Heart Rate Chest Monitor for Apple Watch?

Clint1583

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 4, 2011
154
9
Has anyone found a Heart Rate monitor chest strap that works with the Apple Watch? After reading the Polar and Garmin sites I'm a little confused as to what if any work with the Apple Watch.

The basic Apple Watch wrist Heart Rate monitor does an ok job but I've had problems with getting an actuate reading sometimes. Anyone have first hand experience with an Apple Watch attached to a chest monitor?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,137
3,825
Atlanta
Garmin (and I think Polar) use proprietary radios. All you need is any BT (Bluetooth) strap.
 

thepro8

macrumors member
Aug 30, 2009
63
10
Garmin (and I think Polar) use proprietary radios. All you need is any BT (Bluetooth) strap.
Garmin are all ANT radios and won't work. Polar has bluetooth chest strap, but don't know if Apple Watch has integration for external straps.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,137
3,825
Atlanta
Garmin are all ANT radios and won't work. Polar has bluetooth chest strap, but don't know if Apple Watch has integration for external straps.
Garmin as I said and it is actually ANT+ which is owned (proprietary) by Garmin. Haven't used a Polar in a few years but they did (and do) use a proprietary system called WareLink+.

EDIT: Polar does sale a strap that supports both WearLink+ and BT so would work with the :apple:Watch. Here: https://www.polar.com/en/products/accessories/H7_heart_rate_sensor

Here is how to pair a BT strap.

http://www.imore.com/how-pair-external-heart-rate-monitor-apple-watch
 
Last edited:

exxxviii

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2015
1,423
552
Wahoo TICKR is a favorite chest strap among athletes that supports both BLE and Ant+
 
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Clint1583

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 4, 2011
154
9
Thanks for the suggestions. Have any of you guys actually used any of these with the Apple Watch?
 

wx4olf

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
149
20
I've got a Wahoo Tickr as well. Works fine when I feel like using it (these days I'm running more by perceived exertion than heart rate so the watch's built in optical fills the need most of the time).
 

midloman

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2010
123
17
Midllothian, VA
Does the Wahoo Tickr get me anything more than the Polar H7? Seems I remember at one time there were like 2-3 version of the Tickr; is that still the case?
 

Macaddict16

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2002
281
128
How different are the heart rates recorded on the watch vs the strap? Do you see both at the sam or does the strap take over?
 

exxxviii

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2015
1,423
552
Does the Wahoo Tickr get me anything more than the Polar H7? Seems I remember at one time there were like 2-3 version of the Tickr; is that still the case?
Probably not with the AW. I think the AW's use of external HRM data is just basic HR. Also, I am not sure if the BLE profile supports anything much beyond the basic HR data anyway.
  • TICKR - pretty much a standard chest strap HRM, but it does have HRV
  • TICKR RUN - adds running dynamics
  • TICKR X - Adds memory for store-and-forward when you exercise without connectivity, like swimming
 

Fynd

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2010
420
211
+1 for Polar H7. I've had mine for years, well before my Apple Watch. It works great with the Watch, though. And the ANT+ still works as well so my workout is accurately logged and I can just look at the equipment for my live reading. It's great!
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
2,590
1,145
Does the watch still show the heart rate from the strap like it usually does from the wrist?
yep. if you use the "heart rate" app it will connect to the bluetooth strap and show that heart rate (the green light might not even turn on, if it does it'll turn off again). in the workout app it'll connect to the bluetooth strap and will show that reading.

i have an interesting problem recently; if i end a workout the bluetooth HRM still reports my heart rate continuously afterwards (the health app is full of readings every 2 seconds!!). i think it may be related to me leaving the heart rate app in the dock.
 

Macaddict16

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2002
281
128
yep. if you use the "heart rate" app it will connect to the bluetooth strap and show that heart rate (the green light might not even turn on, if it does it'll turn off again). in the workout app it'll connect to the bluetooth strap and will show that reading.

i have an interesting problem recently; if i end a workout the bluetooth HRM still reports my heart rate continuously afterwards (the health app is full of readings every 2 seconds!!). i think it may be related to me leaving the heart rate app in the dock.
That is great! I might have to invest in a strap. On my longer runs of more than 6 miles I have noticed that the heart rate from the watch is grayed out at different times probably due to the massive amount of sweat I am producing :)

TICKR or Polar H7 easier to pair or longer battery life? Seems like it is about split for people that prefer in this thread.
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
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That is great! I might have to invest in a strap. On my longer runs of more than 6 miles I have noticed that the heart rate from the watch is grayed out at different times probably due to the massive amount of sweat I am producing :)

TICKR or Polar H7 easier to pair or longer battery life? Seems like it is about split for people that prefer in this thread.
I haven't used the polar, but I got the basic TICKR really cheap from Amazon about 16 months ago and it works perfectly. I have two watches I switch between and it is paired to both and connects without issue when I begin a workout on either of them.
 
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Macaddict16

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2002
281
128
I haven't used the polar, but I got the basic TICKR really cheap from Amazon about 16 months ago and it works perfectly. I have two watches I switch between and it is paired to both and connects without issue when I begin a workout on either of them.
Thanks for the info! I will be on the lookout for a sale!
 

Clint1583

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 4, 2011
154
9
Okay, went to Best Buy and they had the Polar H7 (No TICKR) for $49. so I bought it. The only problem I had was paring it with my phone/watch. Ended up having to take the battery out to reboot it so to speak.

As for accuracy, it was the most reliable reading I've had during exercise yet. Much better and accurate then either the Apple watch itself or my old Fitbit. My new Apple watch does a nice job in basic pulse reading for everyday needs but I found to many wild reading while exercising.

Thanks for the help!