The Coospo HW9 is a good-value alternative to armband heart rate monitors, such as the Coros HRM and Polar Verity Sense, but it isn’t as accurate or feature-rich—and you can find cheaper and better chest strap monitors.
- Good value
- Mostly accurate tracking
- More errors than rivals
- Limited features
- Can’t configure each HR zone
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My first experience of Coospo came when testing the Coospo H9Z chest strap, which I rate as an accurate, good- value option that’s one of the best heart rate monitors. I was hoping to be similarly impressed by the Coospo HW9 armband monitor, but while it was mostly OK for accuracy during my testing, it’s wasn’t as foolproof as the likes of the Coros HRM and Polar Verity Sense, which don’t cost that much more and have more features.
The Coospo HW9 is one of the best cheap heart rate monitors, but if you can stretch to either the Coros or Polar band it’s worth doing, and if you don’t mind using a chest strap you’ll find more accurate and affordable options than the HW9.
Coospo HW9 Armband HRM: Price And Availability
The Coospo HW9 armband launched in June 2023 and costs $59.90 in the US and £49.90 in the UK. That undercuts the price of the Coros HRM ($79/£69) and Polar Verity Sense ($99.95/£86.50). Coospo also has cheaper armbands in its range that I’ve not tested.
How I Tested This Heart Rate Monitor
I’ve used the Coospo HW9 armband to track several runs, as well as a strength workout. To check its accuracy, I also used a Polar H10 chest strap and compared the readings of the two heart rate monitors during and then after the workouts. I have also tested the Coros HRM and Polar Verity Sense armbands.
The Coospo HW9 is a lightweight, square heart rate monitor that sits in a stretchy nylon strap. The sensor has two green LEDs on the back, as well as a color-coded light on the front that shows what heart rate zone you’re working in. The sensor has fewer LEDs than those of the Coros HRM and Polar Verity Sense, which can affect accuracy.
This is a rechargeable monitor with a proprietary cable, and is listed as lasting 35 hours on a charge. You can connect external devices via Bluetooth and ANT+, and two simultaneous Bluetooth connections are supported.
The HW9 has an IP67 water-resistance rating, so it’s waterproof to depths of one meter. However, it’s not designed for swimming and can’t store any data internally, so it’s of no use in the pool. This rating is also lower than other armbands, which are at least 1ATM so can be immersed to depths of 10m.
There is a button on top of the sensor that turns it on, and it buzzes to indicate when it is on. It will also buzz if you take it off your arm without remembering to turn it off by pressing the button.
The Coospo HW9 monitor is easy to adjust to the right length and comfortable to wear for long workouts. The on/off button and loud, strong buzzing also mean you definitely know when it’s on, so you won’t waste battery by leaving it on after a training session.
Throughout my runs with it I was wearing two watches, one showing the live readings of the HW9 and one the Polar H10, and I could frequently see that the HW9 was a few beats off the highly accurate Polar chest strap. There were no glaring errors, but when testing other armbands, like the Coros HRM, they were more accurate in matching the chest strap throughout runs.
I noticed during a track session that the HW9 lagged behind the reading of a chest strap when starting and finishing intervals. It still logged all the spikes and dips in my heart rate though. Overall, I’d say it was accurate enough to be useful when training by heart rate, just less impressive than other armband HRMs I’ve tested.
The light on the front of the sensor showing your heart rate could be useful, at times, but it’s not that convenient to twist and see it during a workout, especially when lifting weights. You also can’t customize your heart rate zones fully in the partner Heartool app, only change your max heart rate, which changes the other zones but not with real precision. For example, when I performed a lab test to measure my VO2 max more accurately, I also found out that I have a larger zone 2 heart rate than is typical, which I can’t set up on the Coospo monitor.
You can set up an alert when you hit a certain heart rate, track your HR live during workouts, and take heart rate variability measurements in the app. If you did the latter every day at the same time it would be a useful way to check in on the stress on your body, although far less convenient than wearing a watch that takes readings every night.
The Coospo HW9 lasts 35 hours on a charge and has a proprietary charger that attaches magnetically to the back of the sensor. I found that the device drained faster than that listed battery life, though, with the battery percentage at 67% after about seven hours of use. The buzzing helped remind me to turn it off after workouts, though this was less convenient than the Coros HRM, which turns itself on and off automatically when you put it on and take it off.
Is The Coospo HW9 Armband Worth It?
The Coospo HW9 is cheaper than the best heart rate monitors you wear on your arm, and accurate enough, so it does offer value if you want to spend less than you would on the Coros HRM or Polar Verity Sense.
However, those monitors are not vastly more expensive, and the Polar is often available in sales. Both proved more accurate for me during my testing, and the Coros is more convenient and comfortable, while the Polar has features such as internal storage for workouts and a swimming mode. I’d pay the extra for either of those, but the HW9 will do a solid job at a lower price.
If you don’t mind wearing a chest strap then the Coospo H9Z is better value—both cheaper and more accurate than the HW9.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.