For too long, many people are put off by the rowing machines. One big reason for this avoidance is the concern of the noise during rowing. Are you also on the fence about indoor rowers and think there is no quiet rowing machine?
Well, that’s a big loss because you’re out a chance to a single-machine workout that target your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, upper back, arms and core. Besides, your reservations are not entirely justified because there are rowers designed to be quiet.
Yes, you’ve read it right—quiet rowing machine. Normally, of the four common resistance rowing machines, magnetic rowing machines are the quietest while the air ones are the loudest.
Hydraulic-piston rowing machines tend to start out very quiet but overtime they can begin to “wear down” and create more noise.
Table of contents
- Best quiet rowing machine reviews
- Workout programs on rowing machines
- How to upgrade rowing experience
I’ll go over some of the best quiet rowers available in the market today and the qualities that make them exceptional.
|Hydrow Magnetic Power||4.7/5|
|WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor||4.8/5|
|Ergatta quiet rowing machine||4.5/5|
|Echelon quiet rowing machine||4.2/5|
Hydrow magnetic quiet rowing machine
This premium quiet rowing machine is seen as the Peloton of rowing machines. The machine itself is a stunning piece of equipment with a streamlined commercial-grade aluminium body, looking as if it is a spacecraft.
It is an exercise machine that will blow your mind away. With the help of your Hydrow Athlete and team, you’ll receive boatloads of support and motivation.
- Assembled dimensions: 86.0″ x 25.0″ x 47.0″ (L x W x H)
- Folded dimensions: 25.0″ x 33.0″ x 86.0″
- Weight: 145 lbs (assembled)
- Maximum user weight: 375 lbs
- Price: $2,245.00
When it comes to assembly, the Hydrow is in the category of “more difficult” to assemble.
However, Hydrow does offer an assembly video on their website if you choose to purchase. Due to the heavy nature of some parts, you need some help from others during your assembly.
Build design & quality
It has an aluminium frame, with a high-quality plastic shell. All the bearings, footrests, handle, seat, etc. are made from commercial grade material.
There is also a nylon belt used to attach the handle to the magnetic drive system that is similar to seatbelt material.
One more important feature is that rowers can complete a full rowing stroke. This means you are able to have your knees bent, a slight lean forward, and your arms can fully extend forwards. This is the result of enough space between housing and the footrests.
However, full rowing strokes are hard to get on a lot of lower cost rowers. Read the article of rowing machine buyer beware to avoid flaw-designed rowing machines.
Hydrow promises an awesome shopping experience.
Users enjoy a comfortable seat, with their hands gripping an ergonomic handle.
The footrests or footbeds are adjustable and can accommodate any shoe size.
One more important feature is that rowers can complete a full rowing stroke. This means you should be able to have your knees bent, a slight lean forward, and your arms can fully extend forwards.
Full rowing strokes are hard to get on a lot of lower cost rowers. Luckily, that’s not the case with Hydrow.
Therefore, comfort is not a problem for Hydrow.
Hydrow’s resistance is “computer-controlled, electromagnetic resistance system”.
Its awesome 22” HD sweat-proof touchscreen controls the resistance, an edge that help Hydrow stand out from its competitors. This provides one of the smoothest, quietest rowing strokes on the market! You can easily adjust the resistance by sliding a “resistance” bar on the touch-screen monitor.
Monitor / Control Panel
|Data||SPM, Calories, Time, 500m Split, Avg Split, etc.|
|Heart rate feature||√ Work with most Bluetooth heart rate monitors like the Polar H7 or Wahoo TICKR.|
|Preset programs||√ Live and on-demand rowing workouts delivered by world-renowned athletes on the water. even includes yoga, pilates, and strength training sessions.|
|Family sharing||√ unlimited user profiles|
|Requirements||Memebership fee / a standard WIFI connection / a standard outlet plug|
Hydrow is a smart connected rower, with its focus on recreating the on-water experience and bringing the outside in.
The monitor on the Hydrow Rower is probably the most sought after feature. It tracks all the necessary rowing data, including SPM, Calories, Time, 500m Split, Avg Split.
Its monitor offers more than data.
It is Bluetooth enabled, meaning it can work with most Bluetooth heart rate monitors like the Polar H7 or Wahoo TICKR.
Being WIFI enabled, Hydrow is the first ( probably the only one) offering a Live Outdoor Reality™ experience consisting of live and on-demand rowing workouts delivered by world-renowned athletes on the water.
You can listen to your virtual instructors and follow along with the program while listening to high-energy music that will pump you up.
There is also “journey” mode by which you can enjoy serene river rowing and navigate your way through scenic routes at whatever pace you are comfortable with.
There are four different workout levels that you can choose from: breathe, sweat, push, and drive.
One more thing about Hydrow is they keep adding more and more sessions with each update!
