DKN EMX-800 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

With a well-established reputation for building high-quality fitness machines that don’t cost the earth but boast first-rate specs and are usually loaded with features, DKN has steadily been winning market share by sticking to its principles of putting function and quality before bells and whistles while keeping the prices down to sensible levels. The latest model in its elliptical range comes in the form of the DKN EMX-800 which is the new dual-rail top of the range model for this year. On paper, the EMX-800 looked impressive so we couldn’t resist and got one in to take a closer look. Here’s what we found…

Assembly of the EMX-800 is something that ended up being easier than we initially thought it was going to be after first being confronted with the significantly sized box that arrived on the doorstep. But as it turns out, a good deal of the bulk of the box is actually packaging and down to the fact that the entire base frame of this elliptical trainer is pre-assembled. It appears that DKN has taken no chances when it comes to getting this elliptical to its final destination in good condition and it comes strapped to a wooden pallet within the box itself. While this is not a reflection of the machine, of course, it is a clear signal pointing to the premium nature of this particular model. The assembly process itself once all the packaging was removed took just short of one hour and with well-written instructions and 2 people, it was easy enough to construct. There are more steps here than you’ll find on a lot of other models but that’s mainly down to the additional handrails (more on that below) that aren’t to be found on most other models.

Shorter than many other premium models, the EMX-800 is also wider than most of them too. This gives it a footprint of 189cm x 91cm (74” x 36”) which makes it suitable for a wide range of locations in a domestic setting and easier to accommodate than a lot of other large ellipticals on the market which tend to be longer. This setup, combined with the height of the machine, the thick gauge metal used in the construction and the dual rail system, gives the immediate impression that this is a serious elliptical trainer. This impression is backed up by the 150kg maximum stated user weight and the 100kg (200lbs) machine weight. If sturdiness is important to you, then the EMX-800 won’t disappoint. It’s not just bulk we’re talking about here either, though it is impressive, it’s the overall look. It’s a sleek black and silver bit of kit with a splash of blue and a design that looks slick, adding to the feeling that this is a creation that has been thought through and designed with some care.

Step on board and the feeling of security that you get is excellent. In addition to the standard fixed and moving handlebars that are to be found on most any decent elliptical you can buy, the EMX-800 features two very sturdy handrails that provide first-rate support when mounting and dismounting. They also provide good security as there’s no shortage of places to hold for additional support if, and whenever, you need it. This is a feature that’s not commonly found on domestic machines and is usually reserved for commercial and medical models.

In action, the EMX-800 is a very smooth piece of machinery. The 9kg (20lbs) flywheel, provides a smooth and steady run throughout the whole cycle and it’s obvious that the components used in the construction here are not lightweight. You can feel how the rollers effortlessly glide across the dual rails and you can barely hear them, or the machine, while it’s in action. Once we got it properly levelled out (a task made easy thanks to the 6 leg revellers at the front, mid and rear of the machine that enable you to get the frame sitting dead flat on the floor) it performed brilliantly. It’s a pleasure to use and we can honestly say that we’ve tested far more expensive models that don’t feel as good as the EMX-800 does.

It’s mechanically smooth and very well constructed but more than that it’s ergonomically excellent making it very comfortable, which in turn allows you to really push yourself hard. Featuring oversized pedals, multiple handlebar grip positions on both moving and fixed bars it helps you to keep your back straight and maintain a good posture throughout a workout and with a 20” (51cm) stride length, even the tallest users should find the EMX-800 suitable. DKN has also opted to employ an electromagnetic braking system instead of the industry-standard servo magnetic braking system and a Class A standard computer monitor. Most domestic ellipticals work by attaching a magnet to a servo motor which then moves the magnet closer and further away from the flywheel to generate and alter the resistance level requested. The main drawbacks to that are that there are moving parts, and moving parts can, and do, wear and wear out. Secondly, it’s relatively slow to change resistance levels. By opting to incorporate an EMS braking system the potential point of failure of the servo motor is removed making it far more reliable and the speed of resistance changes is significantly increased. The switch from minimum resistance up to maximum and back down again is very quick indeed meaning the EMX-800 delivers noticeably better performance for types of training such as HIIT compared with traditional domestic machines. Again, it’s telling that DKN has decided to use technology normally only found in commercial settings on a domestic machine.

The theme of commercial elements continues when it comes to console feedback such as calorie count with the EMX-800 being certified as a Class A model. Class A rated fitness machines provide a more accurate readout than standard domestic models making training session data more valuable. There is also an electronically controlled incline system that delivers a maximum incline of 15% which changes the shape of the ellipse and allows you to focus on working different muscle groups. There is a tiny 6cm (2.4”) Q-factor (inner pedal distance) which again points to things being properly thought out and considered. These features, along with the quality of the construction propel the EMX-800 into the light-commercial class of elliptical trainer in all but name.

