- Calm yet alert, all-day focus.
- Social lubrication but without the booze.
- Deeper, more restful sleep.
All without any pills or exogenous substances. Effects that last only until you decide you’ve had enough, and without side effects.
Digital drugs have captivated the alternative health and wellness community.
Several of my podcast guests claimed that early versions of this technology already exist and actually work. A company in this space, and on Fast Company’s list of World Changing Ideas of 2022, sent me their device to test. They claim to let users…
“Choose how you feel”.
Skeptically, I accepted. Thinking I’d easily debunk the tech, and get a laugh while at it.
So in this post, I am reviewing the Hapbee wearable. I’ll cover the company’s history, the emerging science behind it, my personal experience using Hapbee, and the pros and cons I’ve encountered during 100+ hours of use.
Use the exclusive Hapbee code URBAN for 10% off
What is Hapbee
Hapbee is a wearable neckband that changes your brain activity via ultra-low Radio Frequency Energy (ulRFE) waves. As we’ll explore next, the technology behind Hapbee acts as an electronic nootropic. While many non-native electromagnetic fields (nn-EMFs) harm humans, the specific frequencies emitted by Hapbee appear to have beneficial effects.
With their app, Hapbee users choose their desired mental state or mood from an ever-expanding catalog. The wearable then “biostreams” the specific inaudible frequencies of widely used molecules (CBD, nicotine, caffeine, theobromine, alcohol, etc). Theoretically, this induces similar (but more subtle) feelings to actually ingesting the drug.
They mention it’s used by:
- US military
- Professional athletes
- Wellness practitioners
As well as a growing list of celebrities.
Since certain signals mimic the effects of alcohol, nicotine, and other substances, Hapbee intends the product for those 21 and older.
Users can use the device at any time, day or night, and in virtually any situation.
Before I even received the device, I immediately began looking into Hapbee’s mechanisms of action.
How does Hapbee work?
The science backing Hapbee is slim. Even when compared to notoriously unresearched nootropics.
I’m no scientist, but here is how I understand the way Hapbee works.
It all comes down to the field of bioelectric medicine. Sitting below the layer of biochemical interactions, cells rely on micro-electricity.
We know from existing research that external extremely low-power magnetic fields influence human health.
Tiny electrical signals can have disproportional effects on human health. For better or worse. There are plenty of examples.
Developed by NASA, Pulse Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy is one such example. Countless glowing success stories mention how PEMF accelerated their healing when nothing else worked.
HeartMath and other institutions have also linked electromagnetism to human behavior.
An adjacent technology, called electrical homeopathy, shows promising preliminary results.
Here’s what Benjamin Hardy Ph.D. says about the biological effects of electromagnetism,
“Artificial magnetic fields have been shown to be capable of triggering a similar receptor response and conformational change in the absence of a physical drug or molecular agonist. In other words, the magnetic field can create a biological effect similar to a drug that goes into the body.”
When I interviewed my friend and esteemed researcher Ian Mitchell, he summarized how electromagnetic therapies impact humans.
Hapbee uses ultra-low-powered RFE. ulRFE is purported to work like an electric nootropic. First, Hapbee uses Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (AKA SQUID magnetometers) to record the electromagnetic signature of molecules.
Then by emitting the magnetic signatures of particular molecules, you choose your brain state without the side effects, half-life, and “sloppiness” of biochemicals. And unlike many pharmaceuticals and supplements, electromagnetic signals help bioactive substances pass through the blood-brain barrier to exert effects within the brain.
Only two companies use ulRFE technology. Hapbee, and the EMulate Therapeutics Voyager. The Voyager is an incredibly expensive professional system. EMulate Therapeutics is actually the company that pioneered all of the work and research into this technology. I found several interesting related studies:
- Electromagnetic information can reduce markers of stress and improve mood
- ulRFE shifted the behavior of mice based upon the molecular frequency they were exposed to (using the Voyager)
- Radiofrequency can change the epigenetic expression of genes
- Low frequency, low energy PEMF signals can have a caffeine-like wakefulness effect
- The Voyager alters enzyme activity in algae
Though the only peer-reviewed research I could find on ulRFE or the Voyager tech was on improving the survivability of brain tumors.
You can read Hapbee’s whitepaper here.
