When shopping for heart rate monitors, you are instantly confronted with dozens of options at dozens of prices. At one extreme, you'll find cheap monitors that give you your heart rate, but nothing else. At the other extreme are high-tech heart rate monitors that give you more information than you need for astronomical prices. Where can you find the middle ground—a heart rate monitor that gives you exactly what you need at a price you can afford? This website seeks to help you do just that by providing comparison shopping. To help you start your search, we'll give you a quick review of the six best-known brands of heart rate monitors. Each brand has its own strengths and specialities. You can get a head start of your search by knowing which brand is best suited to your age, gender, health, fashion sense, and activity lifestyle.
POLAR Heart Monitors
The Polar Company’s greatest strength is their incredible variety. With over thirty models in their line-up, Polar has specialized heart monitors for running, cycling, cross training, and team sports. The Polar Heart Monitors range in price from just a basic heart rate monitor for $70 (£50) to a high advanced, full-featured model for almost $700 (£500)that includes a GPS tracking system, training software, and wireless connection to your laptop. For athletes on a limited budget, however, Polar offers at least half a dozen heart rate monitors for under $150 (£100).
NIKE Heart Rate Monitor
Not surprisingly, the greatest strength of a Nike heart rate monitor is fashion. Although offering only ten models, their heart monitor watches come in a variety of hip styles and colors. Nike is one of the few companies that offer heart rate monitors specifically designed for women—smaller, slimmer, and sleeker than the big and bulky heart monitor watches usually designed for men. Nike's low-end heart monitors are about on par with the competition, offering a basic monitor for $70 (£50). Their high-end monitors, however, don't offer as much functionality as their competitors, but are also less expensive, topping out at around $250 (£175).
GARMIN Heart Rate Monitor
With only about five models, the Garmin Company’s heart monitor lineup does not offer a lot of variety. Garmin does, however, offer some of the best low-end heart rate monitors available. Although the least expensive Garmin heart rate monitor is still priced high than their competition—$100 (£70) compared to $70 (£50)—they offer many more features. Even the most basic Garmin heart monitor includes speed sensors, interval training, training software, records and saves up to 100 previous workouts, synchronizes with your laptop or PC, and give you alarms when you fall out of your target heart rate zone. If you're shopping for a quality heart rate monitor on a limited budget, check out Garmin.
TIMEX Heart Rate Monitor
Despite having less than ten models available in their lineup, Timex offers good pricing and a nice steady progression of cost and features. Timex's basic, no-frills heart rate monitor retails at a low $55 (£39). At each additional price bracket, more features are available, up to a complete training program that sync through wireless connection with your laptop for $250 (£175). Seven of their ten models, however, are available for less than $110(£80). The Timex heart rate monitor range is also very fashion conscious, offering a variety of styles and colors. While Nike's lineup favors the young athlete, however, Timex targets the middle-income, middle-class, middle-aged professional market.
SUUNTO Heart Rate Monitor
Like Polar, the Finnish company Suunto specializes in heart rate monitors. Consequently, they have over a dozen models for running, biking, swimming, and team sports. Their basic, low-end heart monitor costs slightly more than Polar's basic model, but offers more features, including a calorie counter and workout memory. From there, however, the Suunto heart rate monitor prices climb quickly, topping out at $400(£280) for their high-end, fully featured model complete with PC/Laptop training software and customizable display screens. Unlike Polar, Suunto offers many of their heart monitor models in versions specifically designed for women. If you are a woman seeking the detail and power of a Polar heart monitor, but prefer one more comfortable and flattering to wear, try Suunto first.
OMRON Heart Rate Monitor
Omron provides a different kind of heart rate monitor. So far, all companies described above are sport & fitness oriented, producing heart rate monitors marketed mostly for young athletes. Omron, on the other hand, is a medical company producing equipment for both professional medical equipment and home use. They offer a wide range of wrist and upper-arm blood pressure monitors, electrocardiograph (ECG) sensors, step counters, and body fat analyzers. If you need a heart rate monitor, but are not planning to run for miles a day, try an Omron heart rate monitor first. This company is especially popular with senior citizens and patients suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease. Now that you know which brand specializes in what, you'll have a better idea where to start your search. We hope this will help you find the best product for you a price you can afford. Happy Hunting!
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