Looking at the Xebex Rowers? Want to know all the features on the 3 models (2.0, Smart Connect, & 3.0)?
This complete Xebex Rower review will show you all the great features that come with the Xebex 2.0, Xebex Smart Connect, & Xebex 3.0!
You can even compare some of the features against the #1 bestselling rowing machine – the Concept2 Model D.
At such a great price, it’s a surprise to see Xebex offering multiple free gift options with a purchase!
You can choose from a list of free items such as a battle rope, gym sled, wall ball, and many more!
While everything about the Xebex Air Rower seems amazing, there are a few reasons why you may want a different model.
Continue reading to find out the “positive” and “negative” aspects of the Xebex Rowing Machines.
Xebex Rower History
Here is a brief history of the models – the first Xebex Rower 1.0 (AR-1) was released around the end of 2016 or beginning or 2017. They made a few upgraded throughout the year and called it the Xebex Rower AR-2.
Since the release of the first rower, Get RX’d has now released 3 models. The Xebex Air Rower 2.0, Xebex Air Rower Smart Connect, and Xebex Air Rower 3.0. I am going to include them all in one review below because the differences are minimal and it makes sense to only have them in one review. Below is a quick cheat sheet of the differences:
Xebex Air Rower 2.0: This is the base model with an upgraded monitor but not able to connect to 3rd party fitness apps.
Xebex Air Rower Smart Connect: This is essentially the same model as the Xebex 2.0 but has a monitor that can connect to fitness apps.
(Finally!) Xebex Air Rower 3.0: This model has a unique design that functions exactly the same as the other rowers. The major difference is a lower seat rail with a slightly higher seat height.
In case you were wondering, the Xebex Rower is manufactured by a fitness company called “Get RX’d”. The name “Xebex” is pronounced “zebex” or “zeebex“, just so you aren’t confused later on watching the video!
Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)
1. Resistance Type
2. Monitor/Control Panel
3. Build Quality
9. Pros and Cons
10. Consumer Reviews
13. Overall Review
The Xebex Rowers are air resistance rowing machines.
Resistance is created by pulling the handle and spinning the fan flywheel. As the flywheel begins to spin, it must “move” the air in front of the fan, which then causes resistance.
As the fan spins faster, it must “move” more air, therefore the resistance becomes stronger.
We call air resistance rowing machines “variable” resistance because the faster you row, the more resistance you feel.
Air resistance rowers provide one of the smoothest and strongest resistances out of all rowing machines. It also closely mimics the resistance felt while rowing on water.
This is the reason why it is the chosen resistance type for Olympic rowers training off the water.
You can read more about how air resistance operates by reading my Air & Magnetic Resistance Comparison or my Water vs. Air Resistance article.
Xebex Air Rower Resistance Benefits
The Xebex Rower resistance provides one of the smoothest, strongest, and most realistic rowing motions on the market.
There is zero lag throughout the stroke, meaning you will feel tension from the start of the pull all the way to the finish.
One of the best resistance features is “what you put into it, is what you get out of it”. Meaning, if you want stronger resistance, you just need to row faster! If you want less resistance, just slow down.
This makes the Xebex Rowing Machines perfect for HIIT (high intensity interval training). You can perform all-out sprints for 30 seconds and then switch right into light rowing without having to change any settings like you would on a treadmill.
When comparing the Xebex 2.0 vs. Xebex Smart Connect vs. Xebex 3.0 – they all use the same flywheel and have the same resistance.
When talking to different Xebex Air Rower users, there were zero complaints about the resistance and almost every person said it is essentially the same resistance found on the Concept2 Rowers.
Many air rowing machines don’t include a damper setting but luckily all the Xebex Air Rowers do!
The damper is located on the side of the flywheel housing and resembles a “resistance” setting – although it is not.
A damper controls the amount of air that is allowed to enter the flywheel housing. The more air allowed to enter, means the more air the fan must “move” out of the way. The less air allowed to enter, means the less “air” to move out of the way.
