Have you heard of binaural beats? Here’s a bit about binaural beats, how they work and how they can help you…
Binaural beats were discovered in 1839 by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. They didn’t gain much public interest until the early 1970’s. Today binaural beats are growing in popularity, probably due to the internet.
Headphones are required in order to make sure that each ear hears a different tone completely independently from the other.
Because the waves are slightly out of phase with each other, this causes the brain to perceive a pulsing tone, which is called the binaural beat. Unfortunately if you are deaf in one ear they will not work properly for you.
You can play the two tones through speakers and they will still produce the beat. However with headphones on, the mixing of the tones happens inside your head. This is important for reasons we will discuss later.
The binaural beat is the difference between two tones played in each individual ear. If I play a 165hz tone in one ear, and a 185hz tone in the other, a binaural beat of 20hz is produced. Your brain hears the two tones and calculates the difference. The reason our brains have evolved to do this is so that it can create 3D hearing. The brain can detect roughly where a sound comes from by listening to slight differences between your two ears. Due to sound reflecting off surfaces. This can be very useful to your survival.
Recent research shows that when introduced to a binaural beat, the brain starts to change its cycle and follow the beat. If you play a 130hz tone in one ear and a 150hz tone in the other, a binaural beat of 20hz is produced. After a few minutes the brain will follow this beat until it reaches the same cycle of 20hz. This is a natural beta state, which can produce alertness and helps with concentration.
The 20hz tone does not actually exist, but we hear one anyway. If you listen to a binaural beat audio, take one headphone out of one ear for a few seconds, then replace it and take out the other out for a few seconds. You will hear two different tones. However both together produce a pulsing effect. This shows that the binaural beat is an illusion created by your brain.
A binaural beat is far more powerful than simply playing a 20hz tone on its own because the brain has been active in creating the tone. This gets it more involved with what is going on. Normal music and sounds can be influential on our state of mind. Sombre music will produce a very different reaction to a listener than upbeat music. Binaural beats take this a step further and get the brain actively involved.
Binaural beats are a great way to manipulate your brain into going into different frequency ranges. These can help you with various things, such as improving creativity, concentration, relaxation, promote sleep, and helping people reach meditative states. If you have had a stressful day, they can quickly get your mind into a relaxed cycle, which will speed up your recovery.
If you are studying for an exam, binaural beats can quickly get your mind into the best cycle for studying.
Binaural beats are a quick and efficient way to help you alter your state of mind in a controlled and sensible way.