Sole E35 Elliptical review: Smooth operator

The Sole E35 is a compact and quiet elliptical that benefits from a solid set of workouts from Studio

T3 Platinum Award
Sole E35 Elliptical review
(Image credit: Sole Fitness)
T3 Verdict

The Sole E35 Elliptical offers a smooth, seamless, and challenging workout experience that will make a believer out of even the most elliptical-averse fitness enthusiasts—and you’ll get even more out of the machine thanks to Sole’s partnership with Studio, which offers a host of elliptical-centric workouts.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Sleek, compact, and quiet

  • +

    Designed to be easy on the joints

  • +

    Compatible with the STUDIO app, which offers 50+ elliptical-targeted classes

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No built-in video screen

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Sole E35 is one of the company’s benchmark elliptical offerings – and for good reason! Sole Fitness is well-known in the fitness world for its extensive selection of cardio equipment,  including treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, and climbers. 

The Sole E35 Elliptical comes equipped with a host of features and functionality that allow for a variety of low-impact workout experiences, including compatibility with the Studio fitness platform, which offers more than 50 on-demand elliptical classes to enhance your Sole E35 experience.

It is also designed to eliminate strain on the knee, hip, and ankle joints (the adjustable foot pedals were designed by physical therapists). This makes it the ideal machine for anyone with joint pain, arthritis, or other joint-related issues. In this review, I’ll cover why the Sole E35 deserves a spot on any best elliptical list – including detailed information on functionality, features, and benefits.

Sole E35 Elliptical

(Image credit: Sole Fitness)

Sole E35 Elliptical review: price and availability

Currently, the Sole E35 is available in the US and UK. This elliptical has a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $2799/£2599/AU$4305 but it’s currently on sale for $1499/£1499/AU$2995 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The E35 is currently out of stock in Australia.

Sole E35 Elliptical

(Image credit: Sole Fitness)

Sole E35 Elliptical review: set-up and fit

Full disclosure: I personally did not assemble the Sole E35. The product came with delivery and assembly. And it’s a good thing as the Sole E35 is a heavy product! At 231 lbs (105kg), it took two delivery professionals and a dolly to get the machine up my stairs and to my second-floor guest room, where we keep our fitness equipment. It would have been a project for my husband and I to try to maneuver it up there on our own. Delivery of all Sole equipment in the US is $99. If you want to add assembly services, you’ll pay a total of $249.48.

That being said, once they got the machine upstairs, assembly seemed pretty straightforward. The whole process took about 30 minutes, and the team made sure to walk me through the machine and how to use it before they left.

Once the elliptical was up and running, I was impressed by how sleek and compact it was. My guest room is not very large, and I was concerned an elliptical would monopolize too much of the room’s space. But at 82x31x71 inches (208x79x180cm) the Sole E35 fit comfortably into the corner.

Sole E35 elliptical

(Image credit: Deanna deBara)

Sole E35 Elliptical review: in use

The Sole E35 is easy to navigate, even if you’re new to ellipticals. On the top of the machine is an adjustable tablet holder for your tablet or phone, and beneath the tablet holder you’ll find a 7.5 inch screen, which displays all the metrics you need to stay on top of your workout. 

The upper left corner of the screen displays your incline (which you can adjust from levels 1 through 20) and distance. The upper right corner displays your level/resistance (which is also adjustable between 1 and 20) and your total calories burned. The center displays your total workout time. 

On the lower left corner you can monitor your pulse and heart rate (the Sole E35 has pulse grips on the stationary handles and comes equipped with a chest rate heart monitor) while the lower right corner displays your pace, which measures how quickly you would cover a mile at your current speed. The only drawback about the screen is that it doesn’t have video capability, so if you want to take a Studio elliptical class (more on that later), you’ll need to use your phone or tablet.

Underneath the display screen you’ll find the dashboard, where you can start or stop your session, launch one of the 10 preset workout programs, manage the elliptical’s cooling fan, or adjust your incline and speed. You can also easily adjust your incline using the left handlebar or speed using the right handlebar. The elliptical also comes equipped with helpful extras, like a USB charging port and Bluetooth audio speakers, that make for a more convenient workout.

