This post is not sponsored or endorsed by the vendor.
OK, this might be the coolest thing I’ve tested. Also possibly the most… unique? thing. Halo Sport (the original not the Sport 2, available now) are ‘headphones’ that use neurological stimulation to better your muscle memory, essentially making you better at something. In my case, weightlifting will be the test.
I am clearly not a scientist (maybe not clearly? but not) so I will not do the technology justice by trying to tell you HOW these work. That is best left to the professionals, so you can check out the info here on how they work. Go science!
Let’s get Neuro-y…?
Out of the box, these things are real cool. Make me feel like a professional type cool (also NOT a professional sport anything. Go sport!). Set up was easy, paired with my phone quickly (Samsung Galaxy S10+) and the app is clear.
Before you begin you need to get the pads (spiky little head poker things) damp. This will help with conducting the minor electrical current into your brain. That sounds pretty scary, but it’s cool. The app will tell you when you have good head-to-spike touching and you may need to wiggle it around a bit to reach this. It took me a few tried until I got the hang of it. The process takes 20 minutes. I chose to use this time to stretch and warm up on the treadmill.
Did I also mention they are headphones for real and not just bulky look alike? The sounds is surprisingly decent, although mine kept cutting out. For 20 min of listening they were not bad, but not something I would ever buy for sound quality or keep on for the whole workout. I also tried the wireless adapter (sold separately) for the headphones part, so this could be why they kept cutting out. The piece feels pretty bulky and I was not a huge fan so I didn’t choose to use it often.
The box comes with everything you need:
- Carrying case
- Two set of ear pads (perforated and not)
- Water spray bottle (I didn’t use this)
- Charging cable and wall plug
- Pad “recharge” kit
How does it feel?
The best way I can describe it would be like those evil little plastic headbands that killed your scalp as a child. The electrical current itself felt tingly and real weird, but you get used to it. Unfortunately, the spikes gave me a killer headache most times so if you have a sensitive head like me you may not enjoy it much. Still did it though, so… yeah.
What you really want to know…
I stuck with it for a month, working out 5 days a week and used them before every workout. According to the directions you will see the benefits for 60 min after using them. So, what did I notice? They are BIG and I got some very weird looks.
I love to lift things up, and put them down, so I used this to gauge progress. I do each compound lift once per week as a reference point. So each exercise was completed 4 times. I kept a detailed journal of the workout and how I felt before, during and after. By the end of the month the recovery time seemed lessened and the DOMS lasted a day compared to sometimes barely being able to sit to pee after leg workouts (TMI, sorry).
- Deadlift – up from 185lbs to 225lbs. That’s some solid growth in a 4 sessions with a 22% increase in weight. My usual monthly growth for this lift is 10-15%. Was it the pre-work or the brain tingling? One may never know…
- Squat – weight wise I did not see much change but the motion felt better and I was squatting deeper than before using it. I also found that my knee wobbled to the side way less (stanky leg does what it wants).
- Bench Press – up from 75lbs to 95lbs. 10lbs on each side is not something to sneeze at with a 36% increase in weight overall (The small numbers make it look way cooler for percentages). But the thing here that made me really notice a difference was, again, the motion itself. I felt more solid through the entire push and more controlled on the decent.
Although I did find a noticeable change in my workouts it is hard to know if this is solely contributed to the use of the Halo or just being more motivated in my workouts. I do think that they provided support with my muscle memory, in turn helping to feel stronger and lift better and foster an increased mobility.
Are they worth the money? If you’re really trying to break a plateau or push your sport to the next level (though they also say it can work for playing instruments and dancing) then they could be a good purchase. The science is there to back the claims and overall reviews are positive. Would I have gone out and purchased these if they were not given to me as a gift? No, not likely. They are cool and all, but I don’t see myself using these more than I have.