Q. How does it work, really?
A. Two slightly different frequencies of pure sound are presented to each ear via stereo headphones. The brain then calculates the difference in frequency and stimulates brainwave activity in response to the difference.
Example: One frequency at 440Hz and another at 430Hz produces a vibration of 10Hz (440 – 430 = 10). Brainwave activity of 10Hz is a mildly relaxed state. So by listening to a meditone of 10Hz, your brain will begin producing brainwaves of 10Hz and you will begin to feel sleepy, very sleepy. The brain takes around 4-5 minutes for the response to activate.
Q. Why do I have to use headphones?
A. Meditones can only be perceived and activate brainwave activity in a closed environment, like headphones. This is because the brain processes them differently to normal sound. If you listen to meditones on stereo speakers the frequencies will only be heard as a vibrating sound, which the brain can cancel out through movement of the head. Thus, you will miss out on the deeper meditative experiences you can achieve by listening with headphones.
Q. What type of headphones should I use?
A. Closed headphones that cover the whole ear, rather than earbuds that sit inside the ear, are superior in every way. Closed headphones have a better frequency range and also help to block outside sound.
Q. Why can’t I use meditones if I have epilepsy or a tendency towards seizures?
A. Because meditones stimulate neural activity. This stimulation may not be beneficial for someone with epilepsy or other seizures. Meditones are kind of like an aural strobe light, except way more calming. Unless you get seizures.
Q. I don’t get seizures but I HATE strobe lights. Am I gonna hate meditones?
A. Not necessarily. Meditones are designed to stimulate relaxed neural activity rather than the frantic stimulation of strobe lights. If you’re really worried - just listen to the music without headphones. If you’re willing to give it a try (and promise not to send me any angry emails if you didn’t like it) - then listen to this preview.
Q. How do you know all this stuff anyway?
A. Not a very sciencey question, but the answer is, because I’m a geek. I LOVE to read all about neuroscience and other geeky things in my spare time.
When I was introduced to meditones, I was very fortunate to be working in the Music Department at the Queensland University of Technology. I had access to all their scientific journals and databases. I was able to confirm the research that was pioneered back in the 70s and begin working to utilise this sonic hack in my own music.