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Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 Gets Multiple Bluetooth Connections Update

ScoscheR2

Scosche has released a firmware update today that enables multiple concurrent Bluetooth connections for their Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 armband optical heart rate sensor. Previously it allowed unlimited ANT+ connections, but only a single Bluetooth Smart connection. With today’s update, it now allows up to three concurrent Bluetooth Smart connections. This makes it only the second company to offer an armband with multiple Bluetooth Smart connections, the other being Polar and their Verity Sense (which has two concurrent Bluetooth channels). So effectively, they one-up Polar here on multiple channels, though I’d struggle to think of many people that need three channels (aside from perhaps…me).

From my in-depth review, this was literally the single technical caveat I had at the time with the Rhythm+ 2.0 – so, that’s now resolved.

The main reason why someone would want dual Bluetooth Smart channels is if you use a watch or app that doesn’t support ANT+, and wanted to use this heart rate sensor. For example, let’s say you wanted to Zwift or such on an Apple TV or iOS device (which don’t support ANT+), but you also had a Polar or Suunto watch (which also don’t support ANT+). Previously, only one of those devices would be able to connect to the Scosche, versus now, all of them could.

Dual connections for Bluetooth Smart certainly aren’t new. We’ve seen Polar, Garmin, and Wahoo all add it. Though, nobody has added three concurrent Bluetooth Smart connections to an optical HR band to my knowledge (and Wahoo’s TICKR FIT armband only supports one sensor, meanwhile, Garmin has never made an armband sensor for some odd reason). Whereas all Garmin/Wahoo/Polar’s recent chest straps support multiple Bluetooth Smart connections.

As a funny aside, I asked Scosche why they made the change, and their answer roughly mirrored what Wahoo said years ago when they added dual connections to their KICKR: They were tired of troubleshooting users not being able to find their HR sensor because some other app was holding the single connection. This solves that support issue.

How it works:

Getting it updated only takes about a minute. Simply grab your strap (as always, ensure it’s got plenty of juice), and then go into the Scosche app. Of course, since you haven’t updated it yet, be sure no other app/device is connected to it. It should automatically offer the upgrade, but if not, simply tap the menu and select to update it. It took me under a minute:

clip_image001 clip_image001[4] clip_image001[8]

With that, you’re done. To test this, I used three different devices to show my HR concurrently. My iPhone running the Scosche app, my iPad running TrainerRoad, and an Apple TV running Zwift – all showing my heart rate concurrently via Bluetooth Smart. First, here’s the iPad & iPhone:

clip_image001[10] clip_image001[12]

And here’s the Apple TV:

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And of course, I could still have unlimited devices connected via ANT+, in the event I was…well…just doing another Thursday in the DCR Cave.

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t expect any meaningful battery hit here. Basically Scosche is simply unlocking bits of the chipset that already existed in their product, just like Wahoo did with their trainers back a few years ago. No new hardware required.

With that – go forth and update! And…thanks for reading!

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23 Comments

  1. Peter^

    “From my in-depth review, this was literally the single technical caveat I had at the time with the Rhythm+ 2.0 – so, that’s now resolved.”

    For me, the Rhythm-2 has a major missing feature: HRV-measuring. This was present in the predecessor Rhythm24, which to date is one of the best “bed side” HR monitors to take a morning HRV measurement – it does not require wetting as a chest-strap, is easier to slide on while lying down and has a rechargable battery with a nice indicator.

  2. Christian Gugelmann

    Thanks for the review. What is the version number of this new firmware update?

  3. Henry

    I’ve had a Rhythm+ for a little over a month and noticed that it has intermittent dropouts of about 10sec on both BT (connected to laptop Zwift) and ANT+ (connected to Headwind fan). Last week I did get a firmware update but I don’t know if it’s this one because I haven’t tried multiple concurrent BT connections. Band is on my forearm and some dropouts happen when I don’t move my arm at all. This morning I saw a spike to 150bpm, first time that has happened. This was a z1/2 ride. Just went and checked, I have 1.018 and no update is offered in the app so it’s this one. The dropouts do seem to be shorter in duration now, 10sec vs. 15sec?

