What are the best tDCS devices to use in 2019?

tDCS (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) is a contemporary form of neurostimulation
(or neuromodulation) that delivers a constant low current to specific areas of the brain.

How does it work exactly? By applying a positive or negative current through electrodes to one area to help with the depolarization or hyperpolarization of neurons, in other words, increasing or lowering neurons’ threshold to send electrical pulses.
Originally, tDCS was developed and refined to aid patients with brain injuries or with neurological disorders, however, several scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of tDCS in cognitive enhancement for the general population.

According to Google Trends, Denmark, Iran, and Australia are the top three countries using tDCS, today. Iran has admitted tDCS to public, private, and education hospitals, Australia has promoted tDCS as a non-invasive treatment, and Denmark has validated tDCS technology on a large scale.

In this cozy safe space of mine, I rank the best tDCS devices of 2019:
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator Starstim R32, Caputron Activadose II (scroll down for a special discount code)
The Brain Stimulator v3.0 and the ApeX Type A. based on their features, cost, delivery time, and effectiveness.

What does tDCS stand for?

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation – a now commercially available device that works with mild electrical currents in order to promote and enhance brain plasticity through faster synapse (the junction between neurons) firing. Although studies have shown huge variability in its effects amongst individuals, tDCS works to affect different parts of the brain to promote improvement of mental processes such as learning, working memory, and vigilance.

What is a tDCS device?

A tDCS device is a compact and portable battery-powered device, light enough to be carried around on your person, or placed on a table top. It is a non-invasive device that includes the use of electrodes that are placed on the scalp that deliver small and steady currents to excite or inhibit the neuronal activity on the areas where the electrodes are placed.

These devices still remain quite experimental in the U.S., but are more widespread in Europe where they are used to treat depression and pain. Individuals can now purchase their own tDCS device in order to help in the process of treating chronic pain, mood disorder, attention, and cognitive ability.

In recent years, an overwhelming number of devices have emerged on the market,
making it difficult to pick and choose the best one.

Is tDCS safe?

So far, there is no evidence of long-term side-effects or injury caused by tCDS.Information from controlled trials show that side-effects are minor and are solely restricted to the location of the electrode on the scalp. These includetemporary itching, tingling, and redness of the skin.
There are also no formal safety guidelines for tDCS, indicating a very low risk when using the technology.

What does tDCS feel like?

Depending on external and internal factors such as electrode placement, level of current,
and length of the tDCS session, feelings may differ between people. However, commonly reported sensations include itching, warming, and tingling feelings at the source of the electrodes, of which can be reduced through application of saline solution.
Despite these minor sensations, tDCS is generally a positive experience that does not inflict any pain or feelings of discomfort.

How I rated the best tDCS devices

In order to effectively rate the best tDCS devices, I tested five leading brands in the tDCS industry and rated their best-selling device on user-friendliness, cost, estimated delivery time, attached accessories, and the effectiveness or end result.

Top 5 tDCS devices to use in 2019

1. Fisher Wallace Stimulator

Cost: $699 – put in this coupon code when making your purchase for a discount: TDCSDEVICES

Fisher Wallace Stimulator tDCS device logo

  • FDA-Cleared to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression
  • Used in multiple published studies
  • Includes carry case, Velcro headband

Ease of use: 4/5
Cost: 3/5
Promised delivery time: 5/5
Attached accessories: 4/5
End result: 4.5/5

2. Caputron Activadose II tCDS Starter Kit

Cost: $324.99 – put in this coupon code when making your purchase for a discount: TDCSDEVICES

Caputron Activadose II tCDS Starter Kit

  • One of the only medical grade devices on
    the market not requiring a prescription
  • Dose, time, and current display
  • Automatic current ramp-up/down
  • Head strap with measurement markets


Ease of use: 4/5
Cost: 3/5
Promised delivery time: 5/5
Attached accessories: 5/5
End result: 5/5

3. ApeX Type A 18V

Cost: $169.99

  • High quality tDCS device at an affordable price.
  • Comes with a full device kit that comes with two
    headbands to improve electrode stability.
  • Built-in analog meter to detect good connection
  • Current dial to seamlessly increase or decrease amperage.
  • More efficient 18V system in comparison to 9V systems.

 

Ease of use: 4.5/5
Cost: 4/5
Promised delivery time: 5/5
Attached accessories: 3/5
End result: 4.5/5

 4. The Brain Stimulator v3.0

Cost: $129.95 (Standard Kit) /$159.95 (Advanced Kit)/$179.95 (Deluxe Kit)

  • Choice to purchase standard, advanced, or deluxe kit
  • Extremely easy to use with push buttons and 5 indicator LEDs.
  • Runs for over 90 hours at the highest setting
  • Special voltage boosting technology for more accurate current
  • Built-in timer based on recommended stimulation duration


Ease of use
: 5/5
Cost: 5/5
Promised delivery time: 4.5/5
Attached accessories
: 5/5
End result: 4.5/5

5. The Brain Driver – tDCS Device v2.1

Cost: $144.99

  • Easy to operate, straight-forward control panel.
  • Visual output selection and battery indicator
  • Specific focus on pain reduction, mood and sleep improvement, and
    performance results
  • Seemingly fast results – 2-week result testimony
  • Basic accessories included: sponges, electrodes, headban

 

Ease of use: 5/5
Cost: 4/5
Promised delivery time: 5/5
Attached accessories: 4/5
End result: 4.5/5

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Hi! I’m Chloe. I’m a freelance writer, editor and a complete hedonist.

In 2002, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Studies, where I had focused on nutrition, health promotion, physiology, and anatomy topics –
stimulating the values I placed on healthy living.

I am also particularly interested in the human mind, human relationships, and culture, as well as the dynamism that manifests out of the intermingling of these concepts.

My interest in Neurostimulation and tCDS stems from my experiences with mental health and acute back pain from scoliosis, consequently driving me to help others who deal with similar issues.