Bluetooth is a wonderful invention. It enhances the mobility of the athlete, who no longer has to mess with wires while working out. It’s also a boon to the person who likes to garden or do other chores while listening to music. (I know one gentleman who bought Bluetooth headphones because he liked to garden while listening to music and snipped his wires with the garden shears once too many times.)
But when it comes to heart rate variability, not all Bluetooth is created equal. When SweetWater Health came out with our Bluetooth-compatible version of SweetBeat™, we tested several BT sensors to assure accuracy. Heart rate requires a lower sampling rate, and all sensors performed well for heart rate detection. But HRV requires a more frequent sampling rate to be accurate, which is why the iPhone camera sensor, at 30 frames per second, cannot deliver accurate HRV data.
You can use any Bluetooth v4.0 low-energy heart rate monitor with SweetBeat, including 60Beat and newer Polar H7 models with the iPhone 4S, 5, iPad 3 and newer iPod Touch 5 devices—with one exception. You cannot use Wahoo Blue HR. It’s fine for heart rate, but is not suitable for heart rate variability. This is noted in the app store description of SweetBeat.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause our Wahoo Blue HR owners. We have worked closely with Wahoo on this issue, but as of this writing, the technical issues have not yet been resolved.
Questions? Please contact us at info@SweetWaterHRV.com.
Have you tried the mio alpha? Results? Thanks.
Here’s what our CEO, Ronda collier, has to say:
Thanks for your interest in SweetBeat! We have not tested the alpha yet. We have ordered one and will do so when it
Alpha uses what is called Pulse Oximetry to measure heart rate whereas a
chest strap uses a more EKG-like technology.
In order to calculate HRV accurately, you need very accurate beat times.
Because pulse oximetery measures the expansion and contraction of blood
vessels to measure heart rate, it is does not provide accurate beat times
required for HRV.
We will let you know when our testing is complete.
Thanks and have a great day!
Of all the BT monitors you’ve tried, which would you most recommend for accuracy and battery life?
We’ve tested a lot of BT monitors. When it comes to measuring heart rate, they’re all about the same. When it comes to measuring HRV, it’s a different story. That’s why we do not support the Wahoo Blue HRV monitor–it’s fine for heart rate, but not accurate enough for HRV. We haven’t noticed any significant differences in battery life, but we haven’t used most of them long enough to make a reasonable comparison. Polar and Wahoo both seem to have good battery life with “normal” usage.
The SweetBeat Team
Any update on the Mio Alpha testing?
Hi Kate, you will have to email firstname.lastname@example.org with that question. I know that we are working on Mio Alpha for the food sensitivity testing, but not the heart rate variability.
I’ve just got myself a Mio Alpha and I have to say that I would NOT recommend it for use with Sweetbeat. The LF and HF readings are way lower than what I get on my chest strap (Polar H7).
The Mio is great as a general exercise HRM where all you are interested in is your heart rate, but is unsuitable for use with HRV apps.
Hey there! Just a heads up the Mio Alpha can only be used for food sensitivity testing. The reason it gives inaccurate LF/HF and HRV readings is because it does not collect RR-Intervals, which is necessary to calculate HRV. You can still use this for our food sensitivity testing function! The Polar H7 does provide RR-Intervals. I hope this clears things up for you!