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Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill Review

Quick Summary

The Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill is one of the latest additions to the brand’s lineup and is proving a very strong contender in the under $2,000 price range. Where the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill is our favorite pick for those trying to be more active at home—walkers, joggers, and beginner runners- this treadmill really shines for those who already live an active lifestyle and are looking to supplement their fitness plan at home.

I recommend the Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill if:

  • You’re taller and/or heavier than average.
  • You enjoy HIIT training.
  • You have limited space and need a foldable machine.
  • You want a treadmill with built-in programs.
  • You need a unit that’s easy to move around the room.
  • You engage in heart rate training.
  • You’re a competitive runner who needs a responsive treadmill.

Rating: 97/100

Specifications

Model 7.8 AT
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the treadmill's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

96.4%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,699
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

$1999
Speed

Treadmill Speed is measured in Miles Per Hour (mph). Average running speed is 5-9 mph.

0.5 - 12 mph
Incline

Treadmill Incline measures the angle of the deck, and how steep it is relative to the floor (0% is flat, and 15% is like a steep hill).

0-15%
Motor

The Treadmill Motor is what turns the belt as you run. We recommend at least 2 HP (Horsepower) motors, 2.5+ HP for jogging, and 3.0+ HP for running.

4.0 CHP
Deck

Treadmill Deck dimensions are measured in inches: Width x Length. The wider and longer the deck, the safer it is (55-60 inches long recommended for running).

22" x 60"
Belt

The Treadmill Belt is the surface you run on. The thicker the belt, the less impact on your joints. At least 2-ply (1 inch) recommended.

3-Zone Variable Response
Cushioning
Folding?

Some treadmills are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Programs

Treadmill Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

10
Max. Weight

Treadmill Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

350 lbs
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Contact Grips and BT 4.0 ready
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this treadmill will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

76" x 37" x 64"
Display

Treadmill Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

9.3" High Contrast Color TFT Screen
Cooling Fans

Treadmill Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout.

Accessory Tray

Some treadmills include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Treadmills that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (no headphones).

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).

Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

Frame: Lifetime
Motor: Lifetime
Parts: 5 Year
Labor: 2 Year

Rating: 96.4%

Horizon 7.8 AT Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Larger than standard running surface (22″ x 60″) good for taller runners.
  • SpaceSaver frame is foldable to save space and increase safety.
  • Transport wheels make it easier to move the heavy machine.
  • Powerful 4.0 CHP motor, best-in-class warranty, and 350 lb. weight capacity improve durability expectations.
  • Easy-to-use QuickDial controllers for rapid speed and incline control, great for HIIT training.
  • Ten built-in programs reduce time spent planning workouts.
  • Pairs with vast array of interactive workout apps.
  • Bluetooth for heart rate monitoring and audio.
  • 3-zone variable response cushioning makes running easier on the knees.
  • Customer service is quick and responsive when you need help before AND after making your purchase.

Cons:

  • There are multiple complaints surrounding delivery including delays and damage.
  • Simplistic LED screen requires the external use of a tablet to take advantage of workout apps and other fitness tech.
  • It still requires tablet or other device to use 3rd party workout apps.
  • At 400 lbs., it’s heavier than many other treadmills on the market.
  • Possible safety issues due to small side rails.
  • There’s no decline option.

Workout Programs and Control Panel

horizon-7.8-at- LED-9.3”-TFT-screenThe Horizon 7.8 AT doesn’t come with a large, fancy touchscreen. In fact, the LED 9.3” TFT screen is pretty basic, and let me tell you why I love this. Our smart devices are equipped with more than 100,000 times the processing power of the technology responsible for the moon landing. Case in point, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to syncing your favorite fitness apps. 

Horizon allows you to send and receive data through the universal Bluetooth FTMS protocol. Turn the treadmill on, and simultaneously open the compatible app of your preference. From the pairing screen, you can start sharing your data to more strategically reach your fitness goals. The Horizon 7.8 AT tracks calories burned, distance, heart rate, incline, pace, speed, and time.

Built-In Programs

If you’re not tech savvy and feel your devices become a distraction during exercise, the Horizon 7.8 AT includes built-in programming to incorporate into your training regimen. 

