fbpx

Muse S Brain-Sensing Headband Review

Published:
Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Written by

Muse S is a brain-sensing headband that can give you real-time feedback on your brain activity using wearable EEG technology that is normally only found in laboratories. 

Together with the accompanying Muse app (which offers over 500 guided sessions), you can use Muse S for meditation and sleep tracking. The data captured by the device then provides actionable insights for improving your sleep and optimizing your meditation sessions.

Since I’m new to meditation, I’ve used Muse S over the past few months to help me get into the habit of regular meditation and to gain more awareness of what’s going on inside of my head during sessions. Additionally, I’ve been trying to find out how accurate Muse S is as a sleep tracker. 

In this review, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this EEG-powered wearable, including how it compares to some of the other sleep trackers I’ve been using, like WHOOP and Biostrap.

Note that there are two versions of the Muse headband: Muse 2 and Muse S. The “S” in the latter stands for “Sleep,” and it’s the one I cover in this review. However, much of what I talk about in this article — especially the features related to real time biofeedback (i.e., brain-sensing) and meditation also apply to Muse 2. Throughout this article I occasionally use the term “Muse,” which means I’m referring to features that apply to both headbands. 

Muse S

Michael Kummer

Guided meditation
Sleep tracking
Accuracy
Battery Life

Summary

Muse S is an EEG-powered headband that helps you refocus during the day (via meditation) and track your sleep overnight.

4.4

The primary purpose of Muse S is to help you refocus during the day and recover at night. So first let’s talk about how I’ve used Muse S over the past few months to help me get my feet wet with meditation, and then dig into how accurate Muse S is when compared to wrist-worn sleep trackers like the WHOOP strap.

Muse S for Meditation

Michael Kummer wearing the Muse S headband.
Me wearing the Muse S headband.

I have to admit that I’m fairly new to meditation and practicing mindfulness in a structured manner. I’ve done quite a bit of breathing work in the past, but usually as a means to help me fall asleep quicker

Prior to discovering Muse S, I had never taken time during the day to meditate. So I figured this would be a great opportunity to get my feet wet and learn if Muse S could help me make meditation a part of my daily routine.

What’s cool about the Muse S headband is that it provides real-time biofeedback on how your body reacts to meditation. I’ll talk more about that in a bit, when we dive into the different types of meditation Muse offers.

Additionally, Muse S visualizes brain activity via its built-in electroencephalogram (EEG), so that you can clearly see how calm and relaxed you are (as well as how fast or slow your heart was beating) during a session.

The other thing I like about this gadget is the Muse app that’s loaded with over 500 (guided) meditation sessions, including a starter series that introduces the basic concepts of mindfulness.

In addition to guided meditation, the app also offers dedicated sessions focused on the whole body, the mind, the heart and breath, and you can do them either with or without instructions. If you just want to meditate on your own in complete silence and without worrying about putting on your Muse S headband, you can do that too (using the app’s timer function).

One thing that I’ve discovered while completing Muse’s meditation Starter Series is that I wasn’t new to meditation after all.

All of the breathing exercises I’ve been doing to fall asleep quicker are considered meditation or mindfulness. That’s because during those breathing sessions, I was being mindful and focused on only one thing: my breath. And that’s what meditation is really about — being present while letting go of all the distracting thoughts that would otherwise clutter your mind.

That realization has helped me change my perception of meditation and accept that it’s not some voodoo technique only hippies would use. Instead, I’ve come to realize that meditation and mindfulness are incredibly powerful tools that can help me better manage stress.

Meditation for Stress Management

78% of Muse users report being more relaxed after using the device.
78% of Muse users report being more relaxed after using the device.

If you’ve read my article about the five pillars that make up a healthy lifestyle, you know that stress management is one of them! Unfortunately, most people lack the tools necessary for managing chronic stress. The good news is that meditation, mindfulness, breathwork and stress-reducing wearables (such as the Muse headband) can help.

I’ve been using Muse for a couple of months and I can tell you that I feel and sleep better on days when I invest a few minutes in meditation. I’ve also noticed that it’s better for me to be proactive and to meditate before I get wrapped up in (and stressed out about) my daily chores. So I aim to spend 10 to 20 minutes with Muse right after lunch (before going back to work). 

That way, I can start off the afternoon mentally refreshed instead of waiting until my anxiety levels have risen to a point where I no longer want to meditate because I have so much stuff I need to finish before the day is over.

