Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Headphones Review

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones Review

Today I review the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Headphones, which are headphones that are most often used by audio engineers, pro DJ’s, and high end audio lovers due to their particular design which lends to such work, due to their large-aperature drivers that come with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils and rare earth magnets.  Fancy stuff!  But it does have a purpose as well.

Of course, if you just love listening to music recreationally, gaming, or you listen to audiophile types of things re-mastered studio albums, or you like to put on binaural beats that are made for long sessions of studying or meditation, then these are other applications these headphones were made to enhance.  More on that in a bit. 

Basically, these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x’s are purported to be an all-around tour de force when it comes to listening to music or any audio at all really.  Seemed quite promising to me going in!

Album Production 

Personally, reviewing these headphones at this juncture couldn’t be better for me.  Why?  Because it timed perfectly with some recording work I was doing at my studio and I needed a new pair of headphones, so having these available for mixing was perfect, or at least it seemed so a few weeks ago when I got started with what ended up being over 100 hours of mixing.  Here’s a tune I mixed with these headphones recently.

I was looking forward to using these, partly because I expected these headphones to be made for the job, as they’re designed to convey audio from a source to your ears without any manipulation, but also because I would be doing this work for hours and I heard these were comfortable.  So that’s what I’m going to get into first here – are they comfortable?

Comfort, Professional, Portable

Feature Pick

Audio-Technica Ath-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

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Honestly, I was willing to sacrifice comfort for being able to mix properly if it came to that, but luckily these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x’s really lived up to their “professional” label, as I was able to hide out in my studio for hours on end, and I wasn’t leaving with a headache due to any discomfort from the headphones. 

I think if you’re going to call something “professional”, you should be able to do your actual profession using the product and have no complaints.  In fact, it should be the opposite – you actually WANT to use the product for that job, because that’s what it was designed for.  This may sound redundant, but I’ve used many products that claim to be professional grade, and they seem about as good or worse than products that don’t make such claims. 

Luckily, these headphones aren’t just called “professional” for nothing.  In all the literature I’ve read on these headphones, they insist that they’re designed for the pros.  Personally, I was able to do up to 4 hours of work at a time wearing these, and I probably could have gone longer, but when it comes to mixing, I find it best to do work in 3-4 hour stints, so that’s when I take the headphones off regardless.  That said, wearing these headphones for 3-4 hours of a time was “like buttah”, if you get that old SNL reference.  If you don’t have time to Google that, it means these are smooth headphones in that they’re very comfortable to wear.

The padding around the ears is super soft and pillow-y, which makes these excellent for the purpose of wearing for long periods, but it does nothing to interfere with the sound whatsoever.  This, in combination with the headband, which doesn’t apply too much pressure on your head, is the perfect recipe for wearing these for longer sessions if you prefer. 

Whether it’s studying, meditating, mixing, listening to podcasts, listening to full albums – I don’t think you’re going to have a problem with these at all.  In addition, the ear cups swivel in whichever direction you please, so that makes them customizable to any shape of head.  I personally have a huge head, so that works for me!  It’s also good for doing single ear mixing, when you’re trying to balance something.  My friend did notice that they put some pressure on her glasses which caused a tiny bit of strain, but she ended up taking the glasses off after a while, which I would also recommend, if you’re just listening.  If you’re reading something at the same time, I can see how this might be a problem.

Also, I should mention that at 953 g, these are super light headphones that aren’t going to drag you down to the ground as you carry them around in your bag.  Which, by the way, these headphones have a cool way of folding up so they’re great for popping into your bag or backpack.

I certainly wouldn’t wear these to the gym or anything, but I’d be tempted to just because of the comfort and the audio quality.  That said, no one wears these types of headphones to the gym that I’ve ever seen.  No one wants to look like a dork at the gym wearing some big honking headphones, and these aren’t exactly hard to notice!  I mean, these headphones aren’t that huge, but I just wouldn’t wear them to the gym, is all.  I have the bluetooth adapter for these, which makes them a lot easier to wear outside, but I still don’t really like wearing them at the gym, or running with these on.  For that I still prefer ear buds.

Audio Justice

One thing I’ve read about these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x’s is that they sound good on just about any device, and I’d say that’s pretty much true.  But that doesn’t mean that all devices will sound great, since certain devices just aren’t that great to begin with.  So, if you’re plugging these into a Macbook vs. an iPhone, you will get a different result from the same song.  Or a gaming PC, or what-have-you.  It depends on the sound quality of the device as well, ie. sound card.  So, if you’re running your headphones into an adapter, that runs into a pre-amp, that runs into an audio interface, being used on a computer you got out of a dumpster, keep that in mind and don’t necessarily judge the headphones if the audio you’re hearing isn’t up to snuff. 

The main thing about these headphones is that you’re getting the god’s honest truth about what you’re listening to regardless of the device you’re using or the platform.  Certain sound formats will be exposed for the bad audio they are, and certain recordings will show themselves to be inferior, if that’s how they are recorded.  This can be jarring to some folks who are used to hearing their recordings all artifically enhanced by speakers and headphones they’ve used before. 

Budget Vs Expensive Headphones

There is a raging debate about these headphones being sort of mid-range in terms of price, in that you can get cheaper headphones by the same brand like the M40x’s, which are the relatives of the M50x, of course.  You can also go into a higher price range if you are an audiophile with very specific requirements for listening.  That said, these are great because they offer you the comfort (extra padding for this model) as well as the audio clarity and honesty, but for a price that is not too high, if you’re basically investing in a pair of headphones that will last you a long time and excel at multiple applications. 

Bass

One big reason I wanted to try out these headphones is to see how hard it was to mix bass with them.  The problem with some headphones, not to mention monitors, is that bass is often over emphasized.  For instance, on my car stereo, bass is always given a “boost” just because they assume I want it boosted.  I have adjust the bass manually to get it in the right spot.  Same with a lot of headphones I’ve owned – they also give the bass a boost.  These Audio-Technica ATH-M50x’s are meant to give you the bass as it is – that is, completely accurate. 

