If anybody would like to look over the scientific evidence concerning brainwave entrainment and isochronic tones, I’ve done a lot of research over the years which I’ve collected at the PubMed website of NCBI – a branch of the National Institute of Health – that provides access to a large library of medical journal articles. I’ve made my list public so you can look through the journal articles that were published concerning this topic. Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1tmDFOl0XtyA4/collections/51531796/public/. Most of the collection only gives access to abstracts or summaries unless you’re at some kind of educational institution that has a subscription to the particular journal that article is in, but I actually find abstracts really helpful. So have at it, read away. And if your psychiatrist/therapist thinks you’re nuts for feeling better after listening to isochronic tones, just whip out your 82-page collection of scientific journal abstracts written by her peers and give it to her to read. 🙂
Monaural beats have similarities to binaural beats, but the two separate frequencies are delivered through a pulse pattern and mixed before they reach the listeners ears, resulting in the advantage of being audible without stereo headphones. However, using stereo headphones intensifies the effectiveness of monaural beats and is recommended for the best effect. 
In general, we are accustomed to being in the beta brain rhythm. We are in a Beta brainwave pattern when we are consciously alert. It is the default and dominant brainwave for most of us most of the time. We are in Beta when we feel agitated, tense, hurried, pressured, afraid and stressed. The frequencies range from 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale.
When delta waves are present, our awareness of the external world decreases and shuts off. People with ADD have problems with delta waves occurring when they are trying to focus, and focus and attention become increasingly impossible with stronger delta waves. Studies show a reduction of anxiety, improvements in insomnia, and elimination of headaches when people engage in sessions of delta brainwave entrainment.
And this is exactly true. Have you heard about walnuts improving your memory and being extremely healthy for you when eaten raw? A doctor can confirm this information for you. Try eating too many of them, especially in the afternoon – you will end up nauseous, and if you have a relatively low blood pressure, you can even drive yourself to a nearly unconscious state. Except for their healthy benefits, walnuts tend to lower blood pressure, and when eaten in excess, they can have some very nasty effects on your body. Does this mean you should never eat walnuts, and never benefit from their wonderful qualities? Of course not!
With almost 100 years of research validating the effectiveness of brainwave entrainment, it’s no wonder why it’s used by thousands of people all over the world. What does the future entail in this exciting field? With the adoption of smartphones, virtual and augmented reality, and advancements in technology reducing the cost of EEG and other forms of biofeedback devices, the entrainment possibilities are endless.
There's no doubt that brainwave entrainment audio is a great technology for anyone who is interested in encouraging altered states of consciousness and it certainly can help people to reach deeper states of relaxation than they might normally have access to. I myself will often listen to brainwave entrainment music in order to enhance my practice of meditation. But let’s keep a balanced perspective, put all the marketing hype to one side for a moment and acknowledge that there is no brainwave entrainment technology in this world that can make you meditate like a Zen monk “at the touch of a button”, despite what some might like you to believe. The mind is NOT a machine. It moves through various states of consciousness in an organic way and at a natural pace. We certainly can guide and accelerate that process with the use of brainwave entrainment audio, but we cannot control it with the same sort of specificity and immediacy as you might control the speed of the car you drive.

