NK stroke coach versus Coxmate HC


This time we will be comparing the Coxmate HC to the Nielsen Kellerman SpeedCoach Gold.

HC coxless speed measurement  rowing HC coxless speed measurement

The Similarities:

Measurement Similarities

Both units record many of the common measurements such as:

  • Distance
  • Speed/Split
  • Average Speed/Split
  • Time
  • Stroke Rate
  • Stroke Count

Impeller Compatibility

Both the Coxmate HC and NK SpeedCoach Gold are compatible with regular impellers. The Coxmate HC however can also use a micro impeller. The micro impeller provides equally accurate readings and only causes 10% of the drag a regular impeller does. Better yet, the Coxmate HC is also fully compatible with NK impellers.


Both units are also built to survive. The NK SpeedCoach Gold and the Coxmate HC are waterproof to the same international standard, IP67.  This means they designed and sealed to be waterproof for temporary immersion up to a depth of 2m.  Both options are designed to be able to withstand shock. The Coxmate HC can withstand a 1.5m fall.  While no specifics were given about the SpeedCoach Gold, they have protective bumpers that improve its durability. The Coxmate SX features protective covers for all external connectors to keep them clean when not in use and also includes short circuit protection to protect the speaker. The Coxmate HC floats whereas the NK SpeedCoach only floats in some instances (see below in points of difference).

Computer Software Sync

Both units are compatible with optional software to give you more detail on your race/workout. Purchase the Coxmate HC PC sync kit for £140.00

Points of Difference:

Measurement Differences

On top of the methods highlighted above, the Coxmate HC goes one further and allows for heart rate monitoring. The HC has an inbuilt integral pick up for Polar heart rate monitors (or compatible)  – no antennas required.

On/Off Method

The NK SpeedCoach Gold boasts automatic start up – from the first stroke. The SpeedCoach then automatically turns itself off once it detects it is no longer in use. The Coxmate HC features a simple on/off button however differentiates itself by offering an auxiliary switch for foot operation. This means you can start and stop the timer etc without ever taking your hands off the oars.

Survivability Differences

While both claim to be able to float – the NK SpeedCoach by their own admission state that this isn’t the case when the extra battery for the backlight and protective bumpers are added. This means you have a choice – having a unit that floats or having a screen you can see. The Coxmate HC doesn’t suffer this problem and will float.

Optional GPS Calibration

The Coxmate HC is compatible with an optional GPS calibrator to ensure your impeller remains accurate with minimal fuss. The NK SpeedCoach doesn’t allow for this method of calibration so you’ll be stuck doing it the traditional way (the Coxmate HC also allows for this method).

Battery Life

The Coxmate HC uses three standard alkali AAA batteries to power it. This gives the HC approximately 300 hours running time with backlight off and approximately 100 with backlight on. The NK SpeedCoach Gold uses two lithium CR2032 batteries. The first battery powers the unit, with an estimated life of 600 hours while the second battery powers the backlight, with an estimated life of 20 hours. The drawback of the NK is that while you get longer battery life, the replacement batteries cost more and are more difficult to source.


Coxmate HC: £160 (Includes: Coxmate HC unit and VAT).

Wiring loom 2 meters long £62; 5 meters £75

TOTAL £222

NK SpeedCoach Gold: £182  (Includes: SpeedCoach Gold unit, carry pouch, lanyard and protective bumper).

Wiring loom single £46

TOTAL £228

*These are the UK price points. Check with your local distributor if you’re outside UK.

What do you think?

Do you have anything to add to this? Want to share your experience with either the HC or Speedcoach? Leave us a comment below



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