The Brain Sensing Headband

Muse 2: The Brain Sensing Headband for Meditation

Are you looking for an a-muse-ing way to meditate? The futuristic-looking Muse 2 can help you out and completely transform your meditation experience!

So, what is Muse exactly? It is an EEG device used by neuroscience researchers around the world. It works by using advanced signal processing and the device interprets your mental activity. If your mind is calm and settled, then you will hear the sounds that mimic peaceful weather. However, the very moment your focus drifts and your mind gets busy, you’ll start hearing stormy weather. This will be your signal that you should start focusing on your breathing again.

There are so many apps and devices that allow you to track your running and workout times and oversee your fitness progress over time. So, why wouldn’t you also track how well your brain and body respond to meditation. That is the innovative idea behind Muse, sensor-laden headbands designed to be worn while you meditate.

Muse devices are compatible with the Muse Meditation app and you can connect them to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Then, open the app, put the headphones on, and close your eyes. The device will save your results and you can track your progress over time.

Sounds interesting? Keep reading to find out what else can Muse 2 do!

Table of Contents

You may have to read the following sentence twice because it is a bit confusing. Muse 2 is the third iteration of the hardware released (and there was one more released after it, but we’ll get to it later). When compared to its predecessors it just looks like their smaller and slimmer version. But, Muse 2 packs so many more components and represents a giant leap forward for the whole meditation wearable platform.

Muse 2 contains an optical heart-rate monitor that keeps track of the pulse in your forehead, gyroscope, and an accelerometer. All Muse 2 owners can access three new kinds of meditation. The first type uses the two sensors and requires you to remain as still as possible. The second one uses the pulse sensor to help you calm down and lower your heart rate. The third one uses all the sensors and takes you through breathing exercises.

If you’re looking for a way to take your meditation to the next level, this headband will help you keep tabs on your brain, posture, heart, and breath as you meditate. Paired with an incredible app that provides audio instructions, cues, and music, Muse 2 will teach you to regain focus over time, improve your meditation skills, and reap as many benefits of being mindful as possible.

What makes Muse 2 stand out is from its predecessors (besides the previously-mentioned updates) is the light and comfortable design and the fact that the device is easy to carry.

This headband device is meant to sit in the middle of your forehead and it secures around the back of your ears, just like a pair of glasses would. You can make the headband tighter or looser by adjusting its arms. It is important to keep the device as close to the skin as possible so that it could provide more accurate readings.

The device might feel a little fragile to you. So, if you want to protect it, you can buy a separate carry case for $39.99. This way, you will be able to bring Muse 2 with you wherever you go, without damaging it.

You don’t have to do much to get Muse 2 up and running. Just make sure that the headset is charged and that you have the Muse app downloaded to your smartphone. Then, open the app, create an account, and sync the phone and the headband via Bluetooth. The app is user friendly and you can create multiple accounts so that more than one person can use your Muse 2.

Once you connect the device, you need to check if all the sensors on your Muse device work. The app will present you with a pie chart with a section dedicated to each sensor. Then, the chart will fill up when each of the different sensors has a good signal.

This process may take a few minutes and you may have to move the band up and down and make it smaller or bigger. The app will guide you through the entire process and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Muse 2 requires you to download the Muse app for it to work. And, the app is absolutely fantastic! First of all, you get fantastic audio feedback. Then, the sensors collect some really interesting data that can help you keep track of your thoughts and your meditation progress.

The app features a dashboard that gives you info about your meditation history, weekly goals, challenges, and milestones you reached. All of the icons are colorful and easy to recognize. And, the milestone badges can be quite motivational.

Once you open the app you will be prompted to choose the type of meditation you want. You can go for Mind (EEG), Heart (PPG + pulse oximeter), Breath (PPG + gyroscope), and Body (accelerometer). Every type of meditation provides unique audio feedback which can be customized.

For example, if you choose the Mind meditation, you will get to listen to a rainforest soundscape or, more precisely, light rain. When you start hearing heavy rain, that will be the cue that you’re not concentrating.

