So recently with doing some audio experimenting, I was introduced to the concept of binaural beats. The idea is that a listener uses a pair of stereo headphones to listen to two differen frequencies, one in each ear. The result is the perception of a beating tone as if it was produced by the brain itself. This causes brainwave synchronization with desired frequencies from outside stimuli.

So why would anyone want to do this? The practical side of this is use with learning, health, and meditation. In studies, binaural beats have been seen to increase information retention as well as the amount assimilated. Binaural beats have also been see to act as pain relief, and even help with addiction rehabilitation. Some also believe when targeting specific types of brainwaves, meditation can be enhanced as well as attribute to out of body experience and lucid dreaming.

On the other end of the spectrum, binaural beats are used as entertainment. How effectively they are used in this sense is debatable. The thought is that by manipulating brainwaves, you can temporarily change perception.  So basically, binaural beats give people the ability to create audio that mimics the effects of chemical substances that alter normal body function. Enter I-Doser, probably the leading name in brainwave entertainment. Their shtick is offering up “doses” in the form of audio files that give the same effects as legal/illegal substances. However, there is much question about if they actually work or not. Many claim they do though it takes a while (which may coincide with how binaural beats are used with meditation) however a large majority of people who have had experience with I-Doser claim that either nothing happens or many people suffer the placebo effect. If you want to see for yourself, you can obtain some demos at the I-Doser website.

So of course after hearing of the concept of binaural beats, I wanted to hear binaural beats. I found an interesting program by the name of Gnaural which acts a a binaural beat generator. Its open-source and thus free, so you can try it at your liesure. Gnaural seems to be a fully functional generator with the ability to control pink noise, frequencies, etc. I tried it out and I can say it was an interesting experience, theres definately a weird feeling achieved through the sound.

So in closing, give it a whirl if you’re interested. Who knows, you may be one step closer to controlling your own dreams.