I prefer my sleep tracking at arms length

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

There are many fitness trackersThese companies claim to help users get more sleep. Whether it’s through behavioral insights, data-driven trend analysis, or educational content, companies are eager to enter our bedrooms. The Muse S is now in its second generation and wants to be a part of your pillow. The headband features an electroencephalogram, which uses built-in sensors to measure brain activity, heart beat, sleep stages, and more. The Muse S does not excel in real-time biometric information. meditationIt left me with much less than 40 winks.

About this articleThe Muse S (Gen 2) was tested for a week with a Samsung Galaxy A51 and an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Muse provided the unit, but Muse did not have any control over the content or direction.

What is the Muse S (Gen2)? This is a unique alternative for wrist-based tracking

A Muse S Gen 2 headband hangs from a user's headboard.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Muse S, Gen 2, is different from other trackers by a variety of factors. The most obvious is that it’s a high-tech sweatband instead of a James Bond wristwatch. The Muse S is not being used subtly on a train or passively to track data, even though it’s already on the person’s wrist. This is an intentional tool that can help you focus, rest, or stress throughout the day. Secondly, the Muse S headband isn’t just a sleep tracker, it’s primarily a meditation tool and an instrument for sleep assistance.

The companion app, the Muse S headset and headband, offers guided meditation content with real time feedback and tools to help you sleep.

The Muse S tracks guided meditations, relaxation content, and other activities throughout the day. The headband tracks your brain activity and heart rate. It also provides real-time feedback (and post session data) to help you get into your practice. The platform provides immersive audio experiences for users to help them fall asleep at night. The company’s Digital Sleeping Pills blend restful sounds with sleep stories, meditations, and soundscapes, again responding to users’ data in real time to tailor the experience. The device tracks various sleep details such as your position, stillness, heart rate, and position once you’re asleep. A comprehensive sleep score is also available to users in the morning.

It is crucial to correctly set up the pod and put on the headband. The Muse S pod can be connected to the headband using magnets. This allows it to snap to a dock. Simply align the sensor of the pod with the small window in your headband and push the pod into position. However, if there are any gaps between the pieces, your headband won’t work so it’s worth spending a few extra moments to do this correctly. You only need to do this once.

A Muse S user begins a meditation with their headband in place.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

There are magnetic clips at each end to secure the device to your skull. This is where I felt things were getting worse. But more on that later. First, let me say that the strap material itself feels soft, breathable, and comfortable to the touch. It’s also decently lightweight and never got too hot, as wearables sometimes can. You can even purchase additional bands from the Muse website if you have multiple users and don’t want to swap sweat with your family member. You can also hand wash the fabric headbands, but make sure to remove the pod before washing.

The Muse S is designed for sleep tracking and sleep guidance. The Muse 2 can only be used for meditation. These devices come in different designs and materials. The Muse S has a soft, cloth headband, but the Muse 2 has an elastic silicone headband. The Muse 2’s battery life is just five hours.

Bird is the word

A user reviews the meditation stats in the Muse app.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Muse S makes meditation enjoyable. By tracking users’ sessions and vitals, the device essentially gamifies mediation. I am the only kindergartener who has been more motivated by star stickers than I, so it was no surprise that this device pulled me in. The Muse S monitors your biofeedback and guides you in meditation and mental focus. The app gives feedback after each meditation and provides a historical view of your progress, so you can compare your progress with previous sessions. The app provides feedback reports and a historical view of your progress so you can compare it to previous sessions.

The Muse S is a gamification of meditation that motivates users to continue their practice.

Guided content helps you stay focused without getting lost in the details. The Muse S headband will track data points and create the audio. Once you have chosen a session, it will begin. If you’re calm, you might hear a light raindrop or a peaceful beach. If your mind wanders, volume and audio quality will shift to reflect that. Bird points can also be earned. Birds will start chirping peacefully when your biometric feedback determines that you are focusing and restful. You can view how many bird points earned after the session.

