Caputron tDCS Device Comparison Guide

tDCS Overview

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.

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.

Consumer tDCS Device Comparison Table - (Last Updated 10/21/17)

DeviceCostMaximum Output VoltageTimerAutomatic Ramp Up/DownDisplayLow Battery IndicatorShamSupported MontagesDimensions
Actvidose II tDCS Device Starter KitActivadose II$399.00 - 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 V2 tDCS Devicefoc.us
V2 Stimulator
$249.00 - Includes Device and Charging Dock60 VoltsYesYesIntensity and DurationYesYestDCS, tACS, tPCS, tRNS2.4" x 1" x .5"
Foc.us Go Flow Pro tDCS Devicefoc.us
Go Flow Pro
Includes tDCS Starter Kit
$99 w/ Headband
$129 w/ Sports Cap
25 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 Starter Kit12 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes. 12 volts limits tDCS montage.5.25" 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 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 Starter Kit40 VoltsYesYesIntensity and Duration SelectionYesAvailable Upon RequestConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes4.74" x 3" x .85"
Weight: 5 Ounces
The Brain Stimulator Travel Model tDCS DeviceThe Brain Stimulator
Model v3.0
$129.95 - Device Only\12 VoltsOnly 30 min optionNoIntensity SelectionYesNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes. 12 volts limits tDCS montage.TBD
The Brain Stimulator Travel Model tDCS DeviceThe Brain Stimulator
Travel Model v2.0
$87.95 - Device Only9 VoltsNoNoIntensity SelectionYesNoConventional 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 by Manufacturer)
$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 Starter Kit12 VoltsNoNoAnalog AmmeterNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes. 12 volts limits tDCS montage.5.25" 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 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
The Brain Stmulator Basic Model tDCS DeviceThe Brain Stimulator
Basic Model
Replaced by New Version
$90.00 - Device Only9 VoltsNoNoNoneNoNoConventional tDCS, depends on head-gear/electrodes. 9 volts limits tDCS montage.5.5"x 3.5"x 3"

Research tDCS Device Comparison Table

Coming Soon