  • 60-second countdown timer for interval training
  • 5k Run
  • Calorie Burn
  • Custom Program
  • Custom Heart Rate Program
  • Distance Runs ranging from 1-mile to marathon
  • Fat Burn
  • Hill Climb
  • Sprint 8 HIIT program 

I had no trouble in program selection. The beauty in the simplicity of the Horizon 7.8 AT console is it’s pretty self-explanatory to make your selection with the arrow buttons. Although it didn’t cause major issues, a minor inconvenience I ran into was when I decided to switch programs in the middle of a programmed workout. There is a delay before the new program will begin, so it’s not a bad idea to go into your sweat session with a clear idea of your intent. 

horizon-7.8-at-heart-rate-chest-strapThis model also comes with a Bluetooth chest strap, allowing you to directly connect with your favorite training apps. Best of all, since Horizon treadmills are equipped with QuickDial controls and the Rapid Sync motor, you can get the most out of the many live and on-demand classes offered through compatible fitness apps Horizon can sync with. The media controls are easy to reach, making it simple to change your playlist while you run, and I love that you can stream audio through the integrated speakers. 

The control panel keeps it simple with preset speed and incline buttons on the left and right, and the master control panel allows you to easily toggle through the programming and metric display options. The large green and red “start” and “stop” buttons complete with the safety key all in the same area make it easy to respond to an emergency when you don’t have much time to think.

Compatibility with Fitness Apps

One of Horizon’s highly exclusive features that compensate for the basic console is the fact their treadmills are engineered for any live or on-demand fitness apps. Many companies limit compatibility to a handful of apps with which they have a partnership. In some cases, you can only sync with the company’s app, so this is an excellent feature for anyone who uses multiple fitness apps and wants a way to consolidate their workout experience. 

Broad range app compatibility is highly facilitated by the QuickDial controls and responsive Rapid Sync motor. Users are also able to transmit heart rate data on select apps including Peloton and Zwift using the wireless heart rate monitor. The Studio app offers a broad range of treadmill classes, allowing you to constantly mix up your exercise programming. 

I really like that you can even stream media like Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, an excellent way to make a longer workout go by faster. Whether you like to listen to music or your favorite podcast, engage in on-demand classes, or watch movies during your runs, the Horizon 7.8 AT has you covered. 

A few other complementary features that further facilitate app use include:

  • Integrated speakers
  • Ability to transmit metrics like speed with popular apps
  • Multiple areas to place your tablet so view of your metrics on the console isn’t blocked
  • Rapid-charging USB port so your battery doesn’t die in the middle of your workout

While some may initially see the simplistic console as a bad thing, it saves a lot of money on technology you already have in your mobile devices. I personally prefer to pay less on my fitness equipment and integrate what I already use into my workout routine. To learn more about the endless possibilities opened up through Horizon’s comprehensive app compatibility, check out our deep dive into the best fitness apps. 

QuickDial Controls

horizon-7.8-at-quickdial-control-blue-rollers

Exclusive to the Studio Series treadmills by Horizon, the 7.8 AT QuickDial speed and incline controls are the blue dials located on the upright handles, and they’re designed to make it easy to adjust speed or incline without having to break your rhythm to reach up to tap buttons. Perfect for interval training, the convenient thumb rollers on the handles allow for you to more quickly adjust incline and resistance than you can using the quick touch controls. Once a unique innovation to Peloton, Horizon’s take on thumb rollers was quite successful. You can feel the difference in speed/incline very quickly after making adjustments. 

As a HIIT instructor, I am a big fan of this prompt response. If you don’t like to put a lot of time into workout planning, the integrated Sprint 8 HIIT program turns complicated training into a simple process as you work fast-twitch muscles that initiate the production of human growth hormone. It does so by taking you through 20 minutes of brief but intense bursts followed by short rest periods, a popular style of training proven to burn up to 27% body fat in as little as two months as well as develop lean muscle mass all while improving energy levels for the rest of the day. 

Speed is adjusted with the right control. Moving the dial forward increases speed, while dialing backward decreases. Similarly, the left dial creates an uphill incline by rolling forward and a downward decline when you roll it backward. This is a great feature for folks who incorporate high intensity interval training since it’s easy to quickly make adjustments as you switch back and forth between work and rest periods. 