Practitioners are discovering a number of different areas in which entrainment therapy may bring positive benefits. From managing mental health more effectively through to providing increased mental focus and concentration, it is thought the technique can be adapted according to the specific issues being treated. An improved immune system, enhanced levels of pain management, and a reduction in autoimmune disorders are also thought to be achieved through the therapy, leading many individuals with chronic ill health to consider brainwave entrainment as a non-invasive yet effective therapy.
In 1839 Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered binaural beats, which led to the further discovery of the frequency following response and the beginnings of the science of brainwave entrainment. This science uses the power of specialized sound to FORCE your brain to stop producing defective brainwave patterns - OVERRIDING them to create positive neural feedback instead. Endorphins are created to alleviate pain, serotonin increases to combat anxiety - happy brain chemicals of all kinds are made in response. And the best news? As you continue with it, your brain re-learns to produce these healthy, beneficial and healing brainwaves on its own!
The results of using EquiSync for only 3 months have been phenomenal! Profound and positive changes have occurred , and continue to occur, in my being. These transformations have become obvious to family and friends as well. I am 71 yrs old and feel better than when I was in my thirties. My energy levels remain high with less sleep. I work out at the gym vigorously five days a week – bicycling and swimming are part of the regimen as well. I volunteer services at Hospice and nursing homes. My short term memory has improved to the point that others remark on my remembering their names after meeting them only once several weeks in the past. Sometimes I find that I’m reading fine print without my glasses. I spent the greater portion of my “productive” years as a monk but had lost the ability to meditate due to the development of A.D.D. Now my ability to stay focused and concentrate has remarkably returned and am reaching meditative states that I’ve not reached in years. Each new day is now seen as another opportunity to serve.
Regarding split hemisphere isochronic tones. Think of this as two separate isochronic tones tracks playing independently of each other, one playing in one ear and the other one in the opposite ear. Better still, imagine someone playing and recording a drum beat at a rate of 5 taps per second (5Hz – 5 cycles per second). Then a separate recording of a drum beat is made at a rate of 10 taps per second (10 Hz). You then make an audio track where the left ear/channel hears the 5 drum beats recording and the right ear/channel hears the 10 beat recording. With headphones on, each ear can only hear each respective drum beat and not the other. So you are hearing two different beat recordings at the same time, but it’s different in each ear. A split hemisphere isochronic tones track works just the same. You hear two beats at the same time, not two tones as with binaural beats that create a single beat, but two different speeds of beats in each ear. This is what enables you to stimulate and influence each side of the brain with a different frequency of beat. Binaural beats can only stimulate and influence a whole brain effect using a single beat.
When delta waves are present, our awareness of the external world decreases and shuts off. People with ADD have problems with delta waves occurring when they are trying to focus, and focus and attention become increasingly impossible with stronger delta waves. Studies show a reduction of anxiety, improvements in insomnia, and elimination of headaches when people engage in sessions of delta brainwave entrainment.

What I really like about iAwake is their standalone offerings. They produce quite a few audio pieces that are geared toward specific brainwave targets and desired results. These individual products aren't progression - based (you can listen to whatever tracks you want whenever you want), so there's no lengthy investment of your time involved. Also they're way cheaper (around $30-$50 depending on the product). In addition to manipulating brainwaves with sound, they pride themselves on their patented Biofield tech (look them up for more info).

Applying brainwave entrainment in the alpha range may result in benefits similarly found with Zen or Transcendental Meditation. These benefits extend throughout the body and include improved breathing patterns, higher physical energy levels, an improved outlook, increased sports performance, improved relationships, and increased workplace satisfaction and performance … just to name a few.
Really great stuff here, man. Well done! Without taking anything away from the article it would have been great to have under one “roof” similar information about hypnotherapy and subliminals. I invested quite a lot in buying binaural cd’s but after reading your material I think that for short term effects isochronic tones rather than binaurals are the technology to go for now. For longer lasting and possibly permanent effects I’m not sure whether I should go for hypnosis or subliminals (or both). An article as well written and comprehensive as yours but focusing on hypnosis vs subliminals would have completed the circle for me. The stuff I’ve read so far on binaurals vs isochronics hasn’t really done it for me. Any chance you could give it a shot?

Quick example: Brainwave readings (with an EEG machine) have shown that brainwaves of 2Hz occur when an individual is asleep. Scientists can create special audio recordings, which contain an encoded 2Hz frequency. While listening to such audio, the brain naturally follows (entrains) toward that 2Hz frequency, lowering its brainwave patterns. That's "brainwave entrainment." The net result is that when listening to such an audio recording, you (the listener) will naturally fall asleep.