In May of 2022, their sleep study using Oura Ring data produced remarkable results:
- Increased Sleep Score increased from 77.78 to 81.81 (melatonin signal)
- Increased Sleep Score from 77.93 to 82.87 (adenosine signal)
- Increased REM Sleep Duration increased by 13.5+ minutes (melatonin signal)
- Reduced nightly Awake Time by 13 minutes, from 1:26 to 1:15 (melatonin signal)
- Reduced nightly Sleep Latency by almost 3 minutes, from 785 seconds to 609 seconds (melatonin signal)
- Reduced nightly Sleep Latency by almost 3.5 minutes, from 778 seconds to 564 seconds (adenosine signal)
Hapbee claim to hold 30 patents for its own technology and that all their blends are:
- Safe — non-ionizing, non-thermal, non-invasive
- Low-power — 0-22 kHz
- Fast-acting — effects wear off 15-30 minutes after powering Hapbee down
- Discernible — properly engineered physics creates unique responses to every mode
The anecdotal reports listed on their science page do not differentiate between use of EMulate Therapeutics Voyager or Hapbee.
Nonetheless, they report:
- 90-94% of users felt something during their first use
- 100% of onboarded users correctly distinguished the signal from the placebo
- No negative reactions
Hapbee itself has not published any peer-reviewed research, nor has EMulate Therapeutics innovated much by releasing new ulRFE frequencies.
Overall, I’m disappointed that the bold marketing claims seem to have little scientific backing.
How to Use Hapbee
After placing your order, I recommend downloading the (required) Hapbee mobile app. They support both iOS and Android phones.
You’ll need to create an account on Hapbee’s website in order to utilize the mobile app.
Several days after ordering, the package will arrive on your doorstep.
Included with my Hapbee:
- Hapbee band
- USB-C charging cable
- Protective bag
If you don’t encounter any bugs (which I did), setting up Hapbee should be quick and easy.
The band itself is a simple oval design, with a thicker snub bottom. It’s malleable and easily conforms to fit.
On the device, Hapbee has just one LED light, a single button, and a charging port.
My Hapbee band arrived with a partial charge. Using the provided USB-C cable, I gave it another 30-minute charge.
One click of its button powers on Hapbee. Then to pair to your phone via BlueTooth, you scan the QR code printed on Hapbee.
The entire pairing process shouldn’t take more than a minute or so.
Within the app, you can control hardware settings like LED light brightness, haptic vibration, BlueTooth connection, and more.
Most importantly, however, is to play blends.
Until August 2022, Hapbee called Individual digital molecules “signals”. Blends were combinations of two molecules.
They did away with signals, and now consider blends to be one or more molecules.
Blends fall into three categories:
Blends in the sleep category both increase sleepiness and improve sleep quality. Example molecules include:
Blends in the mood category shift you into particular moods best suited for particular activities (like socializing). Examples include:
Blends in the performance category help you excel with physical performance and cognitive brain power. Examples include:
Yes, as of right now, Hapbee only offers eight unique molecules.
Although their catalog does contain both single ingredients and some two-molecule mixes best suited to particular uses.
As you can see, the eight-molecule catalog is quite limited.
Changing your state
Once you’ve set up your device and app, you’re ready to begin use.
The basic steps are:
- Enable your phone’s BlueTooth and data/WiFi
- Press the button on Hapbee once (the icon in the top left will show once it’s connected)
- Choose a mode
- Optional: change the duration of the program
- Click “begin”
Depending on your settings, at the end of your session, Hapbee will either stay on or shut down automatically.
Should you need to interrupt or stop at any point, physically pressing the button on the Hapbee shuts it down.
Hapbee 2.0 Update
In late 2022, Hapbee released a major V2.0 update. Complete with a new mobile app, new logo, and redesigned user experience.
V2 introduced the concept of “Routines”. Routines are just their name for playing synergistic blends one after another.
The Peak Performance routine, for example, plays a blend containing the stimulants theobromine (found in dark chocolate) and caffeine in the morning, followed by nicotine and CBD to drop you into the flow state.
While a nice concept, you cannot customize the duration of blends within Routines, so I don’t find it very useful.
A new Activity tab within the app shows your Hapbee usage — sessions and duration.
My favorite update… now the images for each blend visually show which molecules they contain. Rather than having to click into the mode, scroll down, and then click “more information”.
Despite major overhauls, disappointingly, Hapbee did not add ANY new blends.
