With regard to listening without headphones specifically, you might find it irritating if you are someone who suffers from motion sickness, depending on how the track is created. If you were listening to binaural beats, they really need headphones to work properly. If you are in a room and closer to one speaker you may not even hear binaural beats properly, and if sitting off centre in the room generally, that may have unsettled you if you have motion sickness as the tones try to form a beat in your head. If it was just a standard isochronic tones theta track that shouldn’t be irritating if you have motion sickness.
In fact, there is more to answering this question than meets the eye. As someone who’s also been skeptical enough to do the research, I am more than happy to explore the issue in great depth. The important thing to address here is what have you been told that Brainwave Entrainment would do?  Depending on whose site you’ve landed on you may have been promised different things.  The promised benefits of this type of product are a long list, and more things are still being added to it.  You may have been told that brainwave entrainment would help you meditate deeper, and rocket launch your spiritual evolution from doing so.  You may have been told that it would help your brain release positive neuro chemicals and anti-aging hormones that would improve your health and help you feel more positive emotions, overcoming anxiety, and you also may have been told that listening to brainwave entrainment on a regular basis would help your brain evolve, building a higher threshold to mental and emotional input, growing neural pathways, and synchronising the two hemispheres of the brain.
Brainwave Mind Voyages 24 CD Set: Brainwave Meditation Programs, Hemispheric Synchronization, and Brainwave Entrainment Technology (24 BMV CDs: Lucid Dreaming, Astral Trance, Alpha Brainwaves, Theta Brainwaves, Delta Brainwaves, Tones, Astral Vibrations, Remote Viewing, Beta Brainwaves, Lucid Dream Cycle, Lucid Dreams Hypnosis, Guided Dream Incubation, The Whales CD, Rainstorm, The Waters CD, Nature Sounds, Heartbeat Meditation CD, The Om Meditation, Ganzfeld Effect/ White Noise, Breathing Silent Mindfulness, Breathwork Yoga Yogic Breathing Techniques, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Schumann Resonance, Sacred Healing Frequencies Solfeggio Healing Tones)
Different states of mind are associated with specific brainwave frequencies that would be inaudible if played directly. These frequencies can be induced in the brain indirectly by playing two different audible tones into each ear, which after being processed by the brain, are perceived as an inaudible beat matching the target brainwave frequency. As you listen, your own brainwaves fall into step with this inaudible beat, and after a few minutes synchronize with the target brainwave frequency. Brain Wave's 35 programs layer these binaural sequences into multi-stage sessions that have helped thousands of people focus and concentrate, feel positive and motivated, and sleep more soundly.

Brainwave entrainment is clearly NOT an effective standalone treatment for mental illness, but it may be an effective adjunct treatment in certain individuals. It should also be mentioned that when using brainwave entrainment, you may want to have a specific purpose in mind. If your goal is to relax, yet you’re using a protocol that is stimulating, you may falsely conclude that it doesn’t work even though you’re using the wrong protocol.

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.
A study by Tina Huang, PhD, and Christine Charyton, published in the September 2008 issue of the journal, Alternative Therapies examined the results of twenty previous studies measuring the effectiveness of brainwave entrainment for improvements in cognitive dysfunction and deficits, stress reduction, pain management, migraine and headache control, pre-menstrual syndrome, and behavioral difficulties, and all showed significant improvement in symptoms using entrainment techniques.
The Delta waves range from 1-3 Hz; these frequencies can assist in enhancing deep sleep. They also play a big role in boosting the immune system to facilitate natural body healing. The Theta waves have a frequency that ranges from 4-7 Hz. In turn, this brain state can enhance deep relaxation and is known to assist individuals who have poor memory. They are the best frequencies to use if you want to focus or meditate.

The technology transmits voice messages on close to ultrasonic frequencies that we can not consciously hear, directly into the subconscious mind, with no chance for the conscious mind to filter the information, making it powerful enough for subliminal control. This technology is now available for self improvement purposes with categories such as:  Self confidence, motivation, focus, stress relief, sleep and memory improvement. You can also get your very own custom subliminals to program yourself with anything you want. In 1996, Edward Tilton, President of Silent Sounds claimed that such technology had been used successfully even in military operations to make enemy troops lose morale and surrender. Now we use it for self improvement!

There are many sources of binaural beats on the internet and YouTube to check-out and experiment with yourself – I recommend using headphones for optimal effectiveness. However, like most things, not all binaural beats are created equally (especially if they are free on the internet) and therefore not as effective or enjoyable to listen to. This is why I HIGHLY recommend the binaural beats created by master audio technician, music producer and meditation teacher, Cory Allen – which can be found here:
My voice is relaxing and relaxation is pleasurable. These mental directives soothingly lull your conscious mind into ending its internal dialogue. It is the conscious mind that does ALL of the worrying, nagging, second-guessing and basically all of the incessant mental chatter and constant inner dialogue that can keep us trapped by our own view of reality, whether these views are good for us or not.
Controlled or pre/post studies of the effects of BWE using auditory or visual stimulation were eligible for inclusion, provided pulses of light or tone were delivered at frequencies hypothesised to have a beneficial effect or in line with a protocol addressing clinical outcomes. Studies were required to report clinical or psychological outcomes (measured using standard methods or as deemed appropriate by peer review) and to report statistical analysis. Studies of outcomes such as electroencephalogram (EEG) response or neurotransmitter levels were not eligible. Case studies were excluded.
3) Theta waves – these waves exist between 4 and 7 Hz. This state is commonly referred to as the dream or “twilight” state. Theta is associated with learning, memory, REM sleep and dreaming. Memory development is also enhanced while in this state. When in a theta brainwave state, memory is improved (especially long-term memory), and access to unconscious material, insights and creative ideas is increased.
All I want is the chance to prove to you that everything I’ve said in this letter is absolutely real and true and that Holosync®, and the program I’ve created around it, truly will change your life. With our No-Questions-Asked One-Year Money-Back Guarantee, there’s absolutely no risk to try Holosync® and find out for yourself just how dramatically it will improve your life.

Theta brainwaves are next highest in frequency above delta and are especially important for many people using brainwave entrainment and meditation because theta waves are at a threshold, forming a link between wakefulness and the subconscious mind. Theta waves bridge between our awake self and the creative and insightful understandings from below our conscious awareness, and while they are not common in awake adults, they are normative for children under 13 years old. 


The activity of neurons generate electric currents; and the synchronous action of neural ensembles in the cerebral cortex, comprising large numbers of neurons, produce macroscopic oscillations. These phenomena can be monitored and graphically documented by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The electroencephalographic representations of those oscillations are typically denoted by the term 'brainwaves' in common parlance.[4][5]
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