Hi Rona, thanks for your compliments on my videos and the music I use, I’m pleased you’ve found them helpful. Regarding the pulse-like sound you’ve been hearing, I’ve never had anyone report something similar to that before. I also haven’t heard anyone on brainwave entrainment forums mention it. That is very unusual and because I’ve never come across it before, I’m afraid I don’t know what would cause that.
I am fortunate to be working with Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Dr. Rudy Tanzi, co-authors of the bestselling book Super Brain, on a technology called Brain Wave Entrainment. Deepak is very well known, but Rudy is an amazingly interesting person as well. He is the Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Vice-Chair of Neurology at Mass General Hospital. Rudy co-discovered three of the four original Alzheimer's genes and today runs the Alzheimer's Genome Project. He also plays the keyboards, including, at times, for Aerosmith. He is kind of a real life "Buckaroo Banzai."
Brainwaves are the collective electrical signal of millions of neurons working together in a living brain, producing our sense of alertness – or lack thereof - and producing our experience of reality. As brainwaves change, so does our perception of the world and our inner perception of ourselves. By learning to control our brainwaves, we can achieve specific, desirable mental states, such as feeling more relaxed, less anxious, more creative, more focused, or sleepier.

I wouldn’t personally recommend listening to delta wave frequencies for depression, so I’m not sure who advised you to do that? People with depression usually have a higher ratio of theta and delta wave activity, so I would normally recommend listening to high alpha wave and low beta wave frequencies, to help balance things. I have some 10Hz alpha tracks for serotonin release, which you can try for free on my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NSUcuzpRcY&list=PLveg0IEcZWN6T86nhmSrdwG2kMQtcLRou. I also recommend you give these SMR (low beta wave) tracks a try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGTvBbrEwZQ&list=PLveg0IEcZWN7yaMaKr8F-eWHALk2_zGqY. I hope that helps.


Eric Thompson is a co-founder of iAwake Technologies, LLC and was its Chief Technology Officer. Although no longer with iAwake Technologies, his contributions have been immense. Eric is also an inventor, researcher, and producer, and is considered one of the world’s foremost brainwave entrainment experts. In addition, Eric is a pioneer in the development of biofield entrainment technology, which digitally captures and transmits life-enhancing and beneficial subtle energies to the human biofield via any digital medium, including pictures, audio, and film. By combining this emerging technology with an unconventional, innovative, and original approach to audio brainwave entrainment, Eric strives to make profound spiritual development and emotional freedom more easily accessible to all. He writes and speaks on the intersection between neuroscience, psychology, subtle energy, and spirituality. 
We all experience different states of mind each day: states such as sleep, focus, or creativity, for example. Every state of mind has a unique electrical signature that can be detected in the brain. These signatures are known as “brainwaves.” Using specialized equipment, these waves (or frequencies) can be measured and recorded, allowing us to map what brainwaves are present during certain key states of mind.
Slower still are theta waves. Theta is best known as the brain wave state of dreaming sleep, but it is also associated with a number of other beneficial states, including increased creativity, some kinds of superlearning, increased memory abilities, visionary experiences, and what are called integrative experiences (where we make broadly-based positive changes in the way we see ourselves, others, or certain life situations).
So you see, it’s all about where your personal journey is taking you, and what direction of evolution you are wanting to explore.  The purpose of this site is to assist you in making an educated decision about what product is right for you, and to ensure that you are only recommended a high-quality product that will provide you with powerful and noticeable results.  The great news is that many of the benefits of using Brainwave Entrainment (improved sleep patterns, release of anti-aging hormones, whole-brain functioning, etc.) are simply side-effects of using any type of brainwave entrainment audio.

Thank you for the info. I must add that the Yoga Nidra state is the state in which a person can be in Delta but fully conscious. I did experience this state accidentally 3x in 2yrs after discovering Swami Rama’s teachings about the state&1 of the techniques for it(only 4 seems to exist & are practiced in monasteries at the time,according to him. He was the yogi who 1st demonstrated the 4 states,fully aware of himself & his surroundings, under lab conditions).


To summarize all this, we can see that the type of product you choose plays an important role in answering that question – “Can brainwave entrainment damage my brain?” My personal advice as a long-term user of the technology is to Be selective about what brainwave entrainment audios you download from the internet, and make sure to follow the instructions! 

Delta brainwaves, resonating at 1Hz-4Hz, usually only occur in the deeper levels of sleep. It is even uncommon to access Delta brainwaves through meditation, unless one is very advanced, or is using brainwave entrainment. Even while using brainwave entrainment technology, it will take some mental training and practice to be able to maintain conscious awareness and not fall asleep.


