Fitness mirrors have exploded in popularity as the workout-from-home era has continued on, and the Tempo Studio has become one of the most popular options. The SPY team tested it for 30 days and we were thoroughly impressed with its design, the quality of its classes and the included equipment. We ranked it #1 on our list of the best fitness mirrors of 2022, and we wanted to expand on why this smart home gym is more than worth the money.
Previously, I tested and wrote about the Tempo Move in 2021. It was a worthwhile fitness mirror alternative because of its compact size and intuitive design. Tempo reviews on other sites mention cons like the bulky equipment and large size, and while the Tempo Studio is bigger than other fitness mirrors I’ve tried, it’s not inhibitively so. If you’ve got the extra space, the design uses it efficiently.
We also found the Tempo Studio to be one of the best fitness mirrors for building strength and expanding your home gym collection with one purchase.
Our short verdict? This is one of the best smart fitness systems you can buy and is an even better investment if you don’t already have equipment. Keep reading for our full review, and more reasons why this is our favorite fitness mirror of the year.
Tempo Studio – Starter Package
Tempo Studio Review: At a Glance
The Tempo Studio comes in three different packages: The Starter, Plus and Pro. Here’s the gist on all three, if you have no strength training equipment in your home gym and are looking to build muscle, you may want to look at the Plus and Pro packages because they come with equipment you’ll need like dumbells, weight plates and more. If you have your own weight lifting products and are just looking for classes and some upper body equipment, the Starter Package is all you need.
- Starter Package: 5mm workout mat, 2 x 7.5 pound dumbbells, 4 x collars, 75 pounds worth of weight plates
- Plus Package: 5mm workout mat, 2 x 7.5 pound dumbbells, 6 x collars, 75 pounds worth of weight plates, 1 x 25 pound barbell, folding bench, 2 x 25 pound competition plates, heart rate monitor, recovery roller
- Pro Package: 5mm workout mat, 2 x 7.5 pound dumbbells, 6 x collars, 75 pounds worth of weight plates, 1 x 25 pound barbell, folding bench, 2 x 25 pound competition plates, 2 x 45 pound competition plates, kettlebell system, folding squat rack, heart rate monitor, recovery roller]
- Large HD touchscreen
- High-quality equipment that’s easy to store
- Fully outfitted home gym with one purchase
- Classes are easy to filter through
- Movement tracking software is accurate
- Camera is crisp and clear
- Easy to set up
- Adjustable dumbbells are finicky
- Must use inside
- Size Dimensions: 72″ H x 26″ W x 16″ D
- Footprint: 2′ 2″ W x 1′ 4″ D
- Space Needed While Working Out: 6′ W x 8′ D
- Display: 42″ HD Touchscreen
- Sound: 60w Stereo Speakers, Bluetooth
How We Tested Tempo Studio
I tested the Tempo Studio over the course of 30 days taking a variety of classes and using all of the equipment included in the Plus unit, including 45-pound plates. Setting up the mirror was a part of the testing process, as well as living with the unit in my home to see how the equipment is stored, whether it blends into the background or is an eyesore and if it’s a worthwhile solution for folks looking to workout at home.
We tested the Tempo Studio based on the following review criteria:
- Setup and Equipment Package — We noted whether the setup was easy or complicated, how many steps it took and the equipment that’s included in the package. We paid special attention to how much tech expertise someone would need to put it together and if it would be a struggle.
- Design — While testing the machine from a fitness perspective, we also took note of the design intuitiveness and quality. We also noted if included equipment was worth the added cost, screen clarity and if the storage solutions made sense.
- User Experience — We took a variety of classes and extensively used the machine’s filters to see whether finding certain classes was easy or hard. We also tested the machine’s audio with and without headphones, play/pause functions and the on-screen metrics.
- Class Library and Instructors — We scrolled through the class library to see how extensive it is, and tested a variety of strength, HIIT, barre and cool down classes. We also took note of the quality of the instructors and whether they were knowledgeable, motivational and helped execute an effective workout.
- Price — Throughout the entire review, we kept price in mind, and whether or not the features, design and quality of the device justify its price tag.