Your average music listener probably isn’t going to be too finicky about the mix of the music they’re hearing, as most people I know just listen to MP3’s, meaning they don’t really care about sound quality all that much to begin with.  That said, that’s not actually true.  Just because you listen to MP3’s doesn’t mean you don’t want quality audio – it probably just means that you don’t know that MP3’s aren’t designed to be high quality, but that is a different discussion.  In any case, the base, as conveyed through these headphones, is very much in it’s own place in the mix, and doesn’t bleed into other frequency ranges.  This makes bass, in particular, very easy to mix with these headphones.  Dig it!

Binaural Beats

As I mentioned earlier, one application that these headphones are great for is listening to binaural beats.  If you’ve never heard of this, we have a great article on this website here you can read about this:

http://youtubemusicsucks.com/brainwave-entrainment-binaural-beats-and-affecting-the-mind-through-music/

Anyway, these ATH-M50’s are actually great for this.  If you want to enhance your meditation practice, or get some serious studying done while listening to the right “waves”, I highly recommend these particular headphones for doing so.

Sound Isolation

athm50x folding headphones

This is a big thing with these headphones, as the advertising emphasizes that these are excellent headphones for sound isolation, owing it to the circumaural design contours.  This is very important for audio mixing, but also for studying, and especially meditating.  Basically what this means is, you can be in a loud environment, and the audio coming through your headphones is all that you can hear.  I agree that these headphones are excellent for this, as I’ve been in loud environments and I can still get things done while wearing these.  It’s actually amazing what sound does NOT get in while you’re wearing these headphones, as people have basically tried to talk to me while I’m wearing them and I can’t hear them at all (thank god). 

On the flip side, people also can’t hear what I’m listening to unless I crank the volume up a bit.  So, if I listen to something with these headphones at a moderate volume, someone near me can’t tell what I’m listening to or really how loud it is.  This is also handy, if you are at a library or in an environment where they want you to be quiet.  The sound will leak out eventually, but not unless you turn it up quite a bit – about 50% or more on various devices I’ve tried.

Conclusion

Yes, these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are all they’re cracked up to be, and more.  For me, they’re great for mixing or doing whatever else that might involve listening, such as meditation.  Sure, I could go for something more pricy that has a few more features, but I think when you include the bluetooth adaptor into this whole package, there’s very little you can’t do with these headphones.  It’s also nice that they offer different colours, and the removable cord is a nice touch as well. I think you’ll love ’em!

Beta Brainwaves 101

What Are Beta Brainwaves?

Beta brainwaves are created when we are doing something that needs active thinking. For example, students in a school will create many of these brainwaves, if they are concentrated.

On the other hand, people watching a movie are relaxed and will not create as much beta brain waves. This type of waves ranges between 13 Hz to 40 Hz.

Benefits of Beta brainwaves

Beta brainwaves are great for motivation as they can keep you focused and aware. If you are studying, I recommend you listen to audio tracks with beta brainwaves.

Beta brainwaves will improve your linguistic skills. Studies have shown that beta brainwaves can be great for children who are late when it comes to speaking. It is also good for people who are learning a new language, reading or writing.

Since beta waves keep you motivated, it is natural that they will keep you concentrated for long periods. Definitely listen to beta brainwaves when you are trying to focus on a task.

Beta brainwaves can be effective in treating ADD. Attention deficit disorder or ADD occurs in children that do not produce enough beta brainwaves or do not produce them at all.

Exposing them to this type of brainwaves will help cure them from this illness or at least improve their condition.

Here is a sample of beta binaural beats that might be of some assistance to you.

How to Increase the creation Beta waves

You can either listen to beta binaural beats music, such as the example given above, or dive in some activities that help increase their creation.

Those activities include reading, writing, playing games (chess games, poker, video games…) or debating subjects with people.

Beta Brainwaves and Meditation

Beta waves have a link to your conscious mind. When you are meditating, it is a great idea to make the experience more “conscious” by discussing it, writing it, etc.

While meditating, people experience many states of mind (ecstasy, contemplation, inspiration, calmness, etc.)

However, it can be easy to forget all of them. The reason is, right after meditation, we are still unconscious. We produce more alpha waves.

Talking about what we felt when we were mediating can help us produce more beta waves and make the meditation more conscious.

6 Theta Binaural Beats Benefits

Theta binaural beats are sound waves with a frequency resonating between 4 and 8 hertz. These waves are widely associated with deep relaxation states, meditation, deep sleep, calmness and high intuition. Today, we are presenting the benefits of a regular use of Theta binaural beats.

1. Better Sleep

Theta waves are instrumental in the falling asleep part of the sleep cycle. Encouraging production of theta waves through brainwave entrainment will contribute positively to sleep.

Theta brain waves are present during light sleep and in the REM dream state. Binaural beats with theta waves are the best to help us fall asleep quickly.

2. Stress Relief

Theta waves can be very powerful when it comes to stress relief. When the brain is in a state of high theta wave production, we are feeling calm and very relaxed, not stressed at all.

If you are feeling stressed or had a bad day, put some theta binaural beats music, lay down and close your eyes. You will feel serene in a few minutes.

3. Easier Meditation Practice

Listening to theta binaural beats will help your brain produce lower frequency theta waves.

This will make you more prone to entering a meditative state. Meditation provides many benefits like easing the mind, the body, and clarifying our thoughts.

It can help you silence your negative ideas, or at least help you stop judging them.

Theta binaural beats will guide your mind towards more positive thoughts and will make it easier to reach a “trance meditative state”.

Here is a little tip: Every time a negative idea pops out while you meditate, try concentrating on the music instead and follow each note with your mind.

Try picturing every note as a color or as a form and visualize the beautiful “mind paintings” you can create. If this is too hard for you at first, concentrate on your breathing and the music only.

4. Unleash your Creativity

When we relax, close our eyes, and listen to theta binaural beats, we focus on our mind and our inner world instead of the outer world and our surroundings. We can be creative and imaginative easily.

Creative people such as writers, musicians or painters have high operating levels of theta waves when they are engaged in creation. Nevertheless, these people can suffer the “writer’s block” and find it harder to come up with new stories, ideas or paintings.

Listening to theta binaural beats makes it easier to unleash creativity and bypass those problems.

5. Increased Mental Clarity

When we are stressed, our mind tends to go in all directions. Ideas are everywhere and we cannot seem to concentrate on anything. Listening to theta brain waves can enable us to ease our minds and access mental clarity. We are able to focus on every idea easily

This will enable us to take better decisions and make realistic conclusions.

