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Isochronic Tones Vs Binaural Beats – Which Are Best?

Are binaural beats or isochronic tones the best type of brainwave entrainment technology? Each of these methods has its strengths and weaknesses, so let’s take a look at some of these, so you can decide which type is best for your needs.

What Is Brainwave Entrainment?

Brain wave entrainment involves exposure to a rapidly repeating periodic stimulus, such as sound or light pulses. The brain has a natural tendency to match – or entrain – its own brainwave output to match the frequency of the stimulus.

This is useful because brainwaves of particular frequencies are linked with different conscious states (and sometimes specific physical states too), so by using brainwave entrainment, you have a relatively easy way to access these different states – without needing to learn complex mind control techniques.

Using a brainwave entrainment recording is generally the easiest and cheapest method – and can be very effective. Binaural beats and isochronic tones are two types of sound-based brainwave entrainment technology.

How Binaural Beats & Isochronic Tones Differ

Binaural Beats

When you listen to binaural beats, you hear a pure sine wave tone in each ear, and each of these tones has a slightly different frequency. The brain than combines the two tones, and generates a pulse (or beat) that repeats at a rate equal to the frequency difference between the pitches of the two tones.

For example – your binaural beat recording delivers a 300Hz tone to the left ear, and a 310Hz tone to the right. The brain produces a beat 10Hz, and it is this self-produced 10Hz pulse to which it entrains.

When using binaural beats, you have to use headphones, because each ear needs to receive a tone of a different frequency.

Many binaural beats recordings feature additional sounds, such as running water, pink noise or relaxing music. These help to enhance the relaxing effect of the beats, and also to mask their sound, which some people don’t like.

Binaural beats have been extensively studied since their discovery back in the 1800s, and today they are the most well known and widely available brainwave entrainment method, and have delivered great results for many people.

binaural beats

Binaural Beats | Image: DPic

Isochronic Tones

Isochronic tones, on the other hand, consist of rapidly repeating sound pulses which are separated by a distinct gap of silence. This makes them more clearly defined than binaural beats. You hear the same sound in each ear, and the brain itself does not need to produce a tone of the desired frequency. This means that isochronic tone recordings can be used without headphones, although their use is still recommended for optimal results.

Many brainwave entrainment aficionados agree that isochronic tones are the most effective type of sound-based brainwave entrainment technology for the majority of purposes. It could be that the brain entrains more readily to isochronic tones because of their distinct nature, and also because it doesn’t need to do the additional work of creating the tones itself.

isochronic tones

Isochronic Tones | Image: DPic

Should You Choose Isochronic Tones or Binaural Beats?

Does this mean that isochronic tones are always better than binaural beats? No – not necessarily. There are a couple of things to consider when making your choice: the purpose for which you’re using them, and your own personal preferences.

As far as usage is concerned, a lot of people have discovered that isochronic tones can be less suitable for delta brainwave entrainment. Delta waves are very low in frequency (< 4Hz), and at slower speeds the sound of isochronic beats can become annoying or distracting to some people. Others just don't like the sound of isochronic tones at all, and since they can't be fully masked by music or other sounds (unlike binaural beats), this is another reason why they're not necessarily the best choice. This doesn't mean isochronic tones can't be used for delta work – be aware that it may be an issue, but as always, it's best to experiment for yourself. This advice holds true when deciding between isochronic tones and binaural beats for other purposes too. Some people respond better to one type, whereas others find their preferences change with their mood. Personally, I tend to like isochronic tones the majority of the time, but sometimes find them annoying and choose binaural beats instead. So rather than trying to say that one type is best in any kind of absolute sense, it's better to acknowledge that brainwave entrainment is a very subjective process, and people should make their choices based on their own preferences, and on the circumstances in which the recording is being used. Whether you plump for binaural beats or isochronic tones, it's necessary to use high quality recordings for the best results. I recommend checking out the binaural and isochronic tones that are available at The Unexplainable Store. I personally like the isochronic alpha and theta meditation tracks – I prefer the versions without music, but you can preview each to see which you like best. There are free samples available also, so you can try out both types (and monaural beats too).

Related posts:

  1. Binaural Beats, Monaural Beats And Isochronic Tones – What’s The Difference?
  2. 7 Tips For Using Binaural Beats, Monaural Beats & Isochronic Tones
  3. An Introduction to Brainwave Entrainment and Binaural, Monaural and Isochronic Beats
  4. Isochronic Tones And Brainwave Synchronization: Why Should You Use Them?
  5. How To Improve Memory Power With Binaural Beats
  6. Using Binaural Beats Effectively – Get The Best Results From Your Binaural Recordings
  7. How To Use Binaural Beats For Sleep Problems
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