- Likelihood of Repeated Use — This category is a bit more elusive than the others, but we believe it’s important. It begs the question: how likely are you to use this at-home fitness machine more than once?
The (Very Easy) Setup
The Tempo Studio is a large, heavy fitness mirror. It’s bigger than lululemon’s MIRROR because it includes a storage locker for the free weights below the screen. This storage locker fits the smaller weights and plates, which makes it easy to organize the equipment.
The fitness mirror has a triangular shape rather than being flat like some other mirrors, which makes it easier to set up because mounting it on the wall is not required. It also makes it harder because of the sheer weight, but if you have two people it’s not difficult to set up. The mirror’s software runs smoothly once you turn it on and after I registered via the app on my phone everything was up and running very quickly.
Overall, the setup for the Tempo review was easy, and had way fewer technical difficulties than the MIRROR did. The touchscreen on the Tempo Studio also makes using it very simple, which also made the setup process easy.
Tempo Studio Review: A Large But Efficient Design
This machine is the largest fitness mirror of all the ones I’ve tried, but it’s well-designed. All of the smaller weights and plates under 10 pounds as well as the collars fit beneath the screen in the weight cabinet. It also has silicone grip slots on the back for hanging dumbbells and barbells, and there’s a triangle-shaped gap behind the screen where you can place a towel or smartphone during your workout. All of the equipment is efficiently hidden so it doesn’t clutter your space when not in use. If you purchase more accessories, you have to find alternative storage for them.
The HD touchscreen works very well, is super clear and classes take up the whole screen, which our team prefers because it mimics the experience of being in class as closely as possible which makes their form and instruction easier to see. The equipment is also well-designed, for the most part. The barbell is high-quality, the plates are well-designed, the foam roller is adequate as well as the Tempo workout mat.
One major negative I found using the Tempo was changing the dumbbells requires more work than other adjustable dumbbells I’ve used. You have to add and remove plates to change the weight, and the Tempo collars are difficult to put on and take off. Most of the time, I ended up using my own weights during the classes, since the Tempo equipment isn’t necessary for the metrics to be tracked. Switching between different weights was far easier with my own pair of automatic adjustable dumbbells.
Even though there are a few negatives, all of the included equipment justifies the hefty price tag and makes it easy to make one purchase rather than hunt down all of the equipment separately. Just keep in mind, that it will take a bit longer to switch out weights.
The Tempo Studio — Is It Actually a Fitness Mirror?
This is a good time to bring up that the Tempo Studio is not a fitness mirror, since you can’t see your reflection in it any better than you can with a computer or tablet screen. I’m going to continue to refer to it as a mirror in this piece, for simplicity’s sake, but it’s worth clarifying.
Even though you can’t see your own reflection, the system gives you real-time feedback on your form during classes and counts your reps too. I loved this feature because it’s even better than a mirror where you have to self-correct your form based on what the instructor is saying. In this sense, it’s a lot like being at an in-person fitness class, where the instructor can alert you if you’re doing something wrong or where there’s potential for injury.
Read More: SPY MIRROR Review
A Seamless User Experience
The Tempo has a very intuitive class library and it’s very easy to find what you want. You can set strength training goals and receive recommendations, or go in and filter by things like class length, difficulty, equipment or instructor. I found myself filtering classes most of the time since I have a cardio regimen and was mostly using the Tempo for strength work.
During class, the metrics gathered on screen include:
- Rep count
- Rep count vs. instructor goal
- Rep count vs. previous set
- Rep speed (seconds per rep)
- Heart rate zone
Keeping track of all of this is incredibly helpful for monitoring progress and knowing if you should move up or down in weight. The real-time feedback on form and speed was also very accurate with Tempo, even for moves on the floor where you’d think the camera wouldn’t be able to see you.
The one disappointing part of my user experience was the class audio through the Tempo speakers. When I didn’t connect headphones, the sound quality for the classes was very poor, the instructor’s voice was mixed oddly with the music and you couldn’t hear anything clearly. It felt like they were both competing for clarity and covering each other in the process. When I connected headphones, though, the sound was totally clear, and you could hear both the instructor and the music with ease.
