (especially if the lights in the room are dimmed!) and it's not the most discrete way of tracking your workout but other than that it's quite a well designed device and It's certainly a good alternative for anyone who wants a pulse monitor without a chest strap.

You can buy the Scosche RHYTHM in either pink or yellow for around £65 on Amazon.co.uk


received a free sample of the product  for the purpose of review but was not compensated in any other way. As always, opinions are my own!

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