Sunday, June 8, 2014

Spree Fitness Monitor Review

The Spree Fitness monitor is a new product out of Dallas, TX that you wear around your head by way of a headband and it measures your heart rate, body temperature and movement. Measuring body temperature is what makes Spree unique as I do not know of any other fitness monitors that do so in the market today. I've been using the spree off and on for the last month in order to bring this review to you. My reviews are of my own opinion and are not influenced in anyway by the Spree company.


I made an unboxing video for the Spree Sports Headband Fitness Monitor which you can check out below. The packaging presents the Spree well and the contents include:
  1. Spree Performance Optimization Device (POD)
  2. Headband
  3. USB Cord
  4. Quick Start Guide

Lets look at the two main components of the Spree a little closer. 


The small Spree POD weighs in at just 0.4 oz and it is essentially the brains of spree unit. You simply insert the Spree POD into the headband. Be careful to not lose your Spree POD as it can easily be popped out  of the headband when not on the forehead.

It has three sensors built into it to measure your heart rate, body temperature and motion. From what I can tell the two sensors, that I point out in the picture below, accurately measure the heart rate utilizing a plethysmograph which works by shining a light on the skin to detect the undulations of the blood flow through your veins. The contact of the Spree POD to your skin will also take a measurement of your bodies temperature as you workout. 

There is no on/off button on the POD. The POD will sense your movement and turn on automatically and then off again when not in use.


The headband is made out of a special grade of silicone rubber. It's designed to hold the Spree POD and also when working out it helps channels sweat away from your eyes.

The Spree headband look will definitely get people asking about it. I'm not a big fan of the headband look but luckily for me Spree came out with a Spree SmartCap so it'll be a little more incognito when on.


The Spree app, which is currently only available to Apple Iphone users with Iphones 4s and above, is available in the app store for free. With the app the Spree makes use of the phones GPS in order to measure your other metrics such as:

  • Time (PHONE
  • Distance (PHONE)
  • Speed MPH (PHONE)
  • Calories Burned (PHONE)
  • Cadence (SPREE)
  • HR (SPREE)
  • Body Temperature (SPREE)

The metrics that I would have loved to see added into the spree app are your overall pace, average pace, and lap pace. Pace measurements in terms of min/mile is one of the main measurements that I look for in a GPS watch or running app. 


To start your run you must first select your activity (running, walking, cycling, gym, skiing, other) and then enter your goals for your workout. If you look below at the image to the right there are dials that allow you select your distance, duration, etc.. I had trouble setting it to the exact value that I wanted as the virtual dial was too sensitive for me and would either go .1 above or .1 below the value I wanted. 

To start your workout put the spree headband around your forehead and press "begin workout" on your phone. On the run the spree felt comfortable on my head and the headband really did a good job of channeling the sweat away from eyes.

During your workout you'll have the three screens above to switch back and forth from. They are great if you are actually running with the phone in your hand and can glance at from time to time but who really wants to run with their phone in hand. This is where I believe partnering up with one of the GPS watch companies or a Smart Watch app would benefit the spree.  There are rumors of an audio cue update but as it is right now you'll have to hold the phone in your hand while running.   

Looking at the middle screen (in the above picture) you have your body temperature and heart rate gauges. How exactly do you read this? Well the spree gives you three colored training zones. Blue means you're either cold or have a low heart rate, Yellow is in your optimal training zone, and Red is the danger zone which means you should slow down. While you can check the numerical value for your heart rate there is no numerical value for your body temperature. I find this odd as when it comes to collecting data I would have loved to see what my temperature is numerically as opposed to a gauge or in colors. Nevertheless having a system to tell you that you are overheating will keep you from overexerting yourself when training. 

Once your workout is done you select "end" and you get a nice overview of what you just did. 


Although, as of my review date, you can only use the Spree app with Apple IOS 7 or better compatible phones and tablets the Spree is compatible with other apps. When using the other apps you will only be able to measure your heart rate. They do plan on releasing an Android compatible Spree app in the near future. 

  • Spree
  • Runtastic
  • Spinner
  • iBiker
  • Digifit Cardio
  • iRunner
  • Powertap
  • Runkeeper
  • Map My Fitness
  • Map My Run
  • Runtastic
  • Runkeeper
  • Map My Run
  • Map My Fitness

Spree Bluetooth Fitness Heart Rate Monitor & Smart cap combo retails for $199 on its Spree Store


  • Measures Body Temperature
  • Measures Heart Rate comfortably compared to a chest strap
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Doesn't give exact values for temperature
  • Spree app is Incompatible with Android 
  • Spree POD is small and can get lost easily

If you want a product that will measure your temperature and don't mind holding your phone in your hand at all times then the Spree Fitness monitor is for you. I would love to see Spree partner up with some of the GPS watch companies or Smart watch companies out there as an accessory similar to how the heart rate monitors are compatible with these devices. 

The Spree Fitness monitor and its ability to measure temperature makes it unique but its lack of audio cues, missing metrics (pace), and incompatibility with android all needs to be addressed in the near future.

If you have any questions about the Spree Fitness monitor Device please leave a comment below.

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