Back again for 2018!
I have been doing this virtual awards ceremony since 2012, under the name Binaural Beats Freak Awards.
The purpose is to help enthusiasts like me to keep abreast with the latest and most effective music, but also to provide a starting for newcomers who are overwhelmed with choice and just want some sound recommendations .
For the record: every track featured in the list has been tested by myself, and has had good feedback from my readers.
No company can pay to be on the list or influence the outcome each year.
To gain eligibility to the awards, a track must meet 4 specific requirements:
- Must be a high quality recording – 320 Kbps .mp3 or .wav file
- 30 minutes or more in length
- Be backed by research/science (no ludicrous claims)
- Reasonably priced for the value on offer
The order of the list isn't entirely relevant, because each track is generally designed for a different purpose.
Binaural Beats Freak Awards Winners – 2018
Deep Meditation is simply an amazing track. As a music enthusiast, the way the music is layered is quite brilliant and so engaging.
The track starts by leading you down through a tunnel of serene, Eastern-inspired ohm breaths and subtle chimes. It draws you deeper into your meditation by using hypnotic voice layering and surround-sound positioning to place ambient textures in different areas of your headspace – creating a 360 degree immersive experience.
If you meditate, or simply want something to close your eyes and get lost in to escape the noise of life for a while, this is a great companion for the perfect escape.
I must also mention the Earth Vibration track here, as that is equally as compelling. Do check that out.
Here's a natural remedy for all you insomniacs out there.
What I find about this track is that it numbs my mind. Let's say I've been going all day at 100 kph, and I need to bring my mind down a few notches and stop all the thoughts racing, I sit down, TV off, mobile on silent and put my headphones on.
Gradually my brain shifts into a daydream type state and I find myself winding down.
I then do my bedtime prep routine and I'm good to sleep.
What this composition does very well is combine soothing and hypnotic properties. It has these long, hypnotizing pads and dreamy textures that pull you into a deeply relaxing, dreamy world, and is compounded by the entrainment of the delta frequencies underneath.
Also check out Blissful Sleep by BBM, another good insomnia buster.
If you spend a lot of time working alone and sometimes find it difficult to zone in a be productive, Zen Focus is an effective way to get into the Zen Zone.
I often put this on loop while working on the computer, especially when I'm writing like now. The running water stream really draws your mind to center, and the piano and general natural ambience, along with the Alpha waves, helps you concentrate on what you are doing.
But what I most enjoy is the sense of mindfulness it brings. I find I'm really present and can truly engage in what I'm doing and not feel rushed to get it done or frustrated at it being boring or difficult. It's a really good way to get in the right frame of mind to work.
Everyone needs a bit of motivation from time to time, and this classic pack from the Unexplainable Store has you covered.
There are 4 downloads in this pack comprising an hour's worth of listening, each one covering a different area of motivation; Achievement, Single Point Focus, Concentration, and Peak Performance.
This is low theta entrainment, so it will be deeply relaxing and you really should be seated or lying down when listening. All 4 tracks use rain/water sounds as the backing track, couple with ambient pads.
You'll find that the US stuff doesn't have the professional musical composition edge of the BinauralBeatsMeditation.com tracks, but they use the binaural beats frequencies more prominently (the hum/tone sound), which some purists really like. I guess for me it's something a little edgy and different, and in that regard the stimulation for motivation is quite powerful.
I like this as a theta package and I think it all gels well together, so it can be listened to one after the other in a session.
This is a new release and I'm loving it. This meditation combines binaural beats with subliminal messaging to unblock self-limiting behaviours around success and prosperity.
Subliminal messaging, both audio and visual has been used by many brands and entities to manipulate the subconscious of the masses, and research shows (see the product page for some examples) it really does work. But in this case we're using it for a good cause!
The music is really beautiful and features the Bansuri flute, which intermittently drifts over warm pads and a lush soundscape that reminds me of the sun rising over a mountain range in Asia somewhere. I love just listening to the hour version while I work as a piece of music too.
Included in the download package is a 2-hour version of the silent subliminal messages, which is of course silent, but over the last month I've seen some remarkable shifts in positive pathways opening up for me. I recommend listening to this daily, twice should do the trick.
This recording uses a Gamma frequency binaural beat at 40Hz; a frequency scientifically identified to help with memory.
This effective recording is designed to prevent memory decline and mild cognitive impairment as you age, so if you keep losing your keys like I do then this is probably a good one to add to your collection.
