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Isochronic Tones - What Are They & What Can They Do For You?

Updated on May 9, 2011

Did you know that isochronic tones may be able to help you sleep better, improve your memory, be more creative, or reduce anxiety? Or if your interests are a little more esoteric, that they may also help you meditate more effectively, have out of body experiences and lucid dreams, and even develop psychic powers?

If you’re not already familiar with isochronic tones, read on, because this easy to use - but as yet little known - technology is well worth trying out.

What Are Isochronic Tones?

Isochronic tones are a form of sound-based brainwave entrainment technology. They basically consist of rapidly repeating pulses of sound of specific frequencies. Listening to a recording that includes isochronic tones may help you to access various mental states and abilities more easily.

Let’s take a look at how brainwave entrainment works in more detail.

How Brainwave Entrainment Works

Brainwave entrainment, which is also sometimes called brainwave synchronization, refers to the tendency of the brain to match (or entrain to) a periodically repeating stimulus, such as light or sound pulses. If this stimulus has a frequency that is within the brain’s natural frequency range, the brain will start to produce brainwaves of a similar frequency – this phenomenon is known as the ‘frequency following response’.

Brainwaves are measured using machines such as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Like other waveforms, their frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz), or cycles per second. They are classified into frequency bands, each of which is associated with certain states of consciousness. The most commonly recognised frequency bands are:

Delta brainwaves ( < 4Hz)

These low frequency brain waves predominate during deep sleep. They’re also linked with very deep trance states, bodily regeneration and certain altered states of consciousness.

Theta brainwaves (4 – 8Hz)

Theta waves are produced during dreaming sleep. They may also predominate during waking consciousness if a person is meditating deeply or experiencing self-hypnosis. They’re associated with some altered states and metaphysical abilities, as well as with insight and inspiration, perhaps because the subconscious mind may be accessed more easily during the theta state.

Alpha brainwaves (8 – 12 Hz)

Alpha waves are produced when we’re relaxed and unfocused, as well as when the eyes are closed. They’re linked with enhanced creativity and general feelings of well-being.

Beta brainwaves (> 13Hz)

Beta brainwaves are associated with alert waking consciousness, and predominate when we’re focused on tasks that require our full attention.

Note that the divisions between these frequency bands aren’t universally agreed upon, so there may be some overlap.

Using Brainwave Synchronization In Daily Life

Brainwave entrainment technology is useful, because it may help you to access specific mental states more easily. For example, if you want to enter a fairly deep trance state at will, this might normally take years of practice to achieve. But by listening to a brainwave entrainment recording that includes sounds that correspond to theta frequency band – which is linked with this kind of experience -  you should be able to go into a trance more easily, since the brain will tend to match the frequency of the sounds.

The same applies to other states, making brainwave entrainment a great tool for manipulating your state of consciousness at will, without the need to spend years practising mind control techniques. 

Listening to brain wave entrainment recordings is a convenient, low cost and very effective way to make use of the technology. There are three main methods of sound-based brainwave entrainment: binaural beats, monaural beats and isochronic tones.

Isochronic Tones Vs Binaural Beats Vs Monaural Beats

All three of these popular technologies are effective, although they work slightly differently.

With binaural beats, two sine wave tones of different frequencies are played via headphones (with one tone entering each ear). The brain processes the two tones, and produces a third tone that is equal to the frequency difference between them. For example, if you listen to tones with frequencies of 200Hz and 210Hz, the brain will produce a tone of 10Hz. It then entrains to this self-produced 10Hz sound. By manipulating the frequencies of the initial tones, you can control the frequency of the tone the brain produces and entrains to.

With monaural beats, the two sine wave tones are combined before reaching the ear, so the combined tone is ‘ready made’ so to speak, and doesn’t need to be produced by the brain. Many people find that monaural beats are more effective at entrainment than binaural beats, perhaps because the brain doesn’t need to do the additional work of producing the desired tone itself. Unlike binaural beats, you don’t have to use headphones when listening to monaural beats.

Isochronic tones are different again, in that they consist of a single tone that is turned on and off at rapid intervals. Unlike monaural beats, there is an interval of complete silence between each pulse. This clearly distinct nature of isochronic tones seems to make them especially effective at rapidly entraining the brain. Like monaural beats, isochronic tones don’t require the use of headphones.

Are Isochronic Tones The Best Brainwave Entrainment Method?

