Although not everyone has come across the benefits of binaural beats, it is not a new phenomenon
or a ‘fly by night’ technology that is still being tested on unsuspecting candidates. As with any new
type of therapy there are always people who will remain sceptical, but here is some information on
how binaural beats came into being.
Originally the binaural beat was discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove in 1839. Dove’s findings were
published in the Repertorium der Physik which stirred an interest amongst neurologists and sound
engineers, but the phenomenon of the binaural beat remained a point of curiosity for another 134
In 1973 Gerald Oster published an article entitled “Auditory Beats in the Brain” in the Scientific
American where he identified the research of Dove and gave his own fresh insight and research.
Oster raised the importance of binaural beats as a tool in cognitive and neurological research as he
addressed how animals are able to locate sounds in their environment and their ability to focus on
specific sounds in the noisiest of situations. Oster also recognised that binaural beats have the great
potential to be a useful tool in medical diagnostics, not only in the assessment of auditory problems,
but also in assessing and diagnosing neurological problems such as Parkinson’s disease.
Oster also found that there are differences in the perception of the beats between genders; women
are able to distinguish two separate peaks in their perception of binaural beats which could possibly
relate to their menstrual cycle.
Thomas Warren Campbell a physicist and Dennis Mennerich an electrical engineer were the first to
examine the effects of binaural beats on the conscious mind, with the help of Robert Monroe the
trio reproduced a subjective impression of a 4Hz oscillation which is associated with an out-of- body
experience. Based on their discovery Monroe created the binaural-beat technology self-
development industry called The Monroe Institute which is now a binaural research and education
Melinda Maxfield, PhD, also conducted research to demonstrate that the drumbeats used in the
rituals of various cultures induce the listeners into a trance – like state as the beats are maintained
at a steady rate of 4.5 beats per second which shifts the brain into the Theta state.
Recently binaural beats have been used by neurophysiologists in clinics to treat patients for anxiety
As you can see, binaural beats have been around for centuries, from the chants of the Tibetan
monks, the beats of the Native American to more modern uses of the binaural beats, whether they
have always been referred to as binaural beats or not, the effects that they have on a person’s
spiritual or healing process has always been effective.