A reliable heart rate monitor that can be worn on your arm, the Scosche RHYTHM24 is up for review

Scosche RHYTHM24

8

DESIGN

8.0/10

EASE OF USE

8.0/10

APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION

8.0/10

MOTIVATION

8.0/10

PROS

  • A heart rate sensor with a high degree of accuracy
  • A chest strap is much less comfortable than this alternative.
  • Memory recording that lasts a long time on a battery
  • Protected from the rain

CONS

  • The app is cumbersome to use.
  • Lack of an Android app Bugs with the software (most of which have been ironed out now)
  • Memory recording is the only component of swim tracking.

Heart rate monitors are an excellent tool for improving the effectiveness of your workout routine and mitigating the risks associated with pushing yourself too hard, too fast. They give you real-time statistics on the intensity of your workout and give you the ability to train in different heart rate zones.

In particular, when it comes to resting values and steady-state jogging, fitness trackers and smartwatches are getting better at spewing out numbers on your ticker. When it comes to activities that need a high level of intensity, though, things take on a somewhat different tone. The degree of accuracy typically decreases.

A conventional chest strap is still the superior choice for individuals who take their jogging and training to a very high level. But I’m not a fan, and I know I’m not alone in this regard. They are awkward to wear and not the most pleasant of devices because of their bulky nature and difficult attachment process. When you go for a run without having a wet chest strap wrapped over your chest, there is a fantastic feeling of freedom that comes over you.

Thankfully, we are in the year 2018, and there are other solutions that fall somewhere in the middle. One such option is provided by Scosche with their heart rate monitors that may be worn on either the upper or lower arm. Tracking a highly accurate heart rate was made easier than it had ever been with the initial RHYTHM+ from the firm. It was the only one of its kind when it first appeared on the market some years ago. Moving forward in time, we can see that this is no longer the case. The Polar OH1 and the Wahoo Tickr Fit are two recent examples of direct competitors in this market.

A new tracker from Scosche, considered to be the company’s second generation, was released not too long ago. It’s called RHYTHM24, and it has a completely new look, more features, and different activity modes.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been putting the brand new heart rate monitor through its paces. These are my thoughts on the matter.

Design

The RHYTHM24 comes with an armband that is soft and elastic and can be washed in the machine. It also comes with an optical heart rate sensor that is a mix of silicone and polycarbonate, as well as a proprietary charger. In addition, there is a brief instruction booklet that does not go into an excessive amount of detail. That didn’t really get under my skin at all. Whenever I get a new gadget, I usually just turn it on and cross my fingers that it works properly. Who has the time anymore to read through extensive guides? The diameter of the core unit is around 50 millimeters, and it is exceptionally lightweight. On the inside of the device is Valencell’s most recent iteration of their PerformTek technology. The previous attempt at this worked out very well for Scosche. Your heart rate is read by the RHYTHM24 just like it was by its predecessor, using both green and yellow optical sensors. This combination, according to the manufacturer, offers improved accuracy across the board for all different types of skin tones.

The primary unit can be quickly and easily attached to either end of the strap, and the strap itself is available in a single size that can be adjusted to fit either your upper or lower arm.Simply putting it on is all that is required of you, and you will be ready to go. The sensor must, of course, be attached to the inside of the armband, where it will come into direct contact with the wearer’s skin.

I’ve tried out the little gadget on both my upper and lower arms, and it worked perfectly well in both locations. When properly set, the armband is not only comfortable but also stays in place, making it a significant upgrade from having to wear a chest strap. If you are very concerned about maintaining your privacy, you should wear the tracker on your upper arm so that the sleeve of your shirt may entirely conceal it. As is the case with almost all optical systems, the user may have to try a few things before figuring out the best way to set up the system to get the results they want.

You may select from five different training modes, as well as a few multi-modes, and there is an LED battery indication with lights that signify different heart rate zones. In addition, the wearable device has a mode called heart rate variability (HRV) that measures how long it takes for your heart to beat between beats. This helps you figure out how stressed or relaxed you are.

The RHYTHM24 introduces a number of upgrades over the previous model, including the fact that it still features both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ for connection with devices such as smart watches and sports watches, smartphones, tablets, and workout equipment.