6. Lucid Dreams

A lucid dream is a dream state where you have control of all your actions and have the freedom to choose the details of your dream. Theta binaural beats can help you enter a deeply introspective state, where you can have lucid dreams.

Lucid dreaming is not an out of body experience like astral projection; where you go out of your body and watch yourself from a certain distance. Lucid dreams are dreams where you will be in control. You can learn and practice lucid dreaming using theta binaural beats.

Here is a list of tracks with theta waves in them to help you meditate, have lucid dreams, relax or fall asleep.

All About Alpha Brainwaves, Or How To Reach Your “Zen Zone”

What are Alpha brainwaves?

Alpha waves vibrate from 8 to 13 Hz. These brainwaves are wonderful for memorizing, learning, staying focused or coming up with new ideas. However, they are also associated with being calm and relaxed or contemplating.

Many refer to the Alpha state as being “The Zen Zone”. It really depends on which Alpha frequency you are listening to.

Alpha Binaural Beats will help you learn information quickly

Binaural beats that help you achieve an alpha state will help you learn and process information easily. It will enable you to study or work in a more efficient way.

It is also useful to listen to alpha binaural beats when you are too distracted to concentrate fully on the present moment.

Tracks to help you achieve the Alpha state

Jim McElwee, a binaural beats expert said that naturally achieving the Alpha state is not a simple thing to do, unless the person knows how to do that consciously.

The very act of raising our minds to an Alpha state can take years of practice to really achieve.

To achieve the Alpha state, binaural beats recording can be very helpful. Here a couple recordings that you should listen to.

I always suggest this one for beginners and people who are cynical when it comes to binaural beats. This track here has helped me focus and prepare for my finals when I was still in college.

It is nice, has a great music with it and will keep you protected from unwanted outside noises. If you have exams or a big project to work on, you know what to do!

This one is just a pure alpha waves session. I suggest you start listening to this one once you are comfortable enough with the alpha binaural beats recording that have a background music in them.

Also, at first, only listen to 20 minutes or 25 minutes of this recording. A whole hour can be overwhelming.

Problems you might face to achieve the Alpha state

Reaching the Alpha state needs some practice. However, even when you reach it, it is difficult to maintain. This could be caused by a lack of sleep or stress that make us unable to concentrate for extended periods.

In addition, there are few times when our brainwaves are completely balanced with enough of Alpha activity to help us learn, but we soon become either too highly-strung, somewhere in the Beta zone, or too sleepy somewhere down in the Theta zone.

Nevertheless, the Alpha brain state is also associated with stress-resistance, as it gives our brain the ability to recuperate faster from fatigue and damage resulting from stress. Overall, the Alpha state or the “Zen zone” is just a great, calm and beautiful place to be.

Delta Brainwaves – Discussing The Benefits and Advantages

Brainwaves can have various effects on the brain and the state of mind. Delta waves are known to be “relaxing” and can induce the best sleep possible. Here are their benefits and advantages.

What are Delta Waves?

Delta Waves are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation, sleep, and peace of mind. They were discovered in the early 1900s by the researcher W. Grey Walter.

Delta waves operate at the lowest and slowest frequency range: from zero to 4Hz. They make our sleep regenerative and can make us able to wake up fresh and energetic after a long night.

It is also mandatory for the healing process. The human body releases many hormones while it is asleep. Those hormones are responsible of functions like digestion or breathing. Delta waves refer to the unconscious mind.

Here is a video with Delta waves, listen to them with earplugs or headphone during night. It will help you relax and sleep.

Read our article: How to choose the best headphones for listening to binaural beats

Benefits of Delta Waves

Regular functions of the body: Delta Waves control the main activities of the body. They include heartbeat, digestion, liver, proper kidney functioning, breathing, etc. These types of waves are what help keep us alive and well. 

Deep sleep and healing: The main benefit of Delta Waves is allowing the person to get a good night of sleep, which allows the body to heal itself and recharge for the following day.

Without it, we would wake up feeling tired and sleepy instead of rejuvenated and energetic. Sometimes, Delta Waves may even help slow down the aging process.

How so? Through the production of hormones like melatonin and HEA, which affect the skin‘s health, functions of the body, and overall well-being. Delta waves help prevent sickness and help in the healing process.

Increased empathy and intuition: Delta waves help us accept and understand other people’s problems or emotions, relate to their issues, and try to come up with ways to help them.

Delta waves are also responsible for intuition. The scientific definition of intuition is “the body’s natural response to certain events or activities”.

Intuition allows us to tap into the body’s natural abilities and the mind’s expectations. It can allow us to take better decisions. That is what happens when people say, “trust your gut”.

Those are the main benefits of Delta Waves. However, having an excess of this type of waves can have its disadvantages as well. Having too much Delta Waves make people lose focus.

Remember, Delta Waves are associated with feeling relaxed or asleep. Having too much may cause the person to have problems retaining information or concentrating on the task that he or she is doing.

This is commonly associated with some learning disabilities or ADHD in adults and kids.

How To Pick The Best Headphones For Binaural Beats

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of listening to binaural beats for the purposes of enhanced meditation, improving creativity, focus, as well as productivity. 

Musical compositions featuring these types of healing frequencies can be extremely helpful to those who have trouble dealing with stress on a regular basis, or simply want to enhance their ability to do certain things.

Brainwave Entrainment

Brainwave entrainment is another phrase you may have heard in regards to binaural beats.

This is the method in which you can go about stimulating your brain so that it enters a specific state, using light, sound, or an electromagnetic field.

relaxation

Brainwave entrainment can be used to induce a wide range of states, including but not limited to relaxation, trance, enhanced focus, or sleep induction. 

It’s one thing to start listening to binaural beats music, it’s another thing to receive the full benefits of doing this type of meditative listening. 

What really stands in your way is the right set of headphones that are configured to suit such listening.  In other words, not just any set of headphones will do. 

That’s why, in this article, we want to talk about how to choose the perfect headphones for listening to binaural beats.

But first, we should mention that there are different types of frequency ranges that apply to binaural beats.  This is important so you know what you’re trying to stimulate and why.

