What are binaural beats? Binaural beats are specific tones or sounds that when played at various frequencies, can have certain effects on the brain. They usually need to be listened to with headphones, and that’s because each ear will be played slightly different sound frequencies. This then causes your brain to perceive a third signal, which is the difference between these two sounds, the binaural beat. For example, if a sound of 310Hz is played into your left ear, and 300Hz is played into your right ear, then your brain will hear the difference of 10Hz as a result. The benefit of this is that you can put your mind into a specific state, like an alpha state, and get yourself into meditation much faster than without it.
This effect was first discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Later on, in 1973, a study was published by Gerald Oster titled “Auditory Beats in the Brain” in Scientific American. Since then, many people in the alternative medicine community have been endorsing the use of binaural beats.
Depending on the frequency of the binaural beat, your mind can be put into an beta, alpha, theta, delta or gamma brain wave. The benefits of putting your brain into each state are as follows:
Alpha – Relaxation. Decrease anxiety, improve learning, and increase happiness.
Beta – Awakeness. Increase your alertness if you’re feeling tired.
Theta – Deep relaxation. Achieve a feeling of inner peace, meditate and improve your spiritual connection
Delta – Deep dreamless sleep. Find a deep connection with the subconscious mind.
Gamma – Higher mental activity. Increase intelligence and awareness.
There isn’t solid research to support all of these claims, however there are many studies available that do support some claims such as decreasing anxiety, increasing creativity, and improving sleep. Most of the studies emphasize that not all beats will work for everyone. I started listening to binaural beats myself and found that some really did work for me. Other beats I didn’t really like. If you’re interested in using binaural beats yourself, just see what works for you.
Here are some Youtube links for binaural beats that I found useful: positive energy, relaxation, super learning. You can also download binaural apps, which are easy to use with adjustable frequencies. There also binaural beat albums on iTunes.
WARNINGS: You should use caution with binaural beats. Do not listen to them while driving or operating heavy machinery. It’s also not recommended for people with a history of epilepsy or heart conditions. Do not listen to them too loud, and stop listening if you get a headache or don’t feel well.
I personally think binaural beats are wonderful and have been listening to them regularly while meditating, getting massages, or just sitting on my computer working.
Have you used binaural beats before? Please share your experiences by leaving a comment!