▷ Best Binaural Beats Headphones (2018 Update)

Best Binaural Beats Headphones

Written by Dave Michaelson and updated on August 18, 2018
Best Binaural Beats Headphones

Most people enjoy listening to music of some kind, and different sounds often evoke different feelings in people. Have you ever noticed how some songs make you feel happy and alive, whereas others make you sit back and contemplate life? Sure, the words have a lot to do with it, but there’s a more to it than that.

Music has the ability to heal the mind, body, and soul. As well as making you feel differently, listening to the right sounds can literally lower one’s heart rate and blood pressure. Binaural beats are audio tracks that project different frequencies into each ear. It’s the difference between the frequencies that’s the binaural beat.   

In this article, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the science behind binaural beats and their many benefits people get when using binaural beat headphones. After that, we’ll explore some of the main features to look for when purchasing these headphones as well as show you some of the best models around currently. 

The Discovery Binaural Beats

While the actual development of binaural beat music has only been made possible over the past century or so due to the advancement of technology, the science behind it has been around and utilized for thousands of years.

One study carried out looked into the drumbeats used during ancient culture rituals. What they discovered was that mostly they would beat steadily at a rate of 4.5 beats per second. Due to the consistent beat, the tribespeople would fall into a trance-like state as the brain started to shift to the same 4.5 beats-per-second frequency.  

The first scientific discovery of binaural beats came in 1839 through the help of Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, a Prussian physicist and meteorologist. However, it wasn’t until much later in 1973 that binaural beats were actually used as a kind of mainstream technology.

The Science Behind Binaural Beats

Now you know more about what binaural beats are, you’re probably wondering how they actually work. So, let us tell you. As mentioned above, binaural beats work by sending different frequencies to each ear. When the brain hears these two separate frequencies it creates a third tone based on the difference between the two. The brain then starts to shift to the same rate of frequency in a process called frequency following response. 

Binaural beat frequency patterns can be categorized into four main types, all of which have a different effect on one’s body. They are:

  • Delta. These are binaural beats that fall within a frequency of 0.1 and 4 Hz and are associated with dreamless sleep.
  • Theta. These are binaural beats that fall within a frequency of 4 and 8 Hz and are linked to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, creativity, and meditation.
  • Alpha. These are binaural beats that fall within a frequency of 8 and 13 Hz and are thought to encourage relaxation.
  • Beta. These are binaural beats that fall within a frequency of 14 and 100 Hz. While these beats are associated with increased concentration and alertness, they have also been known to increase anxiety too.

The important thing to remember here is that this will only work while wearing headphones as is the only way to be sure each ear is receiving a separate frequency. It’s the same technology that enables people listening to orchestral music through headphones to hear the string section in one ear and the woodwind section in the other. But, there’s so much more to listening to binaural beats then simply enhancing sounds. Keep reading!  

What are the Benefits of Listening to Binaural Beats?

There are many great benefits to listening to binaural beats through headphones. Of course, everyone is different, and not all symptoms will be relieved in every instance. But, here are just a few of the benefits people using binaural beats headphones have reported so far:

  • increased concentration
  • increased focus
  • increased confidence
  • increased motivation
  • reduced anxiety
  • reduced stress

Binaural Beats Headphones Buying Guide

Shopping for binaural beats headphones can be a daunting experience if you don’t know what you’re looking for. So if you don’t know much about them, now’s your chance to learn. In this section, we’ll go through some of the more important features to look for when purchasing binaural beats headphones:

Hertz (Hz)

This unit of frequency is equal to one cycle of an electromagnetic wave per second. While human hearing is able to detect sounds ranging between 20 and 20,000 Hz, we’re most sensitive to frequencies falling between 2,000 and 5,000 Hz.

OHM and impedance 

When it comes to headphones, impedance refers to the level of resistance that’s presented to the signal from the audio source. As a rough guide, headphones that are less than 25 ohms are considered to be of low impedance. This means that they need very little power to kick out high-quality audio. Those with more than 25 ohms are considered to have high impedance and require much more power to deliver the same audio quality.