Brainwave Frequency Ranges – The 5 Types

Before we get into what questions you should be asking yourself when purchasing the ideal headphones for binaural beats listening, let’s take a look at the frequency ranges of each type of brainwave, of which there are four: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. 

  • Delta: 0.1Hz to 3.9Hz
  • Theta: 4Hz to 7.9Hz
  • Alpha: 8Hz to 13.9Hz
  • Beta: 14Hz to 31.9Hz
  • Gamma: 32Hz to 100Hz


To find out more about what these waves can do to benefit you and how they might be properly stimulated, please read the following article:

https://youtubemusicsucks.com/brainwave-entrainment-binaural-beats-and-affecting-the-mind-through-music/

How To Listen To Binaural Beats – A Quick Guide

These are the four frequency ranges that we want to be in tune with, at various times during our meditation practice, and so it is very important that the quality of the binaural tones coming in through our headphones is actually going to be able to do what is intended to do. 

That means, the headphones need to be able to convey to our brains the sounds that will put us in the state we need to be in.  Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to be able to achieve this.

Question #1 – Is the sound quality “true”?

This term might be a bit confusing to non-audiophiles. 

By “true” sound quality, we mean that the sound you’re hearing is not overly manipulated by the headphones to sound any particular way other than the way that the music was intended. 

Many headphones are “optimized” for bass bumps, or to bring out certain characteristics in your music that the manufacturers think you might enjoy. 

So, a more lively sound, perhaps. 

What you want from a good pair of binaural headphones that can provide the full effect of binaural beats is very little interference between the music and your ears.  In other words, an “honest” sound. 

Since binaural beats are all about certain frequencies, if the headphones you are using attempt to mess with certain frequency ranges, then it will defeat the purpose of listening to the beats in the first place. 

The way to find these sets of headphones is to shop for higher end models. 

It doesn’t have to be the most expensive headphones on the market, but it should preferably be high enough quality that the phone manufacturers are after authentic audio quality. 

If you’re not sure, you should ask if the headphones you want have this feature, because it’s not always built-in.

Factor #2 – Are they comfy?

Because getting into the zone with binaural beats can take up 10, 20, 30 or even 60 minutes of dedicated listening in one sitting, you sure want to select a pair of headphones that feels as comfortable as possible. 

This is where the padding comes into play, and other design factors like how the headphones attach to your head. 

What do you do?  Simply try them on.  You will know when comparing several pairs of different headphones which ones are “the ones” just by putting on pair on, then trying another pair on. 

Just like shoes, clothes, or anything else that you’re going to be wearing.  The headphones you choose should be the equivalent of that pair of jeans you just LOVE wearing, as opposed to that pair that you own but you kind of don’t really like wearing. 

A great pair of headphones for the purpose of listening to binaural beats might almost feel like you’re not even wearing headphones at all (for some people), or maybe you prefer them to just feel a bit more snug on your head so that they don’t easily fall off. 

It is up to you how exactly you like your headphones to feel, but having them be comfortable for you specifically is all that matters.  Then you can really focus on the beats and get the full effect.

Question #3 – What brand is it?

So you can see by this point that you want a pair of headphones that gives you honest audio that are designed with comfort in mind.  So is it just that simple? 

Pretty much, but you should be aware of what brand it is, because certain brands are simply more well known for producing headphones that are ideal for listening to binaural beats moreso than others. 

These brands include Shure, Audio-Technica, Bose, Sony, AKG, Sennheiser, among others. 

Below you will find our article that should really point you in the right direction, as we have narrowed it down to 4 pairs of headphones which we consider to be the best all-around models to be used for listening to binaural beats. 

What Are the Benefits of Binaural Beats?

There are various reasons you might want to listen to binaural beats, and different frequency ranges are associated with unique benefits. 

For example, the theta range (3-8 Hz) has been shown to reduce anxiety. The beta range can boost your mood and reduce your feelings of depression. It can also decrease levels of tension and fatigue. 

Binaural beats can also help to improve focus and attention span. Gamma frequencies and beta frequencies have both been shown to improve sustained attention and focus. This is even the case for those with ADD or ADHD, disorders specifically surrounding the areas of mental focus. 

The theta range has also been demonstrated to improve your sleep quality, as well as your ability to reach deeper states of meditation during the meditation process. 

sleeping headphones

You can use binaural beats to improve your brain’s flexibility, a benefit to multi-tasking. Gamma frequencies show improvements in this area.

Binaural beats can even reduce your physical pain level, including pain levels of chronic pain sufferers, and has been used to relax pre-operative medical patients, as well as reduce their physical pain after operations or medical procedures. 

Our last example is the improvement of memory, both short-term and long-term, and can also improve your working memory, which is your ability to retain and recall several pieces of information at once. 

As you can see, there are many benefits to the world of binaural beats, providing you use the proper headphones, and follow directions when it comes to selecting the proper frequencies. 

You will also need to listen for the instructed period of time, uninterrupted, and may be required to listen every day for weeks or months on end. The results though may be life-changing!

We Review The Best Headphones for Binaural Beats

Here are some of the best headphones for binaural beats, according to our editors.

No, these are not the cheapest headphones on the market, but that’s to be expected when you’re doing something with this much refinement built into it.

Whether you want to listen to high quality audio files because these things matter to you, or you need a good pair of headphones for meditative purposes, this article will surely have you covered.

Feature Picks

Sennheiser Hd 202 Ii Professional Headphones (Black)

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Bose Soundlink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones Ii Black

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Sennheiser Hd 380 Pro Headphones

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Shure Se215-K Sound Isolating Earphones With Single Dynamic Microdriver

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Audio Technica Ath-M50X Headphones + Slappa Case

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Here are even more headphones that are great for all around listening, but can also be adapted to brainwave entrainment.

Bose SoundLink Headphones

The Bose SoundLink are also wireless headphones. They will let you go from a Bluetooth device to another using ear cup button controls. These headphones have 15 hours of battery life, so they’re pretty handy when it comes to being portable and allowing you to perform brainwave entrainment on the go, or even in nature.

Pros:

  • Impact-resistant and will not break or be damaged easily or quickly
  • Streamlined Microphone Feature

Cons:

  • Keypad function diminishes as the headphones lose power

Sennheiser HD 202-II

These headphones extremely comfortable to wear, even during long listening sessions, thanks to their featherweight design. Therefore, they are the ideal partner of binaural beats lovers.

