Easy to use regularly
Didn’t live up to expectations
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What is the Apollo Neuro?
The Apollo Neuro is a $400 wearable device that’s designed to train your body to manage stress naturally. It works by vibrating against your skin and—though there’s no physical touching involved—it is considered a form of touch therapy, a form of treatment that is said to balance your body’s energy field.
The Neuro connects to Apollo’s companion app on your smartphone, where you can choose from vibration programs like “energy and wake up,” “clear and focused,” and “rebuild and recover.” The vibration sessions range from five minutes to two hours, making it an option worth considering for those who don’t have the time or inclination to work a mediation session into their day. For maximum effectiveness, Apollo recommends using the Neuro for at least three hours a day, though you can break up that time into smaller segments, perhaps in moments when you feel overwhelmed.
It also is versatile enough to be worn many ways: The Neuro’s strap is long and adjusts with velcro such that you can wear it on either your wrist or ankle. You may also pop it out of the band and wear it on the included clip on a bra strap or waistband so long as it’s in contact with your body. On its own, the device measures roughly an inch and a half wide by two inches long and about half an inch thick. On the wrist, it’s about the same size as a smartwatch or running watch. The strap also comes in size small, medium, and large: The small fits wrists and ankles 4 to 7½ inches in circumference; the medium, 5 to 8½ inches; and the large, 6 to 11 inches.
How the Apollo Neuro works
Here’s how Apollo explains what those vibrations supposedly do: The Neuro aims to optimize your heart rate variability (HRV), or the variation in length of time between heartbeats. A high HRV means you are good at adapting to change and dealing with stress, while a low HRV—less time between beats—can indicate anxiety, depression, and elevated stress hormones that put you at a greater risk for health problems like diabetes. The Neuro aims to improve your HRV with its vibrations, as some early research suggests rhythmic touch can alter the body’s stress response. Via this form of body vibration therapy, Apollo claims the Neuro can lead to better sleep quality and improved ability to focus.
The Neuro’s companion app allows you to change the vibration intensity on a scale from 0% to 100%. However, the sensation changes depending on which of the seven programs you choose. For example, the 0% vibration level of the “sleep and renew” program delivers a buzz that barely registers on my skin, while 100% feels like a light tickle. With the “clear and focused” program, the 0% vibration also feels barely noticeable, but 100% is much more intense, similar to what you’d feel when a phone vibrates in your pocket. Depending on which program you opt for, the intensity of Apollo’s vibrations are designed to either soothe or energize.
What I like about the Apollo Neuro
It’s easy to use regularly
Apollo’s companion app makes it easy to create a schedule for using the Neuro. The app suggests modes to try at certain times in the day—for example, “clear and focused” in the morning and “relax and unwind” in the evening—and lets you customize the rest. Once you select a mode, you can adjust the intensity and session length, which days you want to repeat each session, and the start time. This made it easier to use the Neuro for the recommended three hours a day.
The vibrations are quiet
While you may notice the Neuro vibrating when you wear it, chances are no one else will. Even the more intense vibrations are quiet—when using the Neuro at 50% intensity, multiple friends and colleagues said they had no idea it was on as they looked at it on my wrist. Its near-silent pulsations mean no disruptions to those around you, or audible distraction as you continue your daily routine.
What I don’t like about the Apollo Neuro
It doesn’t do anything other than vibrate
Because the Neuro doesn’t offer any additional functionality besides its vibration settings, I kept wearing my fitness tracker—the Fitbit Luxe—to track my steps, activity level, and sleep quality. Without other fitness and health tracking, the Apollo device feels like it’s lacking.
It didn’t improve my stress levels or sleep quality
After using the Neuro for almost a month, I didn’t notice any drastic improvements in my stress levels, sleep quality, or ability to focus. Admittedly, though I aimed to use the Neuro three hours a day, five days a week, I fell short from time to time. To “test” how the Neuro made me feel, I wrote down how I felt before and after a vibration session to reflect on whether I immediately noticed a difference or an improvement in my mood or habits over time.
Wearing my Fitbit during testing made it easy to look for any shifts in my sleep patterns while using the Neuro. Despite Apollo’s studies showing users experience less stress, more concentration, and better sleep, I didn’t notice any short- or long-term changes in my health after trying its brand of touch therapy.
Though the Neuro’s vibrations are practically silent, the design is cumbersome and awkward. The device is roughly half an inch longer than the 41mm Apple Watch Series 7 and more than twice as thick. Wearing the Neuro feels conspicuous, and because I’m someone who prefers the most inconspicuous fitness tracker available, this is a major con.
Is the Apollo Neuro worth it?
Not based on my experience
I didn’t see the results I was looking for at the end of my testing period. I didn’t find that Apollo’s “touch therapy” did anything for my overall mood or health, which is surprising because I usually enjoy products that promote holistic healing. I also just didn’t enjoy wearing the Neuro, as it feels bulky on my wrist and doesn’t include other functions, like display time or track any fitness data.
If you’re someone who has even a mild interest in improving your overall wellbeing, you’d be wise to invest in a tracker that provides greater insights into your activity level and body’s functions—especially for a $400 price tag. While other fitness trackers and smart watches from Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple don’t offer “touch therapy,” they each have some sort of de-stressing or deep breathing app and access to meditation programs, which has a lot more research behind its efficacy than Apollo’s vibration.
If you’re interested in exploring vibration therapy, there’s no harm in giving the Apollo Neuro a try to see if it works for you. While you’ll have to pay for return shipping yourself, the company stands by its 60-day return policy, which allows you to return the product if you’re unsatisfied with it for any reason.
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Meet the tester
Staff Writer, Health and Fitness
Esther is a writer at Reviewed covering all things health and fitness.
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