My Experience With Hapbee
Since I heard about Hapbee years ago, I’ve been cynical.
Interviewing several well-studied and non-affiliated podcast guests brought me from doubtful to skeptical.
When they offered to ship me a device to test and review, I agreed.
I’ve logged hundreds of hours of use. Across a wide variety of activities. From checking emails, to morning strolls, to doing taxes, to meditating, to even sleeping with Hapbee under my pillow.
90 percent of the time, I use just one of the following modes:
- Deep Work (nicotine & CBD) to drop into the highly-productive flow state
- Wake Up (caffeine & theobromine) to augment my morning routine and upgraded bulletproof coffee
- Wind Down (adenosine & melatonin) to quickly transition from work into sleep
I went into the experiment thinking that it would do nothing.
Does it work?
I’ll admit that I do feel slight (but consistent) and increasing effects the more I use Hapbee. Especially the Winding Down mode.
I have my evening routine and supplement stack dialed. Sometimes I’ll activate Hapbee, forget about it, and 30-minutes later realize that I’m ready to finish my night. My Oura ring data shows that on nights when I sleep with Hapbee, I wake up less throughout the night and feel more refreshed in the morning. All without consuming any supplements.
I do find that I’m slightly more effective and productive when using the Deep Work mode. I never get headaches, but I sometimes do when I use a blend containing nicotine for hours. The only other time I get these headaches is after orally consuming nicotine.
Effects from the other modes aren’t as noticeable or easy to specifically attribute to Hapbee.
I always wear Hapbee like a necklace instead of putting it around my head (which looks too goofy for me).
Curious about the experience of other users, I did some research.
Reviews From Other Hapbee Users
The internet seems full of glowing Hapbee reviews.
Reviews that don’t match my own experience, and from what I understand of the (limited) science, shouldn’t occur.
For example, this user reported a HUGE increase in sleep quality,
“15% increase in Oura Ring sleep score primarily due to a 4x increase in REM sleep.” — Leon B
Another claims that Hapbee helped them halve their alcohol consumption,
“The same can be said about the Happy signal (alcohol digital fingerprint). I watched the video where Dr. Gundry interviewed Scott Donnell and he asked if he would feel drunk with the Happy signal, and Scott replied saying that no, but he would feel a buzz and that he would probably drink less – this is exactly what’s happening to me. I’m a heavy drinker and normally don’t stop easily, 5 or 6 500ml pints is normal to me, but with the Happy signal I’m drinking half of that and feeling pretty good!!”
This testimonial is promising,
“I smoked in the past and when I use the Focus signal (nicotine digital fingerprint) the feeling is weaker, of course, but veeeery similar!”
And then there are plenty of reviews that seem more realistic,
“I’m using Hapbee for a week now and I can tell you that I feel the difference clearly, it’s subtle but it’s there!”
Certain Reddit threads claim that the reviews are fabricated. Perhaps some, but companies rarely post one and two-star user ratings on their website. As of today, Hapbee lists twenty ratings of three stars and below.
Is Hapbee a scam?
There’s healthy skepticism around electromagnetics.
When evaluating products that I cannot perceive with my senses (see, touch, taste, etc), I immediately look into their team.
With just a tad of due diligence into Hapbee’s inception, you’ll learn that it resulted from an incredibly successful crowdfunding campaign. Raising $551,576 USD by 1,238 backers. Chris Rivera, President, CEO & Chairman of the Board at EMulate Therapeutics, sold his previous company Hyperion Therapeutics for $1.1 billion. Just nine years after founding it.
Hapbee’s marketing and public appearances suggest semi-miraculous abilities,
“Hapbee puts you in complete control of the emotions or feelings you want, when you want them, giving you complete control of your state and empowering you to become more mindful of how you feel every day.” — Scott Donnell
This seems like an exaggeration.
Hapbee does have high-profile endorsements:
- Jim Kwik
- Ben Greenfield
- Dave Asprey
- Dr. Richard Schuster
On the other hand, you’ll find (unjustly) damning statements like this,
“But it remains a fact that the science behind the device has no basis in reality and cannot work”.
Science is never “settled”, and a personal lack of understanding does not indicate uselessness.
Some of the reviews I came across certainly appear fake.
Well, is Hapbee a scam?
Their claims and marketing seem grossly exaggerated. I’m wary of what appear to be fake reviews. From my research and personal experience, I don’t think Hapbee is a scam though.
