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Binaural Beats 101: A Science-Based Guide For Beginners (Update 2023)


binaural beats guide

“Do binaural beats work?” I remember asking myself, right before I clicked the buy button. Questions were circling my head, but I decided to take the plunge.

I didn’t really understand how they worked, I didn’t really get what effect they had on the brain, and I didn’t really expect them to do anything…

But the testimonials had been incredible, and several men had recommended that I try Brain FM out. So, I decided to give it a try and pop in the “Focus” track.

I felt my brain tingle, and my mind began to shift. My brain shifted into a gear I’d never even felt before, and for one hour, I felt the sheer fucking laser focus of a madman, hellbent on accomplishing his goals.

What Are Binaural Beats?

what are binaural beats

Binaural beats were first invented conceptually in the late 1700’s, but they didn’t actually exist until the early 1900’s. Furthermore, they didn’t even become available to the masses until around 2010 or so.

Binaural beats are basically a set of frequencies played in earphones or headphones, and when you listen to them, it “trains,” your brain, so to speak, to enter into a certain frequency far more easily.

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So, for example, if your left earbud plays something that’s a frequency of 520 hertz, and your right ear plays something that’s a frequency of 530 hertz, your brain will adjust itself to be the difference—in this case, 10 hertz.

While this may seem kind of strange or stupid in theory, in practice it’s actually one of the most powerful self-improvement tools I’ve encountered. By listening to binaural beats, you can literally prime your brain to be in a certain frequency on command.

Do Binaural Beats Work?

do binaural beats work

Now, I know what you’re wondering: “Do binaural beats work? Like do they ACTUALLY work?” The answer to your question is a resounding yes. I don’t want to overstate their effectiveness, but in my experience, they work extremely well.

I’ve been an avid user of Brain FM for the past several years. I was a little bit skeptical at first, but decided to give it a shot—you get your first five audio tracks for free, in fact.

After about 10 minutes of listening to the binaural beat they gave me, I was floored—I could literally feel the difference. My brain began to tingle, and as a sense of calm washed over me, I began to feel happier than I had in years.

It wasn’t long before I signed up for a membership with them, because I could feel the benefits. After playing their binaural beats for focus, I’d gotten more done in just three hours than I had in the past week.

I was hooked.

Clinical Research

brain fm clinical research

When most people are trying to figure out if binaural beats work or not, they have to rely on anecdotal evidence. Not anymore, though.

Just recently, Brain FM released a clinical study done on users of their software, and the results that researchers found was quite impressive.

According to their study, researchers found that listening to binaural beats increased slow-wave brain activity by 29% in test subjects [R].

They conducted another study as well, which demonstrated how binaural beats can be used to help users focus better [R]:

“Compared to silence, Spotify, and noise control conditions, listening to music during a sustained attention to response task elicits lower power at low-frequency oscillations (alpha) and boosts power at high-frequency oscillations (gamma) in specific regions.”

In other words, binaural beats actually help your brain focus and be more productive, by changing your neuronal oscillations.

Binaural Beats Frequencies

binaural beats frequencies

Your brain isn’t always operating in one “mode,” so to speak. Rather, it’s actually oscillating between different frequencies at different times during the day. With binaural beats, however, you can engage certain brain frequencies on demand.

Typically, most human beings exist in the beta frequencies. Characteristics of being in a beta frequency are slight anxiousness, nervousness, and business—and while they have their place, they certainly aren’t desirable 100% of the time.

Alpha frequencies, which I would estimate only 15% of the population lives in, are just like they sound—calm, collected, and focused. Only your typical high-status alpha males experience “alpha frequencies,” on a regular basis.

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Theta frequencies, even less people can attain. These are typically only found in avid meditaters, artists, and creative folk. Characteristics of your brain being in a theta frequency include a very deep sense of calm, and heightened creativity.

Delta frequencies are attained by everyone, but only during sleep—only a select few have ever attained them (without binaural beats) when awake. Buddhist monks, for example, take 30 years on average to attain this frequency. Characteristics include an incredibly profound sense of peace, and complete presence.

Gamma frequencies, not pictured above, are even higher than beta frequencies. Coming in at 30+ hertz, they’re associated with incredibly intense focus, awareness, and heightened perception—something a special ops agent might feel in the midst of combat.

Best Binaural Beats For Creativity (4-8 Hz)

According to science, the best binaural beats for creativity range from 4-8 hertz, or in the “Theta Frequency.”