It is generally agreed by those who are experienced with using brainwave entrainment that isochronic tones are the most effective brainwave entrainment method for most purposes.

However, some people believe that isochronic tones (and monaural beats) don’t work so well for delta brainwave entrainment. This may be because the tones must remain audible to be effective (unlike binaural beats), and at low frequencies they become somewhat harsher, which some people find irritating and distracting. Such people prefer to use binaural beats for very low frequency entrainment instead.

So, we can say that isochronic tones are recommended for entraining to the theta, alpha and beta frequencies, but you may not get such good results with delta work. However, it’s always best to experiment for yourself to see what works for you – you may find that they work fine at low frequencies, or you may have a general preference for monaural or binaural beats – you won’t know unless you try!

Possible Benefits Of Using Isochronic Tones

Isochronic tones aren’t yet as well known or widely used as binaural beats (which are a much older technology), but they’re becoming more and more popular. Here are some of the purposes that people are using isochronic tones for:

  • Memory improvement
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Better sleep
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Development of extra-sensory abilities, such as telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance etc
  • Increasing energy
  • Astral projection/out of body experience
  • Lucid dreaming
  • Achieving Christ Consciousness
  • Improvement of their meditation or self-hypnosis sessions
  • Chakra balancing and tuning
  • Past life regression
  • Help with overcoming addictions
  • Endorphin release
  • Increasing motivation

…and many more!

Chances are, if there’s something you want to achieve or experience in your life, it’s linked with a particular mental state. And since different mental states correspond to the production of brainwaves of certain frequencies, it follows that you may be able to access these states at will by using recordings that incorporate sounds relating to these frequencies. So it’s certainly worth giving brainwave entrainment a try, if you want to make things as easy as possible for yourself.

Do Isochronic Tones Always Work?

The honest answer is no – not everyone gets the results they want from isochronic tone recordings (or other brainwave entrainment methods) every time. There are various reasons why this may be: some people seem to be naturally resistant to brainwave entrainment; some don’t practice regularly and give up too soon; some use the wrong type of entrainment technology for them; some use poor quality recordings, etc.

Remember that while brainwave entrainment is a well-studied and scientifically valid technique, not all of the applications for which it has been used are scientifically verified (for example, it’s not conclusively proven that listening to sounds of xxHz will stimulate your telepathic powers, and so on). Does this mean that the claims made by those who are promoting brainwave entrainment recordings for specific purposes are bogus? Not necessaily (though some of them may be) – but while many people have found such recordings to work well, they’re not guaranteed to work for everyone. The use of brainwave entrainment for developing paranormal abilities and the like is still a leading edge and constantly developing endeavour – in a sense, we’re all explorers of relatively new terrain, and it’s vital to be open minded and willing to try things out for yourself.

Personally, I’ve had great results with brainwave entrainment (all three methods), but in most cases they didn’t happen right away – I had to listen to the recordings regularly, and gradually tapped into their potential, as I got used to the process and allowed them to work for me. Isochronic tones and other brain wave synchronisation methods can be very powerful, but they’re not a magic bullet, and you do have to do your bit – be willing to focus and practice, and don’t just expect to be able to listen to a recording and get great results if you’re letting your mind wander all over the place and not bothering to listen regularly.

Finding The Best Isochronic Tones

So even though isochronic tones aren’t 100% guaranteed (and nothing is really, even more mainstream methods), they’re well worth trying, since so many people have had huge success with them, and their potential uses are so life changing and exciting.

The best thing you can do for yourself to begin with is to use high quality isochronic recordings – there’s no point wasting your time with junky recordings that just don’t work well. I also like to experiment with making my own isochronic tracks using NeuroProgrammer 3, which is an easy to use piece of software that also comes with lots of pre-loaded tracks.


Isochronic tones and other forms of brainwave entrainment are generally considered very safe, but their use may cause adverse reactions in some people, including pregnant women, people with epilepsy and other seizure-related disorders and people with other physical and mental illnesses. You use them at your own risk, and should consult your medical practitioner if you have any concerns.


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    • catsimmons profile image

      Catherine Simmons 

      7 years ago from Mission BC Canada

      Very interesting hub...I'm going to bookmark it for later....

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting hub to read and I am intrigued to learn more of connection between the differing frequencies and outward energy releases of the conscousness.


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