Listening to binaural beats is quite straightforward: You simply put on your headphones, press play and relax.
However, there are some best practices that will help you get more out of your listening experience and achieve greater benefit from the music.
In this guide, we've covered all the common questions we get from users.
How to Listen to Binaural Beats
Choose a Track
The first thing you want to do is obviously choose the track you're going to listen to.
First consider what your goal is. What do you want to achieve from your listening session? Perhaps you want to relax, sleep, or focus intently on your work.
As a general guide, when choosing tracks:
- Delta tracks are associated with sleep and deeper consciousness.
- Theta tracks are very relaxing and meditative.
- Alpha tracks are associated with focus and flow.
- Beta tracks with higher learning and wakefulness.
Establish a Listening Routine
Rather than listening to tracks sporadically, it is a good idea to develop a routine. You might like to start off with three or four tracks a day, suited to your goals.
Having a routine is conducive to entraining the brain to move into specific states at certain times of the day.
For example, if you listen to a track designed for focus and flow every day at 10 AM while you are working, after a number of sessions, your brain will become used to moving into this state of mind around that same time of day. This creates a positive mental habit.
You can apply the same to going to sleep in the evening. If you listen to a track designed for better sleep around the time you go to bed, after a few nights, your brain will begin to move into this state of its own accord at approximately the same time each night.
The body responds very well to routine, so we actively encourage that you develop a listening routine.
You can change this listing routine after a couple of weeks, or whenever you feel like you want to focus on a new goal or issue.
The first thing you need is a pair of headphones.
We have a comprehensive post about different types of headphones and those most suited to listening to this type of music, but honestly, if you're just getting started, any headphones will be just fine. Over ear headphones or earbuds will both work.
The reason you need headphones for this technology is because your brain needs to receive two signals (frequencies), one to your left ear and one to your right ear.
When you put your headphones on and both your ears are receiving the signal, the ‘frequency following response' process starts to happen.
In a nutshell, this is when your brain follows along at the frequency it is receiving and begins to produce brainwaves at that frequency.
We don't want to get too technical here, but if you want to learn more about this process, you can do so on our how it works page.
If you listen to our music without headphones, you will still benefit from the relaxation properties of the music, but you will not get the full benefit of the brainwave entrainment from the binaural beats.
Sit or Lie Down
For tracks that are specifically designed for meditation or spiritual consciousness of some kind, you can sit in the traditional Lotus meditation position, or in a comfortable chair, it's up to you.
There's nothing wrong with lying down, but for some tracks you won't want to fall asleep, and if you're already a little bit tired then this may happen if you lie down.
Doing Other Activities
One common question is whether you can do other activities while listening to binaural beats, such as running, reading, writing, or even gardening.
The golden rule here is to do whatever is conducive to the intended outcome of the track that you're listening to. For example, you won't want to listen to a track designed for sleep while you are running, because you will be pulling the brain in different directions.
Similarly, you don't want to listen to a track designed for higher learning and study before going to bed, as you will be waking the brain with a higher frequency at a time when you want it to be coming down to a lower frequency as you prepare to sleep.
Walking & Listening
Another common question is whether or not you can go for a walk and listen to binaural beats.
You can, and this would be best suited to Alpha and Beta state tracks. However, as a socially responsible company, we have to advise that you only walk in pedestrian areas such as the park.
Even listening to normal music while walking around the street can be somewhat dangerous because your mind is distracted and there are potential traffic hazards you may fail to become aware of.
Listening to binaural beats is a natural therapy, not a drug – although it has been likened to a “digital drug” in some regards.
The point I want to make here is that while this technology has been proven to be effective in shifting the brain into positive states of consciousness, you can still be distracted by your environment and the process interrupted (1).
If you want to benefit fully from the entrainment, then you should try to eliminate external distraction as much as you can.
For example, if you are listening to a track for deep meditation, then you will want to turn off notifications on your phone, switch off the TV, and try to find a place where you are unlikely to be distracted by noise and other people.
If you can't find a quiet room in your house, then perhaps you could go into the garden, or even go to the park.
What Device to Use
You are not restricted to listening on a particular device. You can use a phone, tablet, computer, mp3 player (like an iPod) or a CD player.
However, what it's advisable to download your files and not stream them.
Streaming over the Internet from sites such as YouTube or Spotify results in additional compression that lowers the quality of the music. This may also be dependent on the strength of your WIFI or 4/5G connection.
However, downloading the files for direct playback from your device is preferable. This ensures quality and that frequency response opportunity is maximized.
In the case of tracks that are designed for relaxation, your reaction times are likely to be delayed. We therefore advise that you do not operate machinery or drive while listening to binaural beats.
Using headphones while driving is dangerous anyway because your awareness is greatly reduced. When this is compounded with the relaxation properties of the music, you will become even more distracted.
As you will have gathered, it's very easy to get started with binaural beats and anyone can benefit from regular listening.
Here's a summary of the best practices we've covered:
- Choose a track that suits your goal.
- Find somewhere quiet and free of distraction.
- Consider what will be best for the session: sitting down, lying down, walking, etc.
- Put on your headphones.
- Don't drive or operate machinery.
Our store provides professionally produced binaural beats tracks, covering many areas of wellbeing.