Those who would rather not workout while wearing a watch or using their phone will be pleased to learn that it now comes with its own memory built in. This is sufficient for up to thirteen hours of total workout time. Users are able to leave their mobile devices behind while they engage in their fitness activities since the on-board memory, in conjunction with the LED battery indicator, makes it possible for them to do so. Users may then upload their workout data at a later time.

In addition to that, there is a device in there known as an NFC-A tag. This is not the same as the Near Field Communication (NFC) that is utilized for contactless payments. Instead, it is a means by which the gadget can be linked to the many pieces of apparatus that can be found in the more expansive gyms.

A considerable improvement over its predecessor, which only lasted for eight hours, the diminutive electronic device can now go an entire day without needing to be recharged. Simply insert the sensor into the charging wire, and then plug either the charger or the USB power converter into a port on your computer. Within a couple of hours, the lithium polymer battery will be able to replenish.

Because there is an LED battery indicator on the device itself, you do not need to rely on the application to determine the current state of the battery. To test, simply press the main button until all of the LEDs light up.2 LEDs equal 66-100 percent, 3 LEDs equal 33-66 percent, and 1 LED equals 1-33 percent.This is the same button that is utilized in order to turn the device on and off.

Waterproofing is an additional significant improvement made over the original. The water resistance of the second iteration of this gadget is rated at IP68, which is equivalent to a depth of three meters. a sufficient amount for going swimming.

Before entering the water, open the Rhythm Sync app on your mobile device and switch the Rhythm24 to swim mode using the settings there. On your watch, the data regarding your heart rate will not be displayed in real time. However, you will be able to view it after the fact. According to Scosche, broadcasting in water with ANT+ or Bluetooth does not perform very well. Because of this, they advise recording with RHYTHM24 rather than transmitting when swimming. Once you are out of the water, you will be able to combine the data with your workout because the unit will comply with the ANT+ FIT file transfer standard.

Now, at this point, it is important to remember that RHYTHM24 experienced some early production challenges and struggled because of them. As a direct consequence of this, cracks manifested themselves on the bottoms of some of the units that were part of an early batch. The corporation moved quickly to investigate the issue, determine its root cause, and halt production until it was fixed. It would appear that there was a relatively low number of defective units that were reported.

Although I completed a thorough inspection of my unit, I did not find any evidence of cracking in any of its components. Either I was one of the fortunate few, or my device was not part of the first batch that was produced. In any event, it would appear that the issue has been rectified at this point. To the credit of the company, it gave and continues to offer consumers who reported the issue a replacement with known-good devices that are hassle-free and do not require them to answer any questions.

Features

The most important thing to remember is that this is a heart rate monitor, not a fitness tracker that works around the clock; as such, you should not expect to receive a step count, a sleep analysis, or anything else of the like from it.But you should expect a device that will give you accurate readings of your heart rate and how it changes over time.

According to Scosche, the RHYTHM24 is compatible with a large number of different fitness apps. This encompasses RunKeeper, Map My Fitness, and Strava, in addition to any and all other software and hardware devices that support Bluetooth Smart. Additionally, it is compatible with exercise equipment that uses the ANT+ technological standard. For testing purposes, I used both the standalone mode and the pairing with my favorite running device, the Garmin Forerunner 935.

In contrast to its forerunner, RHYTHM24 comes packaged with its very own application known as Scosche Rhythm Sync. At the time of this writing, there is just an iOS version available. However, we have been informed that an Android edition is currently being developed and should be available in August. After you have updated the software and registered your data to log on, you are ready to begin.

The device may be turned on with only one click of the square button. As soon as it detects the heart rate signal, the huge LED light will transform from purple to blue and remain in that state. This takes no more than a few seconds to complete. The recording mode can be activated by pressing a different button, which is a smaller one, and it is located to the left. In contrast to the products of the first generation, the buttons do require a significant amount of force to be hit, which is arguably a good thing because it makes it less likely that you will accidentally activate a feature.

The software gives you a selection of options to choose from, as was previously described. There is measuring one’s heart rate merely, as well as running, cycling, and swimming, as well as measuring their heart rate variability. Each of these comes with measurements that are unique to the sport. There is also the option of participating in a multi-mode, duathlon, or triathlon for athletes who are preparing for more than one sport. If you are already in one of these settings, you can use the smaller button to navigate between the other sports.