It’s worth noting that turning the dial doesn’t result in large incremental changes. Rather, speed adjusts by .1 and incline by .5 with each turn. This allows you to more precisely adjust these variables, so if you need to bounce back and forth between larger speed or incline gaps quickly, you’ll have to roll the dial several times. The QuickDial controls should not be substituted as a safety feature. In the event you need to quickly stop your machine, always use the red safety key. 

Speakers & Fast-Charging USB Port

horizon-7.8-at-speakershorizon-7.8-at-usb-charging-port-headphone-jack

The Horizon 7.8’s integrated speakers enhance the audio of your Bluetooth-enabled device, and this goes a long way in helping you immerse yourself into your workout. You’re also equipped with a rapid-charge USB port that keeps your device charged. If you’re connecting headphones with a cord, you may run into an issue of no sound or fuzzy sound. If this happens, it’s likely the connection isn’t complete. Check the audio cable. It’s probably not plugged in all the way. 

Side Rails & Handlebars

horizon-7.8-at-aluminum-side-rail-safetyI love the safety ridges on the aluminum side rails that prevent your foot from sliding off. My feet aren’t particularly large, but they are slightly wider than the rails. If you have large feet, be extra careful if you’re standing on the rails while the belt is moving. Also be aware of the motor hood at the top of the deck. Since the 7.8 AT folds, the motor hood is somewhat elevated. While it’s not a serious issue, being positioned too close while running could cause you to make contact with your shoe. 

Users are provided two sets of handlebars with this model. The side hand rails that extend on the outside of the machine directly above the side rails assist when getting on and off the treadmill. They are sweat-resistant and easy to keep clean. Once on the machine, the curved handlebars are easily accessible and equipped with heart rate sensors. The QuickDial controls are conveniently located at the top for easy speed and incline transitions needed for HIIT training. 

Frame

Weighing in at 330 lbs., the Horizon 7.8 is the sturdiest in the Studio series lineup. While it does have wheels beneath the frame for transport, be careful when moving, because it’s still a very heavy machine. I love that you can fold the deck into a vertical position when not in use. This is a great feature for smaller spaces and can prevent people from tripping. All you have to do is remove the accessory tray and lift the deck. When you’re ready to use it again, the locking latch is located on the bottom of the deck and can be easily unlocked with your foot for a safe hydraulic release.

horizon-7.8-at-accessory-tray-removalhorizon-7.8-at-hydraulic-release-latch

Taller runners are well accommodated by the large 22”W x 60”L deck, and it feels very stable and secure even when running at a fast speed on an incline.

Cushioning

Horizon’s 7.8 AT treadmill features 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning. The name really tells it all as the deck has three zones with various levels of cushioning to provide optimal, mid-strike foot positioning without compromising toe-off and full kickback extension. Not only does this feature prevent excessive impact on joints, but it also promotes proper running posture and spinal alignment. Ultimately, this reduces injury and decreases recovery time following challenging runs. 

Motor

Strong Enough for Runners while Compatible with Walkers

The 4.0 CHP, 500-lb thrust incline motor is able to support more aggressive running associated with HIIT and sprint training. It’s also capable of sustaining longer sessions of steady-state cardio, making it a great option for a wide range of runners from someone training for a marathon to a track athlete trying to improve their 100 meter time. Interval training is further facilitated by the 33% faster incline and speed transitions that came along with the Rapid Synch technology. 

The 7.8 AT isn’t just for serious runners. Walkers are also well-accommodated with the programs that make it easy to start a workout without lots of planning. However, if you’ll be using your treadmill primarily for walking, you may want to consider the Horizon 7.0 AT option. 

Speed, Incline, and Heart Rate Monitoring

horizon-7.8-at-0%-inclinehorizon-7.8-at-15%-incline

Horizon features a pretty standard speed range of 0.5-12 mph. The incline is broad and contributes to the versatility of the 7.8 AT treadmill ranging from 0-15%. Those who incorporate heart rate training will appreciate the options. Holding onto the contact hand grips can be difficult to maintain at high speeds, and that’s where the included Bluetooth chest strap comes in handy. It can also connect directly to popular training apps. 

