The Horizon Oxford 6 Rower enters the market as a solid competitor in the entry-level space. Though affordably priced, it's quite well built and well optioned.
Upgraded when compared to Horizon's other offering, the Oxford 6 Rower delivers great value at a sub-$1k sticker price
Now the brand’s top of the line rowing machine, the Horizon Oxford 6 Rower is very closely priced to the Oxford3, but with some fairly significant upgrades that more than justify the $150 price difference ($899 vs. $749 when both are on sale). It uses the same magnetic resistance setup as its counterpart, though with double the number of resistance level settings (20 compared to 10). This magnetic resistance is controlled electronically rather manually, though the physical adjustment is still done via a knob located below the console and handlebar. As we also mention in our review of the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower, the use of magnetic resistance coupled with its high-strength nylon drive belt make both of these new Oxford rowers very quiet overall. This is a great perk for those who live in apartments or shared households where you don’t want to disrupt your family, roommates or neighbors.
Speaking of the console itself, visually it doesn’t look like much has changed here other than a slight reconfiguration of buttons; its 5.4-inch screen size and general layout of displayed information is basically carried over from the Oxford 3 to the Oxford 6 Rower. That said, the lower spec Oxford 3 has a simple LCD display, where the upgraded Oxford 6 uses a backlit blue version that offers a slightly more appealing and refined aesthetic. It’s not a feature that should swing your vote between the two machines, but a nice perk overall.
Now onto where this machine is really different. For starters, unlike its sibling, the Horizon Oxford 6 Rower is compatible with ViaFit—a connected fitness tracking app that allows you to log your progress as you spend more time on your rower. It’s compatible with the majority of fitness trackers if you want to track your heart rate, or it can pair up with a Polar wireless heart rate monitor (included with the purchase of the Oxford 6 Rower). Thanks to this added heart rate monitoring, there are also additional built-in training programs in the Oxford 6 Rower that the 3 didn’t get. 12 programs are available in total, including two heart rate targeting programs (Max HR and Target HR programs).
Taller rowers will also appreciate a slight extension to the main rail of the Horizon Oxford 6 Rower, which adds a couple of inches of overall length to the machine. Where the 3 could accommodate a rower with a 36-inch inseam, the Oxford 6 Rower has capacity for users with an inseam of up to 38 inches. This also means the machine is a couple of inches taller when tipped upwards for storage, as its overall length (height when stored upright) is 82.7 inches.
- Adjustable Position LCD Screen: Depending on your height, the screen/console can be adjusted to ensure you have a good line of sight and access to controls. The use of a blue backlit screen with white lettering makes it quite easy to read at a quick glance.
- 20 Resistance Levels: Now electronically controlled for a more rapid progression between levels, a total of 20 levels of resistance make the Horizon Oxford 6 Rower a very versatile machine for people of all fitness levels.
- SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance): Rather than using air or water, the Oxford 6 Rower uses magnetic resistance (same as what’s found on premium exercise bikes) to control your rowing experience. This makes your workout equal parts smooth and silent.
- Wireless Heart Rate Monitoring: Through wireless connection, you can monitor your heart rate while rowing on the Oxford 6 Rower, either via the included Polar wireless heart rate monitor, or using your own fitness tracker.
- 12 On-Board Workouts: Thanks to the available heart rate tracking, there are a total of 12 available built-in workouts on the Oxford 6 (including a couple of heart rate based training programs).
- Adjustable Cushioned Footrests: Whether you’re a size 6 or a size 12 shoe, the footrests on the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower will easily adjust as needed.
- Space Saver: Rowers although thin are long and can take up much space, but with the space saver design, you can fold it up and store out of the way once you are finished your workout. It won’t fit in a closet, as we noted above, but when standing its footprint is fairly compact.
- Sturdy Construction: With its new non-folding design, the Oxford 6 (same as the Oxford 3) feels much more solid when compared to the original Oxford rower it replaces.
- Ergonomic molded seat: Though the differences are nominal, the overall form and construction of the seat on the Oxford 6 Rower is improved over that of the 3.
- Warranty: For an affordable rower its warranty is at least reasonable, including lifetime on frame, 3 years on electronics, and 1 year on parts and labor.
- High Weight Capacity: Max user weight on the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower is 350 lbs, which is 50 lbs higher than the industry standard.
- Basic Console: Though slightly improved over that of the Oxford 3 Rower, the console of the Oxford 6 is pretty simplistic considering all of the other fitness tech out there today. It’s not bad, and gets the job done while showing you the necessary metrics, it just doesn’t feel particularly up to date.
This is a no-brainer—the step up to the Oxford 6 Rower over the more affordable Oxford 3 is an easy choice. While the 3 is a solid machine, the 6 adds way more worthwhile features for such a nominal price bump. If you’re in a situation where every cent counts, the 3 is by no means a bad buy, but if you can drop the extra $150, do it.