The binaural beats were found in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove and earned more significant public attention in the 20th century established on declarations that binaural beats can help generate relaxation, meditation, creativity, and more with preferred mental circumstances. The effect of binaural beats on consciousness was first examined by physicist Thomas Warren Campbell and electrical engineer Dennis Mennerich, who under the direction of Robert Monroe attempted to reproduce the subjective impression of 4 Hz oscillations that they are associated with OOBE (Out of Body Experience) (for more details of Monroe Hemi-Sync binaural beats you can see here).

On the strength of their invention, Monroe created the binaural beats self-development technology industry by forming The Monroe Institute, now a research charity and binaural education organization. When 2 tones of a specific frequency are played through headphones, our brain will be confused and create an “imaginary tone” of its own, which is a 3-dimensional audio hallucination that can be heard only in the listener’s head. The frequencies produced by this phenomenon are known as Binaural Beats

The difference between the two frequencies must be small (less than or equal to 30 Hz) for the effect to occur, otherwise, the two tones will sound separate and the rhythm will not be felt. What’s happening is that the brain isn’t enabled to hear frequencies in each ear very closely, simultaneously, and with such intensity. These sounds don’t exist in nature so the mechanics in our brains haven’t evolved to hear them.

In addition, a part of the brain called the “superior olivary nucleus”, which has the function of controlling aspects of 3-dimensional sound perception, bridges the gap between the frequencies in Binaural Beats with a “3rd note” trying to make sense of it. -normalize this sound into something our brain understands. What is unique and strange is that everyone hears this “3rd tone” differently. People with Parkinson’s disease can’t hear it, women will hear a calming tone during their menstrual cycle.