Noise

horizon-7.8-at-noise-levelAs an endurance athlete, I’ve used a treadmill or two for training, and the 7.8 AT is pretty quiet compared with competitive brands. Using the noise meter on my iPhone, I made the following measurements:

  • 3 mph- 33 dB- Similar to typical speech
  • 6 mph- 49 dB- Similar to the noise in an office setting
  • 9 mph- 61 dB- Similar to the sound of a passenger car
  • 12 mph- 68 dB- Similar to the sound of a loud washing machine

These measurements were taken without a runner on the machine, so keep in mind user weight will also make an impact. 

Shipping and Customer Service

There have been some complaints regarding issues with shipping including my own experience. The cardboard packaging was missing the top cover. Inside the main package were damaged accessory boxes, and there were a few missing part. The treadmill itself was scratched up. With that being said, I called customer service, and they were quick to arrange for a replacement product to be sent. They even sent the missing pieces from the original delivery so I could donate the damaged product to a local gym.

So, does my experience validate the claims of shipping issues? Perhaps, but I’d point out that Horizon isn’t a shipping company, and they use an outside provider for this service. Furthermore, customer service is very prompt to react to these situations. These things happen, so it’s good to know you won’t get ignored after they’ve got your money as sometimes happens in the consumer world. 

Assembly

horizon-7.8-at-assemblyhorizon-7.8-at-parts-and-assembly

It’s heavy, so you should have at least two people on hand to assemble on a level surface. The hardest part of assembly in my case was just getting it from the driveway to the door. From there, assembly took a couple of hours. If you don’t have anyone to help, I’d recommend paying extra for assembly. If you do assemble it yourself, the process is broken down nicely in the manual into five steps starting with detailed instructions on connecting the console comprising steps one and two. Step three through five walk you through the setup of the body of the treadmill. It took a couple of hours from start to finish. Before using it for the first time, make sure you lubricate the deck. 

Durability and Warranty

You want a machine that holds up against the test of time. There are some important metrics we can analyze to get an idea of how long we can expect it to last.

The Warranty

A product with anything less than a 10-year motor-frame warranty is likely of lower quality. Horizon has you covered with a lifetime warranty. You want to shoot for at least 30 years, and the 7.8 AT surpasses the bar with a lifetime warranty. Its parts warranty is also higher than the 2-3 years warranty we like to see with five years of coverage. 

Weight Capacity

The manufacturer’s suggested weight capacity also gives you a good idea of how durable the machine is. Cheap products can feature weight limits of 200 lbs. or less, while premium products can surpass 500 lbs. With the 7.8 AT, the weight capacity is 375 pounds, ranking it in our high (but not quite premium) durability category.

Rollers

The long, tube-shaped rollers are what the belt wraps around to allow it to move, and they are the most frequently damaged part of a treadmill. When they crack or are otherwise compromised, the treadmill is unable to work properly. A roller 1.6” or less runs a higher risk of running hot, whereas 2.5” or more provides a better grip on the belt and improves overall durability. The 7.8 AT rollers are 2.4”/1.8” tapered, providing a happy medium between the two ends of the spectrum and well-aligned with the price point. 

Care and Maintenance

Overall, the Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill has excellent durability expectations, especially for a product in this price range. With proper care and maintenance, there’s no reason why someone following the proper user guidelines shouldn’t enjoy more than a decade of regular use on this product. The user’s manual provides a maintenance schedule you should be diligent in keeping up with.

  • Every Day
    • Clean the deck, belt, and motor cover, and inspect the power cord and running belt tension.
  • Weekly
    • Clean underneath the treadmill.
  • Monthly
    • Inspect tightness of bolts, and clean the motor and lower board area of lint/dust.
  • Every three months or 150 miles
    • Lubricate the running deck.

It’s always ideal to address issues sooner rather than later, and Horizon makes that easy with a dedicated web page to purchase replacement parts.

Additional Options

When you make your purchase, you’re presented with a variety of extras to add to your purchase that can help you incorporate strength training into your cardio routine. Some popular options include:

  • Fitness mat- $40
  • Hexagon steel dumbbell- $59.99-$219.99 ranging from 5-75 lbs.
  • Resistance tube- $29.99-$39.99 ranging from light to extra heavy
  • Medicine ball- $34.99-$59.99 ranging from 4-20 lbs.
  • Parts and labor boost
  • In-room or white glove delivery 

The equipment is rather pricey because they feature commercial-grade quality. This means they are intended to withstand steady use by multiple people. If shopping for a commercial gym, this is the level of quality you want to shoot for, and I’d highly recommend exploring all the accessories Horizon has to offer. Unless you are actively investing in a high-quality home gym, most individuals can get away with shopping for less expensive alternatives. 

