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Why do users connect the EMOTIV EPOC X via the USB receiver or Bluetooth?

The EMOTIV EPOC X can pair either through its proprietary USB receiver or via Bluetooth. Here’s why users might choose one over the other:

Using the USB Receiver:

  1. Battery Life: Our USB receiver communicates with the headset using a very-low-power protocol, significantly extending the headset's battery life. When paired through the USB receiver, the EPOC X battery can last up to 9 hours. While this setup is great for battery life, it can be vulnerable to interference from higher-powered 2.4GHz radio sources, such as WiFi routers and Bluetooth transmitters, including internal transmitters in PCs or laptops near the USB port where the EMOTIV receiver is installed.
  2. Stability: The connection via the USB receiver is generally more stable and less prone to interference compared to Bluetooth. If using and pairing the EPOC X headset via USB receiver, you are not competing for bandwidth with other BTLE devices.
  3. Recommended proper setup with USB receiver dongle: EMOTIV USB Receiver dongle works quite well but the protocol uses low transmit and receive power so you need to set up properly to reduce packet loss. We recommend using a USB extension cable and positioning the receiver away from other devices, with a clear line of sight to the headset. EPOC X antenna is located at the front edge of the right-hand pod. Under these conditions, we typically see a usable range of about 5 metres. 

Using Bluetooth:

  1. Convenience: Bluetooth allows for wireless connectivity without needing a dedicated USB port, providing greater convenience and flexibility.
  2. Portability: For users who prefer a more portable setup or are working with devices without USB ports, Bluetooth is a practical option.
  3. Ease of Use: Bluetooth pairing is often simpler and quicker for users who are not concerned about the reduced battery life or slightly lower data throughput.


Using our USB receiver is fantastic for the headset's battery life and reliable data transmission. The advantage is that you are not competing for bandwidth with other BTLE devices. If your computer doesn't natively support Bluetooth, the USB receiver is the perfect solution.

Some devices have Bluetooth on board, but if the Bluetooth version is outdated and does not ensure adequate data transmission, the USB receiver dongle is used to increase data throughput. 

You can choose whichever one works best for you at the time.

Updated on 16 May 2024

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