The HD 202-II is equipped with a good insulation against ambient noise. It also offers a rich and precise reproduction with a solid bass. Robust while being very light, it can be used on mobile sources and on mini-chains.

The Pros:

  • Hi-Fi stereo headphones, closed and supra aural;
  • Ideal for mobile sources and mini home stereo systems;
  • Good attenuation of ambient noise;
  • The auricles can be detached from the hoop;
  • Membranes made of lightweight material, with a “turbine” effect boss in the extreme bass;
  • High performance and powerful bass, for modern musical styles with marked rhythms;
  • Clings to the belt: A retractable device adjusts the length of the cable for mobile use;
  • Robust construction, very flexible hoop;
  • OFC copper cable, high conductivity, length 3 meters;
  • The ear cushions can be replaced.

The Cons:

  • The hoop looks fragile;
  • Both headphones are wired;
  • Heats the ears a little (however, they are still comfortable to wear)

Read our full review of the Sennheiser HD 202 II Pro Headphones


iPod/iPhone Earbuds

You might not be sure that the earbuds can work for this purpose, but some of them can. For example, the ones used with iPods and iPhones give a great sound quality. They will work pretty well with binaural beats, especially the ones that come with the new iPhone 7 or 8.

You should keep in mind that one of the things to take into consideration when investing in a headphone or earbud is comfortability. Therefore, if you find headphones more comfortable, do not use earbuds for binaural beats music.


Shure SE-425V Earbuds

If you want to go better than standard iPhone/iPod phones but still want earbuds, treat yourself to some Shure, like the superb Sure SE-425V.  These earbuds, when compared to the last pair, are in a whole other class. 

That said, they don’t come with an Apple iPhone.  Hence the price.  Still, if you are looking at going for high caliber ear buds, these come highly recommended by us.

Pros:

  • Different sizes of earplugs, you can choose the one that fits you
  • Detachable, can be used wireless

Cons:

  • Very pricy (estimated at $269)

AKG Pro Audio K240 MK 2 Studio Headphones

If you have more money to invest in your pair of headphones but you dislike the idea of having a fully enclosed sound – maybe you have kids to watch or you use your headphones when you are walking around the city or simply do not like being completely cut off, then choose the AKG Pro Audio K240 MK 2. 

Fans of these headphones tend to think that the price is right, and also these are extremely comfortable, which makes them perfect for meditation or studying for longer periods of time.

Pros:

  • Detachable earplugs
  • Long cable (3m)
  • 15 – 25000 Hz

Cons:

  • Unnatural treble

AKG Y50

Unlike some brands that focus almost only on the design, our German friends are known for the quality of their products. It is rare not to see the logo of the AKG brand in the studio or on stage.

Although the construction may initially seem puny, they are actually quite robust. A band with discrete patterns surrounds each headset; the hinges are thin, but strong.

The Y50 has can be taken out to festivals or for travels, it is robust enough. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the paint, which will be damaged at great speed.

Therefore, to preserve its exemplary finish, think of putting it systematically back into the protective cover provided.

The Pros:

  • They are comfortable to wear;
  • The design is nice;
  • Solid headphones;
  • Impeccable finish;
  • They procure a good insulation;
  • Good stereo width and power.

The Cons:

  • Incomplete remote control;
  • The painting is fragile;
  • Unbalanced curve;
  • Lack of treble, precision and depth.

Sony Premium Noise Canceling Headphones

This awesome wireless set of headphones can let you listen to binaural beats music freely, without carrying your laptop, phone or tablet with you all the time. It is also possible to connect it to your device using the provided cable.

The 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz range means a great audio quality for all brainwave types.  Yes, these are one of the more higher priced headphones on this list, but you definitely get what you pay for with these, which is to say a superior model than most by far! 

If you want to get headphones mainly for binaural beats, then these headphones will be like a gift

Pros:

  • Touch-sensor controls will allow you to adjust your listening experience from the headphones themselves
  • Quick Attention Mode button to lower the volume temporarily
  • You can adapt the sound control and modify the noise-canceling feature according to the ambient noise levels

Cons:

  • These headphones’ price is rather high
  • The Touch keypad can be too sensitive and this will lead to accidental modifications

Beyerdynamic Amiron

Feature Pick

Beyerdynamic Amiron Home High-End Stereo Headphone

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The integration of wireless connection to the Beyerdynamic Amiron brings many new features.

Firstly, the communication via Bluetooth 4.2 with many compatible codecs (aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, aptX, AAC and SBC), an internal conversion in 48 kHz/ 24 bits and a touch control panel present on the right headset.

Although it is wireless, the Amiron Wireless can be used wired via its connector and its 3.5 mm mini-jack cable.

The cable also has a control button and a microphone.

You can charge the headset via the USB cable C provided, and the autonomy is announced at more than 30 hours, which is rather generous.

The Pros:

  • The helmet is light enough;
  • The materials used do not provide a feeling of warmth or perspiration, even on long sessions;
  • Accuracy of highs, balancing mediums and the bass (neither too much nor too little);

The Cons:

  • The semi-rigid shell;
  • The cable jack and the headphones are in plastic;
  • Open Headset (use them in a calm environment);
  • The sound level may be too low and the bandwidth more narrow with a tablet.

PWOW Wired Earphones

Feature Pick

In Ear Headphones, Pwow Wired Earphones Iphone

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Earbuds can also be perfect to listen to binaural beats. They are easily transportable in a handbag or in your pocket, unlike headphones. The PWOW Wired earphones are extremely comfortable to wear and give a great sound.

The Pros

  • Anti-winding line;
  • The design is great;
  • Very comfortable to wear;
  • A control button for hands-free use;
  • Buttons to switch songs and to stop and play the music.
  • Volume control buttons

The Cons

  • 3.5mm Jack Ideal for electronic devices with 3.5 mm interface, although it can work fine with some other interfaces.

Closed Vs. Open Back Headphones

Closed back headphones are the way to go for binaural listening, because their purpose is to have little to no ambient noise leaking in from the outside, while open back headphones do let in some noise. 

With closed back headphones, the exterior noise is blocked out, including certain frequency ranges that will interfere with your listening experience with the binaural beats. 