Once you get moving on the Sole E35, the actual workout experience is top notch. The motion on the foot pedals is smooth and seamless. It’s also incredibly quiet. My husband’s office is next to our guest room, and he had no idea I was working out, even though he was only a few feet away. 

The Sole E35 also allows for a varied workout. By switching up the incline and the level of resistance, you can take things from an easy, low-exertion stroll to a full-blown heavy-resistance sprint with the touch of a few buttons. (The E35 also has forward and reverse functionality, which can help target different muscle groups during your workout.) Personally, I found targeting somewhere in the 9 to 12 range for both incline and level, and then cranking things up for short intervals throughout the session made for the most effective, sustainable workouts.

Another thing to note about the Sole E35 is its level of comfort. As someone with joint issues, I’m always looking for workout equipment that’s easy on the knees, hips, ankles, and feet, and the this definitely fits the bill. I didn’t experience any post-workout pain which I can’t say about elliptical machines I’ve tried in the past.

Sole E35 Elliptical

(Image credit: Sole Fitness)

Sole E35 Elliptical review: Studio app compatibility

A major bonus that comes with the Sole E35 Elliptical is the machine’s compatibility with Studio. Studio is a fitness platform with over 3,000 on-demand classes, including more than 50 classes centered around the elliptical. 

Once you download the Studio app on your tablet or mobile device, it connects with the Sole E35 Elliptical via Bluetooth. (Just make sure to hit “start” on your E35 before you try to connect with the app, otherwise the E35 screen will go blank and you’ll need access to your screen’s metrics in order to navigate Studio’s classes.

You can also connect the Studio app to your heart rate monitor. This will pull in real-time metrics from your monitor and elliptical, delivering the information you need to get the best workout.

For the Sole E35, Studio offers two types of workouts: elliptical classes, which, as the name implies, are strictly on the elliptical; and Total Body classes, which combine the elliptical with strength exercises and incorporate strength training circuits. If you need any equipment for a workout – like dumbbells – the instructor will let you know at the beginning of the class.

There’s a solid selection of classes specifically for the Elliptical and within those classes there’s a good amount of variability with instructors, music styles and class objectives. This makes it easy to find the right workout, whether you’re looking to build endurance, speed or strength. 

The Studio class offerings are a great fit for busy schedules. Most elliptical workouts are between 15 and 30 minutes, so even if you only have a small window for your workout, you should be able to squeeze in a session. And the best part? The workouts are fun! Historically, I found ellipticals to be much less engaging than other types of cardio equipment but the Studio classes definitely kept me challenged and engaged throughout my exercise sessions.

If you’re new to the app, you’ll definitely want to take the Intro to Elliptical class. This offers a walkthrough on how to use the machine, as well as the terminology and metrics you’ll need to know for your workouts.

The Sole E35 comes with a free 30-day trial of Studio. If you decide to keep the app after the trial period, it’s $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year.

Sole E35 Elliptical

(Image credit: Sole Fitness)

Sole E35 Elliptical review: verdict

The Sole E35 has a lot to offer for a home elliptical. It’s easy to use, can be adjusted to suit a variety of fitness levels. And, thanks to the machine’s compatibility with the STUDIO fitness platform, offers users access to a host of fun, challenging workouts. It’s slightly disappointing that at this price it doesn’t include a proper screen but if you’re used to working out with your tablet for company, it’s no great loss. 

Final verdict? As someone who never really enjoyed elliptical workouts, I was skeptical about whether I would enjoy Sole E35 is a solid piece of workout equipment that provided both challenging and fun workouts (especially using the Studio app). And in my eyes, those workouts more than justify the E35’s price tag.

Sole E35 Elliptical review: also consider

If the Sole E35 doesn’t feel like the right fit, there are plenty of other great ellipticals to choose from, including the JTX Zenith, which has a more competitive price point, or the ProForm 450 LE, which, at just 55.91 inches long, 27.17 inches wide, and 61.81 inches tall, is even more compact and small space-friendly than the E35. Or, if you’re still on the fence about ellipticals in general, you might consider comparing the benefits of ellipticals vs. AirBikes (particularly if you’re into HIIT workouts).

Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara is a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest. A fitness enthusiast, she's been writing on all things health, wellness, and fitness since 2016. When she's not busy writing, you can find her hiking the PNW with her husband and two rescue dogs, snowboarding, or trying out a new baking recipe in the kitchen.