Muse S evaluate: a meditation coach you possibly can put on

Muse S evaluate: a meditation coach you possibly can put on

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The Muse S is a headscarf and iPhone app combo that may train you to meditate utilizing real-time biofeedback.

Meditation, the observe of regularly reeling your self into the current second, is one space the place Japanese philosophy and Western medication can agree. Research present that mindfulness meditation can cut back a protracted record of illnesses, together with melancholy, continual ache, nervousness, and hypertension.

Even should you aren’t tormented by any of these circumstances, meditation may help floor you. It may give you peace and a way of inner steadiness.

Solely within the final decade has expertise had any function to play in meditation. Interaxon, the Canadian firm that made the primary meditation headband for shoppers in 2014, now has a extra superior — and extra comfy — mannequin known as Muse S.

What’s Muse S?

Muse S is a sensor-laden headband that uses audio cues to teach meditation
Muse S is a sensor-laden headband that makes use of audio cues to show meditation

Muse makes use of an electroencephalogram (EEG) and different sensors to provide you real-time meditation suggestions. In contrast to a human coach, it could see what your mind is doing and let you know about it because it’s taking place. You put on headphones — AirPods and AirPods Professional are perfect — and hearken to real-time audio cues that let you know what your mind is as much as.

The product additionally consists of guided meditations and soundscapes, trying to be a one-stop-shop for all of your meditation wants.

The Muse S is the corporate’s top-of-the-line mannequin. It is also by far essentially the most comfy. It takes all of the sensors from the hard-plastic Muse 2, provides some sleep options, and crams all of it right into a cushy-soft cloth band.

Mind-sensing suggestions remains to be the product’s marquee function:

  • If it senses extra energetic and burdened mind exercise, the soundscape will reply with extra turbulent “climate” like gusting winds, thunder, or roaring waves.
  • If it senses calm, the audio atmosphere will settle down. You’ll solely hear tranquil feels like delicately rustling leaves and chirping birds.

Your mind will possible shift between calm, energetic, and in-between states numerous occasions throughout a session. The actual-time audio tells you precisely when these shifts occur, supplying you with the possibility to determine what “works” and what would not.

Headband design

The pod —  sitting in the forehead area —  is a removable section that includes the battery and other tech
The pod — sitting within the brow space — is a detachable part that features the battery and different tech

Whether or not you are meditating or sleeping, the headscarf is extremely gentle and comfy to put on. You do not have to regulate any straps, as you wrap the band round your brow and pull down on the again till it is tight.

I have never had any issues maintaining the sensors involved with my bald head. Our different testers — who’ve full heads of hair — additionally had flawless experiences.

The headscarf features a detachable pod that homes its battery and different tech. When the band has gathered sufficient head gunk to warrant a washing, you possibly can simply pull out the pod and throw the remaining headband into the laundry.

We washed our evaluate unit’s band within the delicate cycle — sun-drying it afterward — with none points.

It's easy to remove and re-insert the pod
It is simple to take away and re-insert the pod

The headscarf fees through the pod’s micro USB port. We’d have most well-liked to see USB-C on a contemporary and costly tech product like this.

What Muse S can do for you

Earlier than reviewing Muse S, I had already frolicked with each the unique Muse and Muse 2. Their suggestions has helped me discern higher what calm appears like — and what I can do to get there.

If you are going to make investments on this $350 wi-fi accent, it’s worthwhile to present up with an experimental, resilient, and curious thoughts. If you begin, there is a good likelihood you may solely hear turbulent sounds, indicating an excessively energetic thoughts.

At that time, it is all too simple to throw your palms within the air and resolve that meditation is simply too onerous or that this silly headband would not know something.

You will want a willingness to make connections between your mindset and the suggestions you hear. You will additionally want braveness and humility to let go of outdated habits and open your self to what mindfulness means.

At first, which will take you to some unfamiliar and uncomfortable locations. In case you keep it up, it could additionally open new components of your self.

Meditation is not about marching on a straight line in direction of “grasp degree,” the place you are then 100% calm on a regular basis. As an alternative, consider it as a continuing technique of bringing your focus again to your respiratory. Going off-track is assured; what’s necessary is that you just reset and refocus.

Meditation simplifies your focus, opening you to a mind-set that feels greater than your recurring ideas and worries.

Muse marketing image
Muse advertising picture

Some could flip their noses up on the idea of a tech product gamifying meditation. In any case, we’re speaking about an historical — even sacred for some — observe.

Introducing quantifiable knowledge into that equation is a brand new and unusual idea.

Nonetheless, we discover brainwave suggestions to be among the best attainable methods to start or increase a meditation observe. Listening to your thoughts’s exercise ranges in real-time cannot solely let you know that it’s worthwhile to let go; it could additionally reassure you that a number of anxious ideas right here and there aren’t something to freak out over.

There have been loads of occasions when my thoughts wandered to some annoying matter, however so long as I did not ruminate on it, it did not register a lot on the EEG. Ruminating, nonetheless, is assured to deliver on some turbulent sounds.

We people cannot all the time self-evaluate in addition to we predict. Muse could be the surface observer that sees into our minds and provides us unbiased suggestions.

Even the world’s most skilled meditation coach cannot fairly do this.

Muse app and subscription

The companion iPhone app lets you set up sessions and discover guided meditations
The companion iPhone app enables you to arrange periods and uncover guided meditations

The companion iOS app is the place you management your session. It lets you customise its time, mode, and audio profile.

