By Brandon Bilyeu
- Bluetooth and ANT+
- Quick connections and no dropouts
- Comfortable and robust chest strap
- Audible heart rate alert
- Excellent life from rechargeable battery
- IP67 waterproof
- Uses a proprietary charging dock
How obtained: review sample from Coospo
Available: Coospo and Amazon
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 75 hours
Coospo – ‘All About Passion’ for Sport
Coospo is a Chinese exercise technology company that was founded in 2014. Their first product was the Coospo fitness app, but they quickly moved on to hardware in 2016 with GPS cycling computers, heart rate monitors, and cycling speed/cadence sensors. Their heart rate monitor range currently contains three armband models (optical sensor, $40-$60) and three chest strap models ($30-$50). Chest strap heart rate monitors are still considered more accurate and reliable than optical sensors, though optical sensors continue to close the gap. Coospo sent me their top-of-the-line H9Z rechargeable chest strap heart rate monitor to test out.
H9Z – Classic Design, Flawless Function
If you’ve ever used a chest strap heart rate monitor, the H9Z will look very familiar. It consists of an adjustable elastic chest strap with two electrodes and two snap connections for the sensor unit. The sensor does not record your heart rate, it only broadcasts it to other devices that can display/record. To use, simply install the sensor on the strap, moisten the electrodes, wrap the strap around your chest with the sensor front and center, and adjust tightness as needed.
The H9Z will beep once to indicate it has acquired your heart rate and when you remove the H9Z it beeps three times to indicate it is shutting down. In my 75 hours of testing it has worked flawlessly, always immediately connecting to my bike computer or trainer, and never dropping out. The heart rate appears accurate and doesn’t suffer from any spikes. The IP67 waterproof rating means it handles sweat and rain with no problems, but Coospo states the H9Z is not for swimming.
The H9Z’s main function is to send your heart rate to a connected device, but it has two additional customizable features: an LED that indicates current heart rate zone and an audible heart rate alert. The zones and alert come factory preset but are adjustable through the CoospoRide app (iPhone and Android). You can set five different heart rate zones and then the LED on the sensor will flash five different colors to let you know which zone you are in (the flash rate is steady; it is not flashing at your current heart rate). A neat feature but not very functional for cyclists. Unzipping your jersey and looking at your chest is not realistic when riding a bike. It’s better suited to gym users where mirrors are everywhere. After a few rides I shut off this feature to save battery life.
The heart rate alert is more useful, especially if you’re not connected to a recording device that likely has its own alert settings. On my easy days I like to keep it simple and enjoy the freedom of riding without my bike computer, but I’m notoriously bad at actually going easy. With the H9Z I’m able to set a heart rate alert and when my heart rate reaches this value the sensor beeps. The beep is easily heard when riding and is a great reminder to slow down.
Most heart rate monitors use the ubiquitous CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts roughly two years before needing replacement. The H9Z uses a rechargeable lithium battery with a claimed runtime of up to 50 hours. I’m still working my way through the first charge cycle with 75 hours of use and 50% of battery capacity still available according to the Coospo app. My excellent runtime can probably be attributed to shutting off the flashing LED for heart rate zones. Even at the claimed 50 hours most users will only need to charge once a month, which isn’t too painful. Thankfully, the H9Z uses a USB C charging cable, but unfortunately also requires a proprietary dock. The dock is simple to use and charging only takes a couple hours.
The Coospo H9Z heart rate monitor performs its main function perfectly. It measures and broadcasts heart rate without error and has two additional unique features that some might find useful.
Brandon Bilyeu is an avid recreational roadie who lives in Regensburg, Germany. He’s a year-round bike commuter and is a mechanical design engineer by trade. Click to read Brandon’s full bio.