Is there really no affordable + user friendly Neurofeedback hardware/software out there?

Hey @wjcroft. Thanks for the link. I just finished my set of 23 sessions and did the post sessions re-assessment. I also just came back from the 41st annual bio/neurofeedback conference that was in Costa Mesa.

Regarding the versus, i am not quite sure yet. I can’t quite tell subjectively if i can focus better (focus was the protocol i was assigned for after first assessment) and i have better and worst days still. But i’ve had several nights of far better than usual sleep which is one of the main reasons i was looking into NFB and one of the purported benefits (including with versus). But once again it feels a little unscientific and i can’t account for placebo (although it doesn’t feel like it) but i’ve also been doing all sorts of other things to try to improve sleep and i can’t tell which efforts bared the most fruits and basically what worked. Also the re-assessment through me off a bit as it didn’t result in the type and level of improvement i was expecting, i showed more improvements in other areas (like stress management) more than i did in focus and the system recommended another set of focus protocols. I intend to ask them about this.

After the conference I can see why some of the clinicians are averse to the versus (aversus?), as there is far less human analysis of the assessment (the versus version of QEEG) and it is far more structured and more like a few sizes fits all kind of thing. and if some of what is discussed in the talks about QEEG and pre-training mapping is true (that you need a human eye on it and to talk to the person to figure which protocol to assign), then i can see the need for a more nuanced approach. However i still see a potential for V and if they allow for a clinician to review your assessment data as well as if they allowed for custom protocols.

Having said that, V is not meant to solve health issues, it is for “peak performance” kind of stuff and to improve general qualities and I think it doesn’t necessarily need too much supervision. It is still the most affordable and user friendly NFB system out there PERIOD. There is room for improvement in the design both in terms of comfort as well as in user guidance but making the V was the step needed to move the needle forward to one day have the “ultimate” home consumer NFB system. It is getting close. I intend to keep it.

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Hi @Jay,
I missed this Versus post when you wrote it back in November. Thanks for posting your experience to the forum – great to have that kind of first hand reports on what works and what doesn’t.

One additional question: does Versus have a feedback protocol or protocols for meditation? If so, have you tested them? I’d be super curious to hear if you’ve found NFB effective in this area.


In some email exchanges with @Jay, I mentioned that Versus has one version of the product that provides raw EEG and that is supported by neuromore. So it should be possible to write your own NFB protocols for Versus. But here we go again, Emotiv EPOC had the same kind of secret pricey raw EEG mode (“Research SDK”). Until the protocol was released finally to the public through some efforts of reverse engineering. Here was Jay’s reply on January 11.

I’ve tried connecting my Versus to NM but it doesn’t work. I reached out to sense labs to see if it is a matter of software or is it hardware, we’ll see what they say. I can’t believe what a missed opportunity it is for sense labs not to either allow for custom protocols or create protocols for meditation. But perhaps that’s just my bias.

Hi @AdamM,

Unfortunately the Versus does not have meditation protocols and they don’t seem to care for that much, which I understand as they come from the athlete world and don’t know much about meditation.

There are 2 problems that need to be solved here and they have been solved separately but not together which drives me crazy.

  1. Create meditation protocols. (solved by several folks, including neuroOptimal)
  2. Create an affordable and user friendly EEG headset that has sufficient electrodes for said protocols. (solved so far only by Versus)

Versus does not work with other systems like Neuromore (and btw, @wjcroft, I asked them and they said they never had a version that would have worked with it although they did have an older version of the headset made for development). In any case, they do not plan to open an SDK in 2016, maybe not even 2017, according to their latest investor call (which they released on youtube).

Every other system is too expensive and cumbersome to use. My hopes were hanging on OBCI but that turned out a bit disappointing in this particular regard. (I don’t mean it is not good or doesn’t have potential, but it is for tinkerers, not end users, it turns out. that’s ok).

Let me put this on record, if nobody solves this silly conundrum by the time I solve the Lucid Dreaming device challenge, I will solve this damn thing myself and it will be my next project after the Kensho. (although we need to solve sleep tracking too. there’s too much to do… :slight_smile:

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Thanks @jay. Agreed. It’s time the technology and collaborative engagement around neurofeedback caught up with its potential usefulness. That’s part of why NeuroBB is here – to help foster the kind of dialogue and user/tinkerer/developer interaction that will lead to forward motion on this.

Personally I think the OBCI may catch up in user-friendliness before too long. It’s got the capacity and channel count, and the new Ganglion version brings the price point for the amplifier way into the affordable range. Now what it needs is a cheaper, mass-produced version of the Ultracortex headset, and a bit more attention to consumer-friendliness in the software and documentation.

This may not be the job for OpenBCI per se (since they’re doing a fantastic job of providing something for tinkerers, they may prefer to focus on that). Keep in mind, though, that OBCI is open source software and hardware. If you do take this on, I’d think about partnering with @russomanno15 and Joel on a commercial, consumer-friendly “wrapper” for OBCI technology.

PS: @wjcroft My first EEG device was an Emotiv EPOC. We bought it after finding Cody Brocious’s emokit hack, but after days of frustration trying to rewrite in C and hack together a functional OpenVibe driver (and then discovering that the necessary decryption library was apparently obsolete and unattainable) I gave up and didn’t come back to the topic until the OBCI showed up. Hardware that makes you pay double to access your own data? Yuck.


I think you are correct. and I do think the affordability of the new version of OBCI is a fantastic thing. These are all steps in the right direction. I that this field is dragging behind but I am also simply impatient, I can’t always tell which is more the case :smile:

I’ve reached out to Connor and Joel a while back but never heard back. I chalk it off to them being extremely busy just by the look of their twitter feed. I’ve also reached out to the Melon folks but they have been purchased by a larger company, who has replied to me but they can’t collaborate until the end of 2016 it seems.

