Weird Product Review: Meditation Headbands

A Canadian company recently released its second model of a brain-scanning headband meant to help consumers meditate.

This fall, Interaxon released the Muse 2, a $250 headband device that matches certain sounds to its wearer’s brain activity for the purpose of helping him or her meditate. The headgear pairs with a smartphone or tablet app.

The headband works by reading the brain’s electrical rhythms, while also considering heart rate and body movement. Based on these readings, the Muse app plays a selection of sounds corresponding to what it perceives as the user’s state of mind.

For example, if a wearer is not relaxed or his mind is straying, the Muse app will play rain. When a user relaxes and clears his mind, the app will play sounds of birds chirping.

Besides meditation, the Muse 2 comes with other exercises. These include exercises for staying as still as possible, lowering a user’s heart rate, and breathing.

Indre Viskontas, a neuroscientist, found the technology interesting but suggested a brain-scanning device may not be necessary to identify one’s mood.

“We’re sort of seduced by the idea that we can look inside our brains and that will tell us something new,” she told CNBC. “We forget that our behavior is a reflection of our brains and something as simple as, you know, how you feel.”

Mashable gave the Muse 2 a rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars, praising most of its functions but criticizing its price tag and some of its sounds.


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