Isochronic tones are the new kid on the block where brain entrainment is concerned.
They differ to binaural beats in that the tones turn on and off rapidly – with the speed depending on the desired brain frequency – unlike BBs where a two sine waves combine at different frequencies to make a hypnotic tone.
Another key difference is that you don't require headphones to listen to isochronic tones, although in my experience the effects are enhanced with headphones; my mind tends to wander from the recording without headphones.
Headphones are, of course, essential for listening to binaural beats.
Isochronic tones excite the thalamus and cause the brain to duplicate the frequency of the tones, changing thought patterns and training the brain to the desired frequency.
Unlike binaural beats, isochronic tones must be audible to be effective, and this means that any layering of pleasant sounds may reduce the effects of brain entrainment.
For this reason, I think binaural beats are far better suited to mediation, and isochronic tones better suited to straight brain entrainment for enhacing IQ, etc.
This is actually an opinion shared by many professionals, who agree that binaural beats work better in the lower frequencies (meditation) and isochronic tones work better in the higher frequencies (memory training).
The Unexplainable Store states, “Following on from the above point, some people also find that isochronic tones can be problematic at very low frequencies, and as such aren’t really suitable for delta entrainment.” Most people agree that binaural beats provide a far more pleasant listening experience.
Isochronic tones are also relatively new, and therefore there isn't much research to back up any claims of their effectiveness. Binaural beats on the other hand are tried and tested and highly effective. There isn't a great range of isochronic recordings available either.
Isochronic Tones Summary
- Rapid pulsating intermittent tones
- Tones must be audible to be effective, and therefore layering the tones with music, pleasant sounds, etc, will reduce effectiveness
- Recordings do not require headphones (although headphones are preferred)
- Effective at synchronizing the brain to a specific frequency
- Latest brainwave technology
- Effective in the higher frequency (delta) zones
- Ideal for IQ and memory training
- Not as effective as binaural beats in the lower frequency (alpha & theta) zones
- Tones can be a struggle for beginners to get used to
My Experience With Isochronic Tones
I don't use isochronic tones for meditation, but I did use them in university to enhance my study power. I used the Genius Brain Power program, which is widely considered the best of its kind, and I must say I found it highly effective. I was studying on fewer hours sleep but remained very alert.
My ability to take on information increased, as did my concentration and attention levels in class. One thing I will say though, I was running on high idle; very alert and receptive to everything.In my opinion this isn't a state you want to run on continuously, at least not without the correct amount of sleep.
And so I would use a theta binaural meditation to bring my mind home in the early evening. If you need extra brain power, better focus at work and increased life productivity, then the Genius Brain Power Isochronic tones course is the way to go.
You get about 30 recordings for $97, so it is well worth it. See here for more details.
If binaural beats sound more like your thing, then please have a click around the site as there is plenty more to read.