Muse Meditation Collection

As indicated above, the Muse app, in combination with a premium subscription (see below), is loaded with hundreds of meditation sessions. So I wanted to give you an overview of some of the most important categories.

The first thing you see when you launch the Muse app is the “Meditation” tab and six icons that represent the high-level categories of meditation options you have, including:

  1. Mind Meditation to help you calm your mind and get rid of distracting or racing thoughts.
  2. Heart Meditation to help you slow down and control your heartbeat.
  3. Body Meditation to help you relax your entire body and recognize how tension can influence the activity in your brain.
  4. Breath Meditation to discover how controlling your breath can positively influence your autonomic nervous system.
  5. Guided Meditation to help you explore new meditation techniques.
  6. A timer you can use for free (i.e., unguided) meditation sessions, with or without the headband.

When you start your first meditation session, the Muse app will likely ask you to run through a brief calibration process to establish a baseline for your brainwaves and heart rate. This initial calibration takes about a minute and helps Muse learn your biometrics.

Once you’ve completed the calibration, you’re free to start any of the meditation sessions.

I first completed the guided starter series, which helps you become familiar with some of the specific types of meditation, including the ones listed above (mind, heart, body and breath). After that, I started exploring mind and heart meditation. And that’s when I first experienced what Muse means by “real-time biofeedback.”

Michael’s first breath meditation session.
Michael’s first breath meditation session.

For example, one of the mind meditation sessions includes a rainforest soundscape, and Muse dynamically changes the weather in that soundscape based on your brain activity. 

For example, the calmer you are, the less weather you hear. So you might only hear the soft noise of a calm breeze, or you might only hear birds chirping if your head is completely devoid of thoughts. 

But as soon as your brain starts wandering, the weather changes and you might hear heavy rain or thunderstorms. It’s truly an unreal experience to get a real-time reflection of your brainwaves. 

Click on the thumbnail below to listen to one of my recent brain meditation sessions and hear how the weather changes as my mind becomes more distracted.

My recent brain meditation session.

Another example is the loudness and intensity of the drums that I heard during a heart meditation session; the sound of the drums reflected the rhythm of my heartbeat in real-time.

Michael’s first heart meditation session.
Michael’s first heart meditation session.

It’s an unreal experience, but one that helps you remain accountable and present in the moment.

Besides these biofeedback-enabled meditation sessions, Muse also offers a constantly-growing guided meditation catalog with several different male and female coaches.

Here are just a few of the guided meditation courses Muse offers via its premium subscription:

  • Changing Habits: Helps you identify unhealthy habits you want to change while providing tools to break them.
  • Foundations of Mindfulness: Introduces you to the basics of mindfulness and meditation.
  • Mindful Relationships: Gives you tips and tools to become a more mindful, caring and loving partner.
  • Mindful Work: Teaches you to be more focused, resilient, empathetic and emotionally and socially intelligent at work.
  • Neuroscience and Well-Being: Helps you to make small changes to feel happier, calmer and have a greater sense of well-being.
  • Sleep Basics: Gives you tips and tools to help you sleep better.
  • Uncovering Happiness: Learn how to harness your brain’s natural antidepressant power, feel more joy and think more positively.

Each of these courses consists of between 10 and 22 guided lessons as shown in the screenshot below.

Some of the lessons included in the Mindful Work course.
Some of the lessons included in the Mindful Work course.

Additionally, Muse also offers collections that are curated to target specific areas of your life, including:

  • Burnout Basics
  • Cancer Comfort
  • Eating
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Gratitude
  • Grief
  • Happiness
  • Life Transitions
  • Motivation
  • Performance
  • Resilience
  • Self-Care
  • Stress

Much like the guided courses, these collections include curated sessions to help you better manage specific areas of your life. For example, the Burnout Basics collection helps you with self-assessment so you can better understand whether or not you’re suffering from burnout.

These are just some of the dozens of collections you can find in the Muse app. So regardless of your specific meditation goals, you’ll likely find a course or collection to get you started. 

I’ve had Muse for several months and I’ve only scratched the surface as far as exploring the available meditation sessions. Plus, Muse keeps adding new sessions every month!

Now that we’ve covered Muse as a meditation device, let’s talk about sleep tracking.

Benefits of Meditation

The Best Stress Relief Gadgets
Me meditating outside with Muse S.

