Best Brain Sensing Headbands

By Amanda Lasater

Technology has changed the medical industry and it will continue to change how we both view and receive medical treatments in the future. In the last decade, we have seen a huge rise in the number of wearable medical devices available to everyone. These devices are typically geared at monitoring physical activity and preventing medical problems, however, they may offer ways to treat medical issues as well. One such device known as a brain-sensing headband uses wearable neurofeedback sensors to help treat anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.  

The headbands are used during meditation in conjunction with headphones. They utilize electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to interpret your mental activity and help guide you throughout your meditative state. For example, when your mind is calm and settled, you are given positive audio reinforcement such as peaceful weather. When your focus drifts, sounds such as stormy weather act as cues to bring your attention back to your breath and develop coping methods for stress. Overall, these devices allow you to control your brain’s reactions to negative stimuli. 

The Best Brain Sensing Headbands

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The Muse 2

Best overall

Great for meditation

The Muse 2 can help bring your daily meditation to the next level and bring you insightful data about your mind and body. 

While you meditate, this brain-sensing headband keeps tabs on your brain activity, your poster, and your heart rate and breath rate. To do this, the Muse 2 uses 7 sensors embedded within the headband, including an EEG, accelerometer, gyroscope, and pulse oximeter. With daily use of about 15 minutes, the battery of the Muse 2 should last you about 2 weeks for a total battery life of 5 hours.

Pros

  • Advanced range of sensors
  • Lightweight
  • Allows for multiple users
  • Uses your body and brain’s data to improve meditation

Cons

  • Pricey
  • All sensors do not record simultaneously 
  • A paid subscription is required
BRAINLINK

Best for brain training

Therapeutic and relaxing

The BRAINLINK is another incredible headband that offers meditation training to relieve brain fatigue and enhance your ability to cope with stress. The headset uses EEG sensors to convert brain waves into audio feedback and help you improve your meditation skills. The brain training apps that BrainLink offers to improve the success of the neurofeedback are not only fun, but they also produce the same therapeutic effect as professional neurofeedback “brain games.” 

Pros

  • Works with over 20 neuro-gaming apps
  • Secure on forehead
  • Makes neurofeedback fun for all aging

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Only records EEG
  • Short battery life of only 130 minutes
Ivation

Best for sleep

Feel recharged after one use

The LUUNA is one of the first intelligent sleep masks that tailors its neurofeedback therapy to improve sleep. 

LUUNA intelligently learns your brain waves to produce music that is in harmony with your body’s rhythm and helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Whether you want to fall into a deep sleep or just catch a quick, rejuvenating nap, the LUUNA offers 3 different sleep modes: the deep sleep mode, for a full night of rest; the power nap mode, for a few minutes to recharge your mind; and, finally, concentration mode, which helps train your brain and improve focus and concentration. 

Pros

  • Smart wakeup waits to wake you until your in your lightest sleep
  • 80 hours of battery life
  • Washable headband

Cons

  • No user manual
  • Some find it uncomfortable

How to pick the best brain sensing headband

Here are the main factors you will want to look at when searching for a brain-sensing headband:

  • Weight: Your neurofeedback headband should be light enough that it doesn’t bother you at all while you are wearing it.
  • Comfort: In general, the headband should be made with stretchy, comfortable materials that won’t cause you any irritation.
  • Types of sensors: At the very minimum, the headband should include an EEG sensor to monitor brain waves. There are numerous other sensors that can improve your neurofeedback experience and provide you with much more data.Here are the extra sensors that may be beneficial to your health:
      • Photoplethysmogram (PPG) + Pulse Oximetry: For heartbeat feedback that can help optimize performance and improve self-regulation
      • PPG + Gyroscope: Help you monitor breathing and train you to use your breath to find calm and fight stress
      • Accelerometer + Gyroscope: Helps you discover how your posture can bring you physical relaxation

Conclusion

Neurofeedback has been shown to be highly effective in treating depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and even ADHD because it gives the individual the tools to train their mind away from negative thoughts and towards positive thoughts. And, when used in conjunction with a headband, neurofeedback can be an incredibly fun and easy way to learn how to control your brain waves. Through repeated use of these headbands, we are confident that neurofeedback can help you deal with the stresses of everyday life or even more serious issues.


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