That being said, the monitor needs a standard WIFI connection to stream the in-app rowing sessions and a standard outlet plug to operate the screen and resistance.
Sounds awesome! But, it doesn’t come free.
After paying a nice price for the Hydrow Rower, users will have to subscribe to a monthly membership $38/month (subject to change) to get access to all of the sessions. A membership allows for unlimited user profiles, which means every member of your household can enjoy Hydrow.
While the Hydrow itself wouldn’t be considered compact, it is easily storable.
You can tilt the machine into an upright position. There is an upright storage kit (sold separately) that locks the product into the wall for safety.
- Structural Frame & Upright Storage Kit: Five Years
- All-Parts: 2 Years
- Labor: 1 Year
It’s an expensive machine even without considering the ongoing membership fees. But when it comes to noise, Hydrow is a quiet rowing machine.
Another thing to mention is the brand’s philanthropic efforts.
When you row 60 days with Hydrow, they donate to Water.org in your name to grant long-term access to safe water for an individual in the developing world. This demonstrates how the brand has considered the user’s whole experience of being part of the Hydrow community.
Isn’t it great that knowing your workout can make a difference? Donation truly upgrades your rowing experience.
Interested in knowing other ways to upgrade your rowing workout? Check this article.
|Quiet, electromagnetic resistance||Not easy to move around|
|Very solid and well-made construction||Needs to be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi to work|
|22.0″ touchscreen monitor||Expensive price tag|
|Adjustable resistance adequate for beginner to advanced||Ongoing cost for membership|
|Newly added workouts with each software update|
|400+ rowing sessions with membership|
WaterRower natural quiet rowing machine
- Assembled dimensions: 83.0″ x 22.0″ x 21.0″ (L x W x H)
- Folded dimensions: 21.0″ x 22.0″ x 83.0″ (L x W x H)
- Weight: 117 pounds [53 kg] (full water tank) / 73 pounds [33 kg] (empty water tank)
- Maximum user weight: 250 pounds
- Price:$1,000 – $1,499
According to WaterRower, assembly should take no more than 30 minutes.
Assembly instructions are provided to help users assemble. There are also plenty of YouTube videos walking through the WaterRower assembly.
Build design & quality
As soon as you lay your eyes on the WaterRower, you’ll fall in love with it.
It looks robust, well-constructed out of quality wood, exuding a sense of nature. The WaterRower Natural frame is built using solid Ash wood, sustainably sourced from the Appalachian mountain range. Stained in honey oak and finished with a light Danish oil, this sleek machine is the company’s flagship offering.
Such delicate construction absorbs sound and vibration, making rowing smoother and quieter.
With a water flywheel, it mimics the feel of rowing in actual water.
This rowing machine features fixed footrests with sliding footpads. Footrests are fixed in a scientific angle, encouraging users to perform correct rowing form with corret feet angle.
Sliding foodpads allow users to adjust footplacement to better meet their needs. For exmaple, for those who have big belly or are pregnant, lowering the footpads might provide more comfortable rowing posture. Read the article of rowing machine specific features to learn more.
However, one letdown is that the space between footrests are narrower than that on rowing machines with monorail. That might be a problem if you have big legs.
The molded seat has an ergonomic design and comes with extra padding to provide superior comfort while rowing.
A few users comment that this seat was the most comfortable they’ve experienced. So smooth in fact that many users don’t realize how hard they have been working out until they get off the machine!
Aluminum-made, the handle is durable and light. Its tear-drop shape makes it easy to grip and also minimizes any development of wrist problems.
However, the footrests are where Waterrower gets mixed comments.
Some uses find the footrests are too straight and close. If you have ‘big’ legs (muscular or otherwise) you may find your knees and thighs knocking together.
As its name indicates, it uses water resistance. The only sound during rowing is the whoosing of water from the water tank. For some, such sound is quite meditative.
It works your muscles with a flywheel spinning in water. Unlike other rowing machines you don’t have the option to select the resistance level. The faster you row, the greater the resistance of the water – just like rowing on a lake.
|Data||Time, Distance, Intensity, SPM, Heart Rate Monitor, etc|
|Bluetooth||√ with ComModule|
|Heart rate feature||√ Option is available when optional heart rate monitor is used|
|Software/Apps||WaterRower Connect App, CITYROW Go App, Coxswain App, and SmartRow App, etc|
This rowing machine is more than just a pretty face!
Another feature is its easy-to-read Series 4 (S4) monitor.
Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout’s watt/intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and more.
Additionally, WaterRower Natural provides six preset workouts.You can set simple time/distance goals using the workout button. You could also set distance interval and target mode workouts to spice up your workouts a bit.
On top of this, S4 features PC connectivity and you can turn S4 Performance Monitor into a Bluetooth enabled device with ComModule. There are several commercially available software products for the WaterRower, including WaterRower Connect App, CITYROW Go App, Coxswain App, and SmartRow App. With apps, you can store training data, race online against others, or try better times from previous training sessions.