If you’re reading this article because you’re interested in Muse S as a tool to support your meditation practice, you’re probably already aware of the benefits meditation can have. But for those of you who are new to meditation, let’s briefly talk about some of the scientifically-proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness, including:

As you can see, meditation can have a profound impact on your health and well-being, and it has become an essential tool for me to better manage stress.

Muse S as a Sleep Tracker

Just five minutes of meditation helps me to clear my mind.
Just five minutes of meditation helps me to clear my mind.

Besides using Muse to get into the habit of practicing mindfulness, I was particularly interested in learning how the Muse S headband would perform as a sleep tracker.

If you’ve read my WHOOP review and my reviews of some of the other wrist-worn sleep trackers I’ve used in the past, you know that accurately detecting the various stages of sleep is incredibly challenging without the use of an EEG. 

That’s particularly true for REM sleep, which is a fairly active stage of sleep that wrist-worn sleep trackers can easily confuse with light sleep.

Guess what? Muse S has a built-in EEG to monitor brain waves. As a result, it should be able to accurately differentiate between REM, slow-wave (deep) and light sleep.

Tracking sleep with Muse S is as easy as starting a sleep session via the Muse app. Since I wasn’t interested in any soundscapes or guided meditation for this test, I chose the “Use External Audio” option. Doing so tells the app to not play any audio once the sleep session starts. Instead, you can play your own audio (or none at all). 

When you wake up, you simply stop the session and tell the app how refreshed you feel before you see the detailed sleep data and decide whether or not you want to save it.

The only caveat with using Muse S for sleep tracking is that you have to keep Bluetooth enabled on your phone because the device doesn’t store the sleep data locally (streaming it to your phone instead). Keep that in mind if you’re used to switching your phone to airplane mode at night (like I usually do).

While it’s not an issue to keep Bluetooth enabled from a technical perspective, it’s certainly not ideal if you’re concerned about how electromagnetic fields (EMFs) close to your brain could negatively impact your health in the long-run.

I’m critically aware of the fact that we’re surrounded by EMFs and that there isn’t much we can do to completely avoid them. Still, I wouldn’t recommend having a Bluetooth radio wrapped around your head every single night.

As a result, I use Muse S for sleep tracking only on occasion and when I’m testing how certain lifestyle changes influence the quality of my sleep. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out my article on the potential dangers associated with EMFs.

iOS allows you to enable Airplane mode without having to turn off Bluetooth.
iOS allows you to enable Airplane mode without having to turn off Bluetooth.

Note: You can activate airplane mode while keeping Bluetooth enabled on an iPhone by enabling airplane mode first and then turning Bluetooth back on via the Control Center.

Besides calculating your overall sleep score — which is based on such factors as how quickly you fell asleep, how frequently you woke up during the night, how long you were asleep and how much time you spent in each sleep stage (compared to your demographic) — the Muse app also gives you a detailed breakdown of the following metrics:

  • Total time asleep.
  • Time spent in each sleep stage (awake, REM, light and deep).
  • Deep sleep intensity (based on your delta-wave activity).
  • Sleep position.

I find the deep sleep intensity graph particularly interesting because it tells me how restorative my deep sleep is. In fact, I can correlate certain dietary behaviors with less intense deep sleep. 

For example, on days when I don’t eat any (or only very few carbohydrates), I wake up relatively rested but feel like I spent a lot of time awake or in light sleep. 

I was never able to confirm that feeling with other sleep trackers, because they showed that I spent a healthy amount of time in deep sleep (approximately 20% of my total sleep). With Muse S, I was able to confirm that while I didn’t spend any less time in deep sleep on those low-carb days, my deep sleep was less intense. 

I don’t want to drift off too much into a discussion about ketones vs. glucose as a source of fuel, and it’s quite possible that my body might need less intense deep sleep when it’s running on ketones as its primary source of energy. But I wanted to mention this observation for those of you who have had a similar experience while on a ketogenic diet.

Overall, I was impressed by the sleep tracking capabilities of Muse S. But I will say that wearing a headband all night takes some getting used to (much like a sleep mask). Some people might find wearing a strap around their wrist more comfortable.

Personally, I’ll continue wearing Muse S overnight, but only on those occasions when I want to get the most accurate picture of how I slept, like when I introduce lifestyle changes that I suspect will impact my sleep. 

Examples of such changes might include long fasts, changes in meal timing, new foods, late workouts, natural sleep aids, etc. 

