Binaural beats are sounds that are set at slightly different frequencies that, when combined, create a new frequency that is barely audible. These frequencies work only if a person is wearing headphones, since a different frequency must be present in each ear. Although binaural beats are technically an auditory illusion, many people and some doctors believe they can help reduce stress and anxiety and produce a better quality of sleep. Not all binaural beats affect the same brain waves, as different frequencies can affect one’s beta, alpha, theta, and delta waves, which control different functions of the brain. Some medical studies have shown that binaural beats can be helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia, but there are some risks associated with them, specifically for those who have epilepsy.
Although the Bible does not contain any information about binaural beats, there are some biblical concerns with some applications. Many people use binaural beats to help them meditate, since certain frequencies cause the brain to produce effects similar to those of meditation. Christians should spend time meditating on God’s Word (Psalm 119:15), but the meditation that the world advocates often stems from false religions: transcendental meditation, for example, finds its roots in Hinduism.
Some have experimented with binaural beats in order to open or activate the “third eye,” which has obvious connections to mysticism, New Age spirituality, and the occult. Hindus use the “third eye” to have spiritual visions and out-of-body experiences, while some Buddhists believe a person can achieve sight beyond the physical realm. The Bible clearly warns against the use of occult practices.
If binaural beats are used merely to help reduce anxiety and relax, then there may be nothing sinful or harmful about them. Basically, the frequencies the beats produce are only noise, which is not inherently sinful. Some people could benefit from listening to binaural beats, just as many people find certain types of music relaxing and calming for anxiety. Ultimately, the decision whether to use binaural beats should be approached prayerfully and biblically. Here are some questions that might help in deciding whether to use binaural beats:
• Will using binaural beats glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31)?
• How will listening to binaural beats benefit my Christian walk and witness (1 Corinthians 8:9; Colossians 3:17)?
• Do binaural beats help me grow in my relationship to Christ (2 Peter 3:18)?
• Am I listening to binaural beats to have a spiritual or out-of-body experience (Deuteronomy 18:14)?
• Are there any other options for reducing my anxiety? Have I asked the Lord to help with my stress and fear (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7)?
Binaural beats are only sound frequencies that produce an auditory illusion. Like most things, binaural beats can be used for right or wrong purposes. Although listening to different sound frequencies is not condemned or forbidden in the Bible, Christians should be discerning when deciding to listen to binaural beats.