Alpha brainwaves are resonating just below beta brainwaves at the frequency range of 8Hz to 12Hz on an EEG. Beta brainwaves are the normal, waking life, active, rational thinking and problem solving brainwaves that are dominant in most people throughout the day. Alpha brainwaves begin to show up when relaxation occurs. Often times the simple act of closing your eyes can product spurts of alpha waves. Taking a few deep breaths or consciously relaxing will do the same. When alpha waves become dominant, the body and mind are usually comfortably relaxed.
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Isochronic tones work just the same in delta as they do in alpha, theta and beta and they are widely used in the brainwave entrainment community to help people sleep. Like you, I’ve also seen some websites saying they don’t work in delta, but it’s a bit like the game of Chinese Whispers, where someone makes a comment and then after it gets passed around and shared a lot the message gets distorted and appears to be a fact. I don’t know of any scientific reason why they wouldn’t work in delta. I remember some people talking about this on a brainwave entrainment forum many years ago. They were saying they found isochronic tones a bit too abrupt for using to help them sleep and they preferred binaural beats, as they thought they were a more soothing sound. That was just a personal preference shared by a couple of prominent forum members at the time and some people then took that as a fact for everyone. That’s where I think that belief originated from.


Alpha (12hz – 8hz) – Awake, but deeply relaxed. Simply closing your eyes will produce alpha brainwaves. This category is associated with daydreaming, visualization, imagination, light meditation. Brainwave expert Anna Wise called the alpha range the bridge between beta and theta. (More information can be found in Wise’ book The High-Performance Mind)
I enjoy this one called: Cognition Enhancer For Clearer and Faster Thinking – Isochronic Tones (Electronic) … I seem to enjoy it. Any harm in just listening to this one every day for 30 minutes as a routine daily thing, just like brushing your teeth and making your bed. I would just use it at times when I’m working at my desk, maybe even reading the online news etc…Thoughts?
 Theta brainwaves are the next level down from alpha, at a range of 4Hz-8Hz. These brainwaves commonly occur just before sleep, or in the lighter stages of sleep. They also occur while you are day dreaming, or when you experience a strong emotion. It is not so common for an adult to produce prolonged theta brainwaves unless they are an experienced meditator, or perhaps deeply involved in an intuitive art such as music or painting. A dominant theta brainwave state is one of deep relaxation (deeper than alpha) and natural healing. In prolonged dominant theta states, the brain’s sodium/potassium ratio resets and balances itself, curing mental fatigue, and improving the brain cells ability to transport and exchange neuro-chemicals. Without the means of deep meditation, or brainwave entrainment technology, this benefit would only otherwise come from sleeping or napping.Theta is known as the one of the best states for communication with the subconscious mind.
Besides, Holosync® users look forward to their listening session because the experience is wonderful, and you feel so good afterwards. But still, you do have to be willing to actually use the program. If you aren’t willing—if you don’t think the incredible mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of this program are worth the time commitment—this isn’t for you.

In general, we are accustomed to being in the beta brain rhythm. We are in a Beta brainwave pattern when we are consciously alert. It is the default and dominant brainwave for most of us most of the time. We are in Beta when we feel agitated, tense, hurried, pressured, afraid and stressed. The frequencies range from 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale.


This thing blows my mind! The first time I used it I was like "No way!" As I kept using it I discovered that it is literally the only way I am able to fall asleep nights when my mind is so full of thoughts and my anxiety is running rampant! I hate the way sleep aids make me feel like I've been run over by a freight train. I recently switched from using "Deep Sleep" to "Dreamy Sleep" and had the craziest dreams! I normally can't remember my dreams and I was actually able to recall quite a bit of them. Unfortunately last night, I dreamt that I faked the death of my dog last year and I felt like it lasted the whole night so I think I'll be switching back to "Deep Sleep" :( Awesome product though. My *only* complaint is that I wish there were more ambiance options or the ability to use it with Pandora. You can use your own music but I don't have much personal music on my phone so I am limited to using the app's ambiance tracks and they get old after a while. Highly recommend!
Brainwave entrainment music can be used almost anywhere and anytime, making this mood and self-improvement method versatile and flexible enough to do at work, while traveling, or at other times during the day. When used in the workplace during short rest periods, brainwave entrainment techniques can enhance concentration, communication, and work productivity.
In addition, Western culture reinforces thought and communication styles associated with the left brain hemisphere, which controls logic, language, and linear thinking in a majority of people, as opposed to the right hemisphere which controls brain centers for emotional, intuitive, creative, and non-linear thought processes. Note that a significant minority of people has the opposite hemispheric dominance than the majority of people.
The Brain Wave app uses advanced sequences of binaural tones that are combined with configurable ambient nature sounds and atmospheric music (or a person’s iTunes Music) to stimulate specific brainwave patterns.  It includes powerful binaural sequences for sleep, focus, energy, positive mood, confidence, anxiety, stress relief, relaxation, yoga, memory, motivation, headache, concentration and meditation and more.

