Review: Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer

I hadn’t done a review in awhile because I had my nice little arsenal of health stuff. Recently I had to make some changes.  One was prompted from getting a case of breakthrough oral thrush after a change in some medicines.  The other was because I finally made the leap to get an iphone 7plus since I was due for an upgrade.

I decided after getting thrush to move from an oral thermometer to an ear thermometer. For one the ear thermometers don’t rely on probes.  For two I don’t need a headphone jack to use it since it relies on bluetooth.   The last reason was even in spite of probe covers I was afraid of re-infecting myself or spreading the thrush using an oral device.

Since I had such great luck with the Kinsa Smart Stick, I saw they had an ear thermometer.  I had a Tympani ear thermometer I could use as a backup, but I need the Apple dongle headphone jack adapter so I wasn’t sure if it would cause an issue with accuracy.  I’ll maybe do a comparison later because the Tympani does have a much smaller profile & doesn’t require batteries, which would make it better for travel.

Overall, I like the Kinsa Smart Ear.  It uses the same app as the Kinsa Smart Stick.

The differences are that this ear thermometer uses battery & bluetooth instead of the headphone jack.  Overall, though I find it easier & quicker to clean.  Just take an alcohol swab to the probe end & put the cover back on it.  Versus having to wipe down the whole stick & always wondering if you got the junk from the headphone jack all off.  (Of course this is the germaphobe transplant patient in me.)

I did find that sometimes my ear thermometer takes an additional try over the oral stick to get the app to register the readings sometimes, but that could just be a connectivity issue for me versus an actual issue with thermometer since I’ve noticed it with other devices from time to time.

I thought I would hate having to use something with batteries, but the batteries do last quite a long time, although the enclosed batteries I think were older as far as shelf life, because I ended up switching them out a few weeks after & it seemed they were only at half charge when I took them out of the box.

The advantage is too, if I don’t have my phone with me or forget it, I can still use the thermometer.  I couldn’t do that with the stick.  The stick would only work with the phone as it’s main power source, which was nice, but did no good if you forgot your phone.

Pairing was pretty simple, no worse than most bluetooth devices, if even a bit faster & easier.   The app keeps its own log & multiple profiles can be set up for multiple family members if need be.  It also integrates to the Apple Health app so it will read/write right into the rest of the dashboard.

The probe I thought might feel funny because I have a serious defensiveness of things going into my ear, but it’s not bad at all.  It’s actually more comfortable & easier than the Tympani.

The Smart Ear is more expensive, but to me it feels a bit more durable & well-built.  It’s worth it to me to be able to have something that works but is less of an infection risk for me.   At this price point though, the Smart Ear might not appeal to everyone.  But it still might be a better bet in the long run as far as long-term investment if more phones do ditch the headphone jack.

Next review (probably next month) will be my smart scale.   It will be interesting because then I’ll have used it long enough & had a few doctor visits I can compare accuracy with my clinic’s scale.

Thanks to Kinsa & my bluetooth scale (which I got cheaper through a Bed Bath & Beyond Coupon), & my iHealth Ease blood pressure kit & my iHealth Oximeter (which is now called an Air.  I got mine online through eBay to get better pricing), I am pretty much all wireless now and have automatic inputs into my phone.

The only thing I have to manually log is my spirometer (breathing numbers) readings, but there is a space in my phone I can keep those numbers in & have them add to my dashboard.

Now that I have my routine down, I no longer need to keep my log sheets.  I am completely paperless & can use my phone & the Apple Health App to show the doctors my numbers.

This makes me very happy.

To think that all started with a thermometer I found in 2015 (smart stick) when two average digital thermometers failed on me right out of the box.

Thanks Kinsa!

(DISCLAIMER: I was not paid by this company or sent a free device.  I purchased the thermometer at Target. I thought doing a review might be a useful way to share information with others who might be interested. This analysis in no way constitutes medical advice or product endorsement.  I try to keep the devices I select for personal use, profiling, & reviewing in an affordable price range. Often $50 or less where possible.)

(image: linked from Kinsa’s own website.

UPDATE: After seeking help from Kinsa for some issues they are exchanging my faulty thermometer free of charge since it was past the time I could return it to Target. Since I needed to keep a daily log and like having one thermometer for travel and one for home in case it gets lost or stolen or somehow dies  – I did try another one (ran over to Best Buy) since I was having more issues with this one the past few weeks. Kinsa customer service was very helpful and friendly. 

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