Many audio professionals such as studio producers or DJs use this type of headphones, as they give a much better concentration and block the intrusion of ambient noise distractions.

This isn’t to say that open back headphones are never the way to go, but, in general, we believe they are not the way to go for these purposes. 

We want the frequencies to come out of the headphones and be delivered to your brain fully so that you can receive the maximum benefit of the binaural beats, so it’s only logical that we go with closed back headphones.

Open Back Option 1 (Circumaural) Vs. Open Back Option 2 (Supra-aural)

What’s the difference between these two sub-types of headphones? 

Circumaural (over ear) headphones are large round headphones that fit comfortably around your ears, while supra-aural (on ear) headphones are usually smaller, less comfortable to wear, and do not seal in the sound, allowing for more external noise. 

As such, you can imagine which ones we’re going to recommend here, right? 

Yes, the circumaural type of open back headphone is the desired choice, because a) it’s more comfortable and b) it blocks out more external noise. 

When it comes to binaural beats and concentration, they are really the only way to go.

Minimal Enhancement

There are some good headphones out there which tend to modify or improve the sound of what your listening to, based on research which has been done in relation to what your average listener wants to hear.

That is great when it comes to normal music. However, for binaural beats, the least they are interfered with, the better. That is why you should pick a headphone with minimal enhancement.

In Ear Binaural Headphones

When we talk about in-ear binaural headphones, we are simply referring to earbuds, or headphones that go inside of the ear instead of around the entire ear.

Much like any other style of headphone, not all in-ear headphones are binaural – but some are! A few examples of the best earbuds to be used for binaural beats include the Roland CS-10EM, the MM-BSM-8, or the MS-TFB-2. 

Certain earbuds will do the job just fine, but you need to be wary, as they are less desirable overall for this purpose we are discussing than the open back headphone options we have been discussing. 

The reason being, your average earbuds tend to be cheaper on the whole, and simply not up to the task of conveying the audio needed to get into the meditative state.  Other earbuds don’t stay in your ear properly, and so that’s not good either. 

binaural earbuds

That said, not all ear buds are created equal.  If you are willing to spend a little more, you can get yourself a great pair of earbuds that will do the trick when it comes to binaural beats, such as a model we really like by Shure, the SE-425V. 

One advantage of earbuds is that they’re much better for if you are on the move, and say you want to jog to the park and do your meditation under a tree.  Then earbuds like these might be your preferred model of headphones to purchase.

Is it Safe to Listen to Binaural Beats?

Having said all of this, we must address safety.  Once in a while, we’ve heard the question, “Is it safe to listen to binaural beats?”

The answer is usually yes, however some people may fall into higher risk categories, where there could be certain dangers they should be aware of when considering brain entrainment through binaural beats. 

A seizure is an example of brain entrainment with obviously a negative and undesired effect on the body.

People with epilepsy are at higher risk of seizures and should be cautious when considering binaural beats, which may be therapeutic or beneficial to most, but not to everyone or all of the time.  

relaxing music

Other people who are at higher risk of sustaining negative results would be pregnant women, as certain frequencies could induce early labour; children, whose brains are not yet fully developed and who are at higher risk of seizure from certain brain entrainments; those with heart conditions and pacemakers, as binaural beats can affect your heart beat; people with schizophrenia or certain psychological disorders. 

Even if binaural beats do not pose a threat to you personally, it is inadvisable to operate a vehicle or machinery while listening. 

These are important precautions surrounding the use of binaural beats, however for most people the effects are entirely positive and not dangerous. 

Conclusion

Wrapping up, if you are willing to spend say around $50 for a pair of headphones, this is the price range that you will probably want to be spending to get something of quality that should suit the purpose.  Of course, that is probably the bare minimum as these types of headphones can be audiophile-level and mega expensive.

At the same time, make sure to consider what we’ve mentioned above when it comes to getting the right headphones.  Are they comfortable for you?  Is the sound honest? 

Do the headphones transmit the correct frequencies in order that we can hear the right frequencies? 

When in doubt, ask questions, and be sure to get exactly what you want so that you can enjoy the most benefits from listening to binaural beats. 

How To Deepen Your Meditation Using Binaural Beats

It can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. However, meditation is not always easy. It needs time and practice.

Binaural beats can help achieve deeper and more tranquil states of meditation in a shorter amount of time, and in this article we will explain more about how this can be done.

How do binaural beats and meditation work together?

Once you enter the deep meditative state, the electrical impulses of your brain slow down. This allows you to have clearer thoughts. Using binaural beats can help move the electrical pulses in your brain to a calmer, lower frequency.

When your brain hears two different tones in each ear (that is why we call them binaural), it will make up the difference with an imagined tone.

This means that if you hear 300hz in your right ear and 320hz in the left one, your brain will make up an imaginary 20hz.

That imaginary beat is the binaural beat. That is how your brain will enter a meditative state more quickly using binaural beats.

Always Wear Headphones

What I explained earlier shows that speakers will simply not work. Binaural beats only work if one ear receives a beat and the other receives a different one.

Therefore, use the best headphones for this purpose or invest in new ones to take your meditation practice to a higher level.

Use the right brainwaves for meditation

There are many types of brainwaves. Some of them will make you sleepy, others will make you energetic but only Alpha brainwaves can help you enhance your meditation practice. To know more about the other types of brainwaves, read this article.

Therefore, only listen to videos or soundtracks that have alpha brainwaves on them while you meditate.

Here are some of the best headphones for binaural beats, according to our editors.

Choose binaural beats mixed with soothing meditation music

Listening to binaural beats tracks alone without a nice calming background music for meditation can be quite boring. Every one of us has their own taste in music. If we are listening to calm music that we enjoy, it is easier for the brainwaves to do their magic in reducing our brainwave activity.

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Bose Soundlink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones Ii Black

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Sennheiser Hd 380 Pro Headphones

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Shure Se215-K Sound Isolating Earphones With Single Dynamic Microdriver

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Audio Technica Ath-M50X Headphones + Slappa Case

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If you like classical music, native American flutes, or the sound of a sitar, then just type the chosen keyword with binaural beats next to it on google and you will find your happiness.

This is an example of a perfect combination of soothing Native American flute and binaural beats, ideal for meditation.