For example, while you could purchase the entire Ziva performance hexagon steel dumbbells from Horizon ranging from 15-50 lbs. for around $1,200, a single set of adjustable dumbbells ranging from 10-90 lbs. takes up way less space and only run around $800. You can explore our top picks for adjustable dumbbells for more ideas to best fit your needs and budget. 

A Look at the Horizon Studio Series

Many brands focus on building out their own interactive training programming. Horizon Fitness excels in build quality and value, so rather than diversifying and investing heavily in personal trainers and studio recording time, they focus on building a great treadmill that’s compatible with a range of training apps.

Horizon treadmills are split up into two series. Their Go series is geared toward those on a lower budget and/or who want the basics when it comes to simplicity in controls, special features, and motor power. For those interested in more intensive training, the Studio series offers much more in terms of power and performance. You can learn all about the entirety of the Horizon lineup in our in-depth overview of the brand. We’re examining and Studio product, so let’s break down the three options that comprise this series.

The Budget-Friendly Option- Horizon 7.0 AT

The most basic of the Studio Series, the Horizon 7.0 AT, offers essential features without breaking the bank:

  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • Seven built-in programs
  • 325-lb. weight limit
  • Seven-inch LCD screen
  • Priced under $1,000

The Middle Ground- Horizon 7.4 AT

A step above the 7.0, the Horizon 7.4 AT ups the ante with features that improve both stability and functionality:

  • Improved motor over 7.0 model at 3.5 CHP
  • Extra two years on parts warranty
  • Ten built-in programs
  • LCD screen is larger than the 7.0 model at 8.25” vs. 7”
  • Higher weight capacity at 350 lbs.

The Premium Option: Horizon 7.8 AT

The 7.8 AT is Horizon’s top-of-the-line model, and there are numerous extras that come along with the higher price tag: 

  • Most robust deck and motor combination at 4.0 CHP
  • Best console LCD screen with a 9.9” High Contrast Color TFT 
  • Accessory tray
  • Highest weight capacity at 375 lbs.
  • Convenient media controls

With a better understanding of the differences, let’s delve into the nuts and bolts of the Horizon 7.8 option.

Conclusion

horizon-7.8-at

For a product in the $2,000 price range, the Horizon 7.8 AT is highly-durable and adequately equipped. The 22”W x 60”L deck accommodates tall runners, and those who regularly incorporate HIIT training into their routine will appreciate both the QuickDial controllers and Sprint 8 HIIT program. I’d classify this product as a high-end folding treadmill with its impressive warranty and above-average durability features. 

Although the small screen is a bit outdated, if you have a tablet or other device, you can still take advantage of some of the most popular workout apps on the market without having to spend a fortune. The console is Bluetooth-compatible to further expand functionality including the heart rate chest strap for real-time metrics that appear on the screen. 

I love the 10 built-in programs. Even when I just want a quick workout without setting up my iPad, I’m still able to enjoy a targeted experience geared toward my goals. Synchronization with various external apps, high quality, responsive customer service, exceptional warranty, and high durability make the Horizon 7.8 AT an excellent treadmill, especially for tall runners who enjoy interval training. Best of all, with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, you have peace-of-mind in knowing you aren’t tied down until you’ve had the chance to try it for yourself. 

Rating: 97/100

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Horizon AT 7.8 Bluetooth compatible?

Yes

What are the durability expectations of the AT 7.8?

With its lifetime warranty, high weight limit, and solid build, the Horizon AT 7.8 should last well over 10 years if you follow the user’s manual and maintenance schedule. 

Is Horizon 7.8 AT better for walking or running?

The belt size, high top speed, and high horsepower make the Horizon 7.8 AT good for running, but it can be used for walking as well. 

Is there a decline feature?

No

Where does it ship?

At this time, Horizon only ships within the 48 contiguous United States and limited areas in Canada. 

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