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NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile

This is the Mindwave Mobile from NeuroSky, an EEG headset that safely measures and transfers the power spectrum (alpha waves, beta waves, etc) data via Bluetooth to wirelessly communicate with your computer, iOS, or Android device. This headset can be simply slipped on to be able to see your brainwaves change in real time. With the Mindwave Mobile you can monitor your levels of attention and relaxation and even learn about how your brain responds to your favorite music. This headset is an excellent introduction to the world of brain-computer interface!

The Mindwave Mobile is surprisingly simple consisting only of a headset, an ear-clip, and a sensor arm. The headset’s reference and ground electrodes are on the ear clip, while the EEG electrode is on the sensor arm, resting on the forehead above the eye.

What's really great about the Mindwave is the more than 100 brain training games, educational apps, and development tools available through the NeuroSky, iOS, and Android stores. You can also write your own programs to interact with MindWave Mobile by using the free developer tools.

  • Uses TGAM1 Bluetooth v2.1 Class 2 Module (10 Meter Range)
  • Automatic Wireless Pairing
  • Single AAA Battery Powered (Battery Not Included)
  • 8-hour Battery Run Time
  • Static Headset ID
  • iOS and Android Support
  • Starter Kit Edition

NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile Product Help and Resources

Hackers in Residence - Hacking MindWave Mobile

February 26, 2014

Review, teardown, and hacking tutorial for the MindWave Mobile, a $99 commercial grade EEG sensor.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Just so people are aware: EEG is not some magical technology that allows you to easily read brain waves. The electrical signals generated by your brain are on the order of MICROvolts by the time they reach your scalp. They have to go through both a layer of bone and tissue, causing them to be attenuated significantly. As a comparison, when you blink your eyes, the electrical potential generated is on the order of a few millivolts, or a thousand times higher than brain waves.

    Most clinical EEG headsets have over 32 electrodes and require lengthy preparation by scraping away dead skin between the scalp and electrode as well as applying a conductive gel. They are then amplified by very high quality, very low noise, and very expensive amplifiers. Once the signal is in software, they average 8-16 epochs to get a usable signal to noise ratio.

    So what I'm trying to say is it takes thousands of dollars of equipment to get usable EEG signals, and even then you generally can't use them in real-time. There's no way this headset with a single dry electrode is going to come close to competing with that. Do not expect great results, if any, as Sparkfun has said themselves.

    Source: I was a biomedical engineering student and spent a lot of time researching this technology and talking with people that use it on a daily basis.

  • Just love when they send me an email about a product that is not in stock with no estimate of when it will be in stock!

    • The New Product videos are posted early Friday mornings (usually by 10:00 AM Mountain Time), and I'm sure a lot of people watch it as soon as it's posted (I know I do, when I can) because these cool new items can go quickly. Sometimes you just have to be lucky.

    • well, they sold out quicker than we thought, and we're ordering more. we only give ETAs when we have a firm ship date on the product from the manufacturer. Since we've only had a couple hours since they went out of stock, we haven't had enough time to hear back from the supplier about a shipment.

      • I understand. It's just the whole experience of "That looks cool, I have a use for that -- NO! Disappointment!" that can be frustrating. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. :-)

    • Well, admittedly, some time before it was mentioned in the newsletter, but after it was put up, there were only 15 in stock - they must have gone fast :)

  • Excellent, my death ray is just about finished. Excellent.

    • Ha, my death ray is complete.

      I used my time traveling device to go to the future and buy one of these. Exactly 3 weeks and 1 day, 3 weeks and 2 days and they were out of stock again.

      Now off to finish the teleportation and cloning devices.

      • I just traveled to the future, when I'd already finished my death ray, and took it back to the past, when I hadn't even thought of it yet.

      • My teleportation device is almost finished, I just have to debug the problem where a person goes one place, and their life force, another. So far, no one has died...permanently.

  • I did try to order one and, luck or bad luck, it is now out of stock BUT Please please someone conment on this: “Overall, I don’t think using the Neurosky Mindwave product yields any data that is very useable. I look forward to trying Neurosky’s next revision”

    • As someone who deals with EMG (muscles instead of brain) and digital signal processing frequently, I can comment here -> the data is about as useable as it can be. Raw EEG data looks like scribbles of useless noise and requires a fair amount of processing to remove actual noise and get "useable" data. What is being returned to you is as useful as it can be. What they are doing is something called an FFT, or fast fourier transform, to get the data you are seeing. This is EXACTLY what you would need to do on your own in order to be able to use the data. The only thing that is missing is signal power which can be found easily by adding the squares of the four wave-type magnitudes.