The Heart meditation, on the other hand, uses a drum soundscape which informs you about the beat of your heart. The faster the heartbeats, the faster the drum gets.

Besides this soundscape feedback, there are also guided instructions that allow you to try different types of practice each time. For example, the first lessons focus on teaching you to become aware of what your body is doing, the later ones teach you how to control the sounds.

The meditation results are interesting and insightful, but you can only interact with the EEG sensor or get more detailed graph breakdowns during a mind meditation instead of all of the different types.

You can use the results to track your meditation progress over time. But, it takes a few sessions for the app to be able to collect and analyze data. So, don’t expect to be able to read the results right away. The Muse app will try to tell you how well you did with each session with some metrics, like ‘Muse Points’, which are rewarded for every second you meditate.

The Muse 2 headband can last for quite a while. It comes with a micro USB cable and, according to the manufacturer, takes two hours to fully charge. 

There is a small light bar on the right side of the Muse 2, which shows you how much your device is charged. After being fully charged, the device can take up to 5 hours of continuous use. If you meditate 15 minutes every day, then you can use the headband for around two weeks.

And, that’s all there is to say about Muse 2! We mentioned at the beginning of this article that there is one model that was released after Muse 2. It contains similar features but is slightly more expensive. Keep reading to find out how well Muse 2 performs to the latest model of the Muse headband.

Muse 2 vs. Muse S Review

Muse S comes with one additional feature that makes it different from Muse 2. It is made to be soft and flexible so that you can wear it overnight. But, why would you want to wear it when you sleep? Well, because Muse S gives the user access to Go-to-Sleep Journeys, which is a unique meditation type that combines voice guidance and soundscapes which respond to your physiological state.

How does this innovative go-to-sleep companion work? Well, just put the headband on, hop into bed, choose the Go-to-Sleep Journey feature, and close tour eyes. The calming voice of your teacher will guide you through a soothing journey into a restful slumber. This type of meditation will help you shift from the busy thoughts that keep you awake so you could easily fall asleep.

When you wake up, the app will provide you with your pre-sleep data that lets you know if you were able to achieve a calm state before falling asleep. These metrics are associated with how your mind and body responded to pre-sleep meditation.

So, the main difference between the Muse 2 and the Muse S is that the latter gives you access to pre-sleep meditation type and also new sleep soundscapes. In order for you to be able to use the headband while you sleep, the device is made of comfortable and plush material.

If you don’t struggle to fall asleep and you prefer daily meditation, then Muse 2 is still a great choice for you.

Final Verdict

Is meditation a part of your daily life? Well then, it is about time for you to take your classic experience to the next level. The Muse 2 is a very insightful wearable that will not only help you meditate but it will also help you keep track of your meditation practice over time.

The Muse 2 is an excellent choice for those who already meditate and want to get to grips with their practice and the impact it has on their body and mind. But, it is an even better choice for those who would like to give meditation a shot but they don’t know how to start.

This wearable tracks a range of metrics thanks to its bevy of sensors, including an EEG, PPG and pulse oximetry, accelerometer, and gyroscope. Once you calibrate the headband properly and make sure that all of the sensors work well, the headband will start collecting data that will be presented in graphs. And, you will be rewarded with badges every time your meditation is successful. The Muse app is great at collecting data and it will give you an insight into certain life events and how they affect you and your meditation practice.

As already mentioned, the only downside of the app is that it provides detailed information after the Mind meditation and not the other types. Also, some data, such as being able to hear 18 birds during the Mind meditation is a bit confusing. There is no context that lets you know whether the data is positive or not and if 18 birds is enough or should you be striving for more.

Having said all this, the data the Muse app collects is undoubtedly insightful and motivating. You will definitely get a kick out of seeing the graphs and comparing them day by day. So, if you’re in for a life-changing, Sci-Fi kind of device, then Muse 2 is the perfect choice for you!

Tommy P.
Tommy P.

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