Binaural beats are by far the most common form of brainwave entrainment. A majority of the companies offering brainwave entrainment products rely soley or mainly on binaural beat technology, although it is in fact the least effective form of entrainment.
Binaural beats are created by exposing the brain to two seperate tones, one in each ear, using a pair of stereo headphones. The brain processes both incoming tones and creates a third tone. For example, if in the left ear a 315hz tone is played, while simultaneously a 325hz tone is played in the right, the brain processes both signals as the difference of the two tones, which in this case is 10hz. This process is possible due to the brain's use of sound localization. Sound localization is the process by which our brains determine the location of any sound sources. Our brains measure the distance a sound is from both our left and right ears and "triangulates" or otherwise determines the exact location of the sound source in the environment in relation to us. Binaural beats were originally used to test animal's ability to utilize sound location, as well as a medical diagnostic tool for auditory impairments and neurological conditions. It wasn't until years later that binaural beats began to be utilized as a medium for affecting consciousness.
Binaural beats are generally effective up until about 30hz; any higher and the brain cannot combine the two incoming signals but rather interprets them as two independent sound sources. Binaural beats also require a higher volume in order to be heard as they are about 3 decibels in volume (or one-tenth the sound of a whisper). Because they are smoother sounding than other forms of entrainment (which inherently makes them less effective) they are easier to listen to, which is one reason why most companies utilize them to such a large degree. The drawback of course is that most sessions made with binaural beats are not going to be anywhere near as effective as isochronic tones or other more advanced technologies.
Another benefit of binaural beats is that they create "hemispheric synchronization" in the brain. That is, in order to process binaural beats, both hemispheres must be used. It has been reported that people with similar activity in both brain hemispheres experience more optimism, happiness, and more emotional stablity. Many companies would have you believe that hemispheric synchronization is a goal or end to itself, and a sort of "cure-all". However, it has been our experience that hemispheric synchronization is a correlational rather than causative effect of emotional stability and a generally healthy psychological profile. It should be noted as well that there are many other ways to achieve hemispheric synchronization.
Nirvanic Mind™ acknowledges the benefits of binaural beats and does in fact use them on occasion when it is determined that a particular product would benefit most from them. However, as we have noted, there are other more powerful technologies that we employ as well.