Despite the assumptions that it will be too heavy to move around after your workout, it is surprisingly portable with its wheel at the front on the rower. It is also an elegant fitness furniture, which can be stored upright when not in use.
It provides three-year-warranty on all components, excluding touchscreen electronics, electronics accessories and rechargeable batteries, and five-year-warranty on the structural frame by registering the Product within the first year of purchase.
Waterrower rowing machine is pleasing to the eyes and the ears and it works up to 84% of your muscle. Overall this piece of beautifully tuned, hand-crafted, water-resistance workout equipment sits at the high end of the quiet rowing machine spectrum.
|The whoosh sound is soothing||The console/ monitor is not easy to reach|
|Very solid and well-made construction||The foot rests may not be comfortable if you’re tall|
|Natural wood looks elegant||Lacks backlit|
|Console can be plugged into your PC for additional features|
|Fairly accurate monitor|
|Easy to store upright with transportation wheels|
Ergatta quiet rowing machine
- Assembled dimensions: 86“ x 23” x 40“
- Folded dimensions:
- Weight: 103 lbs, 76.5 lbs without water
- Maximum user weight: 500 pounds
- Price: $2,199.00
Assembly isn’t something you’ll have to worry about with the Ergatta.
If you decide to purchase one, a $199 shipping fee will be added to your bill. That shipping fee covers the shipping of your rower, but it also covers professional assembly.
So, your Ergatta will be assembled and installed by a professional, ensuring that your rower is put together in accordance with WaterRower guidelines and safety protocols.
Build design & quality
The Ergatta comes with a solid wood frame. To be exact, the Ergata is hand made out of American cherry wood.
Not only does this give this rower a very distinctive look, but it also makes it quite durable. These rowers look more like pieces of art or furniture than exercise machines.
Another thing worth mentioning is its dual rail. Such design definitely contributes to the overall sturdiness of the Ergatta (and be another factor that allows this rower to hold 500 lb safely).
Like Waterrower, Ergatta also features important design as fixed footrests with sliding footpads and enough space for a full stroke.
The machine has adjustable footboards and a comfortable seat with four small wheels on the bottom that allow it to roll on two rails.
But some customers and rowing machine reviewers complain that the leg space is too close and the footpads don’t feel right, affecting catch position.
|Data||Calories, Distance, Stroke rate, Heart rate, Average split, etc.|
|Heart rate feature||√|
|Family sharing||√ unlimited user profiles|
The Ergatta comes with a 17.3″ HD touchscreen display which is bluetooth and wi-fi compatible (you actually need wi-fi to use it).
The monitor tracks progress and metrics, making it easier for users to work towards goals.
One big feature of this monitor is its gaming-inspired system allows you to compete against yourself and other rowers, pushing you to meet goals and challenge yourself to more intense workouts.
At first use, you complete a 2,000 meter row to determine your level of performance allowing the software to personalize your workouts so they’re not too easy, or too hard.
This calibrates what they call ‘Intensity Zones’, that is, representing your speed and endurance at paces of paddle, steady, race, and sprint.
There are hundreds of workouts to choose from, most with a game-like set up. Ergatta offers 4 different workout types:
- Push programs- this section contains workout programs designed to help you reach a certain goal (improve endurance/power/or technique)
- Interval workouts- these programs are designed around HIIT workouts and other interval based workouts and can be selected based on time, difficulty, or distance.
- Race workouts- these programs allow you to compete against other Ergatta users that are at your skill level (your skill level is determined by the calibration workout you do at the beginning)
- Open row- with open row you can simply row at your own pace, using either a time or distance as your goal
Unfortunately, there aren’t any live races on Ergatta quite yet, but this is something they plan on adding soon. Some folks might be disappointed that there aren’t any instructor-led courses, definitely something to consider.
According to some customers, customers particularly like the idea of personal calibration.
As compared to the Hydrow, they would prefer this as it is geared towards a more data based and personalized training program. Ergatta is a more analytical performance based approach, which is what this seems to be.
However, for some customers, Ergatta is a little pressuring. Ergatta is a world full of metrics and pressure to perform, and some customers can’t enjoy a less connected and more meditative rowing.
Like Waterrower, Ergatta can’t be folded for storage (it’s solid wood after all), but it can be stored vertically. And, you don’t have to take the water out of the tank to store.
When vertical, it only takes up a floor space of 23″ x 22.5″, which is less than 2′ x 2′.
Ergatta is also designed to look great when in use, but they’re also designed to easily be put in storage and out of the way.