I typically feel overwhelmed by the numerous things that need to be accomplished, which leaves me feeling anxious and rushed. This particular combo has really helped me to slow down today and not feel so uptight, which sadly, is not easily accomplished. I use other modalities to shift my body into parasympathetic mode, but I can't seem to stay there. This program seems to be helping dampen down triggers that cause my body to shift into sympathetic state inappropriately.
Hi there! This is a great question. I think the most important thing to first understand is that in spite of the circumstances you are facing, your stress level and the way you feel on a day to day basis is still within your hands. Happy people are not happy because they have less stressors or challenges in their lives, they are happy because they have learned how to be happy in spite of these challenges. At the same time there may be action you can take to minimize these issues you are facing as well.
Binaural beats require two separate tones from two sources that are combined inside the listener’s brain to form the target tone. The lower frequency sound is called the carrier tone, and it is combined with a higher frequency sound known as the offset tone. Because of this, binaural beats must be listened to with stereo headphones or the effect is lost. Binaural beats create a hypnotic effect, but they are not the most effective tool for brainwave entrainment, and binaural beats are often ineffective for people with hearing loss.
Hi Julie! You’re very welcome for the info. In answer to your question, I think some are probably good, and some not so good. There are many people putting brainwave entrainment out there these days and it is not so easy to figure out which ones are and aren’t of reliable quality without investing time and doing some research. I would say (in general) that paid products are probably better quality than free ones, but I couldn’t guarantee this is a golden rule. My best advice is to just do your research before spending too much time listening to the freebies.

