Monday, Sep 22, 2014Monday, Sep 22, 2014
Digital Life
 
SPORTS

iriverOn IF-M100: Headphone that tracks your heart rate

Published on Apr 21, 2014 3:30 AM
 
iriverOn IF-M100.

The iriverOn IF-M100 is not just another Bluetooth stereo headset. It can also monitor your heart rate while you exercise.

A biometric sensor on iriverOn's right earbud measures heart rate by using an infrared lens and an accelerometer to detect blood flow and physical activity.

The device looks unconventional for a Bluetooth headset. It has a C-shaped plastic collar with two earbuds connected to it. Volume controls and a phone call button sit at the right tip of the collar together with a microphone for you to make or answer calls.

Music playback controls are sited on the left tip of the collar. At the back of the collar, a rubber cover hides the micro-USB charging port.

The earbuds are comfortable but the collar feels tight and is only slightly flexible, so it may not suit people with less than slender necks.

To use, hold down the power button (inside the back of the collar) till you see a blue light. Go to your smartphone's Bluetooth menu and pair the devices. Next, download the iriverOn app (Android and iOS).

The app will prompt you to key in your age, height and weight to determine the different heart rate zones. It allows you to set a goal, such as burning fat or running a certain distance.

You choose the kind of workout, such as running on a treadmill or cycling. You can also choose the music playlist from your smartphone using the app, but this playlist can be changed during the workout.

If your goal is to burn fat, expect voice prompts to increase or decrease your pace to bring your heart rate to the fat-burning zone.

During runs, I found the app had overestimated my runs by nearly 700m when I compared its results with my reliable Nike+ SportWatch Global Positioning System.

However, the heart rate monitor is pretty accurate. When I used it during cycling on my exercise bike, which has a heart rate monitor, the difference in heart rate counts between my exercise bike and the iriverOn was only about five beats per minute.

The device's earbuds are not noise-cancelling, so you can hear ambient sound when you jog on the road. The audio quality is also not good, with every song sounding flat.

During calls, I found the other parties' voices to be loud and clear but they complained that my voice sounded muffled.

  • At $299, the iriverOn IF-M100 is expensive for a Bluetooth stereo headset and it does not deliver great audio. But no other gadget in the market lets you listen to music while keeping track of your heart rate and physical activity at the same time.

By Trevor Tan

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $299

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Weight: 45g


RATING

Design: 3/5

Performance: 3/5

Value for money: 3/5

Overall: 3/5