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The Truth About Binaural Beats

To date, the most well known form (but certainly not the most effective) of brainwave entrainment methods is called binaural beats, where a slightly different tone is presented into each ear.  Binaural beats have become very popular over the years, so much so that for many people the idea of "brainwave entrainment" is inseparable from them.

It is a widespread, misleading myth that binaural beats and the products that rely on this form of brainwave entrainment are an effective way to enhance the mind and improve mental performance. 

What are binaural beats? When pure tones are mixed together, their waveforms add and subtract from one another, resulting in a pulse. In the case of binaural beats, the two tones are mixed by the brain itself (one in each ear). The pulses, called "beats", formed by mixing these tones, cause brainwave entrainment to occur, as brainwaves are affected by rapid pulses of sound, light and other sensory stimuli.  However, binaural beats induce very weak brainwave entrainment when compared with more effective, modern entrainment methods.

Because any kind of pulse can be used to entrain the brain more effective methods that allow more control than binaural beats have been developed by neuro-scientists and people intimately involved in brain science. One simple and far more powerful method is called Isochronic Tones; a tone is manually spaced, turning on and off in a precise pattern.

Below is an example of an Isochronic entrainment pattern.

Notice how individual and separated each pulse is. This type of stimulation produces incredibly powerful electrical responses in the brain, and when compared with binaural beats, it becomes incredibly obvious just how ineffective, dated and clunky binaural beat methods are.

The facts about Binaural Beats

1) Binaural beats require headphones or special speaker assignments. This creates a tremendous constraint, limiting the usability and applications for binaural beats. Brainwave entrainment with iMusic does not require headphones or speaker assignments. For veteran users of brainwave entrainment, this may seem strange since headphones have always been a traditional part of the brain training experience. The reality of the matter is that headphones have never been required for use with anything except binaural beats, and are part and parcel of a poor brainwave entrainment experience.

2) Binaural beats are not capable of entraining the Hemispheres individually (because they require BOTH ears). This can be a major disadvantage because many of the modern entrainment protocols used in clinical studies today involve separate stimulation to each ear, useful for deeper meditation, cognitive enhancement and particularly for depression and ADD reduction.

3) Binaural beats are not as effective as Volition's IMAGINCE entrainment technology methods.  Dr. Gerald Oster, in the 1973 issue of "Scientific American", introduced binaural beats to the main stream. According to Oster, because of the way the brain processes binaural beats, the depth or intensity of the resulting "beat" is only around 3db, or 1/10th the volume of a whisper (which is why the "beats" are usually so hard to detect). He concluded that binaural beats produced very small evoked potentials within the auditory cortex of the brain, while monaural beats and other methods produced far greater potentials. In the brain, a binaural beat would look something like this:



Notice how shallow the wave is. The above pulse would be barely detectable.  This is the full effect that a binaural beat audio product has on the brain.  Now take a look at a soundscape that you would find in an iMusic release and the powerful effect it has on the brain.

iMusic Soundscape:

iMusic Soundscapes Effect on the Brain:


Which do you think will leave more of an electrical imprint on the brain? The answer is obvious.  It's because of these differences that it has been concluded by many researchers, such as Oster, Siever, Manns and others, that binaural beats are not likely to produce much actual brainwave entrainment at all.

There are many more effective, precise and powerful ways to stimulate the brain and induce peak performance.  Leading edge methods, all of which which have been integrated into IMAGINCE, the power house technology behind iMusic.

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