If you play 2 sound waves that are very close in frequency (but not quite exactly the same), you’ll get a phenomenon that causes beat frequencies between the 2 sound waves. As it turns out, if you play these 2 frequencies separately into your 2 different ears, your brain tries to resolve the difference between the 2 frequencies and “hears” the beat frequency even though it isn’t there.
The interesting thing is that these perceived beat frequencies cause your brain to do some strange things. The imaginary beat frequency manages to somehow force your brain to start taking on the frequency of the beat frequency (I guess based on some sort of resonance or interference concept) and people are using this idea to actually modify their mood and mental state.
Some say that it works so well that you can recreate the effects of meditation, happiness, and even the effects of certain drugs, all without leaving the comfort of your own headphones.
There are a couple of companies that sell the software and the files for it (usually for about $5 apiece), but I’ve found a free version.
Free Binaural Beats
There is an open source piece of software called SbaGen that you can download that will play the binaural files through headphones and it comes with a number of presets. If you look around, you’ll find a number of sites where you can download other presets as well. OK so you’re too lazy to use the Google, so this one will get you started. There are also a ton of them here .
You can also direct download a sample: ogg binaural file (playable on Chrome browser).
Note: you HAVE to use headphones for bianural beats to work, preferably good quality headphones.
Descriptive Sound Files
The names of some of the files are very compelling out there. Check them out:
- Astral Projection
- Healing System
- Chakra Stimulation
- Lucid Dreaming
- Become Psychic
- Remote Viewing
- Improve Memory
- Cosmic Ordering
- Control Stress
- Speed Learning
- Cure Insomnia
- Deep Meditation
- Chi Generator
- Increase Energy
Do Binaural Beats Work?
So, the 10 million dollar question: Does it work? Well, I’ve tried a “meditation” preset and a “coffee break” preset and I have to say, I was stunned. It worked surprisingly well for me. It’s very interesting because at first you just hear these tones, and after a while (if you relax), they start to disappear and you slip into what I can only describe as a very “open” state where you just let the tones sort of take control.
Of course the blogosphere is abuzz with people who think it’s bunk (especially because the companies who sell these files make such extravagant claims), but I have to say that I’m convinced – it definitely altered my mood and state, and even lasted for the rest of the day.
Maybe next time I want to take a break, I’ll slip on my headphones and drop some binaural beats !