Best Heart Rate Monitor
A Heart Rate Monitor is a personal health monitoring device, or biometric device, which enables one to measure his/her heart rate in real time, or record and store the heart rate for later review. It is most often used by consumers who are devoted to a physical training regimen—whether they are novices, or professional athletes.
Heart rate monitors generally are comprised of two elements: a chest strap transmitter and a wrist sensor device or mobile phone (which usually doubles as a wristwatch or phone). With the early plastic strap type, a liquid medium was required to get good performance. Later units have used conductive smart fabric with built-in microprocessors which analyze the electrocardiogram (ECG) signal to accurately monitor the heart rate.
Watch heart rate monitors now allow the user to simply touch two sensors on a wristwatch display for a few seconds to view their heart rate. These models are quite popular now, for their comfort and ease of use though they don't give as much detail as monitors which use a chest strap.
Best Chest Heart Rate Monitor:
The heart rate monitors on this list use a strap that fits snugly around your chest just below the breast line. An electronic transmitter detects the electrical activity of your heart, much like an electrocardiogram (ECG) might. It relays this to a display, usually worn in the form of a wristwatch, although some use earphones or Bluetooth devices. It is important for the strap to always maintain skin contact with the chest, or else the measurements may not be valid. These monitors were chosen based on four parameters: accuracy, durability, simplicity to use, and cost value.
The Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor is Best in Class for several distinctive features, as well as overall value. It is a computerized training program and personal trainer, all packaged into one terrific product. The 'OWNIndex' feature helps to customize a weekly training program that best suits your cardio-vascular needs. Read Full Review
ThePolar FT1 Heart Rate Monitor belongs on this best list for a myriad of reasons. The Polar brand suggest high points for accuracy and reliability (it does not disappoint), while the device has quality safety features to alert you if you are exceeding your 'safe heart rate' limits. The watch component is sleek and stylish, while also possessing many practical features. Read Full Review
The Sportline Duo 1060 Heart Rate Monitor is available in Mens and Womens versions, with its hallmark being its 'DUO' monitoring mechanism which is ultra-accurate. The monitor also comes with a digital pedometer, which is handy for tracking how many miles you have walked each day. Read Full Review
The Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor device is a 'smartphone-junkie's' dream, in that it is compatible with over 90 percent of the models of smartphones that are used in the US these days. Its 'POLAR-BEAT' feature sends all your heart rate data to your smartphone, so all you need for your workout is the H7 plus your phone... how can it get any easier! Read Full Review
The Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band with Heart Rate Monitor is stylish and sleek, and provides a good-value for the cost (about $175). A couple of its special and unique features are the Sleep Tracker, which measures your sleep efficiency, and the MoveBar, which kicks you off the office chair (and gets you moving) if you have been sitting for too long. Read Full Review
Best Watch Heart Rate Monitor:
Wristwatch Heart Rate Monitors tend to be more convenient than chest strap models since you do not have to carry a tight strap around your chest while you are running or otherwise doing a workout. Although initially not as accurate (as the Chest HRMs) in measurement when they first were marketed, the technology has advanced such that Watch HRMs are now on par with Chest HRMs. These monitors were chosen based on accuracy, reliability, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.
The Garmin Forerunner 110 is our #1 Best Pick. It contains a state of the art GPS-satellite navigation system, along with an extremely accurate heart rate monitor engineering. The Garmin Connect software assists the non-professional in customizing their workout program. It also sports a Swiss Army-like design which will please the fashion conscious crowd. Read Full Review
The Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor Stopwatch is the perfect entry-point Watch HRM, retailing for about $90. It is compatible with most brands of electronic gym machines. It also gives you personal heart rate 'target zones', that help you to customize your overall fitness plan. Read Full Review
The Suunto Quest Heart Rate Monitor Watch is a complete training package--condensed into the form of a lightweight and elegant-looking fashion piece. It boasts innovative hi-tech features such as 'Movescount.com', and is able to sync with all the Suunto made PODs. Read Full Review
TheSoleus GPS Tour Watch comes with a long list of popular features, starting with its GPS-controlled navigation system with compass and altimeter. It possesses all the tools to help you tailor a multi-faceted training program, and all the collected data is easily computer uploadable with the provided USB rechargeable battery and upload cable. Read Full Review
The Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Fitness Watch is an amzingly valued Watch HRM which can function as a complete, digital personal trainer. Its EnergyPointer and OwnCal are useful tracking programs for those engaged in a customized fitness program, while its sporty and sleek design also comes with four possible color combinations. Read Full Review