Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 armband heart rate monitor review

REVIEW – I strongly dislike exercise (see photo above). However, I do like my indoor rower (or “erg” for you crew fans) which is something I fell in love with in college. My particular machine has a heart rate monitor receiver, but that usually means supplying your own chest strap, which always felt slightly burdensome and inconvenient. Enter the Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 armband heart rate monitor!

What is it?

The Rhythm+ 2.0 is another addition to Scosche’s line of arm-mounted heart rate monitors. It’s worn either just below or just above the elbow, not at the wrist.

Instead of the usual electrical sensors that most chest straps rely on, the Rhythm+ 2.0 uses a series of green and yellow LED sensors similar the Apple Watch and other wearables.

What’s in the box?

  • Arm monitor and strap
  • Charging dock (USB)
  • Brief instructions

Hardware specs

  • IP68 Waterproof construction: Submersible up to 1 meter
  • Breathable lightweight armband: No chest strap required
  • Hyper-Accurate: Patented optical sensor technology
  • App Friendly: Works with hundreds of apps
  • Bluetooth Smart & ANT+: Works with virtually any device
  • 100ft. Range: Workout up to 100ft. away from your device
  • 24 Hour Battery Life: Internal rechargeable battery
  • Green/Yellow Optical Sensors: Superior measurements compared to only green sensors

Design and features

Here are the charging dock and the underside of the monitor. Notice the three LED emitters and two charging prongs. In this photo, one end of the buckle is detached. It simply snaps on.

Speaking of straps, you’re not limited to boring black. Of course, they’re sold separately, but the strap is soft, stretchy and very comfortable. This is a nice change from the stiff plastic chest straps I’ve tried in the past which can be VERY cold to slip on!

Setup

The monitor charges in the dock and snaps in place. Sorry, no fancy mag-charging!

An LED under the multi-function button glows either red (charging) or blue (full).

This is a stock photo of my indoor rower. There’s a little screen at the top.

In the case of the Concept 2 PM5 display, I’m shown two connectivity options. It actually sees both Bluetooth and the ANT+ radios on the Rhythm+ 2.0. I tried both, and they both work just fine.

It works! On this screen, heart rate is displayed in the lower right corner.

Performance

I found the wristband MUCH more comfortable to use than a chest strap. The LED under the multifunction button is a nice touch, versus some chest straps that leave me wondering “is this thing on?” I always thought optical (light) based heart rate devices weren’t as accurate, but I suppose that would be true of any device if they shift around. In my testing, I actually discovered I was wearing the armband way too tight. Even after loosening it, it stayed put. Of course, I’m rowing and not swinging my arms in an arc, so it may depend on your activity.

I don’t have a good way to test accuracy other than counting heartbeats and dividing by time the old-fashioned way. The second best method I had on hand was with a fingertip pulse oximeter, which also uses light to measure heart rate. The two were usually within a few BPM of each other which isn’t surprising.

What I like

  • Comfortable
  • No more licking the chest strap (ew)
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible

What I’d change

  • A multi-LED “fuel gauge” for the battery like the Scosche Rhythm24 would make this perfect.

Final thoughts

I wish I had known about wristband monitors like the Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 armband heart rate monitor earlier. I thought I was stuck with gross “lick the strap” chest monitors that work better once I’m drenched in sweat. Now I have one fewer excuses to get some exercise! It’s okay, that’s a good thing.

Be sure and check out our other health and fitness gadget reviews.

Price: 79.99
Where to buy: Scosche and Amazon this Spring
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Scosche.

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5 thoughts on “Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 armband heart rate monitor review”




  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I have had the Scosche Rhythm24 now for almost three years. Early in the first year the plastic piece that holds the elastic band on the unit broke. Scosche sent out an entirely new unit with no questions asked. They have great customer service. I use mine while cycling outdoors and on my Peloton. I find it is always within a heartbeat or two different from my Apple watch. Being female I hated those chest bands. I am a huge fan of Scosche.

  3. Jeff Douglas Prunkard

    Didn’t even read the article yet. Just wanted to comment that I LOVE THE LEAD PIC! GET AFTER IT! 🙂

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