Concept2 describes damper setting as being “similar to bicycle gearing: it affects how rowing feels but does not directly affect the resistance. A lower damper setting on the indoor rower is comparable to easier gears on a bike.”
Damper settings from 1-5 will resemble a lighter, faster rowing boat. This is due to less air being allowed to enter the flywheel, so the fan can spin more freely, and is required to “move” less air.
A damper setting between 5-10 will resembles a heavier, slower rowing boat. This is due to more air being allowed to enter the flywheel, so the fan spins less freely due to it having to “move” more air.
I know damper settings can be a little confusing, which is why Xebex Fitness just calls it “resistance settings”. If you have any questions pertaining to dampers just leave me a comment below.
There are very few negatives on the Xebex Rower resistance. The main issue being that it is loud.
All air rowing machines make a fan “whooshing” noise when rowing, which some users find disturbing.
Most people just listen to music or turn the TV volume up to drown out the noise. I really don’t find the noise disturbing at all and feel it is much quieter than someone running on a treadmill.
People in small apartments sometimes worry about their neighbors hearing them exercise but in most cases the noise is not loud enough to penetrate through to another apartment.
I wrote an article with a video of me using a Concept2 to describe the noise level. Due to the Xebex Rower and Concept2 having similar resistance, the Xebex Rower noise level is close to the same.
You can view my noise level article here.
Another negative is the overall size of air resistance rowing machines. Xebex recommends a 4.0′ x 10.0′ space with some room on either side for entry and exit. This is a fairly large area for people tight on space.
The resistance on the Xebex Rowing Machine is excellent overall. It provides a smooth, strong rowing stroke that is often compared to the best rowing machine on the market.
The added damper settings allows for increased variability to help get the most out of each rowing session.
There were very few complaints about the Xebex Rower resistance and you even receive free items to maximize each workout!
When comparing the Xebex Rower 2.0 vs. Xebex Smart Connect Rower vs. Xebex Air rower 3.0 – the monitors are going to be one of the biggest differentiators.
I’ll create 3 sections below and cover the main highlights of each monitor and then go over some of the downsides users mentioned about the monitors.
Xebex Air Rower 2.0 Monitor
The Xebex 2.0 monitor tracks the following fitness data: Time, Meters, SPM (Strokes per Minute), Calories, Watts, 500m Pace per Stroke, Total Strokes, Heart Rate (with HRM – not included)
As you can see in the photo below, the data is displayed clearly in different sections, however, it is not backlit.
The large, middle display window can show 9 different metrics: Total Time, 500m Pace Average, Meters per Stroke Average, Max Heart Rate, Calories per Hour, Force Curve, Max Watt, Watt Chart per Stroke, and average Watt.
The Xebex 2.0 monitor can be programmed for targeted distance, calories, heart rate, strokes, and time with a 500m pace option.
There are pre-programmed interval options or you can just start rowing and the monitor will automatically begin tracking data!
Users can track heart rate with any 5k frequency chest belt or watch. The best and most popular option is the Polar H10 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor & Fitness Tracker.
There really isn’t anything bad to say about the Xebex Rower monitor except it will always be compared to the Concept2 PM5 monitor. The PM5 monitor is better in my opinion and includes most of the features that are mentioned in the “monitor negatives” below.
Xebex Air Rower Smart Connect Monitor
The Xebex Smart Connect tracks everything mentioned above in the Xebex 2.0 monitor section. However, there are a few upgrades.
The main upgraded is as you may have guessed – a “Smart Connect” feature that allows the monitor to connect to a variety of 3rd party apps.
Below is a list of 3rd party apps that you will be able to utilize:
- Kinomap (iOS)
- GymTrakr (iOS)
- ZWIFT (iOS)
- Selfloops Group Training App
For more info on these apps, check out the Smart Connect EcoSystem page on Get RX’d.