On days where I don’t need the most accurate sleep stage information, I’ll continue using wrist-worn devices and my Pod Pro (the temperature-controlled smart mattress by Eight Sleep), which features sleep tracking capabilities.

Other Use Cases for Muse S

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.

Besides using Muse S for mindfulness, stress management and sleep tracking, the device has been tested in several studies for use cases that you may not have considered. 

For example, Muse was used in several studies to aid in the rapid diagnosis of stroke and to predict stroke severity. Muse has also been used in studies involving patients with dementia, obsessive-compulsive disorders and several other use cases you can read more about on this page.

The bottom line is that understanding how the brain is working by monitoring brain waves has uses cases that go way beyond traditional meditation and sleep tracking. So I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to leverage the data Muse records to get a better understanding of our brain health and what we can do to improve it.

Muse S Review (Nitty-Gritty)

The Muse S brain-sensing headband.
The Muse S brain-sensing headband.

Now that we’ve covered the two most important use cases for Muse S, let’s talk about some of the technical aspects of this biohacking gadget, starting with the hardware.

Pros

  • Accurate sleep stage tracking powered by electroencephalography.
  • Measures brain waves and provides real-time biofeedback during meditation sessions.
  • Offers over 500 guided meditations and soundscapes via its mobile app.
  • Comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • 10-hour battery life.

Cons

  • Requires a monthly subscription to unlock all the app features.
  • Sleep tracking with Muse S increases your exposure to EMFs over long periods.

Hardware and Sensors

Muse S removable pod.
The Muse S removable pod.

Muse S consists of an elastic headband that includes an adjustable strap on the back. The front, as well as both sides of the headband, feature electrodes that are part of the EEG to measure your brainwaves. 

The entire headband is made from a soft fabric that’s comfortable to wear, and the adjustable strap makes it easy to find the perfect fit based on your head circumference. 

While I usually just slip the headband on, you can also open and close it using a magnetic closure. I initially had concerns that the closure would open easily during the night when I roll over in my sleep, but the built-in magnets are so strong that it didn’t happen even once during my tests.

The inside of the Muse S headband features several EEG electrodes made from silver fabric.
The inside of the Muse S headband features several EEG electrodes made from silver fabric.

On the front of the headband is a detachable pod that contains all of the electronics. It also uses magnets to stay in place, but these magnets are much weaker, so there is a possibility of accidentally knocking it off. 

The pod has a status LED on the bottom and a power button and micro-USB port on the top. On the inside (facing the cutout in the headband) the pod features a photoplethysmography (PPG) heart rate sensor using red LEDs.

In other words, the heart rate sensor is a pulse oximeter that could (technically) monitor blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), although Muse doesn’t show this metric in its app. 

Additionally, the pod contains the EEG hardware to interpret the brainwaves recorded by the electrodes in the headband, and an accelerometer and a gyroscope to detect head and body movement (as well as respiratory rate).

The dotted lines and gaps indicate an intermittent issue with the BT connection.

From a technical perspective, Muse S uses Bluetooth 4.2. This version of Bluetooth requires more power (thus shortening the battery life), has less range, and has a less reliable connection than the newer Bluetooth 5.x standard. 

While I don’t see the range as a major issue, I think Muse S would have better battery life and fewer connection drops if it supported the newer BT standard. Practically, that hasn’t been a major problem in my tests, but I’m sure the Muse team is considering that for a future hardware release.

Alternatively, Muse could simply implement on-device data capturing to reduce the reliance on a Bluetooth connection and, more importantly, reduce your exposure to EMFs when you use Muse S for sleep tracking.

Muse App

Muse app - sleep tracking.
The Muse app’s sleep tracking dashboard.

I’ve found the Muse app to be pretty intuitive and user-friendly. When you open the app, you first see the meditation screen with options to browse through the various (guided) meditation collections and courses. You can also check out the sessions you already completed by going to “My Library.”

At the bottom of the app, you can switch to the sleep tab to start a sleep session. The first time I wanted to use Muse S to track my sleep, I couldn’t figure out how to do that without starting one of the guided sessions and without playing audio. Later, I figured out that this capability is hidden behind the “Use External Audio” feature. 

The third tab on the bottom, labeled “Me,” shows all your previous meditation and sleep sessions. From there, you can drill down into the details.

