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EEG Display for Neurosky Mindwave Mobile

EEG Display for NeuroSky MindWave Mobile (iPhone / iPad)

I’ve long wanted to get my hands on an EEG device, and MindWave Mobile from Neurosky is a low cost headband which features a single EEG sensor and connects to an iOS device via Bluetooth. One of the biggest advantages of the headband is that it offers raw signal

EEG Display For Neurosky MindWave Mobile Proper Operation

This is the correctly setup headband outputting raw data. Top graph shows last second of data. Bottom graph shows 90 seconds of data

readout to developers, and so I’ve created EEG Display app for iPhone that works with the MindWave Mobile headband and shows you how your brain works.

Why you should get this app:

  • See raw brainwaves for your own experiments (live graph with 200 Hz update rate)
  • Hear audio tone that responds to your brainwaves (you can do experiments without having to look at the screen)
  • Brainwave analysis with brainwave bands (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc)
  • History of brainwave analysis (scroll any bar graph to see old data)
  • Brain Activity index – my own attempt to produce a useful metric of brain activity.
  • 90 second blink counter and activity graph
  • It’s very cheap!

I cannot emphasize the low cost of this project enough: 130$ for the headband and a few bucks for the app. A single night in a sleep study lab (polysomnography) costs 3000$. A decade-old EEG machine costs 7000$. I use this low cost setup (headband + app) for my own research project, and had multiple other hackers express interest in the project!


After pairing the headband with the iPhone (http://support.neurosky.com/kb/mindwave-mobile/how-do-i-install-the-product-and-get-it-working)

Using EEG Display for MindWave Mobile:

1) Bluetooth must connect 2) Press start 3) Data will display 4) Adjust headband to see green connected symbol

1) Bluetooth must connect
2) Press start
3) Data will display
4) Adjust headband to see green connected symbol

  • 1) Turn on the headband, the bluetooth symbol in the status bar^ (next to battery meter) should light up.
  • 2) Press the start button on the EEG/BandLogger screen, the raw data should start appearing on the top screen.
  • 3)Adjust the position of the headband on the head until the connection status symbol turns green.
  • 4)Control the audio volume with the device’s volume buttons (+/- on the side of device)
  • 5)To stop the app, press the stop button.
  • 6)Turn off the headband’s switch to “off” position


Troubleshooting the device:

Q: The bluetooth symbol is on, but no data is showing.

A:The headband can get bugged and send no data, to fix: turn the headband off, then on.

Check / replace battery.


Q:I turn on the headband, but there is no bluetooth symbol next to power icon in the status bar.

Take the headband off the head, turn it off, then on. If still no success, open Preferences app on iPhone > Bluetooth > make sure the bluetooth is turned on. Turn the headband on and off.


Q:I cannot get the headband to reach the green “Connected” state, it shows yellow all the time

A: Try “wiggling” the headband on your head. Looking at the mirror helps. Position the metal sensor to be flat against the skin and relax. After a few seconds the connection symbol should turn green.


Q: My raw data has high amplitude very noisy waveform, and the app produces a high pitched squeal.

This behavior is caused by holding a device connected to a power cable

This behavior is caused by holding a device connected to a power cable

A: Most likely you are holding the phone in your hand while it is connected to a power source with a cable, or you may be touching a laptop.

Take hands off phone or laptop, put the device on the desk and use the headband while not touching the phone, the readings should stabilize quickly.

After this you can experiment with touching different appliances and seeing how the waveform responds to electrical stimuli that do not come from your brain.