Do you want an accurate reliable and comfortable heart rate monitor that doesn’t rely on a chest strap? Check out the Scosche devices (pronounced skōsh). The Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor, launched in May 2014 is one of their most successful and affordable models. This wearable heart rate monitor was designed as an alternative to chest-strap monitors. The Scosche Rhythm+ is worn on your upper arm or forearm and uses a wireless Bluetooth connection to communicate with either an Android or IOS phone. The Scosche Rhythm+ doesn’t have its own app, it works with the most popular fitness apps – over 200 in all. Let’s take a closer look.
Who is Scosche?
The Scosche company was launched in 1980, by the Alves family who originally opened a car audio consulting business in their garage. Scosche has produced more than 4,000 successful consumer technology products. As avid outdoors enthusiasts, their products include some of the best heart rate monitor devices available.
Scosche used its love of technology and the outdoors to design a heart rate monitor device alternative that was more comfortable than the traditional chest strap, but not without some hiccups. Their first device called the Rhythm, was released in 2013, but it failed to perform well during activities. Undaunted, Scosche then partnered with the Valencell company who are leaders in very accurate bio-metric sensor technology. This technology was added to the Scosche Rhythm+ device, resulting in a successful, highly accurate heart rate wearable.
Why Choose Scosche Rhythm+ ?
If you are like me, with an active family, full time job and keeping up around the house, I’m lucky to get 30 minutes of cardio in at the gym or on the road on any given day. To make the best use of the time I do have, I use a heart rate monitor. It’s the best way to make the most of my workouts and encourages me to challenge myself. And it lets me know if I’m pushing myself beyond my limits.
I chose the Scosche Rhythm+ because I wanted an accurate, comfortable device to support my workouts. After lots of frustration trying to use a chest strap, I was ready to give the armband heart rate monitor a try. The Scosche Rhythm+ is so easy to use. You just strap it onto your forearm without the need for any moisture, jellies or creams. No need to moisturize with water either like an chest strap. And it doesn’t slip down in mid workout.
The Rhythm+ sends you alerts to help keep your workouts at maximum efficiency and it will alert you to work harder if you’re not in your target heart rate zone and prompts you to slow down in between songs. You also get updates as you progress through your workout, based on distance, time or calories. And you can always check your progress onscreen using your phone app any time.
The Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor consists of a square soft plastic sensor device and two Velcro straps. The straps come in two different sizes so you can decide where you want to wear them, either on the upper arm, above the elbow, or on the lower arm just past the elbow. For those who lift a lot of weights and need a bigger band, it’s easy enough to combine the large and small straps to make one big enough to fit. Just put one strap on each side of the sensor then use the Velcro to attach the loose ends together.
The Scosche Rhythm+ includes a proprietary USB charger that easily snaps onto back of the device and makes contact on the rear face of unit. On the other end is a mini USB that be connected to a wall adapter or to a computer port. The charge lasts up to 8 hours. Buttons on the front turn the device on/off, pause or skip music tracks, and adjust the volume of your music.
This device is great for use with smartphones, tablets, smart and sport watches, exercise equipment and many other devices that support Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ heart rate data. You can also workout up to 100 feet from your mobile device or exercise equipment.
Scosche Rhythm+ Features
- Comfortable, adjustable armband monitor heart rate. No more chest straps
- Great variety of color options to fit your personal style
- Rechargeable battery, eight hours of battery life, proprietary charger
- Simple to use, press the front button to turn on the device, uses optical sensors to detect your heart rate
- LED on front of the unit gives you a color-coded indication of your heart rate zone; can see where you are at very quickly
- Waterproof up to one meter of penetration (sweat & rain proof)
- Wireless workout up to 100 feet from your device
- Pairs with Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ devices that support heart rate data
- Endomondo (and many more)
- Any iPhone or Android device
- Any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart Device
Compatible Fitness Equipment
- Nordic Tract fitness equipment
- Peloton spinning bike (just push the button, it automatically connects to the bike, displays data on the screen
- Octane Fitness Zero Runner
- Nike Runner and others
Set-up for the Scosche Rhythm+
Set-up for the Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor was a snap. To turn the tracker on and pair it with my smartphone app, I just pressed on the soft plastic top. A small indicator light flashes blue and red. When it was successfully connected via Bluetooth, the light blinked blue three times. (When an ANT+ connection occurs, it blinks red three times.) A slow purple blink let me know the device was on and it was working correctly. It shut off automatically if it can’t detect a heart rate after 5-minutes.
