Are Isochronic Tones More Beneficial Than Binaural Beats?

Binaural beats and isochronic tones both use repetitive beats to produce brainwave entertainment. The purpose of them is to reach a desired mental state via meditation as they are used stimulate your brain’s electrical activity.

So, are isochronic tones better? After months of rigorous testing with dozens of MP3 recordings, I will discuss the key differences between the two methods to provide clarity on them.

First, let’s start with Binaural Beats.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats have the instant advantage of being well established and have stood the test of time since being discovered in 1839, albeit only becoming popular in recent years. They have been studied extensively and are extremely popular due to their effectiveness, and have had much of a strong hold on the brainwave entrainment market for years.

Binaural beats use two sine wave tones with each tone being a different wave frequency. When they are listened to through earphones, each ear will hear only one of the tones, the brain then combines the tones to produce an internal pulse equal to the difference between the 2 frequencies. Therefore, the pulse that is created is not actually on the recording, but instead created by the brain. To further aid meditation, relaxing music and with soft melodies are often over dubbed to make the listening experience more enjoyable.

Cheap, accessible and proven to work in numerous Binaural Beats Research studies, binaural beats are typically the first port of call for a newcomer to stumble upon.

Best Bits

Time tested – they've been around for a long time and they've been proven to be powerful and very effective in many studies
Large catalogue – users have a huge number of options to choose from
Delta brainwave – they can effectively work on the delta brainwave band whereas isochronic tones are unable to
Discrete – promotes a very comfortable experience due to the discretion of the beats
Affordable – they are generally cheaper than isochronic tones

What's not so good?

Earphones always required – while not a huge problem, not the most convenient for some situations
Low presence/detectability – while this may be a benefit for some, many people prefer to be able to hear the beats/tones in their ear
Some users have reported to have light headaches after use (I've never come across someone who has experienced this, but it's worth mentioning)

Isochronic Tones

Isochronic tones are an audio method used to stimulate the brain quickly and effectively. Very simply it's just a tone that's being turned on and off in quick succession, in an evenly spaced manner to affect the brain. Along with binaural beats, they are a method of brainwave entrainment through a neurological process that affects the brain through audio to help a variety of problems.

The concept of isochronic tones came about in 1999, much later than binaural beats and thus have a lot less research and feedback into them than binaural beats. While this may, understandably, create some apprehension for those unfamiliar to them, feedback and research has been positive and shown Isochronic tones to be beneficial.

The range of MP3s available has exploded over the past few years, and the cost is only slightly more than for the equivalent binaural beats recording. In short, isochronic tones appear to build on the existing successes of binaural beats, and turn the intensity up a notch ;)

Best Bits

Fast results – the benefits will take effect quickly
No headphones required – they can be played though your speakers, therefore you don't need to wear headphones/earphones. However, some people may feel they are more effective when using headphones.
Enhancing IQ and concentration – people tend to prefer Isochronic Tones for aiding IQ and concentration

What's not so good?

Price – Isochronic tones tend to be about a tad more expensive than binaural beats
Distinctive sound – the on/off nature of them creates an unsteady sound which, for those that can hear them, can be off-putting jolting sound
New technology – as they are relatively new, Isochronic tones don't have as much research to support them at the moment
Less variety – again, due to them being quite new, the variety of Isochronic Tones is less than that of binaural beats, however the catalogue is ever-growing


So there you have it, the pros and cons of binaural beats and isochronic tones. Is either technology more beneficial? Unfortunately, there's no hard or fast answer, it will ultimately come down to personal preference. For some they are both just as effective, for others one has a clear advantage. They are both used to give similar benefits, including but not limited to meditation, creativity, stress / anxiety relief, wellbeing and sleep.

Personally, I've used both to great effect. I generally prefer using isochronic tones whilst performing tasks, and binaural beats when solely meditating. It's worth giving them both a try to see which works best for you.

For Isochronic Tones, I recommend the system over at

And for the best of Binaural Beats, I recommend checking out my Top Binaural Beats Review.

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