The monitor is the exact same design as the photo in the Xebex 2.0 section, so no need for me to post it again.
Most of the apps have programs for rowing, cycling, and running. Below is the Kinomap promotional video:
The other apps are similar and you can even join a “cycling” race while you row and the onscreen bike is moved as you row.
These apps are a great addition to the monitor and it’s a great way to keep you engaged. It’s also cool they are 3rd party apps because the main focus of these companies is to produce the best software and it will constantly be upgraded.
These apps are all able to connect to the Concept2 PM5 monitor as well.
Xebex Air Rower 3.0
Now on to the final monitor! The Xebex 3.0 monitor is the exact same monitor as the Xebex 2.0, however it is backlit for easier reading.
The backlight does receive some power from the spinning flywheel, which helps preserve battery life.
I’m not sure why Get RX’d doesn’t include this feature on the other models. I also don’t understand why it doesn’t have any “Smart Connect” features.
It seems it would be easier to have all the monitors the same in case someone wanted the style of the Xebex 3.0 but the Smart Connect monitor. (It may be possible to get this is you contact Get RX’d directly)
Most people were very happy with the Xebex Rower monitors and some said it surpassed their expectation.
However, it fell short in some areas due to it always being compared to the features on the Concept2 PM5 monitor.
The Xebex 2.0 & 3.0 monitors do not have any bluetooth functionality, so it cannot connect to your computer to analyze more data and connect with 3rd party apps.
Some users felt the monitor was a little hard to program and the “beeping” noises can become annoying.
The monitor also doesn’t calculate “drag factor” like the Concept2. This is a metric that calculates the drag on the fan flywheel every single stroke. It is the main reason why the Concept2 PM5 monitor is so accurate.
Xebex uses their own proprietary formula to calculate calories, distance, and watts. This is excellent because it makes their data as accurate as possible but it also makes the data different from Concept2.
While the data is close, it’s not exact, so you will not be able to use it to enter your time for Crossfit workouts or in the online Concept2 ranking forums. There was actually a pretty big controversy where Crossfit banned the Xebex Rowers due to them being easier than the Concept2. (source)
Get RX’d claims they have improved the monitor on the new versions (AR-2) and the scores are very close to inline with the Concept2 (more on this in my comparison article). However, Crossfit has still not lifted the ban.
This really isn’t a big deal as long as you have access to a Concept2 to do your erg testing or if you don’t care much about Crossfit or comparing your times to rowers around the world.
The Xebex Rower monitors are an excellent piece of technology and one of the best on the market.
While it may fall short of the #1 monitor, it certainly surprised many users with how well it performed.
Many of these downsides also may not matter if you are not interested in the additional features and tracking highly accurate data.
Monitor functionality is one of the major factors in determining the price of a rowing machine. This may be why some features were left off the Xebex Rower to allow for a lower price point and why the monitors differ slightly between the 2.0, Smart Connect, and 3.0.
Xebex Air Rowers are constructed for commercial or at-home use. They have top of the line build quality and receive almost zero complaints about quality issues.
It is constructed with a 100 lb. base for increased strength and durability. This is because Xebex uses metal and steel, where many other manufacturers use plastic.
It has a commercial grade aluminum seat rail with steel supports to hold almost any user weight.
The Xebex Rower was tested by having a robotic arm pull the handle 1,000,000 times without failure! A true testament to the strength of the rower and the stainless steel chain.
Overall, users feel the build quality of the Xebex Air Rowers are excellent and the rowing stroke felt strong, smooth, and stable.
The Xebex 2.0, Xebex Smart Connect, and Xebex 3.0 are almost identical and made from all the same materials. I don’t think one is crafter better or worse than the other. Each model will last a very longtime and is covered by the same great warranty.
Below is a video of the Xebex 2.0 (same construction as the Xebex Smart Connect Rower):
Xebex Air Rower 3.0
This next video is titled “Xebex Rowing Machine 2.0”, however, it is actually the Xebex Air Rower 3.0.