Read More: SPY ProForm Vue Review
A Huge Class Library, and Helpful Instructors
The Tempo Studio has a wide range of classes you can choose from, including:
- Weight training
- High-intensity interval training
- Bodyweight resistance training
Their library is extensive, with thousands of classes that vary in length from 1-75 minutes. They have classes for everyone from beginners all the way up to expert, but it’s worth noting the expert difficulty level tends to skew harder so be prepared for a high-intensity session. During my Tempo review I tried a variety of their classes within each difficulty level, and definitely found the expert ones to live up to their name.
No matter which level you choose, each class includes a warm-up, full workout and cool down. There’s a clear timer at the top telling you how many minutes you have left of the total workout and individual section.
Most of the instructors are motivational, clear in their directives and helpful. They have different types of instructors depending on the vibe you want, and each one I’ve tried has been solid compared to the iFit and Peloton libraries. I’m a huge Peloton fan, so ultimately I like their instructors better, but Tempo has put together a solid team of professionals who lead you through effective workouts.
The Price Is the Biggest Con
The Tempo Studio is not cheap, the Starter Package starts at $2,495, with the Plus package totaling $3,245 and the Pro package tapping out at close to $4,000.
However, smart fitness equipment tends to be expensive as a product category. Many of the top spin bikes cost several thousand dollars, and the Hydrow rower is almost $2,500, and all you can do on that machine is row. The Tempo Studio is an investment for sure, but when you tally access to a professional instructor, convenience at home and all the equipment, it’s fairly equivalent to what you would spend if you had to pay for all of those separately.
For their most expensive option, the cost of buying all of that equipment at even the cheapest price points would still equal close to $2,000, when you account for the bench and weight rack. The mirror is expensive, but it’s a pricey product category to begin with. If you are able to invest in a piece of smart fitness equipment, the price is not outrageous for what you’re getting.
Will You Actually Use the Tempo Studio?
Finally, there’s the ultimate question with pricey fitness gear: will you actually use it? Will this machine become a regular-enough part of your workout regimen to justify its high price tag? If you’re going to drop thousands on a piece of workout equipment, you want it to be something you’ll use again and again.
My answer is yes.
I’m going to continue to use this machine as part of a continued update to this Tempo review, but I’m certain it will be part of my personal at-home workout routine, and that’s saying something because I’ve tried a lot of fitness equipment that I only use once.
It’s well-designed, the classes feel like the experience you’d get from a personal trainer, and the equipment is high-quality. If you’re already a movement-motivated person, the Tempo Studio is a great solution for trying to build a home gym.
One note: if you don’t install the Tempo Studio in a climate-controlled environment, it yields the warranty, so make sure you’re planning to use it inside or in a temperature-controlled gym.
Tempo Studio Review Verdict: Should You Buy It?
It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. They’ve thought of everything — from the length of the classes, to the accessibility of the touchscreen and the convenient in-unit storage. Switching the weights on the dumbbells takes longer than with adjustable dumbbells you can crank, but if you stick with one weight for the entire class it’s fine.
If you’re looking to outfit a whole home gym with just a few purchases, or like Tempo’s classes and want to invest in their equipment, this is a worthwhile purchase.
Why Should You Trust Our Review?
Senior E-commerce Editor, Taylor Galla, has been testing the top fitness mirror brands over the course of the past year. She’s tested five mirrors in her home as well as written reviews for the best fitness mirrors, including the Tempo Studio and Tempo Move. She evaluates everything from metrics gathered during classes to judging the effectiveness of the actual workout and uses her expertise to see if these are worth splurging on. Not only is she familiar with fitness mirrors but also writes about a variety of fitness products.
About the Author: Taylor Galla
Since joining SPY, Taylor has reviewed workout equipment such as Peleton, Hydrow and Theragun. Taylor is a certified yoga teacher and fitness enthusiast who works out six days a week. Her partner also works in professional sports and is an avid weightlifter. She’s well-versed in the fitness world and knows what to look for in the most effective and worthwhile at-home fitness equipment.