Being heavily interested in areas of fringe science and technology, I am always intrigued and fascinated by any claims of technology affecting biology, or the other way around. It goes without saying that I am enthralled with all of the new brain-controlled games coming out in the toy market, like the new Mindflex games where you control a floating ball with your mind.
I am also intrigued by the other way around – devices and apps that have the ability to affect your brain. Jackson seems to be equally as intrigued as I. In 2009 he wrote a couple of cool articles covering just such apps, like his list of apps that help you sleep, relax or concentrate. His list of 9 iPhone apps that help you sleep were along the same lines as well. This week, I was complaining at work about being tired and not getting enough sleep, and one of my colleagues mentioned that I might want to consider trying binaural beats.
Improving Your Life With Binaural Beats
“Binaural what?” you ask.
That’s right, binaural beats – sounds of varying frequencies that, when played in each ear, supposedly produces a sort of “resonant frequency” in the center of the brain that can actually induce a specific mental state. The evidence for this interesting brain artifact comes from published research at the MIT Press and Scientific American., the University of California, and discussed in publications like the
If you want to try this phenomenon for yourself and you have an Android, you can. The goal with the apps I’m going to review in this article is to play those frequencies long enough to induce your brain toward that desired mental state.
Binaural Beats Therapy
If you’re ready to try this out, I highly suggest you first download my favorite app, Binaural Beats Therapy. This app consists of 7 preset frequency configurations that will play a carefully modulated tone in each ear, in order to produce the desired mental state that you choose in the main menu.
The display screen while the tone is playing is fairly boring – just flashing dots on the screen or the entire screen may flash different colors.
The audio itself is pretty high quality, and with this app there doesn’t seem to be any lag at all, even for audio that lasts about 2 hours.
Brainwave Tuner Lite
A similar app is Brainwave Tuner Lite, which has only three selections to choose from – one for each major “state of mind”. That includes “sleep and healing”, “meditation and relaxation” and “Focus and Learning”.
It took me a while to choose between using this one or the previous app the majority of the time that I was writing this article. I like the constant tone of Binaural Beats Therapy – Brainwave Tuner fades in and out, which I don’t particularly like. However, it does have a more creative screen while the sound is playing, which I do like.
One of the things that my colleague described to me is an iPhone app he uses to run through an entire program of frequencies. That’s really what I want to do, so I continued hunting for just such an app.
I found such an app in Binality. Like the previous two binaural beat apps, Binality offers a decent list of target mental states that you may want to pursue. These include concentration, lucid dreaming and meditation and more. Although, I’m not so sure about the “out of body experience” option…
What I really like about this app is the display while the tone is playing. It shows you the entire programmed frequency range as the program works its way through it.
You can jump around if you’d like by choosing a spot on the control bar, but I hear that you get the best results if you allow the entire program from start to finish.
Another interesting binaural beats app is. It offers far fewer options as far as preset frequency tones – the menu only lists four at the moment – but the app is much more flexible because it allows you to alter each frequency as you see fit.
The tone generation screen allows you to turn off or on each base and beat frequency settings if you want to.
Best of all, you can create your own custom binaural beats from scratch if you want – and if you really know what you’re doing.
One-Use Binaural Beat Apps
There are two other apps that I should mention briefly. These are intended to be used for one particular purpose – as very targeted therapy. The first app is called Confidence Now. Be forewarned, when you first launch the app, you’ll need to download multiple large files, so try to do it while on Wi-Fi.
Confidence now offers a very long session created by certified hypnotherapist David Ridgeway, which takes you through relaxation, hypnotic induction, and the main session where Ridgeway makes hypnotic suggestions to improve your confidence, with a binaural beat in the background.
The last app is one that claims it can help people that suffer from depression, called. This is a very simple app that just plays one preset setup of tones which the app creators claim can eventually alleviate symptoms of depression.
As to its effectiveness, I can’t really say. The comments area for the app has about half of the users saying it worked and half saying it did zilch.
So why not give binaural therapy a shot, and see if you notice any impact in your daily life. If you’re always tired, groggy or distracted, maybe one of these apps could give you the mental boost that you need. If you do give any apps a try, let us know how it works out. And if you know of any other cool Android apps similar to these, please share them in the comments section below.
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