The Ergatta comes with the following warranty:
- 5 year frame
- 3 year parts
- 1 year labor
|Support Bluetooth headphones and heart rate monitors||Expensive|
|Attractive design is compact, lightweight||No instructor-led workouts|
|Gaming-inspired monitor system||No live races|
Echelon quiet rowing machine
- Assembled dimensions: 86″ x 21″ x 48″ (L x W x H)
- Folded dimensions:
- Maximum user weight:
The instruction booklet is easy to follow and the sets of screws are clearly labelled and separated to make sure you’re using the right ones at each stage. Therefore, getting it put together is more straightforward.
The main unit comes preassembled- you’ll be responsible for attaching the stabilizers, connecting the rail, and adding the pedals. There’s not much more to it than that.
Build design & quality
In general，it’s quite stable.
Like other rowers, the frame consists of steel stabilizers that hold the flywheel and suspend the rail. A center stabilizer ia featured to support the front end of the rail and enable the rower to fold up.
The rail sits at a 1.7 degree angle, so there is a gentle decline as you move from the back of the track to the catch.
Foot pedals are wide and will accommodate most types of athletic shoe. Footrests also feature sliding footpads. Sliding footpads are extremely important feature which allows users to adjust footplacement according to their height, weight and flexibility.
However, there are some rowing machines lack this fuction. Read the rowing machine buyer beware article to know more.
The handle on Echelon is comfortable and of good size — not too large for small hands or too small for larger hands.
And there is a resistance button on the end of each side of the handlebar. According to its website, the function of the resistance button is allow users to adjust resistance more conveniently.
Well, I do think this design is cool. But such design might encourage users to hold the handler bar in the center near the resistance button, which is a wrong rowing form. The correct way to hold the handlebar is hold it on the side of it. Please do take note of that.
Now, here comes one feature that needs some improvement. Compared with Concept 2, the housing on Echelon is nearer to its footrests. And there is less room for users to stretch their arms forward at catch and finish stage, which might prevent for some (tall) users from performing a full stroke.
This rowing machine is renowned for its “Smart” features but it’s the comfort that wins the most praises.
Echelon has designed an ergonomic machine that’s versatile and comfortable from top to bottom. All contact points are resolute, cozy, and ideal for a long rowing workout.The seat of the Smart Rower is contoured and comfortable. It slides cleanly over the rail. The seat should accommodate most users, but it may be a bit small for those approaching the 300lb weight limit.
It is a quiet rowing machine with 32 levels of smooth magnetic resistance, ramping up the challenge mid-row.
In order to change the resistance, just simply push the button on the handlebar without the need to get off, play around with manual adjustments, and lose their rhythm. In this way,you can enjoy seamless rowing.
|Data||max and average Resistance, Output, Strokes per minute and Calories, etc|
|Heart rate feature||√|
|Software/Apps||√ the FitApp|
The rower connects to the FitApp using Bluetooth. FitApp, honest, gets mixed reviews.
Rowers can see metrics and all programming on the tablet device. The FitApp screen shows readouts for your max and average Resistance, Output, Strokes per minute and Calories. If you have or buy an Echelon heart rate monitor, your heart rate will be displayed on the screen as well. When you change your resistance level on the rower handle, it will be displayed on the tablet screen.
According to Echlon, there are more than 900 on-demand classes available, which can be filtered by duration, experience level and instructor, and there are live classes broadcast throughout the day.
The classes go after specific target goals including fat-burning, muscle toning, endurance, and more. The app is split into Featured, OnDemand and Live sections with a Progress tab to keep track of the classes you’ve completed. Users can pick and choose which workout works best. You can also connect to Strava and Fitbit accounts to send your data to those platforms.
However, according to some customers, they complain that the app is extremely laggy and honestly not accurate in calculating distance and output.
Plus, it requires a serious and ongoing investment, however. The rower alone will set you back £1,199, making it more expensive than the choice of many serious rowers – the Concept2 Model E (£1,060). For access to the classes, you’ll also need to subscribe to the Echelon FitApp (£24.99-£39.99 a month, depending on whether you buy a rolling, one-year or two-year membership).
Without this, though, you can still use it as a normal rower when plugged in. There are no pre-programmed workouts on the Smart Rower. If you don’t use the app, the rower will still work and the resistance levels can be adjusted on the handles, but you won’t get any readout as to your metrics or what level of resistance you are on.
It starts with the foldable design as that is one of the most important features for those wanting to store away the rower after a workout. Within seconds, you can fold the rower into a manageable size.
|32 levels of resistance||Short warranty|
|Access to hundreds of on-demand workouts||Requires ongoing investment|
|300 lb weight capacity|
Rowing machine is a lifelone investment. Reading reviews and buying one rowing machine is only one step. More important step is to do workouts for your preferences and specific goals.
If you wanna lose weight, the article of guide of weight loss is helpful.
How about getting beautiful muscles? The article of workouts to tone muscles on rowing machines is what you need.
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