*** 100-hour update ***
Still going strong on the original battery! Still linking to my Motoactv with zero complaints! Still comfy & accurate! Still ticking off one-star reviewers who don't know how to provide details!
*** 50-hour update ***
My Wahoo honeymoon (Wahooneymoon?) remains in full stride. Nearly four months and fifty hours of use later, the original battery is still ticking strong, the transmitter pairs with my Motoactv almost instantaneously every single time, and the strap feels as soft and comfortable as my skin.
I see from the other reviews that there are some Wahoo haters (Wahooters?) out there, and that the haters are not especially articulate. From what I can surmise, a couple were upset about misleading advertising. (Yes, you need an ANT+ key--sometimes sold separately--for this to work with your iPhone/Pod/Pad. More generally, if your device is not capable of receiving ANT+ transmissions, it will not be compatible with this ANT+ Wahoo strap without additional gizmos.) Other haters simply said the strap didn't work; in the absence of more detailed information, I'm inclined to guess the issue was no ANT+ reception in their monitor/phone/widget. One person did buy the ANT+ key and said the readings were not accurate; I can't speak to personal experience with the key, but other reviewers seem to have used it successfully.
Regardless, Wahoo still has my heart. I wish I could say the same about Motoactv (see my updated review there for more info).
*** Original Review ***
Wahoo indeed! I use this with the Motorola Motoactv and love 'em both. Let's unpack Amazon's item title and use it as a guide for this review.
"Wahoo Fitness ANT+ Soft Heart Rate Strap for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad."
That's just the company name. Once they become more famous, I hope they will consider shortening their name to "Wahoo." All the cool companies are doing it. Remember "thefacebook"? Me neither. Dropping "Fitness" will give them a zingier brand: just "Wahoo," sort of like "Madonna" or "Fabio." Besides, wouldn't "Fitness" be understood once "Wahoo" becomes a household name? Their motto can then be "Wahoo means Fitness."
That's the proprietary wireless sensor network developed by the almost-eponymous company, ANT. The technology broadcasts on a 2.4 GHz frequency, making it impervious to interference from power lines and stop lights. This was the main appeal for me: my previous heart rate monitor & strap, a Timex Personal Trainer, worked great unless I was running underneath power lines or near stop lights, both of which happen to be plentiful in my neighborhood. So far, I'm quite impressed with ANT+ technology. It has been accurate (as far as I know), interference- and spike-free, quick to pair, and consistent.
"... Soft Heart...":
So I've been often accused, but I refuse to change! I refuse, I tell you! Call me naive, I don't care! Life is not worth living if one has to be calloused and cynical and... what's that? "Soft" modifies "Heart Rate Monitor"? Oops! Color me embarrassed! Well, I guess the strap IS soft. It doesn't chafe. It is elastic but doesn't need to be overly tight to get a grip. It is virtually invisible during the run. OK, it's not cashmere soft, but cashmere is expensive.
"... Heart Rate Strap...":
The strap is adjustable to a wide range of sizes. It is washable once unclipped from the transmitter. I especially like the unclippable-transmitter feature because of my experience with the Timex Personal Trainer strap, which sometimes would continue to transmit after I'd taken it off because it was wet and touching something (in its defense, wet and touching something gets us all in trouble) hence draining the battery; with Wahoo, unclip and end transmission. The transmitter battery is user changeable, and I usually keep these batteries handy, just in case, since there's no low-battery signal. Amazon claims the battery is a CR2, but I think that's a typo and should be CR2032. Finally, one's hairy chest doesn't need to be waxed for the strap to pick up a signal--just splash a little water or spit and you're good to go. And who amongst us doesn't spit on one's chest as a matter of course?
"... for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad":
And for Motorola Motoactv, which pairs seamlessly with Wahoo. It is my understanding that some Android phones like Sony and HTC have ANT technology built in. As far as I can tell, you need a Wahoo Key for your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to pick up a signal, though I haven't tried it with any of these devices. Check the ANT website at thisisant-dot-com (sorry, Amazon doesn't like live links to non-Amazon sites) for more info. One of these days, I'll try the Wahoo Key so that I may go for a run with my iPad. For now, it's Wahoo+Motoactv for me.
[Two additional notes about ANT: (1) The company ANT is owned by Dynastream Innovations Inc, which in turn is owned by Garmin Ltd, which in turn used ANT+ in its own line of heart rate monitors. I wonder if both Garmin and Wahoo are owned by Banana Republic, which as we all know is owned by Rupert Murdoch. (2) After an extensively brief Google search, I still couldn't figure out what ANT stands for. The company blurb claims its name evokes "the tiny, productive insect that is noted for its efficiency and strength." I am suspicious of that story, and think ANT is an acronym; why else capitalize it thusly? I therefore propose we start a rumor that ANT stands for "Advanced Network Technologies," and that it had been shortened (in anticipation of becoming a household name) from "Personal Integrated Sensors Supporting Advanced Network Technologies."]