Moov HR Sweat review: Measuring the heart through your head
If you’ve followed the fitness-wearable scene for some time, it’s possible you’ve come to the conclusion that there are just two places you can measure heart rate. It’s a choice of an uncomfortable, but super-accurate, chest strap, or a convenient and patchy wrist-based device.
But some fitness manufacturers have other ideas about the best place to read your pulse… and it’s nowhere near the sleeve. Under Armour and JBL recently released headphones that track it through your ears, and today it’s the turn of the Moov HR Sweat: a sweatband that measures your pulse through your temple.
What exactly does the Moov HR Sweat bring to the table, and is it enough for you to actually consider wearing a sweatband in public? Let’s find out.
Moov HR Sweat review: Features and design
The Moov HR Sweat comes in two parts. First, there’s the black washable sweatband. This looks pretty much like any other sweatband, aside from the Moov logo and a heart logo above where the tracker needs to go, so you can adjust it in the mirror. The second part is the tracker itself: a small disc that sits in a rubber compartment on the inside of the sweatband. It’s entirely nondescript, with a red band around the outside, and a flashing light to detect your heart rate, just like when you turn a Fitbit upside down.[gallery:2]
As designs go, it’s minimalist, but that’s probably for the best given it will be stuck to your bonce for the duration of your workout. And it feels very comfortable once in place, with zero risk of the Moov slipping and losing its reading as wrist-based trackers sometimes do.
I’d never worn a sweatband for workouts before and the benefits are immediately apparent. This may be too much information, but I had never known exactly how much sweat my eyelashes had been filtering out from a 5k run until I wrung out the band on the walk home. I was shocked.
What you may notice is absent from this design is a screen, or anywhere to read the data it collects. That’s because the Moov HR Sweat has to be accompanied with a phone for any workout. Fortunately, you don’t need to keep looking at the screen while you’re running, since the app interacts with you over your headphones.
An electronic personal trainer provides you with all the important stats and encourages you when it senses you need a pick-me-up. For other exercises, your phone displays video footage so you can follow exactly what it wants you to do, while audio feedback lets you know if you’re working hard enough. The app knows your heart rate, so it knows when you’re slacking – just as a personal trainer would.
Moov HR Sweat review: Performance
It’s in these exercises that the Moov HR Sweat really shines. There are only five routines in the system at the moment – HIIT (high-intensity interval training) foundation, HIIT cardio blast, HIIT athletic conditioning, HIIT explosive power and HIIT running – but there’s no reason more can’t be added in future.
Each one has a choice of intensity levels and the app is designed in such a way that you can have a real sense of progress as you go. And because it works on your phone and the device is so small, it really is the kind of thing you can do any time, any place – handy for those who struggle to squeeze a workout into their busy schedule.