The Muse app has a lot of content. There are many voices and soundscapes to choose from, so it was easy to find sessions that I liked. It’s easy to fit meditations into your schedule. You can adjust the duration of meditation to be anywhere from five minutes to three and a half hours. You can choose to have guided sessions by topic, such as stress and happiness, or explore various collections. You can also focus on your mind, heart, and breath. You can even do timed meditations without a headband.

Premium subscribers can use the Muse S headband with external content as well to pair the device’s tracking capabilities with their own library of audio. Some users may prefer to meditate with a Spotify playlist, Calm, or another third-party app. These users will be provided with the same post-session reports that were provided to Muse sessions. Premium Muse subscriptions cost $12.99 per month, or $9.99 the first year for new subscribers.

Set-and-forget doesn’t always stay set

A user's Muse S Gen 2 rests on their unmade bed.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Muse S was useful for meditation but I hated its use for counting Zs. Call me partial to wristwear, but tracking sleep from the crown isn’t for me. For starters, I frequently captured baby whisps of hair in the band’s magnetic closure, leading to less-than-ideal yanking overnight. I struggled to find the right fit despite the adjustable strap. I’ve had headaches on more than one occasion after dozing off. It was probably because the band was too tight.

The Muse S is an expensive option for overnight tracking.

However, what really turned me sour was the number of times I’d wake up to the band MIA, often on the floor, once somehow mysteriously all the way down by my feet. As a reviewer attempting to collect data, there is nothing more devastating than opening your eyes after a subpar night’s rest and seeing your device on the pillow next to you, instead of on your head where it belongs.

You could chalk this up to user error. But the fact is, you can’t control how much you squirm while sleeping, and I don’t want the stress of worrying that my sleep tracker can’t keep up. I hit the bed with a FitbitOr Apple Watch, I never look back.

Disrupting the pathway to sleep

A user waits for the Muse S Signal Quality Check to complete before starting a sleep session.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Muse S can also be used to set up nightly sleeping tracking. It may be easy if you have a good bedtime routine. However, if you’ve mastered sleep hygiene you’re probably already snoozing pretty well. Anyone looking for an alternative method to counting sheep will be happy to know that the Muse S scatters the proverbial livestock throughout the field.

First, you put on the device, centering the pod on your forehead like a headlamp you’re about to take down into a mysterious cave system. Next, open the Muse App. Wait for the device’s calibration to take place. Each of the band’s six sensors must make contact with your head before a sleep session will begin. This can take anywhere from 30 seconds up to a few minutes, and it can be quite stressful. Especially when you know in the back of your mind that those sensors don’t stand a chance against your imminent overnight movement.

Once you’re connected, you can start a sleep session in the app. You have two options: you can play the audio through your smartphone (and possibly rope in your potential partner), or you can use the app. Bluetooth earbuds. These are not great options for me. So headphones are out. They would never be able to stay in my ears anyway. Long term, I can’t imagine making my partner, who sleeps just fine, take part in my sleep journey. He accepted the intrusion for the Muse S review and listened to classic stories and ambiance weather sounds right next to me.

It takes a lot more to get into a good sleep routine than just going to sleep with your watch on.

Needless to mention, I missed my opportunity. smartwatchTracking my sleep secretly. Once my teeth are brushed and the pillows are fluffed, I don’t want to look at my phone. In fact, I don’t want to have my phone anywhere near my bed. I don’t want to wait for my phone signal from my headwear to confirm. Plus, rather than automatically completing sleep tracking when it senses you’re awake, the Muse S requires you to manually end the session in the Muse app.

The Muse S demands that your smartphone be the last thing you see before you settle in, and the first thing that you think about when it’s time to wake up. It may not seem like much, but it is. reinforce bad habitsYour screen and your attachment. It felt like the platform was encroaching on my life from the beginning. I am interested to know my sleep data and my unfortunate score, but I would like to have a cup before I start listening to the music.

