What are Binaural Beats?

What are Binaural Beats? How do they work? Read on to find out.

The Discovery of Binaural Beats

Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, a Prussian physicist and meteorologist, first discovered Binaural Beats in 1839. Heinrich Dove discovered that slightly different frequencies played separately to each ear produced a perception of interference at the same rate as the difference between the two frequencies.

Then, in 1973, biophysicist Doctor Gerald Oster produced a paper for the Scientific American called 'Auditory Beats In The Brain' that brought about important understanding on how the brain perceives frequencies. Oster noted,

“It is possible that hormonally induced physiological behavior changes may be made apparent by measuring the binaural-beat spectrum”.

Through the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, research into brain entrainment learned that binaural beats could affect the brain by entraining it to automatically move into certain frequency ranges. Tests revealed that binaural beats could help induce low frequency brain activity, similar to that analyzed in the meditation of Buddhist monks. Over the years binaural beats have been used as a tool to combat stress and anxiety, to improve memory and heighten energy levels and productivity by entraining the brain to move into the desired state.

How Binaural Beats Work

In order to explain what binaural beats actually do, we're going to get slightly technical for a moment. If this goes over your head a little, don't worry, there’s a practical example you can test after the explanation to better your understanding.

Now, in the same way that electrical equipment runs at certain frequencies so does the brain. These frequencies are known as brainwaves and are measured in Hertz (Hz). When we are in high states of anxiety, the speed of our brainwaves increases, when we are relaxed the speed decreases. This is the key to understanding what binaural beats do.

Binaural beats recordings work by sending a slightly different sound frequency to each ear through stereo headphones. When the brain hears these two separate frequencies at the same time, it hears and interprets them as one vibrating tone – a binaural beat. In essence the brain is creating a third frequency. This brain’s interpretation is the difference in Hertz between the left and right tones, which is the frequency we want to entrain the brain to.

So, for example, if the left ear is sent a sound frequency of 200 Hz, and the right ear is sent a sound frequency of 205 Hz, the brainwaves automatically begin to vibrate at the difference between these two signals (i.e. 5 Hz). The technical term for this reaction is 'frequency following response'. Basically the brain follows along and is entrained to a new state. Using the aforementioned example, this state would be the Theta state, a state of deep relaxation/meditation.

How Brain Entrainment Works

Brainwave States

  • Delta : 1 ~ 4 Hz - Deep sleep, regenerative effects, loss of bodily awareness
  • Theta : 4 ~ 8 Hz - Dream state, deep meditation, intuitive awareness, REM sleep
  • Alpha : 8 ~ 14 Hz - Awake, focussed on inner world, relaxation
  • Beta : 14 ~ 40 Hz - Awake, focused on outer world, learning, productiveness.
  • Gamma : 40 Hz + Higher mental activity, fight of flight, fear, complex problem solving.

Try The Phenomenon Yourself!

If you’re still a little confused, grab a pair of headphones and click on the sample below. This sample is a pure binaural beat with no sound overlay. First, listen for a few seconds with both earphones on. Now, take one earphone out (left or right, it doesn’t matter). Can you hear how the sound changes to a flat tone without any pulsating? Now change and try the other ear. When you have both earphones on you will hear the binaural beat, which is a continuous sound that vibrates with a beat like pattern. When you hear this, you know the brain is being entrained; this is why you need to wear headphones (both ears at the same time) for binaural beats to be effective.

Track length: 2 minutes

Direct Download

Ennora Binaural Beats

Active research began on this amazing, natural phenomenon over 30 years ago. Since then, our understanding of brainwaves and the capabilities of brainwave entrainment have come a long way. A huge amount of research has been carried out on seasoned meditators and those with cognitive and behavioral disorders to find the exact frequency ranges that bring about deep states of relaxation, mental receptivity and concentration, etc. as well as the methods for entraining the brain to these states.

Drawing on this vast library of research, and using the most advanced laboratory-grade beat creation tools available today, we've created a range of high quality binaural beats recordings that effectively entrain the brain into varying states, each targeted at a specific area of better health and wellbeing.

Ennora recordings are created by a sound engineer with over 15 years recording and meditation experience. Our catalogue features professionally recorded binaural beats, each accompanied by natural ambience and/or soothing music to help relax the mind into a state highly conducive to entrainment.

Click here to see our full range of high-quality recordings.

Curious about the effects? Listen to a Free 10 minute sample.

* All Ennora recordings come with a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee.

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