What are Binaural Beats?

By Carrie Spry

Binaural beats are created by introducing two tones differing frequency into each ear. If we play one tone at 100Hz in one ear and another tone at 114Hz in the other ear, the brain will detect a phase difference between the two wavelengths of each signal or tone. In nature, detecting the phase difference is important for directional information.

A binaural beat is created when the signals integrate. Your brain will perceive a beat of 14Hz. Depending on the frequency of the phase difference it can sound like a wave or beat. If the frequency is low, it will sound more like a wave. If the frequency is higher is can sound like a very fast beat.

In order to make use of binaural beats, you must use stereo headphones. If speakers are used, the tones will mix in the air and produce a monaural beat. Monaural beats do have a place in the brain entrainment (bwe) world; however, if the track is meant for binaural, headphones must be used.

When listening to binaural beats, there may be a warbling sound initially until your brain adjusts. Also, having a hearing loss in one ear will not reduce the effectiveness of binaural beats because they maintain their intensity regardless of amplitude. Alternatively, masking the binaural beats with noise does not decrease their effectiveness, in fact, it has been shown to improve the entrainment process and have a more soothing effect.

Using binaural beats for bwe has been the topic of some debates. Binaural beats can be used to product beats from 0.235Hz to 26.25Hz. Above this frequency, the wavelength are longer than the distance of the skull. However, Dr. Gerald Oster concluded that these beats would be insufficient for bwe because the depth of the beat is only about 1/10 the volume of a whisper.

There are many companies that use binaural beats as the baseline in their products. These companies range from The Monroe Institute (Hemi-Sync), Centerpointe (Holosync), and I-Doser. They mix their beats with ambiance, music, noise and sometimes guided instructions.

There are other methods which are more efficient like isochronic tones, monoraul beats, low-pass filter modulation, cross-feed modulation, pitch modulation and auto pan modulation. Each type of technology has its own limitations and methods. We use a combination of these methods to produce the best results. - 30540

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