What are binaural beats?When using headphones, if you have one frequency of sound playing in one ear, and another frequency in another ear you'll experience an auditory hallucination: you will hear as if there is a third frequency playing at the difference between the frequencies in your left ear and right ear. Here is an example:
left ear sound: 196Hz
right ear sound: 200.5Hz
hallucinated sound: 200.5Hz - 196Hz = 4.5Hz
Since this hallucinated sound is a low frequency we interpret it as a beat; hence the name: binaural beats. Your brain's neurons also fire in rhythmic and repetitive patterns, and these are classified as delta, theta, alpha, beta, or gamma brainwaves. Many believe these different brainwaves correspond to different moods. Below is a table taken from wikipedia showing the different brainwaves:
|Frequency range||Name||Usually associated with:|
|> 40 Hz||Gamma waves||Higher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, fear, and consciousness|
|13–39 Hz||Beta waves||Active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration, arousal, cognition, and or paranoia|
|7–13 Hz||Alpha waves||Relaxation (while awake), pre-sleep and pre-wake drowsiness, REM sleep, Dreams|
|8–12 Hz||Mu waves||Mu rhythm, Sensorimotor rhythm|
|4–7 Hz||Theta waves||Deep meditation/relaxation, NREM sleep|
|< 4 Hz||Delta waves||Deep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness|
What are they good for?Many people believe that different binaural beats are able to stimulate our brainwaves to mimicking those same frequencies and therefore move us more towards that state of mind. For example, listening to a beta binaural beat may make you want to be more active.
How do I use them in Paced Breathing?Plug in a pair of good headphones into your phone and turn on binaural beats in Paced Breathing by clicking on the sound menu (Figure 1) and selecting Binaural from the menu. Make sure the volume is set low; the sounds aren't any more effective the louder they are, so there is no sense in straining your ears. We've actually found the beats quite soothing at low levels, but quite maddening when turned up too loud.
What frequencies does Paced Breathing usePaced Breathing normally plays a combination of 196Hz (G3) and 392Hz (G4) sounds in mono when inhaling, and 261.63Hz (C4) and 523.25Hz (C3) sounds when exhaling.
When you switch to binarual beats mode we play those frequencies in your left ear and in your right ear we play those same frequencies at a 4.5Hz higher frequency; meaning we play a binaural beat of 4.5Hz which is classified as a Theta wave.
How can I change the frequenciesAs of today, you can't. However, we will add the ability to change your binaural beat frequency in the future.