As you can see, the model is almost exactly the same except the seat rail is lower to the ground (making it lower profile and easier to step over) but the seat is still raised to 20.0″ off the floor (so still easy to sit on).
There is also a bamboo handle which looks cool but doesn’t offer any performance or strength benefits.
To be honest, while the different style looks cool, I don’t think there is any benefit to the Xebex 3.0.
There are many excellent features on the Xebex Rower that add to the overall comfort of the rowing stroke.
The first thing to notice is the seat height that is 20.0″-21.0″ off the floor (about the same as a dining room chair). This gives the Xebex Rowing Machines a “commercial” style feeling and makes it a lot easier to get on and off the rower.
A tall seat height is especially good for older individuals who have a hard time bending down or people with knee and joint issues.
The rower has a “bucket” style seat that most users found comfortable and said they could row for long periods without any discomfort. A soft-padded handle also allows for a comfortable grip that helps avoid any blisters.
Users can easily slide their feet in-and-out of the footrests and adjust them with their “1-touch” design. The footrests securely and comfortably held all users feet in place regardless of shoe size.
The only downside I read about on the Xebex Air Rower comfort was on the handle. Some users and reviews mentioned the handle being less comfortable than the Concept2.
It appears the Concept2 and other air rowing machines have a bit more curvature to the handle which can allow the hands/wrist to stay in a more natural position.
I don’t think the handle is uncomfortable, just a bit different than some of the other models.
Overall, the Xebex Rower has a very comfortable rowing stroke from the very start all the way to the finish. Users mentioned it’s very similar to the competition and and is not a factor in the overall decision making process.
You can check out more “comfort” features and photos by visiting the individual links below.
Storing the Xebex Air Rower Smart Connect and Xebex 2.0 is extremely easy and can be done in 2 simple steps.
First, pull the pop-pin and allow the seat rail to collapse down. Second, lift the seat rail vertical until you hear the pin “click” back into place.
That’s it! Folding and unfolding takes only 5 seconds to complete.
The Xebex Rowing Machine will then be resting on its 4 transport wheels. Simply push the rowing machine anywhere you want! It’s so easy you can roll it by pushing it with 2 fingers.
To return back to normal just pull the pin, lower the seat rail, and lift up on the designated handle.
When in storage, the Xebex Rower footprint is reduced by almost 50%. It measures just 3 feet long by 20 inches wide.
This makes it perfect for gym owners or people who are tight on space!
The Xebex Air Rower 3.0 is slightly different. Get RX’d decided to remove the folded design and simply go with vertical storage. While this method is unpopular for at-home users (due to it requiring a high ceiling), it’s very popular among Crossfit gyms.
Simple tilt rower forward to roll on the front caster wheels and tilt it all the way forward to store upright.
Both methods of storing are super easy! The only downside is the Xebex 3.0 cannot fold for storage, which is a must for some users.
Due to the very strong build quality of the Xebex Rower, all models a maximum user weight capacity of 500 lbs./ 227 kgs.
It also has a fairly large footprint with a 55.0″ monorail. This means it can accommodate very tall users up to 6’7″ tall!
If you are over 6’7″ I would recommend contacting the Xebex representative with your inseam length to ensure you are not over the limit.
Anyone who is under 500 lbs. and 6’7″ will have no problems using this rowing machine. It can even be used by children who are old enough to row.
Xebex Air Rower Smart Connect & Xebex Air Rower 2.0:
- Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
- 99.0″ x 20.0″ 45.0″
- Assembled Weight:
- 93 lbs.
- Shipping Dimensions (L x W x H):
- 58.0″ x 26.0″ x 15.0″
- Shipping Weight:
- 112 lbs.
- Folded Dimensions (L x W x H):
- 36.0″ x 20.0″ x 55.0″
Xebex Air Rower 3.0:
- Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
- 97.0″ x 24.0″ 42.0″
- Assembled Weight:
- 101 lbs.
