Music is my first love. The way our minds can connect to a bassline, random snare, vocal hook or singalong anthem is truly joyous. Music takes us to heightened states, which include not only ecstasy but also mindfulness – fully committing us to the moment.
My love for music started with devouring my mum’s eclectic vinyl collection as a kid. Side by side were classic cuts from Marvin Gaye, Donna Summer, Abba, The Beatles and Dolly Parton.
Soon, I added to those 12”s my love of electronic music, acid house and rave. Further igniting a passion that led to me making house music and DJ’ing across the UK and Europe. Lots of many happy memories and good friends made along the way.
Now that I’m in my 40s and a dad, the relationship I have with music has a new and introspective dimension through meditation.
Since I was 14, I’ve been fascinated with meditation and altering my consciousness. Over the years, this has stopped and started.
There are long periods of time where I never really found my groove. Which meant I’d either fall asleep or end up more stressed out than I was before the session.
The times I did find my groove – when using flotation tanks or meditating with Zen Buddhists – were incredible. But the powerful experiences were few and far between as I couldn’t easily control the thoughts in my head from taking my focus.
This all changed when I found binaural beats. Binaural beats meant I was able to cancel out my inner voice, concentrate on my breathing and have a rewarding experience while meditating.
What are binaural beats?
There are many benefits to binaural beats, but the main one for me was that they created a space where my mind could shut the hell up. But, what are binaural beats all about?
Simply put, binaural beats are an auditory hallucination. You listen to two separate frequencies – one in your left and one in your right.
Those separate frequencies combine in your brain and create a combined frequency from the music.
It’s not as simple as slapping two random frequencies together, you have to make sure they sit within a certain range:
- Alpha frequencies frequency – 8 to 13 Hz
- Beta frequency – 14 to 30 Hz
- Delta frequency – 1 to 4 Hz
- Theta frequency – 4 to 8 Hz
What does the binaural beats illusion do to the brain?
The state of your brainwaves varies depending on what you are doing and how you’re feeling.
If you’re stressing out over a job interview or presentation on your Zoom call, you’ll have a high frequency. Whereas, if you’re in the middle of a deep sleep, you’re brain will have a low frequency.
Where binaural beats come in handy is altering your brain so that the frequency is at a level that helps rather than hinders you.
For example, before that big Zoom presentation, you could listen to an alpha frequency as that will help you focus and be calm.
Binaural beat frequencies
Alpha | 8-14 Hz
Get in the flow with the alpha frequency and enhance your deep focus as well as:
- Deeper relaxation
- Increased positivity
- Decrease anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Accelerated learning
Beta | 14-30 Hz
With beta, you’re now getting into the realms of the higher frequencies. Use it to:
- Focus your attention
- Increase concentration
- High-level cognition – your senses will feel alive!
- Problem-solving and analytical thinking
- Stimulating your body’s energy
Delta | 1-4 Hz
As low a frequency as you get with binaural beats. Choose this one to help with:
- Deep sleep
- Pain relief
- Access to the unconscious mind
Theta | 4-8 Hz
Theta is the go-to frequency for a lot of people, and for good reason as it is associated with:
- Improving REM sleep
- Meditative states
- Deep relaxation
- Reducing anxiety
- Accessing the hypnopompic state – how you feel as you wake up
- Accessing the hypnagogic state – how you feel just before falling asleep
Gamma | 30-100 Hz
Take things to the next level with gamma frequencies – the same wavelength that psychedelics such as DMT and psilocybin resonate. Benefits include:
- Transcendental states
- Awareness of your higher self
- Process information at a faster rate
- Enhance your cognitive state
- Improve your memory
- Peak awareness
How and for how long should I listen to binaural beats
We recommend 30 minutes per day as being the ideal amount of time. However, we know that can sometimes be a stretch and have a ten minute tune up version of each of our tracks.
Which kind of track you listen very much depends on your mood and what you’re trying to achieve.
Keep in mind that low frequency tracks calm your brain, whereas higher frequency tracks make you more alert.
Remember, if you’re looking to wind down for the night, avoid gamma and go for theta. If you’ve got that job interview or Zoom presentation in an hour, go for alpha or beta.
Is there scientific evidence to support binaural beats?
The unique properties of binaural beats have been shown to have a number of health benefits, with particular relation to confidence, anxiety and mood.
In one study – binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood – 29 participants felt the benefits from listening to beats in the delta and theta range.
Eight people were asked to listen to binaural beats with a delta frequency for 60 consecutive days. Each person completed a survey at the start of the trial and at the end. The results showed significant reductions in stress and anxiety and an increase in overall quality of life of all participants.
A much larger study of binaural beats, involving 100 people about to undergo surgery, found their use significantly cut anxiety by 50% compared to those who listened to similar music without binaural audio and no music at all.
Try binaural beats for yourself
To find out how the tracks feel to you, have a listen to one of my binaural beats videos. This one was made with an alpha frequency.