    • Henry

      It is a 2.0 – I also just connected both my iPhone to the Scosche app and Fenix 6 via BT so the multi channel is working.

    • Bruce

      Henry, I have the same issue (old and new firmware). Running BT & ANT+ concurrently and these 10s to 20s droppouts on both. Got a warranty replacement, but has the same issue. Funny thing is that I’d been using it for 6 months with no issue, then it started the droppouts a month ago. Drives me crazy, so I’m back to my chest strap for clean data.

    • Henry

      Ok, so at least I’m not the only one then. Bummer that a warranty swap didn’t help though. I’m also back to chest strap for outdoors although it was fun/odd to do a couple outdoor training rides with no chest strap for the first time in like 10 years. I guess I will live with the dropouts for indoor because I wanted more airflow than the Headwind but both my 40-year-old oscillating fan and brand new USB face fan stomp all over the chest strap HR detection (old Tickr & new HRM-PRO) with their electromagnetic interference. Headwind must have better shielding.

  4. Pavel Vishnyakov

    While more is better than less, I struggle with a real-world use case for three concurrent BLE connections. Zwift (on Apple TV) + TrainerRoad (on iPad) + Polar Watch (in case the other two fail)?

  5. Ruben

    I bought the rhythm 2 a month ago and find the band very tight when placed on my biceps. Is there any place that sells longer bands? Really like to have it on my upper arm.
    Also: They have an app? Didnt know that- thanks Ray!

  6. Will

    I previously had the Scosche Rhythm 24. When paired to my Fenix 6 for a run/ride there were no issue with the accuracy during the activity and the average/max figures were fine afterwards but the constant issue i experienced was the ridiculously low recommend recover time always saying 2hrs when it should have been somewhere in the 24/48hrs (based on past experiences).
    Have you ever had this and does it still happen with the new Rhythm 2?

    • So most optical HR sensors don’t properly capture HRV/RR data during a workout, which tends to impact that. In some cases, it won’t matter. In others, it can matter very much.

    • Koen

      I had a similar issue, turns switching from BLE to ANT+ solved the issue. No idea why the Fenix preferred to connect via BLE in the first place.
      Unfortunately had to send it back as I experienced constant dropouts.

  7. Thijs

    Hey Ray,

    Is the scosche+ still your Go-To HR-band or are you leaning more towards the Polar OH1 plus ?

    • I almost exclusively use the OH1 Plus or Verity Sense (lately the Verity Sense, merely because I like the case/band more) – but it’s basically the same sensor.

      My reasoning is simple:

      1) I find it the most accurate one out there
      2) More importantly (like, waaaaay more importantly), the Polar Flow app for syncing these workouts is silly simple and ‘just works’. I don’t terribly love the Scosche app sync process, I find it mostly a mess. I tend to use the OH1/Sense as a reference device, so the ability to just turn it on and have it sync in the background as a clean file I can compare with later is super important to me. But I’m also not really a normal use case there.

  8. waffles

    I am trying to decide between the Rhythm+ 2.0 and the 24.
    With this recent f/w upgrade is there still any incentive to get the 24 (apart from its status LEDs and not considering the price difference of currently $10)?

    Do the + 2.0 and 24 use the same generation sensor? (I’d expect that newer is better.)
    From what I understand the 24 has been out for several years now and when the +2.0 was released it got a sensor upgrade from the original +.

    • Peter^

      If you wish to do HRV measurements the Rhythm24 can do it, the 2.0 not. As I mentioned above, the Rhythm24 is one of the best devices to do things like morning HRV measurements, as it is very easy to slide up your arm and does not need wetting, which chest straps might. You can look at all the differences in a table form here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      If HRV measuring is not your jam, I would recommend to go with the Polar Verity Sense, the Scoche App is just painful while the Polar app is much more polished.

    • waffles

      Thanks for the tip, Peter! I’ll check it out.

  9. Mark H.

    This has been an absolute game changer for me – I had no idea that all the problems I was having getting my Rhythm 2 to connect to my watch were, I now realise, caused almost certainly by it also connecting to my phone!

    Since installing this firmware, it now connects immediately, every single time.