An alternative to the chest strap / wrist watch combination for measuring your heart rate in the pool.
The option to turn on "screaming obscenities" when your heart rate is too low. Seriously though, it would be nice to have some totals from the workout. (min/max/avg heart rate)
If you must know your heart rate while swimming, the Aquapulse seems to be easiest way to get that information without distraction.
Let's face it. Triathletes are for the most part obsessed with data. Whether we think that is a good or a bad thing, is a completely different article, and perhaps even website. :) For those triathletes that live and die by heart rate training, capturing that metric while swimming has always proven difficult. If you do ever find a chest strap that will stay put while swimming, then you have the struggle of saving just enough breath before that flip turn to glance at your watch to see your heart rate reading. While some people have mastered this technique, the Finis Aquapulse is designed to eliminate this struggle.
We have had the Finis Aquapulse in our hands, scratch that, on our goggles for a short time now and we're ready to give you our thoughts.
Honestly, there isn't much to the device, which makes it very simple to use.
The Aquapulse works by reading your heart rate through the small infrared sensor that you clip on your ear. This takes a little getting used to and we would think it might be a little hard to use for those with ear piercings, but that is just a guess.
While swimming we did notice the ear clip, especially during push offs, etc as the water tends to tug on the cord a tad, but the clip always remained in place.
You can set the interval for heart rate measurement by using the up and down arrows on the device. You can choose from 10 secs, 20secs, 30secs, 45secs, 1min, 2mins or 5mins. There is also what Finis call the "Instant Heart Rate Button" if you just can't wait, but it really only repeats the last recorded heart rate.
The Aquapulse uses bone conduction technology. Basically a fancy way of saying it transmits the sound to the inner ear through your skull bones. (you can read a lot more about it here ) We didn't experience any problems hearing the readings.
The device is really easy to clip on your goggles. You can see the clip below. We have to admit it isn't the most comfortable setup to have this attached to the side of your head, but it wasn't so bad that we couldn't use it. A swim cap definitely helps provide a little padding.
The Aquapulse comes with a rechargeable Lithium-Ion that will last up to 8 hours depending on your interval setting. Obviously, the more frequently you choose it to take a reading, the shorter the battery life is going to be. You can see below, you simply remove the cap and the device will plug right into your USB port for charging.
It also comes with a USB cable extension for those hard to get to USB ports.
Below was the most comfortable way we came up with to mount the device.
The MSRP for the Finis Aquapulse is $149. Definitely not chump change for a simple heart rate monitor.
TriBomb Bottom Line
Definitely the easiest way to get real time heart rate metrics while swimming if you must have them.