Muse and the Problem of Variable Starting Points when Calibrating

Any MUSE users here?

I have been meditating using Muse since September 2018 and since then I clocked 723 minutes of meditation of which I enjoyed 1006 instances of what the device called “Birds” or moments of calm. The problem is, these birds or anything this device reports cannot be used to compare day with day or to cross-analyse with other activities say self-perceived stress, training, nutrition, exposure to pollutants etc.

I am stating this because of the mechanism this device employs to give you results. It basically calibrates for a 1 minute before every session by allowing you to think freely before you actively engage in trying to meditate. Problem is, this calibration is the starting point on which any result the device gives is based upon. If during calibration, I have stressful thoughts, then achieving “birds” is as easy as pie, if during calibration my thoughts are relaxed, then I’ll require Buddha-like meditation skills to hit a single bird.

In view of this problem which makes this quantification pretty useless, I was wondering if anyone here has thought about this and has come up with a way to ensure calibration is a constant as possible. I was thinking for example of reading the same 1 minute text during every calibration to ensure a constant starting point but maybe there are better ideas.


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The “calibration” that is required is one reason I’ve passed on the Muse so far… The other reason was the inability to export data, though that might have been addressed since?

Muse released “MuseDirect” in 2018 which has been a game changer for streaming, recording and exporting data into common parsable formats. Their older toolchain consisting of MuseIO and MuseLabs was complex and with all the layers of streaming it was easy to lose data. I did a write up on the older Muse provided tools and another post about the newer toolchain.

Older Muse provided toolchain summary (museio, muselab, etc.)

Newer MuseDirect and MuseDirect Cloud:

There are of course alternatives utilities such as muse-lsl (commandline utility) and a third party phone app such as Muse Monitor.

Personally I use the MuseDirect App on iOS to record my last 1,000 meditation sessions with excellent results. I prefer the Smith LowDown Focus EEG to the standard Muse bands. I believe this is way to work around the pre-session calibration that the normal Muse app does.

Are you willing to share some of your results?

Presumably the calibration phase is used to be able to correct for different levels background noise due to slight differences in the sensor placement etc, but perhaps there is a better way?

Have been using Muse since it first came out and agree about the calibration issue but also see why they want to focus on it. I set a baseline by trying to meditate through the minute rather than thinking of whatever. This makes meditation harder but separate sessions more comparable. Specifically, I go through a pretentious Wim Hoff breathing pattern during calibration to standardize it.

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I regret buying the muse because of this. You can’t tell the long term affects of your meditation.
I am switching back to my HRV monitor during meditation,

I just started using my Muse s.
I absolutely love it.
However when I use headphones rather than a Bluetooth speaker. The sound completely cuts out intermittently.
Am I the only one experiencing this?

I wish I had the possibility of using the Muse app on my Android phone simultaneously with recording the data. However, this only seems to be possible for IOS with MuseDirect.