Its optionally available voice-guided meditations are corresponding to what you’d discover on rival platforms like Calm or Headspace. Some guided meditations are free together with your buy, however a subscription at $12.99/month or $94.99/12 months provides over 500 extra. The service provides new recordings weekly.

We did not like that if you first arrange the system, the app makes you hearken to completely different introductory recordings earlier than every session. You will have the choice to skip them, however you may nonetheless have to manually hit “skip” each time you utilize the system till you’ve got listened to sufficient of them to toggle them off completely.

Introductory classes serve a function, however these go method past “Here is what the product is, here is how you utilize it, and listed below are some meditation fundamentals.” It assumes you have not meditated earlier than and pulls you right into a collection of voice recordings prefacing every session.

We will not assist however assume the corporate is coaching you to affiliate the product with guided meditations — subsequently making you extra possible to purchase a subscription.

After completing a Mind Meditation session, you can view a graph of your data
After finishing a Thoughts Meditation session, you possibly can view a graph of your knowledge

Whereas the guided recordings shall be price the additional price if that is what you are on the lookout for, those that solely need to use Muse’s suggestions are nonetheless pressured to undergo this train in tedium. Listening to multiple introductory recording for every part of the app is an excessive amount of. Making you hearken to 10 of them is dangerous design.

You can also’t background the app or put your iPhone to sleep whereas in a meditation session. Since iOS is completely able to doing that, we marvel if this choice additionally got here again to promoting subscriptions.

If the system labored alongside different apps, you may be much less inclined to pony up for a Muse subscription.

Different sensors and modes

The opposite Muse S modes — respiratory, heart-rate, stillness, and sleep — aren’t fairly as compelling as brain-sensing. We see these as extra like bonuses than killer options to rival its brain-sensing:

  • Respiratory mode asks you to sync your breath with audio cues that encourage slower and deeper respiratory. This mode makes use of a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor whereas offering background suggestions that tells you ways properly you are aligning your breath with the information.
  • One other mode displays your coronary heart charge whereas meditating. The sound of a drumbeat alerts you in real-time to your coronary heart’s rhythm.
  • Physique meditation helps you observe stillness. It makes use of the headscarf’s accelerometer to guides you — once more utilizing audio cues — right into a balanced and relaxed bodily posture.

These further modes add to the product’s breadth. Nonetheless, since these metrics are simpler to self-monitor than your ideas, they tackle a secondary significance.

Understand that because the audio suggestions solely communicates one kind of information at a time, you possibly can’t layer modes. You need to choose one for every session and might’t, for instance, do a session that displays your thoughts and heartbeat.

Sleep mode

A lot of Muse S’s advertising facilities round its sleep meditations and monitoring. These packages embrace some refined real-time suggestions, however that is not as large part of this sort of session.

Sleep mode is extra about listening to guided recordings as you put together to float off. It then tracks some primary sleep knowledge via the evening.

When you drift off, it tracks the next:

  • Sleep place
  • Coronary heart charge
  • Stillness
  • “Deep sleep depth”
  • Sleep levels

This knowledge would not add a lot that different sleep-tracking merchandise — together with the Apple Watch, Beddit, and Oura Ring — additionally provide.

In case you sleep alone, you may need to pair your cellphone with a bedside Bluetooth speaker earlier than beginning the nighttime routine. In any other case, you are left sporting AirPods or different earphones — not essentially the most comfy method to sleep.

In case you already use a number of sleep trackers, then this mode will not possible be the rationale you purchase Muse S. You possibly can replicate or enhance on its sleep options with many competing services and products.

Is Muse S price it?

While some of its features are less than essential, Muse S can help you learn mindfulness
Whereas a few of its options are lower than important, Muse S may help you be taught mindfulness

Meditation is a private observe, and your wants could also be completely different from others’ wants.

Whereas brain-sensing remains to be the star of the present, Muse S expands the product from a one-trick pony right into a full-fledged platform. We have been most impressed with the EEG and gentle kind issue, however many individuals will recognize having completely different suggestions modes and a collection of guided meditations multi functional place.

At $350 — although generally on sale for $300 — Muse S is costly. It is solely going to be price it should you’re able to decide to each day meditation observe and be taught from its suggestions.

That features making it via these irritating first steps the place you understand you are not superb at this.

Nonetheless, so long as you utilize it persistently and with a thoughts in direction of altering habits, Muse S may help you begin a meditation observe — or take your present one to the following degree. It could unlock extra steadiness, mindfulness, and calm. If that is what you are after, it is price each penny of its appreciable price ticket.


  • EEG brainwave suggestions is very instructive
  • Smooth and comfy headband
  • Breath, Physique, and Coronary heart modes add nuance
  • Washable
  • Battery life is lengthy sufficient for quite a few periods
  • In depth suite of optionally available guided meditations
  • Subscription is not required for the product’s core options


  • Pretty costly
  • Costs through Micro-USB as a substitute of USB-C
  • Forces you to hearken to too many introductory recordings
  • Solely works with the app open and cellphone awake – it will not work with different meditation apps
  • Sleep options are nothing new or distinctive
  • At its worth, a journey case needs to be included — not a separate $40 buy

Score: 4 out of 5

The place to purchase

Muse S prices $349.99 from Amazon or the corporate web site. Non-obligatory guided meditation subscriptions price $12.99/month or $94.99/12 months. You can even order a bundle that features the headscarf and a one-year subscription for $444.98.


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