There is only one way to improve your meditation: Practice

When you are just starting out, it may be difficult to stay in a state of deep concentration for a long time with binaural beats music playing in your ears while meditating. However, as soon as you give it some time, it will be easier and enjoyable to do.

Try listening to different sets and different artists. Also, try meditating in different places. Your room can be fine for most of the time, but you should also try to practice in nature, like in a garden, a park or a forest. However, remember to stay safe!

Brainwave Entrainment, Binaural Beats, And Affecting The Mind Through Music

Neurons in our brain communicate using electricity, and the pulsing of this activity is called a brainwave.  For the record, there are four types of brainwaves: alpha, beta, delta, and theta.

When you are calm, meditating or thinking about past memories, you are in an alpha state. When you are active, focused on a task, you are in a beta state.

If you are daydreaming, you open up to theta brainwaves and deep sleep states are using delta waves.  Theta waves are related to learning, memory function, and our intuition.

It is true that only one brainwave state will be dominant at a time. However, the other three will still be in the mix, constantly, waiting for their time to shine.

What is Brainwave Entrainment?

Brainwaves are used to entrain the human brain in order to induce different states like motivation, focus, pain relief, sleep, etc.

This science is called binaural beats or brainwave entrainment, and it is found in various types of music.

When listening for particular waves in music, many listeners will opt for a music piece with the calmest brainwaves to meditate and relax their body and their mind. 

Of course, a listener can just as easily opt for the opposite – something which is more stimulating and gets the creativity flowing and improves cognitive focus.

Scientists working in this field were aiming to combine music and science to discover a way to ease pain, anxiety and depression in suffering patients.

History of Binaural Beats

Heinrich Wilhem Dove discovered binaural beats in the year 1839. However, it was Doctor Gerald Oster brought that made them famous.

He first experimented with tunes that were rather unpleasant to listen to. Then, more recently, a new way to listen to brainwaves was discovered.

It is the combination of data from the brain’s electrical impulses with brain-flow measurements, used in certain musical pieces. This way, brainwaves are more subtle and easier to listen to.

Visit Dr. Oster’s website for more info


Samples of Binaural Music

There are many samples of binaural music available online that you can listen to for free. You can find them on social media sites like YouTube, Soundcloud, or where ever music gets uploaded by the terabyte.

You just need to type “binaural beats music” or “brainwaves music” for your keywords, and you’ll likely come across them. Here are a few that you might like, with the brainwaves that they use.

Theta

This music video uses theta brainwaves, which can induce a deep relaxed state, meditation, daydreaming, imagination or creativity release.

Delta

This next tune uses Delta brainwaves. They are widely used to induce a deep REM sleep state and a maximum relaxation. Those brainwaves can make your mind calm and ready to surrender to sleep.

Many people suffering from insomnia, nightmares or a lack of sleep listen to them to find peace.

Alpha

In the next music video, you will discover a little bit about Alpha brainwaves. They can induce the perfect state to think about past memories, reading, writing or doing a task that necessitates calmness and concentration.

It is best used for tasks that require you to be either seated or laying on a bed but still using your mind power.

Beta

Finally, Beta brainwaves are used for tasks that are more demanding and that require you to be standing, moving or training. You can listen to them if you are working on a project that needs your full concentration.

It can also be used if you are doing yoga, stretching, dancing or other sports. In other words, a task that needs your body and mind to be energetic and fully awake.

Other Benefits

When we hear brainwaves, it is often associated with sound. This is partially true. However, brainwaves are a way to stimulate one’s mind in order to access a given state by using pulsing sounds, music with pulsing sounds, light, or an electromagnetic field.

These various types of brainwave entrainment all share one goal: aligning the brain’s frequency to the frequency of the brainwave and inducing a different state of mind.

What Brainwaves Cannot Do

There is a lot of marketing and talking around brainwaves. Many people explain them scientifically and give their real capabilities. Nevertheless, there are a few misleading people who lie about their power.

Brainwave entrainment cannot increase one’s IQ. It is also unable to promote weight loss (you would need sport, a diet or a surgery for this, any other way is just a lie). Brainwaves are also unable to induce high states that are similar to those induced by hard drugs.

However, some people report that they felt a similar high to the marijuana high. These waves will not make you creative if you are not. They can simply make you more focused and will make your creativity flow more easily.

Here are some of the best headphones for binaural beats, according to our editors.

A Few Warnings

Used in moderation, brainwaves can be helpful. However, do not use them if you are prone to seizures, especially those induced by lights or lights and sounds combined. In addition, it is not a good idea to overdo them. Side effects will come after overuse. Three minute to one hour sessions are enough for a day.

Feature Picks

Sennheiser Hd 202 Ii Professional Headphones (Black)

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Bose Soundlink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones Ii Black

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Sennheiser Hd 380 Pro Headphones

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Shure Se215-K Sound Isolating Earphones With Single Dynamic Microdriver

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Audio Technica Ath-M50X Headphones + Slappa Case

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In case you experience any convulsions, overwhelming subconscious images, headaches, an increased heartbeat, stop immediately.

What’s The Best Music for Studying, Relaxing, Meditating, and Improving Concentration? – Chat with Najwa Taoussi

Najwa Taoussi Workonlinetips.com

Today I sat down with Najwa Taoussi, who is a full time freelance digital marketer, content writer, motivational blogger, and the woman behind workonlinetips.com, which is a website that talks about all of these things and more!

Najwa is a big fan of different kinds of music to help keep her on track, and so I was very interested to speak to her to get some insight on how she likes to keep focused when it comes to work, study, and other areas that require concentration, and what music this involves. 

Keeping on track has always been a bit of a struggle for me when it comes to working online, but I also have the same problems with school and just chilling out sometimes. 

Najwa, although she does love to work and stay focused on the task at hand, she also likes to cut loose sometimes and she uses music for these purposes as well – dancing, meditating, or just relaxing in general. 

In addition to simply loving music, Najwa is very creative and inquisitive, and has done some looking into the way music affects a person psychologically.  She is always interested in helping others, and I figured maybe she could help me boost my productivity and ability to focus and relax.  

Here’s our chat!

Hi Najwa, how are you today?

NT: Hello David! I’m good thank you.

