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Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT Treadmill Review: Connected Workouts Without Subscription


The most suitable treadmills for technology Want to lock you up in a special workout program? If you want to use the NordicTrack treadmill, for example, you need to use the company’s streaming platform for live and on-demand workouts. It’s a similar situation with Peloton, Myx and any other internet-connected device you’ll find, where you’ll need to pay a subscription fee to access the treadmill’s streaming content.

Horizon 7.8 AT does not require such a commitment. The smart treadmill works with fitness apps made by third-party companies such as Peloton, Zwift, Studio and Nike Run Club. Runners also have the option of not using any app at all. If you’re not into streaming workouts, the 7.8 AT comes programmed with a variety of workouts, including a 5K program for beginners; running for calories, time or distance; and Sprint 8, an eight-week program of 20-minute workouts designed specifically to burn fat.

The 7.8 AT also deviates from the current streaming exercise trend by forgoing a video monitor of any kind. There is a 9.3 inch LED screen that displays dynamic exercise data such as pace, pace, incline and run time, but this screen does not play video or entertainment programming. Instead, there are two shelves in the center of the console (one above, one below) that hold the phone or tablet securely in place. This allows runners to play whatever they want on their own device, a Nike Run Club workout, a Peloton running class, a podcast, or Seinfeld episode.

Photo: Horizon Fitness

Your device connects to the treadmill using Bluetooth, so if you’re using a running app, Horizon can send your running data back to the mobile app so you can keep track of your workouts. You can also play music or soundtracks for your video through the dual front-facing 7.8 AT speakers. And you don’t have to worry about your device dying, since there’s a charging port built into the treadmill console.

The 7.8 AT is the premium treadmill from Horizon. It features a large 22″ x 60″ running deck with the company’s most powerful internal drive, a chest strap with a heart rate monitor, and the aforementioned Bluetooth capability. Although loaded, the 7.8 AT is at the lower end of the price range for top-notch treadmills at $1,999. There are also some additional savings in terms of no subscription required to use it, which could save you hundreds of dollars in membership fees each year.

Horizon offers five more treadmills. In addition to the 7.8 AT, the Studio series has the 7.4 AT for $1,599, and the 7.0 AT, which has a slimmer running deck, for $999. There are also three grinders in the more budget-friendly Go series, which start at $649.

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The ability to quickly adjust while working out is clearly a priority for Horizon. There are quick-change buttons on either side of the console to adjust tread speed and inclination, as well as buttons for controlling your music in the middle of the console. Two handles extend toward the runner with rollers on the end; The left cylinder adjusts the tilt, and the right cylinder controls the speed. Two triggers on the knobs reset settings to zero if you’re exposed to gas and need to stop, while grip sensors on the knobs give you a quick look at your heart rate.

The 7.8 AT comes with a chest strap that has a Bluetooth heart rate monitor. If the screen isn’t charging or you don’t want to put it down, you can just hold the handle sensors and measure your heart rate that way.

At just under $2,000, the 7.8 AT is on the lower end of top-tier treadmill models, especially when compared to models like the NordicTrack Commercial X32i ($3,999) and Peloton Tread (starting at $2,495). Where does the money go? It goes to a 4 hp treadmill motor. The largest engine in the Horizon lineup, built to respond to your adjustments and increase speed and incline quickly. It is a huge success in this department. Every time I make an adjustment, the platform will respond immediately without any delay.

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