This isn’t the cheapest mood-altering wearable.
Until their 2022 update, Hapbee cost $299 for the hardware and required an additional $19.99 monthly subscription.
They changed their pricing model to a more expensive monthly membership, but they now include the neckband device for free.
Hapbee’s current pricing is as follows:
- Monthly subscription: $40 per month
- 1-year subscription: $30 per month
- 2-year subscription: $25 per month
It is backed by a 12-month money-back guarantee.
If you use the code URBAN, that will save you 10 percent on your Hapbee.
Hacks to Get More Out of Hapbee
There are multiple ways to get better effects out of Hapbee.
Nootropics. Certain supplements directly impact cognition and how well the brain function. This class of ingredients is called nootropics. Different nootropics improve focus, memory, motivation, creativity, logical thinking, energy, sociability, verbal fluidity, confidence, and more.
Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a form of non-invasive brain training to help your body enter and maintain (desired) elevated states naturally. This technology used to cost up to $100,000. Now, home neurofeedback kits give us the same ability to change the way we feel at any time, any place. Best of all, it has significant scientific validation.
Consumption. Hapbee mimics the cellular effects of consuming molecules. Combined with actually ingesting them, you get stronger, more synergistic benefits. Along with fewer side effects as compared to just taking a larger dose.
Brain.fm. Music can effectively and apparently shift moods. We intuitively know how profoundly music impacts us and use it to either enforce or change the way we feel. Brainfm takes this a step further and uses neuroscience, AI, and psychology to compose audio that enhances the mind. Each of the Sleep, Focus, and Relax modes have been studied and show impressive results.
LeelaQ. Last, and another new technology I am testing, would be to imprint the Hapbee with harmonizing “quantum energy”. While far-fetched, several third-party labs have validated LeelaQ’s bioharmonization claims. I have their Quantum Bloc, and I can charge my Hapbee for 20-seconds to hypothetically improve the effect profile.
These are just a few of the tools I’ve experimented with to further enhance my Hapbee.
Hapbee falls into a class of products sometimes called neurostim tech. Devices that beneficially and safely change brain activity.
There are other great and related Hapbee alternatives:
- Infopathy (review) — imprints water with electromagnetic signals (can also perform PEMF and binaural beats)
- Apollo (review) — uses haptics to alter nervous system state and activity
- NeoRhythm — clinically validated PEMF system that uses electromagnetic waves to stimulate certain states
I personally use my Infopathy devices most often.
Hapbee Review Verdict: Is It Worth It?
I imagine a future of digital drugs causing all the feel-good beneficial effects, but without the conventional pharmacodynamic downsides.
Electrobiology has gained momentum since Robert Becker published The Body Electric. Each day, the immense role of bioelectricity gains more scientific acceptance.
The power of minuscule voltage and currents. Cells communicate via an intricate system of tiny electrical messages.
Perhaps technology can capitalize on this phenomenon.
Hapbee is one of several companies bringing this reality to consumers.
But does it work?
I expected to feel absolutely nothing. So if anything, I should experience a negative placebo (“nocebo”). Yet the more I use Hapbee, the stronger the effects I feel.
Still, the effects feel quite weak compared to consuming the original molecule.
The morning coffee replacement mode, for example, I’d rate the strength a 1/10 compared to drinking a cup of coffee.
Deep Work feels like a 1-2/10 compared to actually consuming nicotine and CBD.
Wind Down used at night, however, feels more like a 3/10. Comparable to my stack of sleep supplements.
I’m enjoying the convenience of just wearing Hapbee around my neck, hitting a button, and going about my day.
Use the exclusive Hapbee code URBAN for 10% off
That said, I’d like to see a few changes.
First, Hapbee should innovate and release new blends. Second, the monthly membership is far too expensive for what you get.
Although Hapbee lacks science proving its efficacy, I’m optimistic about the future of electronic biomedicine.
Have you tried Hapbee? Let me know your raw, unfiltered review in the comments below!
Can Hapbee really "change the way you feel"? I examined their science, put this technology through hundreds of hours of testing, and reviewed my experience. So far, I notice subtle changes to my mood, energy, and mental state.
Product Brand: Hapbee
- Noticeable effects
- Unlimited usage
- Adjustable and customizable
- Long battery life
- Membership fee
- Weak scientific validation
- Software bugs