Both types of headphones have their pros and cons. While headphones with low impedance are good for use with portable devices, they are more susceptible to explosions when paired with high-powered amplifiers. Because headphones with higher impedance use more power, they are protected from potential damage from blowouts and are suitable to be used with a wide range of equipment.

Comfortability and fit 

Most binaural beat music will last several minutes, if not hours long, so you want to ensure you find a pair of comfortable and well fitting headphones. You should consider at this point where you will be wearing them as this may sway your decision. If you only plan on wearing them while in bed, you may want to consider options other than the over-the-ear kind.

Noise canceling

If you feel that you’re going to need a little help to drown out distractions while listening to your beats, then make sure you opt for a pair that has noise canceling capabilities. While it’s not a requirement, to have this feature, for most people, it does help. Over-the-ear models also help in muffling background noise by creating a seal around your ears. 

Wired or wireless? 

This is another time in which you should think about where you’ll be using your headphones. If you’ll be wearing them mainly in bed, you may want to consider sticking to a wireless pair as there’s no chance of you getting tangled in the wire while sleeping. Just be aware that wireless models will cost more.

If however, you’re quite forgetful when it comes to charging, the wired option may be a better choice for you. Most will fit anything that has a 3.5mm jack and there’s no need to charge them before you can use them. 

Accessories 

One of the final things to bear in mind when making your purchase is what accessories do the headphones come with. If you’re buying a wireless pair, be sure to check if a charger is included. There may also be added extras included with the headphones such as a carrying case or extra cables. And while neither of these are essential, it’s always nice to get a freebie.

Extra features

Some binaural beats headphones will even have fancy features such as Bluetooth or the ability to make calls. However, just be aware that you will pay for these features, and if they’re not necessary, and you don’t particularly want them, why not stick to a more basic, more cost-friendly option? 

Reviews

If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of wireless headphones in which to listen to some binaural beats then you’ve come to the right place. These Sony Noise Canceling Headphones are fantastic in so many ways.

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM2: Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone - Hi Res Audio and Active Sound Cancellation - Foldable On Ear Headphones with Travel Case - Black

Available in a smooth black, or a cool white option, you can tell how comfortable and well made these headphones are as soon as you pick them up. You can use them as wired or wireless and they’re packed full of other advanced features such as smart listening which automatically adjusts the ambient sounds you hear and touch control which allows you to change the volume, skip a track, and make calls simply by touching the headphone.

The sound quality is high, and so is the level of comfortability. You also get 30hrs of play time from a single charge as well as a 10-minute quick charge option that gives you an extra 70 minutes. For me, there are only two things that let these headphones down slightly. The first is the hefty price tag; the second is the headphone’s auto-shutoff function. If you’re not streaming via Bluetooth and the audio cable isn’t plugged in, they will beep and switch off every 5 minutes.

Pros
  • Available in 2 color options
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    Super comfortable
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    Use them wireless or wired
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    Smart touch control
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Auto shutoff function is annoying

Made from one of the most renowned audio manufacturers in the world, the Bose SoundLink around-ear Wireless Headphones are a force to be reckoned with. They offer clear, immersive sounds using some of the most advanced and exclusive technology out there. And they’re available to buy in either black or white. 

Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black

Fitted with the latest Bluetooth technology for easy streaming and an advanced microphone system to allow you to make calls while on the move, these headphones are not bad at all. And the way they’ve been designed enables you to switch easily between Bluetooth devices with the convenient earcup controls.

Weighing in at less than 7 ounces, these headphones are quite a lot lighter than many other models out there, making them very comfortable to wear. And they’re made with impact-resistant materials, that will help keep them in great shape for longer. You also get a USB charging cable, an audio cable, and a cute little carry case included with your purchase.  

The only slight issue I have with these headphones is while the sound quality is excellent on the receiving end, the microphone is not so great and sound may appear muffled the other end.

