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Life can be stressful; that is just a fact. There are a lot of things you can do to make it less stressful, like yoga, exercise, taking breaks, and meditation.
Meditation, especially in the beginning of practice, can be difficult. It can be hard to shut off your brain and calm your thoughts after following them to wherever they wander.
That is what the Muse Brain Sensing Headband was made to help with.
You wrap Muse around your forehead, and it tracks your brain signals while you meditate. Once you have it set up and the app installed on your smart device, the Muse will train your brain to become calmer as you continue your meditation practice.
Think the Muse sounds like a great product? Or maybe you think it sounds too good to be true?
Follow us as we go through all the features, both the good and the bad, and then you can decide whether this meditation helper is right for you.
Muse: The Brain-Sensing Headband: The Details
- Weight: Less than 1 lb.
- Dimensions: 2.8 x 2 x 2inches
- Product type: Meditation Headband
- Age limit: Can be used by anyone 16 years old and up
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa?: No. It is, however, Wi-Fi connectible and the free app works on Apple and Android smartphones.
How Does It Work
Muse helps you get the most out of your meditation, designed to track your brain waves while being unobtrusive, so it doesn’t distract you while you’re meditating.
For setup, you first want to make sure the device is completely charged.
There’s no point in meditating with something that will shut down halfway through your session. The battery will last about five hours per charge.
Next, you want to download the Muse app. It works with both Apple and Android phones. You then sync your phone through your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, to the Muse device.
Adjust it on your head to make sure it fits perfectly and that the sensors are picking up your brain waves.
The Muse has seven calibrated sensors: two on the forehead, two behind the ears, and three reference sensors.
It detects the Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma waves of your brain. The calibration process will probably be the longest part of the setup. The Muse will be getting a baseline for how your brain functions.
Once the device and your phone are synced and you have the headband fitting snug on your head, you are ready to start meditating.
Plug your earbuds into your phone, pick whether you want to listen to the sounds of the beach or a rainforest, and chill out.
As your thoughts calm, so will the sounds you are listening to. If your thoughts start to wander, the sounds will become louder and rougher.
If you become completely calm and stay that way for a long period of time, bird sounds appear, letting you know how well you are doing.
There are also different difficulty levels you can select. Based on the level you choose, the audio feedback may fluctuate more or less rapidly.
The Muse app provides sessions ranging from 3 to 20 minutes. After each meditation session, you can review your results and set goals for the future.
The app also calculates points based on your meditation; one point for every second your brain stays in a neutral state and three points for every second you spend with a calm brain.
After 5000 points, you get to unlock more statistics to learn more about your sessions.
It is definitely an incentive to make meditating a habit if it wasn’t already one.
InteraXon: The Brand
Since their founding, they have created products such as a levitating chair and a brain-powered beer tap.According to their site, over 50,000 people have experienced one of their creations.
Their stated mission is to create brain-sensing technology to help people live “happier, healthier, and more-connected lives.”
InteraXon first released the Muse to the public in May of 2014.
Muse: The Brain-Sensing Headband Review
Multiple people can use the Muse, meaning you don’t have to buy more than one for a household.
As long as each person has their own account in the app and everyone logs out when they’re done meditating, you shouldn’t have any problems with multiple users on one device.
The headband also adjusts to each person’s head. It may take awhile to get the fit right the first time, but it becomes easier after that.
This is great for families, couples, or roommates who cohabitate and want to influence each other to meditate. It will definitely make it more interesting to commit to.
There are not many products out there that actually help you through your meditation or let you know if you have let your thoughts wander off.
When you meditate, you want to make each moment count (especially if you don’t have a lot of time), and Muse helps you know how effective each session is.
And, as with anything, the more you practice, the more you’re going to feel the benefits in your everyday life.
Multiple users noted in their reviews that the more they used it, the more they felt less stressed throughout their day. We can’t ask for much more than that!
The Muse headband, when you break it down, is simply a portable, user-friendly EEG machine tracking your brain waves.
Normally, an EEG is a huge machine at a doctor’s office or the hospital, but the Muse allows the user to bring it home with them.
This headband is small and lightweight so you can take it anywhere. If you plan on going on vacation or on a business trip, you can rest assured you won’t miss out on your sessions, and you’ll get an extra boost of relaxation while you’re away.
If you feel comfortable enough wearing it on the subway or on the bus, all power to you. You might be braver than most.
The Muse headband isn’t just a good idea for those looking to reduce stress or achieve a better state of relaxation, but it proves to be beneficial for those with injuries and health conditions.
Clinics have recommended this to patients with concussions as a way to better monitor their injury, while those dealing with conditions like bipolar disorder have found this to be a helpful tool to keep track of their progress and to help relax.
More and more doctors have been recommending Muse to their patients to help in a variety of ways from dealing with anxiety to cancer recovery.
If you’re dealing with a certain condition or injury and you think the Muse will help, don’t be afraid to speak with your doctor or health care provider to help decide if this is right for you.
Here’s a demo of the Muse headband and what it looks like out of its box.
The accuracy of the product has come into question. One user noted that the Muse seemed to be less accurate the lower the charge got on the battery.
The company does recommend not letting the battery level get below 50% and this could be the reason. All in all, it’s always best to keep this gadget fully (or mostly) charged and ready to go.
Users also noticed that if you made any kind of movement, or even yawned, the Muse would perceive that as you having active thoughts and the sound in their ears would increase in volume for several seconds.
While annoying to some, this can help further train you to be still during your sessions.
Connectivity and Calibration
There were also multiple complaints about interruptions in the connection between the Muse, the user’s phone, and their Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Once the signal was interrupted, the Muse didn’t record that part of the session, ultimately skewing the results at the end. If you have a weak Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection you’ll find it difficult to keep your sessions accurate.
Calibration was another issue; it can be difficult to calibrate the Muse to your brain waves. One user stated that they couldn’t get the headband to calibrate even when they stood completely still, while others had little issue at all.
This is just a heads up that it may take a bit of patience before getting started.
Meditation is meant for you to leave all your thoughts behind and gain a few moments of complete calm.
Is it possible to do that when you are focusing on whether or not the sound in your ears is quiet enough?
Is it possible to gain all the positive effects of meditation, when you are focused on whether you hear a bird chirping or not?
This device is in some ways making meditation into a game or competition. The game may be with yourself, but there is still a competitive-quality to the Muse.
Might a user be focused so hard on being calm that they never enjoy the moment? Either way, this headband will really make sure you’re getting into your sessions.
Based on all the information, we would recommend the Muse Brain-Sensing Headband. It would work best for those who’ve had trouble meditating in the past or people who are trying out meditation for the first time.
It is a good place to start, but people who have been meditating for a long time may find the game-quality counterproductive or distracting to their normal routine.
Where to Buy the Muse Brain Sensing Headband
Muse isn’t your typical product. InterXon really dives into innovation and smart technology to bring a new, helpful aspect to everyday routine.
The Muse Brain Sensing Headband has caught the attention of both tech and wellness enthusiasts, popularizing both the brand and the product.
For this reason, it won’t be too hard to get your hands on this product, available both in-store and online.
To start, check out the following online retailers.
And of course, you can also find Muse on Amazon.
That’s it for our Muse headband review. Curious to give it a try?