Your heart rate zone will be displayed as an LED light pattern on the tracker. In spite of the fact that this is sound advice, in actual practice, you are not very likely to pay much attention to it. Do not bother removing the band if it is located on your upper arm. However, the feature is accessible to you so that you can use it if you so choose. Changing both the maximum heart rate and the resting heart rate in the smartphone app will cause a corresponding change in the heart rate zones. On the basis of these two factors, as well as your other personal information, additional values will be determined automatically.

At the conclusion of your session, the data will be sent over Bluetooth to the mobile app on your smartphone. Unfortunately, the software is somewhat simplistic, and as a result, there is very little in the way of analysis of both your statistics and your performance. Still, you can export the stats as a.fit file or share them with Apple Health, Cycling Analytics, Strava, Today’s Plan, or Training Peaks.In addition to using it in its independent mode, which functioned satisfactorily, I also tried the RHYTHM24 in conjunction with my Garmin Forerunner 935. Each time, I found that the connection between the two was simple and swift. The advantage of using these two devices together is that at the conclusion of my workout, I need only sync my watch with the Garmin Connect app, and all of the information about my heart rate will be transferred. Therefore, there is no requirement to use the Scosche Rhythm Sync app.

The question relating to accuracy is, of course, the most crucial one to ask. Regarding this issue, RHYTHM24 did not fall short of expectations. I noticed that, like its predecessor, it was a big step up from a heart rate monitor that was worn on the wrist and that it gave results that were pretty close to what you’d get from a chest strap.

During a series of runs, I compared its performance against that of the Fitbit Versa, the internal Valencell sensor on the Forerunner 935, and most crucially, the Polar H10 chest strap. The graphic that follows illustrates how the data from my most recent run compares to that obtained from the Polar H10 chest strap. As can be seen, there is not much of a difference between the two. And this was consistent across all of the runs. The average results for the sessions were as consistent as could be each and every time, although the highest heart rate value varied by no more than one or two beats at most.

It has come to my attention that earlier versions of the firmware had certain issues. If you were one of the first people to use this product, you probably realized that the calorie counts were wrong, that your Garmin gadget was missing the training effect, load, and recovery, and that there were problems with your running cadence. The good news is that the majority of these issues have been fixed with the most recent upgrade to the firmware, which was released around ten days ago and is currently making the rounds. It is clear that the corporation is paying attention to the comments and concerns of its customers and is working hard to find solutions.

Last but not least, the RHYTHM24 HRV mode is an intriguing addition to the game of tracking one’s heart rate overall. Heart Rate Variability, or HRV, is a measurement that looks at how different the times between heartbeats are.

Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, resulting in a lower resting heart rate (HR) and higher heart rate variability (HRV). You are able to connect RHYTHM24 to applications developed by third parties that are capable of analyzing this kind of data. I was able to connect it to both the HRV+ app and the Elite HRV without any issues. Then, you’ll be able to use the information to figure out your current health and fitness level, as well as how well you’re recovering and getting ready.

The verdict

It is clear that RHYTHM24 had some early issues with both its hardware and software.However, many of these issues have been resolved, and Scosche is working diligently on resolving the remaining ones. There are no issues that cannot be resolved by installing one or more firmware updates. However, I can’t help but feel that the corporation would have been better off delaying the launch until all of this was sorted out before making the announcement.

In spite of this, as a runner, I am able to declare that the gizmo represents a huge upgrade over the older version, which I cherished. You will still receive accurate readings, but in addition, this monitor now has an internal memory, resistance to water, a battery life of 24 hours, multiple sports modes, and a mode that measures heart rate variability.

The middle of the road approach offered by Scosche provides a number of different alternatives in terms of where it may be worn, all of which are more handy than a chest strap would be. After it has been properly adjusted, the armband is not only comfortable but also stays in place. Even though I only used it with the Garmin Forerunner 935, I did not experience any connectivity problems at all. However, it is important to note that I just used it with that device. On the other hand, the companion software is not particularly complex, and the process of swim monitoring may have been made more user-friendly.

In spite of the fact that it is not the most aesthetically pleasing device available, the RHYTHM24 is a convenient, light, and accurate heart rate monitor. The most recent arm band from Scosche is an excellent replacement for the chest strap if you are thinking about getting rid of it. When compared to the prior generation product, the modest increase in price is more than justified by the newly added features.

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