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
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    Durable
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    Carry case included
Cons
  • Microphone could be better

If you’re not sure if listening to binaural beats is for you and you’d like to try it out first before investing in a high-quality pair of headphones, then these may be the ideal solution. The PWOW In-ear Headphones with Microphone may be one of the lower end models out there, but they still perform really well. You get crystal-clear sounds and easy in-line controls.

In Ear Headphones, PWOW Wired Earphones iPhone Earphones Earbuds with Microphone and Remote Control 2 Packs Perfect for Valentine's Day Gifts

The advantage that these headphones have over the others on this list is that they’re in-ear, so you will always get a more prominent sound. They’re also much more comfortable to go to sleep wearing opposed to over-the-ear models. However, if you do want to wear them while on the move there’s also a cable clip to use to keep everything neat and tidy and tangle-free. 

What I also love about this product is the price. At around a tenth of the cost of some of the other products on this list, you really don't have much to lose by trying these out. They may not be suitable for long-term use as are not the highest quality product out there, but for the price you pay, they’re an absolute bargain!

Pros
  • Lightweight
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    Crystal-clear sounds
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    Easy in-line controls
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    Great price
Cons
  • Quality is a little poor

Made by professionals, for professionals, the Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone is a great choice for anyone who wants to listen to high-quality sounds on high-quality headphones.

Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone

Built using neodymium ferrous magnets, these headphones offer excellent dynamics and optimum sensitivity. The lightweight aluminum voice coils also ensure a crisp sound whenever the microphone is used. Even the cable is high-quality and is made using Kevlar-reinforced copper. 

And as well as looking the part, with a sophisticated black and grey design, these headphones also tick all the right boxes in terms of quality too. There is no distortion, at all; simply natural and transparent sounds delivered straight to your ear via heavily padded headphones. The headband is easy to adjust and the pads really do envelop your ears so that there’s minimal sound leakage.  

The overall build quality is fantastic, as is the sound quality. And, they come with a 2-year warranty just in case you do have any problems. For me, the only slight annoyance (other than the hefty price tag) is that they’re not quite as comfortable as some of the other models on the list. Some of the padding is a little thin and starts to rub after a while.   

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
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    Well-built
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    2-year warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Padding could be thicker

Available in a vibrant red, a smooth black, or a cool white, these headphones will certainly turn some heads while you’re out and about. But even if it’s not about the looks, there are so many other things going for the COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones that it’s hard to know where to start.

COWIN E7 PRO [2018 Upgraded] Active Noise Cancelling Headphone Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Hi-Fi Deep Bass Wireless Headphones Over Ear 30H Playtime for Travel Work TV Computer Phone - Red

Firstly, they’re wireless, so no more messing around with cords and trying to find somewhere suitable to plug them in. Secondly, they’re so lightweight and comfortable you can take them just about anywhere. Thirdly, they’ve been fitted with superb noise reduction technology that allows you to hone in on those binaural beats while tuning out everything else.

Another great thing about these headphones is the integrated 800mAh battery which enables 30 hours of playtime from a single charge. So there’s no concern about running out of beats when traveling long distances or while trying to fall asleep at night. Lastly, they even come with an 18-month warranty should you experience any problems.

They look great, they feel great, and the price is just right. The only slight issue I found with these headphones is there is some noise leakage. And while that’s not going to affect you too much, it may affect those around you.     

Pros
  • Available in 3 great colors
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    Great noise canceling ability
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    Solid battery
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    18-month warranty
Cons
  • Some noise leakage

We hope by now you’ve discovered your perfect pair of binaural beat headphones and are ready to make your purchase. While my favorites are the Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones, all of the above models are worth considering. You just need to know what you want from a good pair of headphones and go for the model that’s going to best suit your needs.

About the author

    Dave Michaelson

    If he could describe himself with one word alone, Dave Michaelson’s would be “committed.” He leaves it up to the observer whether that is an adjective or a verb. What he is unwavering on is his belief that health begins at the home and in the heart. His articles reflect that, whether they are about food, do-it-yourself, or mindfulness and meditation.

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