What are Binaural Beats (Binaural Frequencies)?


What are binaural beats? Within past articles related to the whistling vessels of Pre-Columbian cultures and Native American flutes; we’ve referenced binaural beats and briefly discussed them and their beneficial qualities. This article will provide detailed information about binaural beats. We will look back to the first discovery of these beats in western science. Review the scientific findings about these beats and their beneficial qualities. We will also provide ancient examples of past cultures who may have utilized binaural beats in their societies via ceremonial instruments and ceremonies. Also, reviewing contemporary examples of uses for this technology and how you can integrate this technology into your life.

The Discovery of Binaural Beats

In 1839 a physicist named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered that if you play two different frequencies, one in each ear (using headphones for the most effectiveness), that the frequencies would split the difference in the middle, allowing our brain to create that new wave.

As explained by wikipedia

“A binaural beat is an auditory illusion perceived when two different pure-tone sine waves, both with frequencies lower than 1500 Hz, with less than a 40 Hz difference between them, are presented to a listener dichotically (one through each ear).”

This is the scientific explanation of the process to produce the effect of binaural beats for the human ear.


Current Science of Binaural Beats


There have been quite a few studies focusing on binaural beat frequencies and their affects on numerous aspects of the human body. In one study called “Auditory Beat Stimulation and its Effects on Cognition and Mood States” the scientist’s found that binaural beats can be used to manipulate human mood states and affect cognitive process in positive ways.

A Harvard study suggests that guided meditation utilizing binaural beats can have positive effects on growing cognitive function and grey brain matter. This specific eight week study had participants meditate at least twenty minutes a day with guided binaural beat audio courses. Most of the participants had quantifiable results with basic cognitive tests and under the MRI they found that they had increases in grey brain matter as well.

It has been found that different frequencies affect different aspects of our consciousness and can change our mental states depending on the frequency used. Looking at the graphic to the right you will find the four core brainwave states of the human mind. These frequencies are utilized in contemporary meditation music to achieve certain affects.

A quick google search will query thousands of links to numerous studies in various fields related to binaural beats and the frequencies they relate to. If you would like to learn more about the current science try a quick search on google and see what you find!


The sum (blue) of two sine waves (red, green) is shown as one of the waves increases in frequency. The two waves are initially identical, then the frequency of the green wave is gradually increased by 25%. Constructive and destructive interference can be seen. Reference from wikipedia



The Ancient Uses of Binaural Beats

binaural frequency
Ancient drone flute found in Colima, Mexico that was tuned to create binaural frequencies.

These frequencies have been used for thousands of years in the past by various cultures around the world with numerous instruments. There are examples of flutes that are over two thousand years old from pre-columbian cultures that utilized these binaural beat frequencies to induce trance states during certain ceremonies. Ancient cultures understood that altered states could be achieved through with rhythmic beats produced with all sorts of instruments, including drums, flutes, singing bowls, and more. This phenomena was intuitively discovered and promoted, and our ancestors found all sorts of ways to produce these affects. These abilities to change mental states were utilized in sacred ceremonies, group celebrations and numerous other ways in the ancient world.

As discussed in a previous post about pre-columbian whistling vessels, recently scientists have discovered that these unearthed vessels and some flutes may have been tuned perfectly to achieve binaural frequencies. These ancient insturments (vessels, whistles, and flutes) have been found together with finely tuned differences perfect for binaural beats, which has led to the assumption that these powerful sound frequencies were well known over thousands of years ago. Not only did ancient cultures produce these binaural affects with simple instruments such as drums, these techniques were perfected even more and transferred to more complex instruments like the whistling vessels and flutes that we mentioned earlier.


How Can You Integrate Binaural Beats into Your Life?

This technology can be integrated into your life a number of ways. You can use the many binaural meditation CDs and audio files found online, this is a really quick and easy way to benefit from these frequencies. Another is participating in a sound healing, or sound meditation, event, usually the facilitators of these events use instruments to achieve binaural beats. ANother way is to purchase a instrument that was created for this purpose, such as a tuned set of singing bowls, a drone flute, or a set of whistling vessels. Utilizing actual instruments and playing them yourself gives the best outcome in my opinion, you get to benefit from the the actual sound and from enjoying playing the instrument as well.

Eight weeks to a better brain