The music is nice too and has a strong melody throughout. If you like a classical feel to music (flute and piano) then this will appeal.
A quick heads up on this though: Do not listen to Memory Enhancer in the late afternoon or early evening, because the Gamma waves will cause wakefulness. I tend to listen before 2pm.
Classic Ennora style, which is usually a tad ethereal. It has a mystical edge to it that really carries you away to another place, which where stress is concerned, is a good thing.
This track acts almost like a rebirth of sorts that picks you up, dusts you down, soothes you and then releases you feeling light as a feather.
The music is very deep, and certainly not fluffy, which is what you might assume stress release music to sound like – think elevators or hotel lobbies.
It's simple on the surface, but once you lose yourself in the soundscape you notice all these gentle effects and alluring sounds as you fall deeper into the rabbit hole.
It is by all accounts ideal for releasing tension, stress and feelings of unease.
This is a hugely popular track and one you might read about elsewhere. As someone who struggled with anxiety in the past, and still in some instances today, this is a wonderful, natural relief.
The music cleverly uses tentative organ-like keys and a soothing flute to gradually take your state of anxiety lower and lower, and then introduces strings that instill a confidence and ability to over come the fear.
Underneath all this your brain is relaxed by theta waves, and then later in the track you are taken to a calmer, more assertive alpha state – which gets you in the flow and ready to overcome your obstacle.
My anxiety is usually around forthcoming events, such as places where I will have to present in a meeting or have an interview or take an exam, and before catching flights or any big occasion. It's hard for me to settle my mind and sleep well, and I feel uneasy and on-edge.
Anxiety Release really helps just bring me down a couple of notches, reorientate and think straight.
The iAwake stuff can be a bit hit and miss. I find some of the stuff is produced well but others seem rough around the edges and bland. I think they use different producers (freelance) and that's why you get variety.
This Deep Delta track is pretty cool though. It has a real space travel type feel to it; a kind of epic but calm floating sensation takes over as you move through the galaxies. You can feel the delta entrainment very quickly, so it is effective and that's what really appeals.
It might not be the best place for newcomers to this type of music to start, as it's quite deep and a little dark at times. But if you're using binaural beats for sleep then give this a go along with the Ennora track mentioned above.
The composition on this track is great. Imagine going trekking in the Amazon, coming to a clearing by a stream and sitting on a rock to meditate a while.
The natural ambience of the forest, a reverberating hang drum, subtle bird calls and the sooting vibration of Theta binaural beats.
Is there a better way to connect with higher spiritual awareness? Probably, but I doubt it's legal – haha!
Spiritual Awakening is wholly liberating and one of my favourite tracks. It frees my mind from the physical world for a while and takes me to a place of oneness where I feel just content to just sit and be for a while.
With that in mind, it is best, in my opinion to be listened to as a seated meditation, or at least sitting in a chair with your eyes closed, or better still out in the garden or park.
Spiritual Awakening raises your vibration and puts you in tune with Mother Nature. This is a very special musical journey for connecting mind, body and soul with universal consciousness.
Also check out Love Meditation – another lovely track!
Binaural Beats Freak Awards (2018) Summary
This year is dominated by the BinauralBeatsMeditation.com brand, having gone from strength to strength in 2017 by adding around 8 new tracks to their catalogue, and by increasing value by providing hour-long versions of all their tracks too.
From the point of production quality they now dominate the industry, and they're also starting to experiment with subliminal messaging – which is super exciting to me.
Ennora remains a staple feature of the awards, taking 2 spots on the chart for the second year running. I'm hoping they will put out some new music this year. iAwake and Unexplainable Store hang on to a spot each, but overall their catalogues remain hit and miss.
As an enthusiast, I've seen a definite shift in the past 2 years, with some of the older stores from the 90s and early 2000s unable to keep pace with those in my list and seemingly stopped trading or updating their stores.
Amateur YouTube music in this space has slowed down as it became saturated. The music churn farms from the far east and Eastern Europe have out competed each other and views are diluted to the point that making money on advertising isn't as lucrative as it was 4-5 years ago. I welcome this as much of it is misleading and disingenuous.
The popularity of binaural beats has grown immensely, largely due to further emerging studies, not just on the effectiveness of brainwave entrainment on memory, anxiety and stress but on the power of therapeutic music generally to reduce pain, promote healing and well-being.
I hope you continue to enjoy this music as much as I do and we continue to see real quality emerge.