While the Muse app is already pretty polished, there are a handful of things that I’d like to see improved or added, including:

  • The ability to scrub over the detailed graphs using my finger, which would (for example) allow me to pinpoint the exact time I transitioned from light to deep sleep.
  • I’d also like to see how much time I spent in the various stages of sleep as a percentage of my total sleep.
  • WHOOP offers a journal that correlates lifestyle choices with changes in sleep quality and recovery (as expressed via changes in heart rate variability and resting heart rate). I would love for Muse to offer such a journal feature to correlate mediation sessions and other factors with changes in calmness, sleep quality and more.
  • I’d love to see HRV and SpO2 in the sleep data.

I should also mention that many of Muse S’ features, and those of the Muse app, are only available with a premium subscription. Specifically, if you want to use Muse S as a sleep tracker without the built-in soundscapes (i.e., “Use External Audio”), you have to have a premium subscription.

Muse premium subscription.
Muse premium subscription.

Additionally, all the detailed post-session reporting (Muse calls it Biofeedback+) and the more than 500 guided meditations are available exclusively to premium subscribers. 

So if you want to get the most out of your Muse S headband, you should consider signing up for the premium subscription (see the pricing below).

Muse S Accuracy

Electroencephalography is used to measure electrical activity in the brain.
Electroencephalography is used to measure electrical activity in the brain.

Arguably the most important aspect of any health tracker is accuracy. So how does Muse S compare to medical-grade EEG systems?

Based on two studies (here and here), we can conclude that the data collected by Muse is similar to that of medical-grade EEG systems, and that Muse is accurate enough to be used for scientific research. However, it’s important to point out that eye and muscle movement can greatly influence its accuracy. 

That’s one of the reasons why the Muse app recommends closing your eyes and remaining as relaxed as possible during meditation sessions. 

How Accurate is Muse S as a Sleep Tracker?

As far as its accuracy as a sleep tracker is concerned, I wasn’t able to find any studies indicating how accurate Muse S might be. So I can only assume that if the EEG data Muse S collects is relatively accurate, the device should be able to accurately differentiate between light, deep and REM sleep.

While not a scientific experiment, I decided to compare Muse S with my WHOOP strap. You can see the findings in the comparison table below.

The first number indicates the amount of deep sleep I got, and the number in parentheses is REM sleep.

Test #Muse SWHOOP 3.0
11h 18m (2h 34m)1h 28m (1h 42m)
21h 21m (1h 58m)1h 18m (0h 27m)
31h 34m (3h 8m)2h 17m (1h 17m)
41h 37m (2h 45m)1h 40m (1h 30m)
50h 53m (2h 4m)1h 24m (2h 18m)
60h 43m (2h 21m)1h 36m (1h 36m)
71h 19m (2h 59m)1h 48m (2h 13m)
81h 28m (2h 21m)1h 6m (1h 41m)
91h 13m (1h 52m)1h 11m (0h 43m)

As you can see, the deep sleep numbers are somewhat comparable between the two devices but there is a significant discrepancy in REM sleep. Considering that REM sleep is incredibly difficult to measure without monitoring brainwaves, I lean towards trusting the numbers recorded by Muse S over those recorded by WHOOP.

Interestingly enough, WHOOP had reported relatively high REM sleep numbers in the past (2-3 hours each night) and I always thought that must have been wrong. But considering the fact that Muse S also thinks I have a lot of REM sleep, maybe WHOOP wasn’t wrong after all. 

Muse S Battery Life

The Muse S battery lasts for approximately 10 hours and is recharged via a micro-USB cable. 

If you use Muse S overnight to track your sleep, you’ll likely have to recharge it in the morning before using it again for meditation. If you only use Muse S to meditate, you’ll likely get a week or more of use out of it before you have to recharge it again.

I’ve gotten into the habit of charging it every morning after waking up.

To check the battery life of your Muse, you can either tap the power button twice or plug in the charging cable. The number of LED lights that glow on the pod indicates the battery level. One light indicates a low charge, whereas all three lights indicate the device is fully charged.

How Much Is Muse S?

Muse S retails for $349.99 but is often available at a discount on choosemuse.com*. As of this writing, you can get the Muse S headband for $244.99. Plus, if you use my affiliate code (MKUMMER), you can get an additional 10% off the purchase price.

If you decide to get Muse S, I recommend also getting the premium subscription so you have access to all the meditation content in the Muse app.

If you decide to add the premium subscription after your initial purchase, it’ll cost you $12.99 per month.

How I’ve Been Using Muse S

As mentioned throughout this review, I’ve been using Muse S for meditation and sleep tracking.