There are more people and companies getting involved, it is very encouraging, and I suspect it will suddenly speed up in all sorts of ways. Exciting times ahead.

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I am a Psychiatrist looking to incorporate NFB into my practice. Has anyone used the Neuroharmony device from Korea. There is also a Brain Quotient report etc.

Actually, there is a very user friendly neurofeedback system that uses the Muse in addition to auxiliary electrodes to give you more flexibility. It’s called Techneuro. Check it out.

Interesting. Looks like a step up from the Muse but not much more than that. But I like that they make it easy to see raw data.

Why do you think it’s not much more than a step up from the Muse? It allows you to choose active and reference electrodes, create different protocols and it has an auxiliary electrode that can be placed anywhere- exactly what you’d want from a neurofeedback system, but in a much better wrap.

It could be my lack of proper understanding of NFB but the Muse is basically forehead only sensors. Add one you have a bit more to work with, but I think the Versus has come closest to what I was looking for in terms of headset and coverage but it has no API and they are the only ones who make protocols for it. They also charge a monthly fee instead of selling it for a single price.

At the end of the day I keep hearing conflicting things about NFB, what works, what doesn’t, and I am concluding that I don’t know enough to judge this anymore. But I’ve met those who claim that only a full head EEG is what one needs to move the needle.

Originally I was looking for a system that can give me a visual overview of my state of brainwaves, with maybe some guidance to what does what I am seeing translate to. I wanted to get familiar with my states of mind in a way other than by subjective internal experience. But I don’t buy that a few electrodes on my forehead can give me a comprehensive picture. However I know that more head coverage might give me too much info and without some analysis it won’t be useful to me.

I thought OpenBCI would be what I am looking for but it is not user friendly, and cumbersome to set up (with an expensive head mount if you want to go that route).

Again, if the Versus or something like it was made available to folks to create protocols and apps for, that would probably be what I am looking for. More head coverage, dry electrodes, wireless bluetooth.

Hi Jay,

Techneuro adds two more auxiliary electrodes to the Muse in order to allow you to measure EEG from wherever you desire, so you’re no longer limited by the forehead sensors.

Hi folks, thanks Jay for great feedback articles.

I am currently looking to control different aspects of computer controls with one of these EEG systems and was wondering if anyone had suggestions? I am developing a game for people with limited or no physical ability to interact with a computer, such as disabled vets. Do you have any insight or feedback after your using different systems?

Any information would be great!
Thank you
Jimmy Long

Great discussion,

Thank you @Jay ay for following up, and giving valuable information about your experience.

@aziz_eeg This look interesting. Can you explain a little bit more about the package ? Can I only buy the elctrodes if I own a muse headband ? Can I download the software to my computer and tablet and not use a clinician?

Dear Jay, I found this discussion as I were looking for nearly the same thing you were looking for. For a few weeks now I dig deeper into NFB from the perspective of a customer, not an expert. As from what I read I don’t expect too much anymore regarding the consumer-grade devices and apps out there nowadays. But I’m still interested in devices which at least might have a slight effect on training my attention. So I’d like to know what kind of progress you feel subjectively regarding Versus which you bought over half a year ago. Do you still use it or does it gather dust in your corner of forgotten things? :wink:
I currently get NFB with a therapist who uses a full head / 19 channels together with Neuroguide. This therapist was recommended to me by a German researcher, Niels Birbaumer (who claims to be able to even treat psychopaths with neurofeedback successfully – pretty amazing stuff …), as “the only trustworthy NFB-therapist” in Germany – just to throw in another opinion regarding the NFB-philosiphies here, which gives food for thought. :wink:

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Hey Michael,

I’ve used Versus for one full set of daily sessions (don’t remember how many, 28 or so) and after that did their assessment again which didn’t show improvement or did not make sense to me. They didn’t have a way to let me do the assessment again, which was really annoying. Combine with the fact I didn’t feel any different, I returned the device at that point.

How is the pro NFB going?

Hi Jay,

thanks a lot for your feedback! From what I’ve read so far I think I can trust in your opinion and save some money. :slight_smile:

Regarding your question: if you want to know how it’s working here’s an explanation video:

So I guess it’s “classic” LORETA Z Score-Training. Of course me as patient I only see the graphically awesome designed grey head with the even more amazingly animated green dot :wink: But hey – if it’s working it would be magic and change my life :slight_smile:

Regarding the results I cannot tell anything yet as I only had 3 sessions yet.


I find it rather discouraging that this thread spoke so highly of Peter with brain training and after just a few emails all he does is talk down about Muse and Emotiv - calling them hobby toys without explaining much of why.

@Michael have you had any success with the Loreta?

Has there been any updates with finding anything? I am a software engineer and I am very interested in this subject but with this technology been so expensive and disbelief with simple things from people trying to make money or just afraid of something new and challenging is rather annoying.

This is likely because Brain-Trainer protocols and most neurofeedback practitioners use trainings and assessments that require full and flexible access to the entire 10-20 set of points. The Muse and Emotiv are good headsets, but they are limited to fixed sites.


I’m still at it and regarding the scores I get better and better :wink: I also feel better in every day life but this can also be related to other variables. We’ll see … :slight_smile:
My therapist told me a few days ago that there was a new headset out which is using salt water to get a good … how do you say? … “connection” :wink: Have a look:

He bought it and will try it out – not with me I guess. Maybe this is the future replacement for the conductive paste and will also lead to better consumer-grade devices – who knows …