Polar has just announced a super interesting new product. Or rather, Sennheiser has just announced a new product and Polar is a key part of it. This is the first non-Polar product to fully integrate into the Polar ecosystem, including full access to the Polar Flow app, training analytics metrics such as Training Load Pro, Training Benefit, and even body temperature measurements.
In fact, it’s also the first device to display body temperature data not only in Polar Flow, but also with other Polar devices, such as the Polar Vantage V3.
All of which might sound confusing to you at first glance, if you haven’t been following along Polar’s expanded direction that began last year with Casio. You see, last January, Polar announced a new program that enabled 3rd party entities to start leveraging Polar algorithms in their products. That meant everything from calorie burn, to recovery, to coaching, to wellness. At the time of announcement a year ago, it was some 25 different algorithms in the portfolio.
Essentially, if it was a feature on a Polar watch, other companies could likely license it. All in roughly the same way other companies used to license FirstBeat algorithms…till Garmin bought them. And thus, Casio took them up on that offer and started leveraging their algorithms last spring in the Casio G-Shock HBD-H2000.
But what Sennheiser is doing is an entirely different level of integration. It’s virtually a native Polar product, from the Polar Flow fitness platform. First though, let’s briefly back up and talk about what it is.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM Earbuds Tech Specs:
First up is the hardware that powers this, or at least takes advantage of it. Then, we’ll circle back to what access it gets within the Polar platform (Polar Flow).
Sennheiser is announcing their new MOMENTUM Sport earbuds, which are Bluetooth audio earbuds that both play music (or any other audio thing), as well as have heart rate tracking and body temperature sensors internally. From a specs standpoint, here’s the big-ticket items:
– Built-in heart rate sensor (30-220bpm)
– Built-in temperature sensor (+/- 0.3°C accuracy)
– Three-axis accelerometers
– Capacity touch for tap gestures
– Water resistance level IP55 (Earbuds)
– Water resistance level IP54 (Carrying/Charging Case)
– 10mm transducer
– Selectable transparency mode
– Anti-wind mode
– Adaptive Noice Cancelling mode
– Interchangeable ear fins and ear tips
– Transmits standard Bluetooth heart rate profile (including to apps like Peloton, Garmin watches, and more)
– Supports Bluetooth 5.2
– Supports aptX Adaptive, AAC, and SBC
– Sennheiser Smart Control app on iOS & Android
– 6 hours of playback per charge, for a total of 24hrs including case charging
– USB-C charging of case
– Comes in Polar Black, Burned Olive, or Metallica Graphite
– MSRP of $329/329EUR, availability April 9th, 2024
Phew, got all that? Good – it was a big list of specs.
The most notable thing in the list from a sports tech standpoint is that it broadcasts over the standard Bluetooth Smart heart rate device profile, so identical to that of a chest strap. In their CES presentation, they showed connecting the heart rate to Peloton and other apps/devices, just like any existing HR strap. This is also appealing for apps like Zwift as well. I’m getting clarity on how many concurrent HR connections, as well as if there’s any limitations around having to pair the HR connection to the same device as the audio connection (meaning, can you pair the HR to Zwift on an iPad, while listening to audio via Bluetooth from a movie on a different TV).
Now, I didn’t make it to CES this year, nonetheless here’s a quick gallery of the press images:
Instead, I want to focus on the integration pieces with the Polar platform, for which I have had more detailed discussions with Polar about. So, let’s dive into that.
Polar Platform Integration:
It can’t be overstated just how deep this integration is. We haven’t seen anything like this from any fitness manufacturer I can think of. Even in the Google/Fitbit/Samsung threesome around Wear OS and utilizing the Fitbit platform metrics, it’s still nowhere near as deep as this. This is more than just algorithms, this is access to everything Polar seemingly has from a features standpoint.
The first thing to understand is that the MOMENTUM SPORT device connects directly into the Polar Flow app in a very similar way as the Polar Vantage V3 or other Polar watch would. It’s treated as effectively a native-level device. You can see that here on the devices screen:
However, most notably, there’s no requirement for a user to have any preexisting Polar device for this Polar Flow account or usage. You can buy these headphones and access virtually all of the Polar Flow features without any extra Polar watch.
Within the app, you can start a workout paired to the earbuds, which provide heart rate data as well as the new body temperature data. In turn, the Polar Flow app brings in the GPS data from your phone (if outdoors) – completing the data set in the same way a GPS watch would.
You can see here the Polar Flow app showing the real-time data of body temperature from the in-ear sensors on the Sennheiser MOMENTUM earbuds, as well as both min/max temperature. Sennheiser states this is +/- 0.3°C in terms of accuracy, which would be enough (assuming it’s actually that accurate) to base training decisions on it. You can see this data mid-workout, as well as afterward too in Polar Flow.
More than that though, the Polar Vantage V3 will also start showing this data, when connected to the Sennheiser MOMENTUM directly as a Bluetooth sensor. Here’s how that looks, inclusive of both the current/average/max, but also the chart showing the last 10 minutes of temperature change.
Again, this is notable because Polar doesn’t currently connect to any body temperature sensors, especially the CORE Body temperature sensor. Given Polar is now pulling in this data type/sensor, hopefully we’ll see Polar hit the easy button, and expand connectivity to a sensor that many high-performance athletes already have. That would also be a good carrot for Polar Vantage V3 users in particular, who may be eager for…well…some more carrots.
The earbuds will also give navigational guidance when paired with the Polar Flow app, but any existing earbuds will already do that today – as that’s just providing the audio side of things.
Once the workout is completed with either the MOMENTUM Sport or a Polar watch, it’ll populate just like any other Polar fitness watch does today, including all of the advanced training load/recovery data that you’d normally get.
Specifically, Polar confirmed the following umbrella data types are available to MOMENTUM Sport users:
- Heart Rate
– Training zones
- Body Temperature
-Graph of the body temperature
- Training Benefit
- Training Load Pro
- Distance and route (if e.g. using Running sport profile on the Flow Training App, but this is not related with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM SPORT earbuds)
Again, these are the umbrella categories, but as anyone who’s used Polar Flow knows, things like Training Benefit and Training Load Pro are vast areas with many metrics within them. Once we get closer to that April release date, we’ll have a better picture of what exactly the limitations are (if any), and nuances with things like multiple Polar devices, etc… I’d largely expect that Polar is treating these inside of the Polar platform in much the same way as one of their lower-tier devices. Meaning, I don’t see stuff like Recovery Pro in the list above, nor of course things like sleep metrics or metrics dependent on sleep data.
But again, all things for down the road to sort out. And equally, all things I’m interested in testing out.
Still, I think this is super fascinating, and a really good way for Polar to expand the reach of their platform (and business), and likely pull in new customers – even if those new customers are indirect customers rather than direct customers.
With that – stay tuned!
FOUND THIS POST USEFUL? SUPPORT THE SITE!
Hopefully, you found this post useful. The website is really a labor of love, so please consider becoming a DC RAINMAKER Supporter. This gets you an ad-free experience, and access to our (mostly) bi-monthly behind-the-scenes video series of “Shed Talkin’”.
Otherwise, perhaps consider using the below link if shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. It could simply be buying toilet paper, or this pizza oven we use and love.