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Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones: What are They and What’s the Difference?

by BetterSleep
Nov 23 2023 • 6 min read
Last Updated on Nov 29 2023
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There are two different methods of altering your brainwave patterns: isochronic tones and binaural beats, both of which are a sequence of sounds and beats. These waves can influence your brain’s electrical activity. 

Let’s discuss the differences between these two sound therapies, their use in altering brainwaves, and how you can incorporate these sounds into your everyday sleep routine. 

How Do Isochronic Tones Work?

Isochronic tones are pulsating or vibrating sounds played at the same frequency and spaced out at short intervals, much like the beeping of an alarm. These distinct, intermittent sounds can help you train your brainwaves to match the frequency of the isochronic vibration. 

Researchers believe this change in brainwave frequency can alter the mood and mental state of the listener. For example, if a person is trying to concentrate on a task, a higher isochronic frequency can help them focus better. 

On the other hand, if someone is trying to relax, a lower frequency can help them feel calmer and more at ease. 

Isochronic Tones and Their Use in Therapy

Isochronic tones are trendy in sound therapy because they are easy to use and give good results. They have the ability to alter brainwave patterns and have been used to treat a variety of diseases. 

The relaxing impact of isochronic tones can boost the serotonin and dopamine levels in your body, helping you feel happier and calmer.

What Are Binaural Beats?

Binaural beats are sound perceptions created in the brain when you listen to two different tones at different frequencies simultaneously — one in each ear. Your brain perceives these as a third, new sound that only you can hear.  

For example, if one of the tones you hear is at a 240 Hz frequency and the other is at a 260 Hz frequency, your binaural beat will have a frequency of 20 Hz. 

To hear a binaural beat, both the frequencies in your ear need to be less than 1000 Hz, and the difference between the two tones must be less than 35 Hz for it to become a binaural beat. 

Are Isochronic Tones Just a Different Type of Binaural Beat?

Isochronic tones and binaural beats are not the same. Isochronic tones are tunes played at the same frequency, while binaural beats have two different tones (of varying frequencies), playing at the same time. 

Both stimulate your brain with a steady stream of repeating beats at a set frequency. And when you stimulate your brain with a repeating beat, your dominant brainwaves begin to sync to the same frequency as those of the beats. 

Moreover, while binaural beats have been around longer (they were discovered by a German scientist, back in 1839), isochronic tones have been popularized over the years because they are considered to be the more effective of the two.

What Is Brainwave Entrainment?

Brainwave entrainment is the phenomenon where brainwaves come in sync with the external stimuli being introduced. Different pulsing sounds can entrain or sync the brain to the frequency of that beat. 

There are many ways to use this auditory aid to your advantage. You can, for example, listen to sound frequencies that will stimulate you into a different mood. Moreover, if you listen to music at a low frequency, you can feel more relaxed. 

Brainwave entrainment was discovered by Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens in 1665. It still holds the wonder of many scientists, and its applications in brainwave synchronization are still being studied today.

What Happens During Brainwave Entrainment?

During brainwave entrainment, your brainwaves start syncing with the pulse of the tone you are listening to. Brainwave synchronization with music improves focus and concentration, as well as how easily you can relax. 

Let’s understand how different combinations of tones affect your body: 

1. Isochronic Tones and Delta Waves

Tuning into isochronic frequencies can help increase delta waves during brainwave entrainment. 

Delta waves are low-frequency vibrations, frequently associated with deep relaxation and can even help you retrieve knowledge from a previously forgotten place in your mind. You can develop a stronger sense of self by practicing listening to isochronic sounds. 

Delta waves can also make us less aware of our surroundings, thus helping people who have difficulty sleeping. 

2. Isochronic Tones and Theta Waves

Another useful type is theta waves, which have a frequency range of 4-8 Hz. Isochronic tones stimulate these waves, linked to creativity, instinct, memory, and emotional control. Isochronic tones can aid creative thinking, intuition, memory, and emotional management.

3. Isochronic Tones and Gamma Waves

Gamma waves are another type of brainwave that has been linked to improved cognitive performance and increased awareness. Gamma waves have a frequency range of 30 to 100 Hz.

Isochronic tones can induce gamma waves, the fastest type of brain activity. Because gamma waves are linked to creativity, the stimulation of these waves can help in creative and highly intuitive thinking. 

How to Listen to Binaural Beats to Fall Asleep

According to a recent pilot study, binaural beats can help you fall asleep faster. In fact, the study showed that binaural beats at a frequency of 3Hz can generate delta activity in the brain. 

Binaural beats can thus lengthen stage three sleep, which is essential to feel rested and rejuvenated the following day.

BetterSleep can help you get your daily dose of binaural beats. For every mood, whether you’re completing homework or housework or even trying to relax and go to sleep, we have a playlist for you. 

Choose from our range of theta or delta beats, which are proven to help you sleep better. 

How to Listen to Isochronic Tones for Better Mood and Sleep

One of the best sounds to fall asleep to is isochronic tones. These can help you focus on your studies better and even sleep more soundly.

In fact, a preliminary study shows that isochronic tones were very successful in reducing stress and anxiety levels in the test group.

BetterSleep can help you choose the best isochronic tone playlist to suit your mood. We can help you focus on work and even relax enough to doze off. All our playlists are made keeping in mind your comfort level and your purpose in plugging in. 

Keep Volume at a Comfortable Level

Use a good pair of headphones that do not hurt your ears and have good variations of volume. 

As you start out listening to our playlists, keep the volume at a comfortable level and avoid any potential discomfort. You can increase the volume as you get more comfortable. Start with shorter sessions and increase the duration of the sessions as you start enjoying them. 

Conclusion

Both isochronic and binaural beats are incredible at improving your sleep experience. These soothing sounds can help you sleep easier and even enjoy a full night of uninterrupted rest. 

Hearing isochronic tones can help improve your focus and also help you relax more deeply. BetterSleep has dedicated playlists offering both isochronic tones and binaural beats to support you.

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