AquaPulse Heart Rate Monitor Review



finis AquaPulse Heart Rate Monitor Review




Attention swimmers: it might be time to push yourself to the next level. Thanks to the AquaPulse heart rate monitor, you can do so safely and efficiently. It’s been a long time coming for this little waterproof heart rate monitor by Finis. The AquaPulse by Finis uses infrared technology to track your heart rate via your ear lobe, it is then verbally announced while you swim.

What’s in the Box

-AquaPulse Heart Rate Monitor
-USB Female to Male Extension
-Instruction Guide

Design

The AquaPulse is a little device, about the size of a pack of gum. It’s made of a glossy yellow and black plastic. It has 3 rubberized buttons, a male USB port, a clip, and a wired dongle. The ‘dongle’ is a rubber clip that attaches to your ear lobe and uses infrared sensor technology to gauge your heartbeat. This clip dongle is attached to the AquaPulse by a 3 inch rubberized cable. The other clip on the AquaPulse is to attach the device to your goggle strap. Without clipping this part to goggles, the whole device would just hang from your earlobe, which wouldn’t work. There’s a button with a circle on it for turning the device on and off. The other two buttons are arrows, you can raise and lower the volume with these buttons. By holding the arrow buttons you can adjust the time increment between heart rate announcements. The male USB plug has a black cover over it. The USB is used to charge the device.

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Features

The AquaPulse announces your heart rate in real time, and at a user definable interval. There is no need to stop swimming to look at a heart rate watch. You can set the device to announce every 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, or 5 minutes. AquaPulse can repeat the last recorded heart rate. The announcement is verbally conveyed (without needing an earphone) by bouncing the audio through your jawbone. AquaPulse is capable of up to 8 hours of use on one charge. There are no wires required to charge AquaPulse as it has a built in USB plug. Should you need, you can use the USB extension cable included. AquaPulse is completely waterproof, it was “made for swimmers, by swimmers”.

Performance

Though the AquaPulse is not designed to work outside of the water, it’s still capable of working outside the water, but that is just not ideal. AquaPulse is designed to attach to a goggle strap while clipped to an earlobe. The cable isn’t long enough to attach the device anywhere but your head. You can, however, get it to attach to a pair of glasses. The built-in speaker is just loud enough to hear outside of the water in silent environments. While you’re swimming, you’ll really only be able to hear AquaPulse if both the device and an ear are under water. Unless one ear is always under water, it’s easy to miss a read out, so it’s helpful to lower the announcement interval. Since the announcement interval is consistent, you can use it as a gauge for your speed; for instance you may only want to hear four 10 second announcements every lap. Unfortunately, there is no built in timer. As far as I could tell, AquaPulse seems to work as advertised. When I geared up my swimming my heart rate jumped to the 140s, when I took it easy it dropped down below 100. My resting heart rate was in the 60s. I had to make my goggles a little tighter than usual to compensate for the bit of weight pulling at the strap. The device stayed securely fastened to my ear the whole time and never fell off or got in the way.

Conclusion

While the AquaPulse is capable of working outside of the water, it’s really ideal for swimming, and more-so for experienced swimmers. By knowing your heart rate, you can maximize the efficiency of your workout. There is an ideal heart rate range that you want to hit while you’re exercising, this range is determined by age, and shifts depending on the reason you’re exercising (fat burning versus high intensity interval training). AquaPulse is also a great device for tracking overall progress. It was a long time coming for the AquaPulse by Finis, but it’s finally available. It can currently be purchased for $149.99 from Amazon.com.

The Good: Speaks Heart Rate Under Water, No Cables Necessary to Charge, Easy to Use, Doesn’t get in the way of swimming
The Bad: No Built-In Timer, Only Works with Goggles (Cord Could be Longer), Not Loud outside of Water, Pricey

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