Caputron tDCS Device Comparison Guide

What is tDCS?

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive procedure in which a device sends a small Direct Current (DC) across the scalp to modulate brain function. Conventional tDCS devices will consist of a positive anode and negative cathode. When the low level current passes through the anode, the stimulation causes an excitation in neuronal activity. Conversely, when the current passes through the cathode, the stimulation causes a reduction in neuronal activity. Knowing this, the different stimulation types, anodal and cathodal, can be used to alter the neural activity of the brain in various applications. Since anodal stimulation causes an excitation in neuronal activity, it can be used to potentially enhance the area of the brain being targeted. Alternatively, as cathodal stimulation causes an inhibition of neuronal activity, it can be used to potentially decrease activity in the brain resultant from the hyper-activity associated with certain psychological disorders. As tDCS is an investigational technique, it is the responsibility of the user to determine the appropriate tDCS protocols and dose. While tDCS is still investigational, research indicates that it has several advantages in the treatment of patients with a large variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. tDCS safety is supported by medical literature to have common side effects limited to mild and reversible skin irritation, when using standard tDCS protocols and guidelines.

What is important in a tDCS device (and electrodes and headgear)

Most people who want to use tDCS for research, treatment or performance want to reproduce a tDCS protocol that has been studied and published in a scientific paper. These include several popular approaches such as bi-frontal stimulation (for mood and attention), motor stimulation (for motor learning and pain control) and the so-called DARPA montage (for learning and vigilance). But there are many variations in “dose” used (how much current, time, number of sessions). But the central idea is always reproducibility. Reproducing what was done before from both the perspective of efficacy (outcomes) but also tolerability (safety, how things feels). The right device, along with electrodes and headgear, are the critical things for reproducibility. And it is a big mistake to assume that any device that provides stimulation is acceptable. Caputron has created the table below to help guide you on important features and we carry select devices in our online store to provide you the best options for reproducibility and value. You can also see our electrode guide for what is required in an electrode. Caputron kits are designed to make sure you get a complete system designed to work together.

Basics of tDCS

Conventional tDCS montages use two electrodes: the Anode electrode and the Cathode electrode. The Anode electrode has a positive voltage relative to the Cathode electrode. Current enters the body under the Anode electrode, flows through the brain, and exits the body at the Cathode electrode. By controlling the position of the anode and cathode electrode, the current flow through the brain can be targeted. Reliable current delivery and reproducible electrode placement is therefore critical for reproducible tDCS outcomes

Researched tDCS Montages - tDCS is an investigational technology that is continuously being researched around the world. These links reference tDCS montages of various indications being explored and easily reproduced using the Caputron Universal Strap

tDCS.com Montage Guide

tDCS Placement Montage Guide

Simple Montage List with Electrode Placement

Total tDCS Montage Guide

tDCS Montage Guide From TCT - Click to Download

Consumer tDCS Device Comparison Table - (Last Updated 5/10/17)

DeviceCostMaximum Output VoltageTimerAutomatic Ramp Up/DownDisplayLow Battery IndicatorShamSupported MontagesDimensions
Actvidose II tDCS Device Starter KitActivadose II$400.00 - Includes Caputron tDCS Starter Kit80 VoltsYesYesIntensity and DurationYesNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes6.1" x 3.5" x 1.9"
Weight: 6.4 Ounces
Foc.us Go Flow Pro tDCS Devicefoc.us
Go Flow Pro
$99 - Includes tDCS Starter Kit25 VoltsYesYesIntensity and DurationYesNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes1.06" x 1.02" x .65"
Weight: 3 Ounces
ThyncThync
Note:Thync is not traditional tDCS but modulated tDCS
$249.00 - Includes Thync Starter KitXXX VoltsYesYesApp Controlled DisplayYesNoCalm or Energy3" x 1.5" x .4"
Super Specific tDCS Device v5.0 12V AnalogSuper Specific tDCS Device v5.0
12V Analog
$125.00 - Includes Caputron Basic Starter Kit12 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes5.25" x 1.75" x 2.75"
Weight: 7.4 Ounces
Super Specific tDCS Device v5.0 12-24 Selectable Voltage AnalogSuper Specific tDCS Device v5.0
12/24V Selectable Voltage Analog
$145.00 - Includes Caputron Basic Starter KitSelectable 12 and 24 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes5.25" x 1.75" x 2.75"
Weight: 7.4 Ounces
Apex 18V tDCS Device Type AApex tDCS Device
Type A - 18V
$149.99- Includes Apex Starter Kit9 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes6" x 3.75" x 2"
Weight: 13 Ounces
tDCS Ultra tDCS DevicetDCS Ultra$249.00 - Includes Caputron Basic Starter Kit40 VoltsYesYesIntensity and Duration SelectionYesAvailable Upon RequestConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes4.74" x 3" x .85"
Weight: 5 Ounces
Foc.us V2 tDCS Devicefoc.us
V2 Stimulator
$299.0060 VoltsYesYesIntensity and DurationYesYesConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes2.4" x 1" x .5"
The Brain Stmulator Basic Model tDCS DeviceThe Brain Stimulator
Basic Model
$90.00 - Device Only9 VoltsNoNoNoneNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes. 9 volts limits tDCS montage.5.5"x 3.5"x 3"
The Brain Stimulator Travel Model tDCS DeviceThe Brain Stimulator
Travel Model
$65.00 - Device Only9 VoltsNoNoNoneNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes. 9 volts limits tDCS montage.6.1" x 3.1" x 2"
Transcranial Technologies (TCT) tDCS DeviceTCT$349.00 - Includes TCT Stater Kit28 VoltsYesYesTime and IntensityYesAvailable in Research ModelConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes5.5" x 4.5" x 1.4"
Weight: 12.3 Ounces
Chattanooga tDCS Device Starter KitChattanooga
Discontinued
$400.00 - Includes Caputron Advanced Starter Kit80 VoltsYesYesIntensity and DurationYesNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes3.5" x 2.4" x.79"
Weight: 2.7 Ounces
Super Specific tDCS Device 12V AnalogSuper Specific Device
12V Analog
Replaced by New Version
$125.00 - Includes Caputron Basic Starter Kit12 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes5.25" x 1.75" x 2.75"
Weight: 7.4 Ounces
Super Specific tDCS Device 12-24 Selectable Voltage AnalogSuper Specific Device
12/24V Selectable Voltage Analog
Replaced by New Version
$145.00 - Includes Caputron Basic Starter KitSelectable 12 and 24 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes5.25" x 1.75" x 2.75"
Weight: 7.4 Ounces
Apex 9V tDCS Device Type AApex tDCS Device
Type A - 9V
Replaced by New Version
$139.99- Includes Apex Starter Kit9 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes6" x 3.75" x 2"
Weight: 13 Ounces

Research tDCS Device Comparison Table

Coming Soon