EEG Headset

EEG Headset Definition

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a monitoring method to record the electrical activity of the brain. Wearable EEG headsets position noninvasive electrodes along the scalp. The clinical definition of EEG is the recording of brain activity over a period of time. EEG electrodes pick up on and record the electrical activity in your brain. The collected signals are amplified and digitized then sent to a computer or mobile device for storage and data processing.

Image of an advanced eeg headset
Image of an simple eeg headset

EEG Headset FAQs

What is an EEG Headset?

An EEG headset is a wearable device for electroencephalography, a monitoring method to record the electrical activity of the brain. EEG sensors in headsets place electrodes along the scalp to detect brain activity. Analyzing EEG data supports the study of cognitive processes. Doctors can use EEG to diagnose medical issues, researchers can use this method to understand brain processes, and individuals can use EEG to improve their productivity and wellness via monitoring their moods and emotions, developers can use EEG for BCI to execute direct mental commands in app development and many other use cases.

How do EEG Headsets Work?

Electroencephalography (EEG) headsets detect brain activity through electrodes placed in an array along the user or research subject’s scalp. There are a few different types of EEG headsets. Comparison is often drawn between dry electrode EEG headsets, and wet electrode arrays. Wet electrodes use a conductive gel, saline fluid or other material to improve signal quality. This ensures the EEG device captures high-quality data. Most dry EEG headsets provide good quality readings, so the conductive gel is not normally required unless high quality data is required for specific clinical reasons or high accuracy.

What are EEG Headsets Used For?

Electroencephalography (EEG) headsets are used for medical research, understanding mental states, and diagnosing certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy and sleep disorders. EEG headsets can also be used for brain-computer interfaces. Wireless EEG headsets are those which do not require wires to send the data capture to a computer for analysis. This portable EEG headset format is ideal in everyday situations outside of a laboratory or in research labs hoping to expand the number of research subjects. It is also used for computer-brain interfaces, such as EEG headset gaming. EEG ADHD training programs use neurofeedback to “exercise” the brain. Subjects wear an EEG VR headset while playing video games especially designed to enhance cognitive skills or control physical objects. Open source EEG applications are barely starting to break the surface of possibility. Developers are increasingly using EEG SDK’s to find new and amazing possibilities for EEG headset gaming.

Commercial EEG Headsets

Commercial headsets for electroencephalography (EEG) are used in brain-computer interface and research and are designed for commercial use such as consumer insights or stress monitoring in the field. Mobile EEG headsets are valuable to researchers interested in expanding a study beyond the confines of a lab, for instance in workplace environments.

Open Source EEG Headsets

An open-source brain-computer interface platform called OpenBCI was developed by Joel Murphy and Conor Russomanno in 2013. They have also released an open-source software application for OpenBCI, and design files for an open-source headset called the Ultracortex. Some EEG headsets which interface with the OpenBCI software may be considered open source.

What is the Best EEG Headset?

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a complex data-gathering process. Some features of market-leading EEG headsets include:

  • Multiple (5 or more) channels of EEG sensing, provided by that number of electrodes in the array
  • Easy-to-understand user experience and setup
  • Wirelessly connects to PC and/or mobile devices
  • Rechargeable battery with 9 or more hours of battery life
  • High sensitivity (0.5uV or better minimum resolution) and adequate sample frequency per channel (100Hz or higher).
  • Low noise and high rejection of background body potential signals

How are EEG Headsets Used for Research?

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a sensitive means to capture brain activity. Signals not made by the brain, known as artifacts, can interfere with capturing research-grade data. Depending on the researcher’s needs, a cheap EEG headset may be sufficient enough for study purposes as these artifacts are captured by any EEG system. Artifacts can either be experimental, such as electrical interference and electrode displacement, or participant-induced, such as muscle and eye movements. Any of these non-brain signals can interfere with the data capture and quality. For this reason, researchers tend to prefer an EEG headset with the lowest incidence of capturing artifacts with the brain data.

EEG Headsets for Gaming

Electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography can be harnessed to control video games. Gaming software can be coded to recognize common thought patterns, and the brain activity displayed on the EEG. Gaming headsets are trained through repeated thought patterns and controls assigned to those patterns and some systems can recognize moods and emotions such as boredom, excitement, and frustration, which can be integrated into the narrative of the game in order to curate the desired user experience. These detections do not require individual user training. Once this process is complete, those patterns can then be used to control video game avatars or other in-game actions.

Does Emotiv offer EEG Headsets?

EMOTIV offers three different EEG Headsets. Reviews of EMOTIV’s Brainwear have shown it to be cost-effective. EMOTIV’s solutions have been validated in peer-reviewed scientific, medical and clinical studies and publications for neuroscience, workplace wellness and safety, stress, cognitive performance, neuromarketing, and brain-controlled technology applications.

The award-winning EMOTIV EPOC+ EEG headset provides professional-grade brain data for academic research within biometrics research and commercial use. The EMOTIV Insight headset boasts minimal set-up time and electronics optimized to produce clean signals from anywhere, making it ideal for performance and wellness tracking. The EMOTIV EPOC FLEX cap offers high-density coverage and up to 32 moveable electroencephalogram sensors optimal for research professionals.