I started out with the 10 session Starter Series and then continued exploring different breath, mind and heart meditation exercises. I’m still not at a point where I meditate every day, but I do it several times per week because it’s been working great for me.

I especially enjoy the sessions that provide real-time biofeedback because I turn those into a competition with myself. I’m incredibly competitive and enjoy collecting as many “birds” as possible and achieving a high “calm” score. 

Each bird represents a period of mental calmness.
Each bird represents a period of mental calmness.

The challenge for me is to meditate at the right time (before I get so stressed out that I feel like I don’t have time for it). 

Just the other day, I reached a point in the early afternoon (after having been in front of my computer for eight hours) where I could feel I was getting overwhelmed. So I grabbed my Muse S headband and did two back-to-back mind meditation sessions. After 10 minutes of meditating, I felt like a new person; it was as if the stress and anxiety I had felt before had magically disappeared. 

Immediately after, I went to my wife and told her how much better I felt after only 10 minutes of meditation.

Considering that I don’t foresee my life becoming any less hectic, I’ll do my best to make meditation a regular part of my routine.

As far as sleep tracking is concerned, I won’t be using Muse S every night for the reasons I previously noted, including EMF exposure. But I will continue using the headband selectively when I want to get a better and more accurate picture of how lifestyle changes or my biohacking experiments impact my sleep. 

What Muse Could Improve

While I’m generally satisfied with my Muse S, there are a few things that could be improved.

For example, the electrodes built into the Muse S headband are silver fabric. Silver oxidizes over time, and I initially thought that I’d have to replace the headband once that happens. However, the company assured me that oxidization of the electrodes does not degrade the performance of the device. As a result, any oxidation would only be a cosmetic issue. In comparison, Muse 2 uses gold for its electrodes, which can’t oxidize — but it’s less comfortable to wear for extended periods (i.e., overnight). 

The second improvement I’d make is to include enough storage space to record a few days worth of data on the device, much like WHOOP, Biostrap and the Oura Ring do. That way, you wouldn’t have to keep Bluetooth enabled on your phone, and temporary drops in the connection wouldn’t lead to data gaps. Without an active Bluetooth connection, you’d also be less exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

I’d also love to be able to slice and dice the sleep data. For example, instead of showing the total amount of time I spent in the various stages of sleep, I’d like to also see a percentage.

Plus, offering an option to export the raw data would be cool. While the Muse app doesn’t offer this capability, you can use a third-party app, such as Mind Monitor, to do it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Muse S gives you insights into the effectiveness of your meditation sessions.
Muse S gives you insights into the effectiveness of your meditation sessions.
Is Muse S better than Muse 2?

The main difference between Muse 2 and Muse S is that the latter supports sleep tracking and the former doesn’t.

Muse S also has a slightly different form factor than Muse 2, in order to make it more comfortable to wear overnight. Additionally, Muse S has a larger-capacity battery that lasts for up to 10 hours, whereas the battery in Muse 2 only lasts for about five hours.

If your primary interest in Muse is meditation, you’ll be happy with either device because they both offer exactly the same meditation features. I’d even argue that the Muse 2 might be slightly easier to put on and take off (and you don’t look like a coal miner while wearing it).

How accurate is the Muse S sleep tracking?

Based on the scientific evidence involving the use of Muse S to capture brain activity, I’d say that Muse S is fairly accurate. In fact, several of the studies I linked to above suggest that Muse S is accurate enough to be used in clinical settings when the use of traditional laboratory equipment isn’t feasible.

What’s important to understand is that tension in your face muscles and eye movement can negatively impact Muse’s ability to capture accurate data. The former shouldn’t be an issue during sleep, but the latter could be an issue during REM sleep. Remember, REM stands for rapid eye movement, and that could (potentially) impair Muse’s ability to capture brain waves. 

But keep in mind that capturing 100% accurate brain activity during REM sleep isn’t important as long as Muse can identify that phase of sleep based on the brain activity that looks distinctively different from light or slow-wave sleep. 

Based on my personal experience with Muse S as a sleep tracker, I can say that the device has been accurately detecting sleep onset and slow-wave sleep. The REM sleep data Muse S reported has been different from that of my WHOOP strap, but considering that brain waves are the only reliable way to identify REM sleep, I believe Muse is more accurate than WHOOP.

How do you sleep with Muse?