      The fact that the data returned by the unit is unit-less also isn't that big of an issue. The magnitude of the signal will change as people sweat, move the headset, or even move their facial muscles. The amount of body fat, hydration, and thickness of the dermis also change drastically between people. They COULD give you units, but they don't mean much more than pointing into your yard from the side walk and saying "That is my favorite blade of grass."

      If someone wants more fine grained data, they can easily make their own circuit with an instrument amplifier, a few caps, resistors, and a couple op amps and then hook it up to an ADC or a sound card. You could then read in that data, do the same FFT, and find that the data returned by the Mindwave is sufficiently fine grained and "useable".

  • this mindwave mobile supported 50hz or 60hz

  • I have to agree with the skeptics. The real thing works by detecting and subtracting the large scale interference from the extremely small scale desired signals. The primary method used is sensing the signals from many different areas of the head accross two or three contacts and removing both the positive and negative difference between them. What's left is the electrical activity of the brain accross that region. You cannot possibly get that from a device that only has one or two contact points. Source: New England Journal of Medicine. Student of Psychology and Neuroscience seeking my Masters at Princeton.

  • what is the cost after landing in India ?

  • I loved Nick Poole's product video where he used the MindWave and an Arduino to bend a spoon. What a great idea for demo! I've always been a bit skeptical about the "concentration" and "focus" measures that are reported by many consumer-oriented EEG systems, but Nick's trick of counting backwards by 3 seemed like a technique that I could test experimentally. So, I fired up my prototype EEG system and explored the EEG signature of concentration. If you're interested you can check it out here http://eeghacker.blogspot.com/2014/04/detecting-concentration.html.

    So, thanks to Nick (and the rest of the Sparkfun team) for this great product video. It was pretty inspiring!

  • these went from 75 to 99 uhm ok I guess I'll just build my own for cheaper

  • Looks like a very cool piece of hardware for some pretty cool BCI projects. Might have to wait for the next version of the headset, no doubt it'll be better, and maybe a little more precise. No doubt it'll cost a pretty penny more too.

  • Hello, anyone can share a SERIAL DUMP of the headset?


  • I tried one of these last year. I ordered it directly from Neurosky. Could not get it to work on any of the three computers I have (Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines). Their tech support tried to help, but to no avail. Sending it back for a refund was worse than dealing with the bureaucracy of the U.S. government, but I managed to finally get reimbursed.

  • I'm an epileptic this would be so helpful to monitor my brain activity vs my stress level. I hope this items is restocked soon :)

  • Kudos to sparkfun for this very honest statement in their tutorial for this product:

    "Overall, I don’t think using the Neurosky Mindwave product yields any data that is very useable. I look forward to trying Neurosky’s next revision"

    • Where it said like that? I can't find the words that you mention

      • Last page, second to last paragraph.


        The Android app that comes with the Mindwave Mobile didn’t work at all, I tried it on a few phones without success. Neurosky support thought that it was possible that my Android operating system was not compatible.

        Overall, I don’t think using the Neurosky Mindwave product yields any data that is very useable. I look forward to trying Neurosky’s next revision, and I am really looking forward to trying OpenBCI!

        For more teardowns, check out these other offerings from SparkFun:

  • A tear-down video on this would be MEGA!

  • I went to the NeuroSky Store and, while they had them for similar or same price, I also found out that those #%@#%^ at MS ensured that their, oh so much better, Windows 8 would not be compatible with a bluetooth dongle that works on Windows 7 and lower. From what I can see, no Neurosky product works on a PC with Win8.

    • The drivers have not been written, but you should be able to pair it and configure it as a serial device and read the bits and bytes using a bit of homebrew code.

  • Oooooh. I got just the project for this...

Customer Reviews

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It works regardless what others says, also it has 3 sensors not one.The free apps are few and a lot of them are payed. For raw brainwaves you can use neuroexperminter,openvibe and other android/windows mobile apps. The free games/apps from neurosky you can download without account even if it's saying you need to add credit card. The only thingh i bought this is to read raw brainwaves and all the software that come with it i can't read the waves in Hz but i'll figure a way to do it.( you can't understand anythingh from their app brainwave visualizer yeah it shows frequency and all but not as i wanted too guess the onlye hope is to get an android device and try eeg analyzer) The pairing with windows mobile works at first after that it disconnect automatically even if i delete the device and pair again. Be sure you get a bluethooh 4.0 dongle. Arrived to Europe in 2weeks and fre days without any additional expenses.