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 first while keeping prices down. The flagship model in its current elliptical range comes in the form of the DKN EMX-800 which is a dual-rail, heavy-duty model. On paper, the EMX-800 looks impressive so we couldn’t help ourselves 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 thought it was going to be after first being confronted with the significantly sized box that arrived. But as it turns out, a good deal of the bulk of the box is packaging, and down to the fact that this elliptical trainer is partially 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 model. The assembly process itself took just short of an hour and with well-written instructions and 2 people, assembly is simple enough.

Shorter in length than many other premium-level ellipticals that we’ve tested, the EMX-800 takes up less space than many models in this price bracket. With a footprint of 189cm x 91cm (74” x 36”) it’s well suited to a domestic environment and will fit into a wide range of locations. This footprint makes it easier to accommodate than a lot of other large ellipticals on the market which can be quite a bit longer. The dual-rail design, combined with the thick gauge metal used in the construction 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, it’s the obvious quality of the components used in construction and the overall design which is clearly heavy-duty throughout. In terms of looks, it’s a sleek black and silver bit of kit with a splash of blue and a design that’s modern, giving the feeling that this is a creation that has been thought through and designed with some care.

Step on board and it’s impossible not to immediately notice the feeling of security that you get. 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, another sign that this model is not quite like your common, everyday domestic elliptical.

In action, the EMX-800 is very, very smooth. The 9kg (20lbs) flywheel, delivers a consistent and steady action throughout the whole pedalling cycle and it’s obvious that the components used in the construction here are not lightweight, or cheap. The rollers seem to glide effortlessly across the dual rails and you can barely hear them, or the machine, while it’s in action, even in a quiet room. It’s not silent, no elliptical is, but it is well above and beyond what most models can deliver. Once properly leveled (a task made easy thanks to the 6 threaded leg levelers at the front, mid, and rear of the machine that enable you to get the frame sitting dead flat on the floor) it performs as quietly as any elliptical we’ve tested. The ultra-smooth operation makes it a pleasure to use and we can honestly say that we’ve tested more expensive models that don’t feel as good as the EMX-800 does.

As well as being mechanically smooth with low levels of noise while it’s in action, it’s also very well constructed and easily copes with large individuals working out aggressively. It’s normal for even commercial ellipticals to experience some movement when they’re in use but the EMX-800 is as solid as it’s possible to get and holds its own even against some commercial models we’ve tried when it comes to stability and smoothness of action. Ergonomically it’s also excellent making for a very comfortable workout, which in turn allows you to push yourself that much harder. The oversized pedals provide plenty of room to adjust your foot position, while multiple handlebar grip positions on both the moving and fixed bars.= means that there’s always a comfortable grip position available. These elements help to ensure a straight back and good posture throughout a workout and with a 20” (51cm) stride length, even the tallest users will find the EMX-800 comfortable to work out on.

In keeping with the light-commercial nature of the EMX-800, DKN has opted to employ an electromagnetic braking system here instead of a more industry-standard servo magnetic braking system. There’s also a Class A standard computer monitor fitted. For comparison, 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. The main drawbacks to this are that there are moving parts (and moving parts can, and do, wear out), and it’s relatively slow to change resistance levels from minimum to maximum. It can often take up to 30 seconds from lowest to highest resistance and while that doesn’t sound a lot, it’s a relative eternity when you’re trying to perform a HIIT workout. By opting to incorporate an EMS braking system the potential point of failure of the servo motor and all the associated moving parts are removed making it a far more reliable system that should outlive any type of servo-based system, while the speed of resistance changes is significantly increased in a way that’s hard to overstate. The switch from minimum resistance up to maximum and back down again is very quick indeed, with a lag of just 2 or 3 seconds meaning the EMX-800 delivers noticeably better performance and responsiveness making it feel a lot slicker than your average elliptical. It also means it’s ideally suited to types of training such as HIIT. The Class A certified computer is also something ordinarily found on commercial models rather than the near-ubiquitos Class H (H representing Home) computers to be found on most domestic ellipticals. The class simply refers to the accuracy of the data that the console outputs with Class A being a higher level of accuracy than Class H and just one tier down from medical-grade equipment. The fact that DKN has decided to use technology normally only found in commercial settings on a domestic model goes hand in hand with the more outwardly obvious heavy-duty nature of this machine.

To help provide additional variety to workouts an electronically controlled incline system delivers a maximum incline of 15%. The level of the incline determines the shape of the ellipse that your feet travel on through a cycle, and the shape of the ellipse means that different muscles need to be used to turn the pedals. This setup makes it possible to target different muscle groups during a training session for a better full-body workout. There is also a tiny 6cm (2.4”) Q-factor (inner distance between the 2 pedals) which again points to things being properly thought out and considered. The Q-Factor on an elliptical makes a huge difference to overall body shape and the lower the Q-factor (the smaller the distance between the pedals), the better as the resulting body position is more natural and akin to how we move naturally.

All of these features, the low Q-Factor, the Class A console, the EMS braking system, and the incline function, along with the quality of the overall construction propel the EMX-800 into the light-commercial class of elliptical trainer in all but name.

In terms of the training options available on 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 the EMX’s direct competitors. It’s not as shiny or as slick looking and is certainly not as advanced, but this type of setup does have some advantages. For example, it’s faster to operate than most touch screen models, it doesn’t need an internet connection to work, and doesn’t require a paid subscription to use all the available onboard workouts. 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. The onboard workouts are varied and provide a good range of training options focussing on weight loss, cardio improvement, and muscle toning and as the workouts are also scalable you can increase the intensity of any workout to match your fitness levels. There are enough training options to keep most people occupied without getting bored, but for those that do want more, DKN has also fitted a Bluetooth receiver and a tablet holder so it’s possible to use a tablet or smartphone to experience the sort of interactive training that apps such as KinoMap, Zwift, and other 3rd party apps offer. The tablet holder ledge allows you to position your tablet or smartphone front and centre while you workout. Whilst this is not quite the same level of interactive training as Peleton or iFit offer, it’s good fun and engaging as anyone that’s used KinoMap can tell you. It can spice up your sessions to help prevent the boredom that can sometimes set in when doing lengthy cardio sessions and it’s a nice touch to see it incorporated. To help each user get the best workout data possible there are also 4 user profiles that enable individual users to enter their personal bio information for further increased data accuracy and it’s also possible to easily switch between metric and imperial units.

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

In terms of warranty, he 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 £999 from DKN

To get the DKN EMX-800 Elliptical Cross Trainer for only £999.00, enter voucher code EMX-1000 on the DKN checkout page!

Review Summary - In Brief

We really, really, really like this elliptical. This is a serious bit of kit that's been built to withstand heavy usage. If you're a heavy user or are in a household with multiple people that will be using the machine then what's on offer here in terms of build quality is really something out of the ordinary making it a model we'd recommend seriously considering. And if you're looking for a traditional elliptical trainer that's got a few extras this should definitely be on your shortlist. Taking the current price into account, the EMX-800 is an absolute steal at the moment too!

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 some more interactive options, 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 - 8.5
Appearance - 9
Smoothness - 9.5
Comfort - 9.5
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 9
Controls - 9
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9
Best Price

Currently available for £999 from DKN

To get the DKN EMX-800 Elliptical Cross Trainer for only £999.00, enter voucher code EMX-1000 on the DKN checkout page!

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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