▷ Best Binaural Beats Headphones (2020 Update)

We earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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?