The Theta frequency is the frequency that you experience when you’re in forms of deep meditation, and light sleep.

Imagine if you had the power to just flip this switch on in your brain right now. You just press a button, and BOOM—instant creativity.

Well, that’s what binaural beats do. In fact, I’ve been using Brain FM’s creativity tracks for years now, and they’ve helped me come up with dozens of cash-winning business ideas.

Just put on some headphones, press the button, and off you go. I notice a huge difference, and my $15k/month business is a testament to that.

Best Binaural Beats For Focus (14-30 Hz)

This is perhaps what most people use binaural beats for, and it isn’t hard to see why. We all want laser focus at the drop of the hat, and fortunately, with the right binaural beats, this is 100% possible.

The best binaural beats for focus are those within a 14 and 30 hertz range. This is the “beta frequency” that is known for creating intense focus and productivity.

Perhaps I’m biased, but I also like using Brain FM for focus, as well. They’ve got multiple focus tracks, ranging from 30 minutes to a whole 2-hours.

In fact, Brain FM is a staple of my work day. If it wasn’t for them, I couldn’t have built my $15k/month blogging empire.

I spend hours each day writing and writing, and I’ve developed the ability to find and use tools to help me focus.

One of these tools is binaural beats. When I’m using them, I can literally write articles for 8-10 hours straight with zero distractions.

Best Binaural Beats For Studying (14-30 Hz)

Like I said before, the best binaural beats for focus (that includes studying) are typically in the “alpha frequency” range, or 14-30 hertz.

There’s plenty of free tracks on YouTube for this, but personally, I don’t feel a difference. Maybe I haven’t found the right ones yet, but most of them suck as far as I can tell.

That isn’t the case with Brain FM, however… and again, perhaps I’m biased, but they’re my favorite binaural beats company ever.

I’ve tried a ton of other paid binaural beats, from Life Flow to Project Meditation (now the same company), but Brain FM was the only thing that really worked well for me.

…to be fair, I haven’t used them to study yet. I dropped out of college 5 years ago and only discovered binaural beats 2 years ago, but hey—if they can help me build my $15k/month blogging empire, I’m sure they’re great for studying math, too.

Best Binaural Beats For Meditation (1-8 Hz)

The best binaural beats for meditation are typically in the 1-8 hertz range; this is the range between delta and theta frequencies.

If you’re newer to meditation, I recommend you start off in the higher end of this spectrum—start off with some theta frequencies.

The reason why is that delta frequencies can be extremely overwhelming to newbies who can’t meditate very well. Read my article on how to meditate if you don’t know how.

If you’ve been meditating for at least a few months however, consider trying some of the delta frequency tracks.

Here’s something that’s pretty cool. Before binaural beats, the only people who could ever achieve “delta frequency” when meditating, were Buddhist monks who spent their whole fucking lives meditating.

…but now? Anyone can achieve this state, with a little bit of practice, thanks to the help of binaural beats.

Best Binaural Beats For Sleep (1-3 Hz)

The best binaural beats for sleep are those within the delta frequency range. This isn’t just sleep, either—it’s deep, DEEP sleep.

Science has shown us that when you’re deep asleep, your brain is in a delta frequency, between 1-3 hertz.

So, rather than relying on mother nature to get you there, why not just plug in some binaural beats for sleep and get it done 10x faster?

That seems like the logical conclusion to me. When I listen to binaural beats for sleep, I typically conk out after just 10 minutes, which is incredible considering it usually takes me way longer to fall asleep.

Best Binaural Beats in 2021

brain fm binaural beats
Click here for a free trial

There’s several different high end binaural beats out there, but the one that I recommend is Brain FM. I’ve tried using the crappy ones on YouTube, but most of those don’t work—in this case, you get what you pay for.

There’s numerous Brain FM tracks, all ranked by their purpose, from meditation to focus to creativity. I recommend you try their focus track; I’ve been using it for almost 2 years now and I fucking love it.

Whenever I want to get shit done, I just click “Focus” on the Brain FM website, and it automatically formulates a custom binaural beat to help me get that laser focus we all so desperately want.

Brain FM also has tracks for creativity, meditation, and more. Like I said, I’ve been using them for over 2 years, and I’m in love with them.

Life Flow: Honorable Mention

Before I used Brain FM, I used to use Life Flow all the time. I loved them at first, but unfortunately, they were bought by a larger corporation who no longer cares about its customers.

They used to be known as “Project Meditation” and they were great, then… but now, in my experience, they’ve been a nightmare to work with.