I sleep with Muse the same way I do without the headband. In other words, the headband doesn’t get in the way at all. I’m a back sleeper but I occasionally roll over onto my side. Muse stays on and feels comfortable in either position. 

Can I share Muse S with others?

Yes, you can certainly share Muse S with friends and family members. Just make sure that each user has their own Muse account so as to not mix the brain model data, which could confuse the algorithm.

How do you know when Muse S is fully charged?

You can tell by either the three orange LEDs on the bottom of the pod or via the app. If all three LEDs are illuminated, Muse S is fully charged. In the app, you can see the battery status under Settings > Headband Updates at the very bottom.

Can I set my phone on airplane mode while tracking sleep with Muse?

You can turn off your cellular signal and WiFi but Bluetooth has to remain enabled for the headband to send data to the app. Unfortunately, Muse doesn’t store any data directly on the headband, as most other sleep trackers do. 

On iOS, you can enable airplane mode and then go back to the Control Center and make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Once you’ve done that, iOS will remember this setting and keep BT on whenever you enable airplane mode in the future.

Does Muse integrate with Apple Health?

Yes, it does and I love it! When you set up your Muse account, you can choose to give the Health app access to your Muse data. If you do, Muse will record sleep and mindfulness data in the Health app.

What phones does the Muse app support?

The Muse app is available for iOS 11+ and Android 5+ but it doesn’t run on Huawei devices, according to the company.

Does Muse influence your brainwaves or brain activity?

Muse is a passive device, and thus doesn’t use electrical stimulation or other (active) methods to stimulate brain activity. However, Muse can indirectly or passively change brain activity by supporting your meditation with soundscapes or guided sessions.

Can Muse help me make meditation a habit?

I strongly believe that real-time feedback, reminders and post-session reports have helped me make meditation a regular part of my self-care routine. I also enjoy looking at the progress I’ve made over time because it motivates me to keep going.

Does Muse offer a money-back guarantee?

Yes, both Muse 2 and Muse S are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if Muse doesn’t work out for you, you can send it back for a full refund.

Do I need earphones to use Muse S?

You don’t need headphones to use Muse S but I’d highly recommend them because there is a lower likelihood of getting distracted when using headphones — especially if they offer noise-canceling capabilities.

In a pinch, you can also use your phone’s speaker or stream the app’s audio via AirPlay or similar technology to external speakers (e.g., HomePod).

Does Muse offer an Apple Watch app?

No, Muse doesn’t offer an Apple Watch app — even though it would be cool to be able to have some basic stats available via the Apple Watch. 

Does Muse offer replacement headbands?

Yes, you can purchase replacement headbands (without the pod/sensor) in the Muse store.

Muse S Meditation Headband Review: Final Thoughts

When I first heard about the Muse, I wanted to get my hands on it to learn how it would compare to some of the other sleep trackers I’ve been using. I didn’t really care much for the meditation aspect of this brain-sensing headband. 

But then I decided to dig deeper and try to understand the benefits of mindfulness and how I could make that a regular part of my lifestyle. While doing so, I realized how powerful meditation was in the context of managing stress. 

So I started using Muse’s guided meditation sessions on a regular basis and noticed the calming effects they had on me. Fast forward a couple of months and I’m now using my Muse headband for meditation more often than I use it for sleep tracking. 

I know that meditation may sound like a foreign concept — at least that’s how I felt about it up until recently. But now I strongly believe that practicing mindfulness on a daily basis can have a profound impact on your mental, emotional and physical well-being, and I encourage you to give it a try. 

Using a device such as Muse makes meditation less intimidating and easier to approach. Plus, the real-time biofeedback feature makes immediately transparent what’s going on in your brain, so you can instantly see how meditation influences your brainwaves. I love that aspect of Muse! 

Have you tried meditation? If so, what has your experience been so far? If not, what are you waiting for? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Medical Disclaimer

The information shared on this blog is for educational purposes only, is not a substitute for the advice of medical doctors or registered dieticians (which we are not) and should not be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any condition. Consult with a physician before starting a fitness regimen, adding supplements to your diet, or making other changes that may affect your medications, treatment plan or overall health. MichaelKummer.com and its owner MK Media Group, LLC are not liable for how you use and implement the information shared here, which is based on the opinions of the authors formed after engaging in personal use and research. We recommend products, services, or programs and are sometimes compensated for doing so as affiliates. Please read our Terms and Conditions for further information, including our privacy policy.

Leave a Comment