I understand you’re a big fan of listening to music.

NT: Yes! Totally. I have been a music lover since my early childhood. It’s partly because my parents are music lovers themselves.

Ah, cool! So what kinds of music do you listen to?

NT: I listen to oldies, psychedelic rock, some indie and I like electronic music too.

A wide variety! When do you generally listen to music?

NT: When I write (for my blog or clients), when I cook, when I’m in the car and when I’m with friends who like listening to music too.

So pretty much all the time, or quite often. Is there a time when you’d rather not listen to music?

NT: When I’m asleep, or too tired and need silence to rest. Also, if I am too concentrated on a subject, sometimes music will not help me. Especially if it has lyrics.

Yeah, it can be fairly stimulating. Do you ever listen to music to relax, or do you prefer to get stimulated by it?

NT: Well, both actually. I can listen to mediational music when I want to relax and electronic music if I want to dance for example…

Is it actual meditation music, or just relaxing music?  For instance, when you meditate, do you listen to music that was made for that purpose or just chill music?

NT: When I meditate it’s always music that was made for meditation like Tibetan soft music or Native American flutes and such.

Ah, let’s stay with the topic of meditation music for a moment. Would you say you meditate a lot? Or regularly, at least?

NT: I would say regularly. I try to meditate every night before I sleep, some nights it’s not possible if I’m too tired. But I try to do it at least 5 times a week.

Mmhm, I see. So does this always involve some kind of music? Or do you ever do it without music?

NT: When I meditate, I like to have the full experience : Meditation music, incense and candles.

Wow.. pretty extravagant. You really do it up!

NT: I know, right?

With this music you use, where do you get it, and do you have a large collection of it?

NT: I use mostly Soundcloud and sometimes Youtube. So, I don’t download these tunes but I listen to them online.

Oh ok you stream them.

NT: Yes.

Do you have any favourites or do you look for something different every time?

NT: I usually look for downtempo psychill music, or music with “shamanic” sounds. I also like Tibetan or Indian ambients. Those are the keywords I type.

Ah, so there aren’t exactly artists that you look for, it’s more like the style?

NT:  Yes.

Do you ever use this psychill music to study or just to meditate? Because it seems like it would be good music to study to as well.

NT: No, just to meditate. It’s too relaxing to study.  When I want to study or work, I listen to those brainwave tracks. I don’t know if you have heard about them.  I was skeptical at first, but they actually work for me. It’s like the only music that “lets me” study and stay concentrated on what I am doing.

No can’t say as I have. What’s a brainwave track?

NT: It’s not actual music with instruments or voice, but instead it’s waves that are captured by the brain. Listening to sounds with the same frequency as the Alpha brain waves (7.5 – 12.5 Hz) has been found to stimulate the emission of those brain waves by the brain. Neuroscientists have found a correlation between an increase of alpha brain waves and the ability to reduce increase concentration and creative thinking. Sometimes it doesn’t work for some people, but for me, it sure does.

What does it sound like?

NT: Well, the low frequency waves are kind of like a deeply penetrating drum beat. While the higher frequency ones are more like a high pitched flute.  The sounds are pretty repetitive and usually very calm. Sometimes when I am really concentrated, I don’t even listen to them anymore, I “forget” it’s there. Especially if I do it for a long time.

Are these types of tracks on Soundcloud as well or do you purchase them, or what?

NT: You can find them on Soundcloud and Youtube for free. You just need to type brainwaves to work or concentration brainwaves, things like that.

And this actually makes you feel more productive as you listen?

NT: I find that It keeps me concentrated one one task for a long time. It’s either that or it is a very strong placebo. I found about them when I was preparing for my master’s thesis. I used to search for “music for focus or concentration” or “music to study” and ended up finding those brainwaves. I read some articles about them and to be honest, I didn’t think it was serious. But then I tried them and it worked for me.

I can totally see why. Yeah, I find a lot of music too erratic or stimulating to write to. And reading? forget it. I need silence. But it sounds like you have a lot of different applications for music.

NT: Yes, music can be therapeuthic, relaxing, it can help you focus, it can help you be motivated (in a gym for example) and it can make you dance. Music can be used for pretty much everything we do, it just needs to ‘fit’ the task. You can’t listen to death metal if you want to read a book or meditate. But then again, maybe some people do it? We never know.

Did you just stumble onto the brainwave music? Is that what it’s called, or brainwave songs? Oh you said.. you just searched it in google.  But no one told you about it specifically, like your sensei?

NT: Well I was searching for music to study and came across it. No one told me about it.

There are no “artists” that make this music? When you listen to it, who does it say the artist is? Brainwave Inc?  It sounds like a lot of the stuff you listen to for meditation or studying or working is just sort of generic stuff.. no famous artists then I take it?

NT: I don’t really know any artists on that type. It’s just waves that peple put on a youtube video or on soundcloud. Sometimes they add some music to it to make it sound better.

Maybe you can link me to some of the stuff we’ve been talking about? Such as the brainwave stuff, the meditation stuff you use. I can toss it into the article.

NT: Here’s a good one that includes some alpha waves.

Nice, I will have to check these out. In regards to meditation and music, would you have any tips for beginners?

NT: For meditation, if you are a beginner, just don’t worry about doing it wrong. Most people stop meditating when they just started because it doesn’t feel like they are doing it the right way. Just focus on your breath and the music. Another important thing to know is that, people think when we meditate, our head should be empty, with no thoughts and that’s what meditation makes. Whereas, you will always have thoughts going on and the key is : don’t judge your thoughts. Don’t go like : I shouldn’t be thinking this right now it’s ruining my meditation session. Rather, let your mind imagine and think and don’t judge it. If you are feeling too overwhelmed, just focus again on your breathing or the music.

So I guess songs like Ventolin by Aphex Twin wouldn’t be a good idea to start off with.

NT:  I like Aphex Twin actually. But I wouldn’t listen to his music while meditating, but if I did, I’d go for a more downtempo and relaxed tune like this…

Yes, that’s a lot better.  Anyway, thank you Najwa for having this chat.  I learned a lot, and hopefully others did too.

NT: Sure, no problem!  

Visit Najwa’s blog, workonlinetips.com for more great info!

Also check out her Youtube channel – she plays music too!