Muse is a wearable brain sensing headband. The device measures brain activity via 4 electroencephalography (EEG) sensors. An accompanying mobile app converts the EEG signal into audio feedback that is fed to the user via headphones.
Muse gives you feedback about your meditation in real time by translating your brain signals into the sounds of wind. I use this for my meditation practice because it provides motivational challenges and rewards to encourage building a regular practice. With meditation, consistency is king, so you’ll want a device that challenges and encourages a steady practice.
Muse is worn over the ears and connects to a companion mobile app via Bluetooth. The device uses biofeedback to inform the wearer about their brain states. As the device monitors your brain activity, the app takes that activity and provides audible feedback to the wearer. A relaxed brain state will be communicated to the wearer by the sound of tweeting birds. More active brain states not associated with meditative states will be communicated with storm sounds. The developers claim that using the headband helps wearers reach a deeply relaxed state.
- Muse motivates you to change your brain. It is the first tool in the world that can give you accurate, real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain while you meditate.
- It provides motivational challenges and rewards to encourage you to build a regular practice.
- It improves how you respond to stress. In the short-term, meditation has been shown to trigger a natural relaxation response – a state of deep rest that changes physiological and emotional responses to stress. In this state, your metabolism decreases, your heartbeat and breathing slow, muscles relax, and your blood pressure decreases.
- Extended use can have amazing and lasting results. Meditation has been scientifically shown to reduce symptoms associated with stress, depression, and anxiety. Research has documented other benefits, like increased grey matter density, reduced thinning of the prefrontal cortex, decreasing amygdala activity (associated with stress response), and increased resilience – basically, an overall beneficial change of the brain’s structure and function.
- It is designed to help you form the habit. Research has shown using an app and starting with 3-5 minutes can dramatically help you build a meditation practice. Muse starts you with 3-minute sessions and rewards you for your achievements, making sure it’s easy and motivating to train with Muse.
What I Don’t Like
My biggest issue with the Muse headband is that you have to remain still while wearing it. This isn’t a huge issue, as most of the time people do sit still when they’re meditating, but the biofeedback provided by Muse would be great during other activities, like exercise.
Muse is priced at $249 but that includes the headband as well as a fully unlocked app. You won’t have to pay more to access the data tracking or other features within the app, which is great. This is a large investment, but if you’re serious about training your brain, it’s well worth it.
Navy SEAL Approved?
Yes. This device is a standout product for how it translates mental states into useable feedback, but what really puts this one over the top is the way it starts you off with small sessions and challenges and encourages you to meditate better and longer. Before long, you’ll have a regular, effective meditation practice.
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