- Shipping Dimensions (L x W x H):
- 58.0″ x 28.0″ x 13.0″
- Shipping Weight:
- 112 lbs.
Assembling the Xebex Rower models is fairly straightforward, although it does take more time than some other models.
Xebex recommends allowing 30-45 minutes to complete the job and most people said it took about the same.
All the necessary tools come with the packaging for assembly. Just have a clear open area and follow the instructions carefully.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent air resistance
- 10 damper settings
- Good monitor
- Great build quality & comfort
- Great value for your money
- Easy-fold storage
- 21.0″ seat height
- Large size capacity
- Comes with free gifts!
- Lacks some monitor features
- Large overall footprint
- Noise level can be a bit loud
- Cannot compare data with Concept2 users
Almost all Xebex Rower reviews were positive and it received very few complaints. Most consumers compared it to being very similar to the Concept2 except for a few differences like monitor functionality, seat, handle, and storage.
Users who were looking to save money found the Xebex Air Rower to be a perfect fit. However, users who were more interested in tracking and comparing data were willing to spend the extra money to buy the Concept2.
You can read more Xebex Rower Reviews here to see what other users had to say.
There’s also a good amount of Xebex Air Rower reviews on the Get RX’d website you can read here. Just navigate to the product and select “Product Reviews”.
Average Rating: 4.8
Due to the Xebex Rower models being compared to the Concept2 – it probably makes sense to check out my Xebex vs. Concept2 Comparison article here.
- Frame: 5-Years
- Parts: 2-Years
- Model: Xebex Air Rower – 2.0, Smart Connect, 3.0
- SKU: AR-2, AR-2-BA, AR-3GL
Most consumers said the Xebex customer service was excellent and had no issues with receiving help or warranty replacement parts.
If you are purchasing from a retailer other than Amazon or Get RX’d – I would check that they have the most up-to-date models so you are not getting an old monitor.
Xebex Air Rower Comparison Chart
One way way to compare the 3 different models is to look at their description chart side-by-side. This is an easy way to show they are all very similar!
Xebex Air Rower 2.0
Xebex Air Rower Smart Connect
The main difference here is the “Smart Connect Ecosystem”.
Xebex Air Rower 3.0
You can also see by the photos on Get Rx’d that the models are very similar with only subtle differences.
Xebex Rower Price [2.0, Smart Connect, 3.0]
The Xebex Rower price is one of the main selling points of these rowers. They often have special discounts or sales which can make it an even better deal!
The two best places to purchase are from Amazon or GetRXd. The manufacturer (GetRXd) usually has the best pricing but I would check both.
Make sure to go completely to the end of checkout to compare pricing, as sometimes shipping, taxes, etc. can change the end price.
The Xebex Rowers are a great option for someone looking to have excellent air resistance while saving money by not purchasing the Concept2.
It has excellent build quality, a comfortable stroke, good monitor, great warranty, and so much more!
I would recommend this rowing machine to anyone who wants air resistance but does not care as much about tracking data and comparing to other people around the world.
I passed on buying the Xebex Rower and opted for the Concept2 Model D because I enjoy comparing my times to collegiate and Olympic rowers, as well as logging my times on the Concept2 website to see where I rank against others. Unfortunately, you can not do this with the Xebex because times are slightly different.
If you want you can read my full Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine review here.
I also have great videos that compare the 2 models in my Concept2 vs. Xebex comparison article.
If you want to check out the best budget air rowing machine then I suggest you look at my Stamina 1399 Air Rower review.
It also seems that other companies are starting to compete with Concept2 and a company called “Body-Solid” recently released a new rowing machine similar to the Model D. You can check out my Body Solid Endurance R300 Rower review here.
I hoped you enjoyed my Xebex Rower review! Please leave any questions in the comment section below.