On top of this, they charge $97 per fucking track. That means if you want all their binaural beats for focus, creativity, and meditation, you need to shell out over $1,000 fucking dollars.

No, thanks. That’s not cool. I’d rather just pay my $15/month to Brain FM and still get all the benefits I need.

How to Get A Free Trial

brain fm review

Like I said, I’ve been using Brain FM for about 2 years now, and I’ve been very satisfied with the results their binaural beats have given me.

First off, they give you 5 free tracks, so you can test them yourself, and decide for yourself if you like them. It’s literally risk-free.

Worst case scenario, you try them out and don’t like them. Best case scenario, you love them, and you can now 10x your productivity.

Take a look at the image above. That’s the Brain FM dashboard that you’ll see when you sign up for a free account.

Try Binaural Beats For Free

You basically just pick whichever track you want, and they custom formulate a binaural beat for you on the spot.

If you don’t feel like the current track is working that well, you can click “skip” and they’ll use their AI system to determine which tracks your brain responds best to.

This is perhaps one of the best benefits of Brain FM. Most other binaural beats don’t update in real time using artificial intelligence, but Brain FM does.

That means you literally get custom-designed binaural beats, made by an artificial intelligence program, that specifically tailors the best binaural beats for your specific brain (based on what you skip and don’t skip).

Overall, I can’t recommend them enough. Like I said, I’ve been using Brain FM as an alternative to Life Flow for about 2 years now, and the results have been nothing short of incredible.

Just sign up for a free account, get your 5 free tracks, and if you don’t like them, you don’t have to pay a single penny.

How to Use Binaural Beats

binaural beats for focus

Using binaural beats is pretty simple. All you have to do is just turn them on, and they’ll do the rest of the work. When you’re listening to them, depending on the frequency you’re trying to induce, you can either meditate, do something creative, or research.

While you don’t need headphones with Brain FM, since they integrate isochronic tones and monaural beats into their tracks, I recommend that you use a high quality pair of headphones or earphones to get the most benefit out of them.

I personally use the Audio Technica ATH-M50x for all of my binaural beats. It’s universally recognized as one of the best high quality budget headphones, by both amateur nerds and high level DJ’s alike.

From here, I just put my headphones on, play the binaural beats I want to listen to, and do whatever activity I plan on doing. Usually I’ll listen to the meditation track when I’m meditating, and I’ll do some of the other tracks that Brain FM has for focus or creativity when I’m writing or researching.

Binaural Beats: The Bottom Line

binaural beats before and after

While you can’t expect binaural beats to do all of the work for you, they certainly have a huge impact on your cognition. Like I said, I’ve been using them for the past several years, and have gotten massive benefits from them.

If you do decide to use binaural beats for focus, creativity, and tranquility, be sure that you use Brain FM. I don’t recommend you use the crappy free ones on YouTube, although they may work for some people.

As a side note, it takes your brain roughly 8 minutes to transition from one frequency to another, so be sure to listen for a minimum of 8 minutes before making a judgment on whether or not they work for you.

If you guys have any questions, comments, or concerns, leave them in the Disqus section below and I’ll do my best to respond. And, as always, I’ll see you next time.

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Jed Berry
6 years ago

Hi Jon, glad to meet another Life Flow user 🙂

Abz.. I don’t use Life Flow 10 for focus, I use one called optimal learning and find that one amazing when working (I also use awaken.. but unless you have been on the program for a while it won’t available yet)

Great site btw 😉

6 years ago

Hey Jon, thanks for you honest post! I was in fact, just wondering about the usefulness of it since i once used a free binaural app on my iphone during my mediation and i felt intense fear and imagined scary images and experienced cold sweat all over and so i stopped. Quick question, what is your opinion on subliminal affirmations audio/videos? Have you had any experience with that?

Jon Anthony
6 years ago
Reply to  wallace

Yeah that means you went too far too fast, lol. Same thing happened to me, that’s why I recommend Life Flow because it allows you to slowly work your way down. Yeah, I do them every day lol. I have a vision board, I think it’s more powerful when you do the affirmations yourself, but used to listen to subconscious affirmations a lot.

Abz Solution (Absolutionz)
6 years ago

Hey Jon, I’ve been using Brain.FM for a while and I was wondering if you had any experience with this compared to Life Flow. The price difference is also, well, a shitton seeing as Brain.FM is like $5/mo

Jon Anthony
6 years ago

Actually haven’t heard of them, no. Has it been working for you?


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