The Core Meditation Trainer by Hyperice is a handheld meditation device that uses gentle vibrations to guide you through meditation while the companion app tracks your progress. This review will cover everything you need to know about this handheld meditation trainer to see if it’s the right fit for you.
The practice of meditation has been popular for thousands of years, and it has many benefits. It can reduce stress, improve psychological well-being, and also lengthen your life span.
The downside for most people, though, is that it can be difficult to start a solid meditation practice. I personally find it difficult to stay focused. I have meditated here and there, but I have not been able to develop a consistent practice. That is why I was so excited to start using Core.
Hyperice, the leader in recovery technology, acquired Core earlier this year. The founder and CEO of Core, Sarah McDevitt, said:
It’s an important moment to be able to partner with Hyperice to bring our two strengths together to offer a more unified approach to mental and physical wellness. Our companies share similar values, and I know together we will be able to provide the right tools and solutions needed to help everyone live their best lives.
When I first saw the Core and took it out of the box, I was very impressed with the design. The top of the Core is also slightly angled to hold your thumbs comfortably while they sit on top of small, stainless steel sensors. It is very sleek with dark natural wood and it includes a white USB charging dock.
The Core Essential package costs $179 and includes access to a small library of basic guided meditations, breath training, and soundscapes.
The Core Premium package usually costs $249 but is on sale right now for $219. This includes:
- 300+ guided meditations released daily
- Classes on better sleep, managing stress, positive relationships, and more
- Plus, it already includes the $69.99/year Premium subscription
The Core Essential library of free meditations is definitely large enough to get you started. But if you enjoy using Core, you will probably want to upgrade to the Premium package, since it allows access to a lot more content.
To get started using Core, you first need to download the Core Meditation app and create an account. You will also want to make sure you plug in your Core to charge as soon as you open it for a smoother setup.
After you have entered your information and created your account, a pop-up will ask you if you want to enable Bluetooth. Make sure your Core is near your phone, select yes, then press continue to connect them.
Once the app has found your Core, it will ask you to place your thumbs on it to confirm, and then it will start installing updates. This was a very quick process and took me less than a minute.
After the update has finished, press continue, then you are all done. You can choose to start your first meditation right then, or wait and do it later.
When you first start using Core, it will take you through a series of basic meditations. Once you finish that series, Core will start suggesting other types of meditations it thinks you would enjoy.
Start meditating with Core
Whenever you want to begin a session, open the Core app, pick up your Core, and place your fingers on the sensor dots. Once Core has connected and you are ready, the app will slowly guide you through different meditations and breath work sessions while tracking your progress.
Core contains 30 stainless-steel ECG sensors that measure the benefits of each meditation session on your body. It also uses different vibrations along with those sensors to help you focus and guide your breathing. This was my favorite part since I felt the vibrations really helped me stay focused and present during my meditation. After your first four meditation sessions, Core establishes your average heart rate and a baseline HRV score.
Once you have completed your meditation, the app will show you how your body responded. You are able to see how your heart rate variability (HRV) varied, how much time you spent in a “Calm” or “Focused” state, and how well that meditation compared to your previous sessions.
There is also a space in the app where you can write your own notes after each session, which I found very helpful. It was nice seeing my insights from the Core itself but I really liked being able to keep personal notes on how each meditation made my mind or body feel.
Core Meditation app
At the bottom of the Core Meditation app home screen, there are four tabs: Quick Start, Explore, History, and Profile. In the Quick Start tab, the app suggests a recommended meditation based on your session history. In the Explore tab, there are a library of meditations that are separated into four sections:
- Core Studio
- Breath Training
- Sound & Music
In the Core Studio section, Premium members can browse new classes. Core has been adding classes almost daily, so if you have a Premium membership, there will most likely always be something new to check out. If you try to take a Core Studio class without a Premium membership, you will be asked to subscribe.
In the Guided section, you’ll find meditations with an instructor’s audio guidance. This is great for people who are new to meditation and need someone to follow along to.
In the Breath Training section, there is a selection of meditations that teach you a variety of breathing exercises. During the Breath Training sessions, Core uses rising and falling vibrations to guide your breath. You match your inhale and exhale to the corresponding vibration.
Finally, the Sound & Music section offers audio-only soundscapes for people who are more advanced. Users can choose one of the soothing musical backdrops, set a duration, and Core offers gentle vibrations to help you focus.
Core session history
You can view all of your past sessions under the History tab. Core users are able to see their average HRV, average time spent in the Calm state, and average time spent in the Focused state.
In a “Calm” state, your mind and body are at rest. Core measures the amount of time you spent in a “Calm” state based on your heart rate and how it behaved compared to your baseline. In a “Focused” state, your body is physically relaxed but your mind is engaged and active. Core measures your “Focus” by looking for a pattern in your heart rhythm that increases HRV.
In the Profile tab, you can access Preferences, FAQs, company contact information, and more. You can also connect your Core with Apple Health under the Preferences tab.
The one thing I noticed about the app that I did not like was that it does not allow you to manually search for meditations or filter them. They are organized into categories, but it would be nice to be able to filter them a bit.
Connect The Watts’ Take
Overall, I really enjoy using Core and it keeps me looking forward to my meditation practice. The design is sleek, functional, and comfortable. Plus the app and insights it offers are very detailed so you can really keep track of your progress. If you are looking for a tool to help guide you into a solid meditation practice while also giving you feedback along the way, Core is the perfect solution.