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Do Binaural Beats actually get you High?

Updated on August 2, 2012

There has been a lot of talk about Binaural Beats lately, especially from concerned parents and confused police officials, about whether or not these digital audio drugs or "doses" are actually getting kids high. Well, this one is kind of on the fence. Binaural Beats in no way alter the chemical balance the users body, so technically, your not high. BUT, and this is a big but, its not to say that the user will not feel drug-life effects. When done properly, meaning with good headphones, the binaural beats will entrain your brainwaves. Entrainment, or brainwave synchronization is a practice that has been around for more than two centuries. Check out my hubpage about the history of brainwave synchronization here.

I was never one to really beleive in any of the alternative medicine stuff, but as an audio geek, and a total stoner, I was intrigued when I first heard about dosing. So I looked into it, and believe it or not there's really some science behind this.

Here's how it works, our brainwaves operate at frequencies below the range of human hearing, which is 20Hz - 20,000Hz, or 20kHz. In order to address these super low or "Subsonic" frequencies with conventional speakers, we must get creative. Here's where the binaural beats come in. Binaural literally means "of two ears". When a pure "sine wave" or pure note is played in the left hear, while simultaneously a sine wave of almost exact frequency is played in the left ear, your brain will mix the two and create an inner beating effect. This beat is not coming out of the headphones, it is literally being created by your brain.

This happens because your brain and ears work together like a 2-channel DJ mixer. With your mind being the center channel. Now lets say a tone of 1000Hz is heard in your left ear while a tone of 1500Hz is heard in the right. You would hear both tones separately and your brain would create a 500Hz tone in the center channel, well into our audible range and affecting no brainwaves. Your brain takes the 1000Hz and subtracts it from the 1500Hz to give you the 500Hz tone.

Now if we want to get these subsonic frequencies we have to use two extremely close tones, for example 300Hz and 304Hz. When these are heard binaurally, it will creating a 4Hz beat. This is when entrainment, or brainwave synchronization occurs. Ones brainwaves are coerced to match up with the frequency of the binaural beat, resulting in the desired effect. For more on the specific effects of binaural beats, check out my other hubpage here.

This effect can be achieved not only aurally but visually as well. We all know that certain light patterns can induce seizures in some people. And when aural and visual entrainment are combined, one can achieve intense effects, look into "The Dream Machine" for more on that. Entrainment can really produce strong effects and you are warned by these sites not to drive or operate heavy machinery while dosing.

Are you looking to get some high-quality, original Binaural Beats or Isochronic Tones? VitalMastering.com provides services in custom relaxation music composition as well as Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones. Check out their site for more info.

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