No Internal Data Storage
In order to collect data, you have to connect the device to an app since it doesn’t have internal memory storage. I used my favorite fitness app, but there are over 200 to choose from. While the Rhythm+ syncs to most fitness tools, they are not required. You will need an app that can transmit the Rhythm+ data, but there are quite a few free apps available for phone download, such as Map My Fitness or Endomundo. This unit gives me very accurate heart rate measurements. Scosche has created this device to be an accurate and comfortable heart rate monitor, and this device delivers.
Most wrist wearables will easily pair to this heart rate monitor band: these include Polar, Vivoactive HR and Garmin fitness watches just to name a few more well known devices. When I paired it to my the new Apple Watch, Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor worked flawlessly.
Heart Rate Zone Training
Exercise is one of the best ways to sustain a good level of fitness, along with watching what we eat. However, lots of people exercise for overall health and for weight control. No matter what your motivation, to maximize your exercise results, a heart rate monitor can be an essential tool. In order to heart rate train you need a quality heart rate monitor.
To maximize your workouts, using a heart rate monitor will keep your heart within the correct range. A heart rate monitor gives you information to tell you how hard your body is working out. Then you will know if you are in the right zone; burning fat or just burning calories. In other words, you are able to do what serious athletes do, depend on a heart rate monitor to help you work toward your goals. To calculate your recommended maximum heart rate during physical activity as prescribed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Device Options Increase
Advanced heart rate monitors that are used for performance training such as triathlons or marathons be pretty expensive. If you are a professional athlete training for performance, those pricier models are a necessity. For the rest of us who want to make the most of our workouts for the best results, there are plenty of new fitness devices entering the market to track our heart rates during exercise.
Not only are there more types of heart rate monitors available than ever before, improvements in technology have made them more accurate and affordable, too. If you are serious about heart rate training, you will find the Scosche Rhythm+ (or a chest strap) is more reliable than a wrist-based device.
To learn more about how to train using a heart rate monitor, see How to use a heart rate monitor for measuring resting heart rate and for workouts (May 2019 update).
Scosche Rhythm+ Overview
- Very easy to use, compared to a chest strap
- More accurate than many wrist wearables
- Sweat and rain resistant, washable
- Does NOT slide at all under most conditions
- Comfortable to wear, you can forget that it’s even there
- LED on front of the unit gives you a color-coded indication of your heart rate zone, easy to see where you are quickly
- Super accurate when using it for cardio or general activity
- Battery life is fine for me. (I work out 5-7 hours a week and charge it once a week without any battery issues
- Volume of readings was much greater than my Apple Watch (my heart rate chart had more data points than the built-in sensor)
- Not totally reliable while weight lifting, some peaks and valleys probably due to wearing it on my arm (measuring gym progress by strength/muscle gains vs calories burned, then not a huge concern)
- Not for use while swimming
- No way to tell the remaining battery charge percentage, so track how long you’ve used using it between charges (although some watches will tell you, like the Garmin Fenix 3 HR)
I did my research and knew that Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor was good, but I didn’t realize just how great it would be. The armband design really works for me and I can wear it with confidence, knowing I can count on the accuracy. At first I was a bit hesitant to wear it on my upper arm, but once I moved it, I loved the way it felt, and I was sold. And no one knows it’s there but me.
What really impressed me most is the accuracy. In terms of optical heart rate monitors, the Mio Slice is the one I think comes closest. Therefore, if you are in the market for a new heart rate monitor, or are ready to finally toss the old chest strap, you will not go wrong with the Scosche Rhythm+.