When high-tech meets fitness, consumers can be overwhelmed by the latest gadgets and features. For heart-rate monitors, however, the issue is simple: The balance between comfort and accuracy. “I’ve been conducting VO2 Max tests, heart diagnostics for 18 years. The biggest complaint I get from my clients, especially women, is that they hate that chest strap,“ said Richard Diaz, owner of the Diaz Human Performance Centers based in Camarillo, California. Heart-rate monitors without a chest strap aren’t as accurate, though, because they aren't as close to the ticker itself. Still, technological advances have narrowed the gap considerably. While costs can vary from $50 to $500, requiring the consumer to balance desired features with their budget, all models can provide an average heart rate in beats per minute, which is useful for training and fitness measurement over time.
Here is a rundown of some popular wrist-located monitors.