Best Matrix Ellipticals of 2016
Home elliptical training takes a step up with Matrix Fitness. This famous commercial brand recently added high-end residential ellipticals to its production lines. The new collection has four models: two compact ellipticals with standard 20” strides, and two Ascent Trainers for variable-length striding with steep inclines. Shoppers get a choice of resistance systems and workout consoles as described below. A special feature on all the consoles is Passport-readiness for taking virtual world tours. Scenic videos for Passport actually adapt to your pace and incline! Compare Matrix home ellipticals with help from this FitRated.com chart:
Top 4 Best Rated Matrix Ellipticals
Rating: 91.7 %
Rating: 91.0 %
Rating: 90.5 %
Rating: 90.4 %
|Resistance||30 Levels||30 Levels||20 Levels||20 Levels|
|Stride Length||20" - 24"||20"||20" - 24"||20"|
|Flywheel||n/a||n/a||30 lbs.||23.1 lbs|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price|
Matrix Ellipticals Buying Guide
The home elliptical market is crowded with competitors, yet the new Matrix machines easily stand out. Here are some qualities to consider as you make comparisons.
Home elliptical shoppers rarely get to “mix and match” machines and consoles. Matrix shoppers choose from three high quality consoles. One console is rather streamlined and focused just on workouts. The others have excellent additional exercise programs, plus they’re upgraded with powerful speakers, touchscreens, popular mobile apps and much more.
Matrix consoles are under warranty for five years. For comparison, many other brands provide no console warranties at all.
Two Matrix home ellipticals — the E30 elliptical and E50 elliptical with 20” strides — stand out for being especially compact. Their footprints measure just under 5 feet long and 2½ feet wide. Most home ellipticals are noticeably longer and wider, sometimes by a foot or more in both length and width.
Center Drive Comfort
Riders often prefer center drive ellipticals like the Matrix units. Compared with front drive ellipticals, these make it easier to maintain good posture and balance during exercise. The center drive design also conserves space.
High Quality Resistance
Matrix customers get a choice of two resistance systems: magnetic braking (also known as eddy current braking or ECB) and induction braking.
Magnetic braking is used on A30 Ascent Trainers and E30 ellipticals. Magnetic resistance is very common on modern elliptical trainers. Compared with the older technology of contact braking, a touch-free magnetic system is much quieter and lower-maintenance.
Induction braking controls resistance on A50 Ascent Trainers and E50 ellipticals. Induction braking is rare on home ellipticals, but it’s superior to magnetic braking. One advantage of induction braking is faster response. Another is better precision, so with induction braking the rider gets more control over the challenge.
The best elliptical trainers support the user’s natural gait. This generally means that the elliptical path is at least 18” long. Cheap compact ellipticals sometimes have shorter stride paths.
Matrix provides 20” strides on the E30 and E50. On the A30 and A50, the stride varies from 20 to 24 inches.
Matrix Ascent Trainer ellipticals — the A30 and A50 — stand out with dramatic inclines. By power-adjusting the elliptical path up to 54%, you can beautifully target specific muscle groups and rev up calorie burn.
For comparison, ellipticals from other brands have inclines but rarely tip their pedals more than 20%.
All Matrix home ellipticals have moving arm bars. Deluxe handlebars on the A50 and E50 stand out to trainees especially interested in total body training. These handlebars support multiple grip positions instead of just one. Advantages of multigrip handlebars are better comfort and the ability to target different muscles in the upper body.
Matrix Console Comparisons
Each Matrix home elliptical can work with three impressive consoles: the XR, XER and XIR. The XR is standard, the XER is seriously upgraded, and the XIR has even richer specs.
Each console has a different screen size, workout selection, and mix of special features. Here are details…
- Screen Size/Type: The standard Matrix XR console has a basic LCD screen. The screen is 8.5” wide for easy viewing of workout programs. The XER has a full color 6” touch screen for use with workouts and mobile apps such as YouTube. Even better, the XIR has a high definition 10” touch screen for workout programming, mobile apps and browsing the web.
- Standard and Eight-Week Workout Programs: Each console has a different number of built-in workouts. The XR provides five traditional workout programs, the XER has ten, and the XIR is loaded with 11. Additionally the XER and XIR consoles feature an app called Sprint8. Sprint8 delivers 8-week high intensity interval training programs for beginners through advanced trainees. These programs deliver rapid fitness results with just 20 minutes of elliptical training every other day.
- Virtual Active: Virtual Active is the most engaging type of Matrix elliptical training. Virtual Active videos show a hiker’s view through stunning destinations around the world. These all-encompassing videos adjust their sights and sounds to coordinate with the elliptical user’s pace. Three videos are included with the XER and XIR consoles, which have touchscreens and speakers. Additionally a Matrix home elliptical with any console can control the pace of Virtual Active video shown on a home TV. This option requires the separate purchase of a Passport Media Player.
- Data Sharing: Each console has ViaFit connectivity. ViaFit lets you automatically log workout data and wirelessly share statistics. Data can be synced with other fitness devices and health apps. Additionally the XER and XIR consoles have the popular MyFitnessPal app on board.
- Mobile Apps & Internet: A useful suite of mobile apps is built into the XER and XIR consoles. Enjoy apps for YouTube, Hulu, Twitter and more. Additionally the deluxe XIR console has an Internet browser and a quick connection to “My Media.”
All three consoles carry five-year warranties. Each has a water bottle holder, a wireless heart rate receiver, and a reading rack that can hold a magazine or tablet computer.
About the Manufacturer
Matrix Fitness is a subsidiary of Johnson Health Tech (JHT), an international company that also builds fitness equipment for the brands AFG, Horizon Fitness and Vision Fitness. JHT had an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau at the time of this writing. Customer service for Matrix customers in North America is provided out of Madison, WI.