In terms of the console, DKN has opted for a more traditional, more basic setup than the sort of full-colour touch-screen displays that are to be found on some of their direct competitors. But, this type of setup does have some advtanges. It’s faster to operate than most touch screen models, doesn’t need an internet connection to work, and doesn’t require a paid subscription to use. With 18 workout options (manual, 12 pre-set, 4 heart rate control, Watt control) and body fat and recovery tests, the EMX-800 is self-contained and can be used without needing any of the above. The onboard workouts are varied enough to provide a very good range of training options focussing on weight loss, cardio improvement, and muscle toning and with the workouts being scalable, there’s enough here to keep most people more than occupied. But, for those that do want more, DKN has also fitted a Bluetooth receiver so you can use KinoMap and other 3rd party apps via your tablet/smartphone. There’s also a tablet holder ledge so putting your tablet or smartphone front and centre while you workout is covered. This is absolutely not even close to the sort of interactive training that can be found with the likes of Peleton and iFit, but it’s good fun to use and can take away the boredom that can sometimes set in when doing lengthy cardio sessions so it’s nice to see it incorporated. There are 4 user profiles so that individual users can enter their personal bio information for further increased accuracy and it’s also possible to switch between metric and imperial units which is a nice touch.

Like all other DKN creations, EMX-800 is not overloaded with bells and whistles and the focus is without a doubt first and foremost about the effectiveness, build quality and accuracy with the rest layered on top to complete the package such as a Bluetooth Smart wireless heart rate receiver built-in, a music port and speakers, USB charging port, and water bottle holder.

To complete the package the DKN EMX-800 comes with a 2-year on-site parts and labour warranty for peace of mind. Based on what we’ve seen it’s a good bet you won’t be needing it, but it’s nice to know it’s there all the same.

Best Price

Currently available for £1299.00 from Sweatband.com

Review Summary - In Brief

What do we think? Well, honestly we really, really like this machine. Love it, in fact. Without taking into account the price, this is a serious elliptical trainer that's clearly been built to withstand serious usage. Taking the price into account, it obviously isn't a cheap machine but for what you get here in terms of quality this one of the best value for money cross trainers that we've tested recently. It easily competes with, and in some cases outcompetes, elliptical trainers that are marketed at significantly higher price points. No, it doesn't have nice HD training videos, but if you're all about the machine, at this price this is one of the very best out there available at this price point right now and as such we're calling this our elliptical of the month. Outstanding effort from DKN and this is a model that we're very happy to recommend.

DKN EMX-800 Specifications

  • 9kg (20lbs) flywheel
  • 32 levels of computer-controlled magnetic resistance; Quick Resistance keys on the console and handlebars
  • Extra-large, non-slip pedals; very narrow 6cm (2.4”) Q-factor to ensure optimal comfort for those who are prone to hip stress
  • 51cm (20″) stride length
  • 12” high contrast, multi-colour LED display
  • Feedback: Time, speed, distance, incline, calories, Watts, heart rate, RPM
  • User Profiles: 4 (each having age, gender, weight, height)
  • Incline Range: 0-15% powered incline; Quick Incline keys on the console and handlebars
  • Watt Control: 25-400 Watts
  • EMS Brake System: Yes
  • Drive System: Poly V-belt
  • Programmes: 18 (manual, 12 pre-set, 4 heart rate control, Watt control) + body fat test
  • Heart Rate Measurement via Pulse grip sensors and Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • Sound System: Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3 player, dual 2” speakers
  • Compatible Applications: Vescape, Kinomap
  • Conveniences: Water bottle holder, USB charging port, levelling feet
  • Product dimensions: (L x W x H): 189cm (74”) x 91cm (36”) x 166cm (65”)
  • Product Weight: 100kg (220lbs)
  • Max. User Weight: 150kg (331lbs)
  • Transportation wheels
  • Warranty: 2 years parts and labour

DKN EMX-800 Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

DKN EMX-800 Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • High quality construction
  • Electronic incline
  • Very comfortable for people of all sizes
  • Additional support provided via handrails
  • Dual rail design
  • Class A certication

The Cons

  • We'd like to have seen adjustable pedals, though perhaps this is a bit harsh considering how good this is without them
DKN EMX-800 Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 7.5
Appearance - 9
Smoothness - 10
Comfort - 10
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9.5
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Controls - 8.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 10
Best Price

Currently available for £1299.00 from Sweatband.com

Also see our Elliptical Cross Trainer Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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