However, the data it collects can be accepted if you are willing to accept the limitations and format of the device. My sleep stages aligned with the recorded data on the nights that my headband was in place. Fitbit Versa 3My sleep times and wake time also reflected how I felt in the morning. My sleep scores also showed how I felt in the morning. Muse presents the data in an easy-to-digest manner in the app. I was genuinely interested each morning in reviewing my sleep position graph as that isn’t something I’ve tracked before.

If you like the headband design, the Muse S can record accurate sleep data if it stays put.

Historical comparisons can be pulled up from the Sleep toggle in the Me tab. These include nightly sleep scores and sleep time, deep sleeping intensity, stillness, and sleep time. You can also tap into your session histories, much like meditation sessions. You can also review each sleep to see detailed information and helpful graphics. You can also view the moods you have recorded each morning after you end your sleep sessions. The Muse S sleep tracker was very impressive to me. Muse doesn’t provide any information on how to use your results. The app as a whole would benefit from more analysis and guidance.

The Muse S pod’s battery life doesn’t leave room for error

A Muse S Gen 2 charges on a dresser.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Muse S can be charged via the included micro-USB-to-USB charging cable. To plug the device into an electrical outlet, you will need a USB charger. It is important to have a consistent charging routine in order to use this device effectively, as the battery life is very short. My device lasted for about 10 hours. I recommend charging it fully before you go to bed. I thought I could make it with 60% in one evening. Spoiler alert! The Muse app will notify you if your battery gets low while you calibrate your headband for bed. This message will inform you that your battery may not be sufficient to track your complete sleeping cycle.

It’s worth the trouble to manage the devices’ 10-hour battery life and three hours charging time.

It takes approximately three hours to charge the device from 0% to 100%. Again, this isn’t ideal for anyone who doesn’t thrive on routine. If you wake up and toss your headband aside, the odds are you’ll find yourself with a low-power device by the evening. You have two options: skip a night of tracking, or watch a movie while your Muse S charges. Those looking for a meditation tool as well as a sleep tracker are more likely to note their band’s power during the day. However, if you’re primarily interested in sleep tracking, you’ll need to make plugging in your headband a morning habit.

Wearables are plagued by poor battery life. Apple Watches still haven’t made huge strides and the Pixel Watch battery is the bane of my existence. These devices offer tons of use, bright screens, and dedicated monitoring beyond the bed. Fitbit’s powerful sleep trackers have a long battery life and are extremely reliable. I didn’t expect battery to be a stress for a device as small and single-use as the Muse S.

The second-generation Muse 2 can be comfortably fitted to larger heads, has faster charging speeds and better signal quality. It also features a more durable fabric.

Review of Muse S (Gen2): Should you buy it or not?

Muse S Gen 2 Headband Cable Tracker

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

There’s no doubt the Muse S (Gen 2) is a promising device with plenty of potential. In one week, it helped build meditation habits and achieve mindfulness goals I’ve been keeping on the back burner for years. The guidance and immediate feedback are extremely valuable, and truly, very satisfying. The Muse app’s content is entertaining and relaxing.

On the other hand, I couldn’t get behind the headband-style sleep tracker. I was impressed by the device’s accuracy and the app’s organization. However, I don’t like working hard for my sleep data. I’m already working hard to get my sleep. The Digital Sleeping Pill concept was intriguing to me, but the whole process is much more complicated than I could handle by the time I got into bed. The app also doesn’t offer enough guidance to turn data into actionable insights. For now, I’ll stick with powerhouses like the Fitbit Sleep Profile program.

Muse S (Gen 2)

Muse S (Gen 2).

Real-time feedback • Accurate sleep tracking • Personalized insights

This is a comfortable alternative to wrist-based tracker for sleep

The second-generation Muse S brain-sensing headband is designed to provide dedicated sleep tracking and assistance. The device uses EEG technology to collect data and provides real-time feedback during meditation sessions. Muse S subscribers can access immersive content and additional features with an additional subscription fee.

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