Hi Jason, thanks for all the uploads to youtube. I’ve been using them in work recently to help me concentrate and relax. I like the music tracks that you’ve chosen to overlay the tones. A couple of times in the last 2 weeks I’ve experienced the wavy pulse like sound, similar to the tones in my left ear. I wasn’t listening to tracks at the time or that day. It doesn’t last but it feels a bit strange. I wondered if I might have been listening to the tracks too loudly and that it was almost like a type of tinnitus. I’m curious to know if anyone has been in touch with you in the past to say they’ve had a similar experience?
a concise P.S. I was in a horrible car accident when I was 18 and had to learn to read and write and walk and talk all over again. It was long ago and I’m pretty well over it, but such an injury has lifetime repercussions. The neurological damage sustained causes my left arm to shake uncontrollably anytime I use it in a situation requiring precise coordination. From simply listening to the demo, the shake [though not disappearing completely in the last 2 months] has lessened dramatically. I had been wondering for years what kind of neurological exercises I could undergo to help it…
But again, when it comes to subjective experience, and mental evolution, I would have to caution you to take what anyone says with a grain of salt.  Obviously people want to sell these products.  There are some good ones out there and there are some bad ones out there.  There are differences in quality, as well as differences in intent with how the audios are to be used.
Only 4 of the participants reported no change as a result of the stimulation. Four years later in a study (1989) by Anderson analyzed LED photic stimulation for the treatment of headaches. There were 60 patients included in the study which involved Variable Frequency Photo-stimulation (VFP) with specialized goggles that contained light-emitting diodes.
If the further development of consciousness and awareness is your ultimate goal, there really is no substitute for actual meditation, of which many techniques are the result of thousands of years of human endeavor and accumulated knowledge and experience. Sure, it's not as easy as putting on headphones and pushing a button, but achieving authentic inner peace and relief from the stresses of human existence will mean so much more to you when earned through the time-tested route of traditional meditation. (Plus, once you learn to actually meditate, you can do it anywhere anytime without having to rely on being plugged in to something!)
Isochronic tones work by influencing your brainwave activity and they can’t directly affect the body. That said, the brain does control the body, so sensations and feelings can sometimes be felt in the body after stimulating your brainwave activity. Some people who are new listeners of this type of audio can sometimes feel tingling sensations in their body. Not everyone feels this and these sensations usually stop once you get more used to using the audios. Isochronic tones are considered as a safe technology. However, sometimes they can leave you feeling temporarily fatigued, especially if you listen to them for an extended period (hours) when you first start using them. If you felt fatigued, I would recommend using them for a much shorter period while you are getting used to them and ensure you are well-hydrated.
Hello Jason, this is an unusually thoughtful discussion. Thank you for all your expertise and your kind manner of presenting and moderating it. I’m wondering if you have any experience with this: ever since I’ve been exposed to theta wave music, without headphones, I have found it irritating. And this is in spite of the fact that when I was first handed a CD by someone I knew well and trusted he was so confident I’d love it It didn’t occur to either of us that I might not. This happened again recently, which is about 10 years later, when I heard it playing overhead at an acupuncture clinic. I felt restless and even irritated, unable to zone out, which is unusual for me, during the treatment. I realized that the quality of my irritation was similar to what I’d felt listening to that CD a decade ago.So I asked if it was theta wave music and she said yes. The acupuncturist said that some people, but a vast minority, really dislike the music. She said that the few people who dislike it are not simply neutral, but actively dislike it. And she also said, but most people like it a lot. I’m just wondering what kind of factors might be present that would make a person feel so irritated by this music?
There is a certain point where the promised benefits of brainwave entrainment become more esoteric, and based on internal, subjective experience of oneself.  A few examples would be that listening to brainwave entrainment on a regular basis helps to increase one’s self-awareness, or that it increases mental “sharpness”, or helps to heal emotional trauma and increase your tolerance of stress and negative emotion. 
Since most of us spend our days in the beta state, EquiSync excludes the beta brainwave frequencies, and entrains only those responsible for the most beneficial brainwave states: alpha, theta, and delta waves. The two charts on this page illustrate the basic benefits of each brainwave state as well as the basic targeting of the EquiSync programs 1, 2, & 3.
Our everyday, waking brain used for active intelligence operates at approximately 13 hertz, which is in the range of high alpha or low beta frequencies. People who have certain learning disabilities and problems with attention often have low levels of 13 hertz frequency brainwaves in crucial areas of the brain used for sequencing tasks and doing simple math calculations. This is one concrete example of how brainwaves are associated with thinking and behavior. Each identified brainwave frequency has a different effect on a person’s ability to think, act, and feel.
Known as audio-visual brainwave entrainment, or AVE, this method involves the simultaneous flashing of light and audible, rhythmic tones using specialized equipment such as the Mind Machine. Also known as the Dream Machine or psycho-Walkman, this lightweight headset lets you experience a wide selection of audio and visual entrainment tracks while having complete mobility.

Discovered by Austrian Psychiatrist Hans Berger in 1908, Alpha brainwaves cycle 8 to 13 times per second, a good bit slower than beta brainwaves. While considered a part of a group of brainwaves, the Alpha brainwave has one distinct trait that makes it stand out from its siblings – it appears and disappears while going through our brain. Sometimes alpha waves are present, sometimes they are not. The disappearance of the Alpha brainwave usually occurs when someone is asleep or experiences heightened emotions such as fear or anger. This brainwave only appears whenever a person is awake and relaxed, a one-of-a-kind distinction among other types of brainwaves. 

The release from stress that a dominant alpha brainwave state brings will also stimulate and enhance the immune system. Some people rarely experience alpha brainwaves. These are probably the people you know that are stressed out all the time. Using alpha brainwave entrainment recordings help to relax you and to train your brain to relax when you want it to. It is also a commonly held idea that
Hi Sahil, it’s hard for me to speak about other people’s tracks and videos, as I don’t know how they created them either. If you’re interested in a particular track/video and unsure about it, try asking the creator a question or two about the track, what frequencies were used and for how long, what software they used etc. Then make your own judgement based on how they reply to you. Jason
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