The routine is simple. Put the £240 Muse headset on, complete the breathing exercises to the sound of waves (neutral), storms (bad) and tweeting birds (good) which indicate how focused and calm you are. If your mind is too active, try to clear it based on the feedback that Muse gives you.
Then compare that session's score to other lengths of session, times of day or days of the week and hit weekly targets. Alter the gender of the voice, the 'difficulty' level and time of the session. It's meditation for gadget geeks.
The Muse itself is a thin, light headband that is placed across your forehead and tucked behind your ears – it is noticeable, especially the panels that sit behind your ears.
Everyone's different but for me, this is a home device. InteraXon suggests using it on the train – I probably would in a private carriage on a sleeper train, not on the 17.35 through Clapham Junction though, it'd get knocked off by someone's free evening paper.
The companion app runs on iOS and Android, smartphone or tablet and you can wear headphones connected to this, Muse itself is wireless and connects via Bluetooth. Alternatively if your neighbourhood is really quiet, you can use your device's speakers – wearing headphones can interfere a little with getting the right fit – but the effect is heightened with them. Sports earbuds that hook over your ear are a total no-no in terms of fit.
It charges via Micro USB and has a series of five flashing LEDs on the right side which show when it's charging, charged, pairing and paired. You can also see the battery level within the app. It needs charging every five or six (seven minute) sessions so how much you charge it depends entirely on how frequently you use Muse and for how long.
The initial fitting took me ages, over five minutes, and a fair amount of pushing my hair back into a Puritan bob. I eventually figured out that I just needed to tighten the adjustable band further, so tight in fact that it began to hurt the skin behind my right ear. When in doubt, tighten it.
Still, it reminded me of a time I got stressed out after a back massage – I got conned into a course of six and didn't have enough money in my account to pay for it all. The difference being that once you get the fit right, it's very quick to recreate each session and though Bluetooth pairing is always going to be a pain, an update that came through midway through my testing now means it takes six seconds or less. Essentially, Muse shouldn't stress you out too much.
The only other complaint is that since Muse is nice and flexible, I got worried about bending and breaking the device the one time I took it along in my bag to go visit some family. A sturdy case would make me feel calmer about travelling with Muse.