Study finds binaural beats probably aren't helping your mood

Binaural beats have been popular for well over a decade at this point in time; you can easily find thousands of videos on YouTube featuring these tones at various frequencies alongside big claims about raising your vibrations, elevating your mood, and supercharging your memory. Though some past research has found certain small benefits potentially caused by listening to these beats, a new study found that elevated mood isn't one of them.

Binaural beats describe a type of audio illusion in which two different beats are played, one in each of the listener's ears, to produce the illusion of a third sound. This can be used to produce different frequencies, the idea being that they will synchronize the listener's brainwaves and, as a result, change their mood and induce all sorts of unique and desirable mental experiences.

Past research on binaural beats is mixed; some studies have found that certain beats can improve one's focus or memory, while others show no benefits from these tracks. Of particular interest for many is whether these beats can improve their mood, induce mystical experiences, and other such major events that some users claim to experience.

A study recently published in eNeuro has found that while binaural beats may be able to improve focus and memory, they didn't produce any changes in mood. The findings contradict claims that certain audio files may be able to reduce anxiety, improve happiness, and more. The research involved binaural beats and monaural beats, the latter of which was found to be more effective at synchronizing brain activity.

The study found that binaural beats, in particular, were able to synchronize 'far apart brain areas,' which may contribute to the focus and memory improvements that some studies have found. However, the findings indicate that individuals suffering from some type of mood issue would be better off seeking professional mental health help rather than relying on unproven claims.