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.
However, 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. Here we go!
Brainwave Frequency Ranges
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: Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Delta.
Theta: 4Hz to 7.9Hz
Alpha: 8Hz to 13.9Hz
Beta: 14Hz to 30Hz
Delta: 0.1Hz to 3.9Hz
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:
So, 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 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 equivelant 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.
We Review The Best Headphones for Binaural Beats
No, these are not the cheapest headphones on the market, but that’s to be expected. 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 have you covered.
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. 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.
What about earbuds for binaural beats listening?
Actually, 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.
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.
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. 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.