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Binaural Beats vs. Solfeggio Frequencies | How They Can Affect Sleep

by BetterSleep
Sep 8 2023 • 4 min read

Music and sound have always been powerful tools for relaxation, meditation, and wellness. For hundreds of years, people have enjoyed the positive effects of binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies. These sound therapies work wonders for the mind and body, but what are they exactly, and how do they work? 

Read on to discover the distinct characteristics, effects, and potential benefits of binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies. You’ll learn the origins of these sounds and how they can help you get better rest and deeper sleep. 

What are Binaural Beats?

When you listen to two tones with slightly different frequencies at the same time, your brain perceives a third tone with another different frequency, known as a binaural beat. This beat is the mathematical difference between the two frequencies. For example, if one ear hears a 300 Hz frequency and the other ear hears a 310 Hz frequency, the brain perceives a binaural beat of 10 Hz. 

The superior olivary complex in the brainstem plays a crucial role in processing sound input from both ears and synchronizing neural activities across the brain. This phenomenon is known as entrainment, and it can stimulate the brain to help it reach certain feelings, like relaxation, focus, or sleepiness. 

We commonly use five different frequency ranges of Binaural beats: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. Each type is associated with different benefits and states of mind. 

  • Delta (0.5 - 4 Hz): deep, dreamless sleep and relaxation.
  • Theta (4-7 Hz): meditative states, creativity, and deep relaxation. 
  • Alpha (7-13 Hz): a relaxed state, often experienced during light meditation or when your mind is calm but awake.
  • Beta (14-30 Hz): active thinking, problem-solving, and alertness. 
  • Gamma (30-100 Hz): higher cognitive functioning, improved memory, and heightened perception. 

What is a Solfeggio Frequency?

Solfeggio frequencies, a set of ancient musical scales used in Gregorian chants, date as far back as medieval times. Holistic medicine connects these frequencies with specific healing properties that can help balance the body’s energy centers. Experts associate each frequency in the Solfeggio scale with a specific intention or effect, such as healing, relaxation, or spiritual awakening.

The Solfeggio frequencies developed around the concept of resonance: everything in the universe has a natural frequency at which it vibrates. Users believe each Solfeggio frequency resonates with different energy centers or chakras within the body. Listening to the corresponding Solfeggio frequency may help the body and mind feel a sense of harmony and balance.

Solfeggio tones stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers in the body. This may explain the effects people experience when listening to them. 

The Solfeggio frequencies include six main tones:

  • 396 Hz: releasing feelings of guilt, fear, and other negative thoughts. 
  • 432 Hz - believed to be calm and relaxing. A study discovered that exposure to this frequency led to a reduction in participants’ blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. 
  • 528 Hz: considered the “love frequency.”  Scientific research found that listening to sounds at this frequency can reduce stress in the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems.
  • 639 Hz: connected to enhancing communication, understanding, and connection in relationships.
  • 741 Hz: associated with finding solutions, expressing oneself, and fostering creativity. 
  • 852 Hz - the highest Solfeggio frequency, believed to enhance intuition, spiritual awareness, and inner peace. 

Binaural Beats vs. Solfeggio Frequencies: What are Their Differences?

One significant difference between both types of sound therapies is that binaural beats have a range of frequencies associated with different brainwave states, including delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. They are more flexible, as you can choose the specific brainwave frequency you want to target. On the other hand, Solfeggio frequencies consist of six specific frequencies that align with different aspects of healing and alignment.

Another difference between binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies is the way they are perceived. To use binaural beats, a person plays two different tones in each ear. The brain then creates a third frequency in response. We hear Solfeggio frequencies using both ears and many people believe the tones can have a direct impact on the body’s vibrational energy.

In terms of practicality, binaural beats require the use of headphones for optimal effectiveness. This is because the tones need to be delivered separately to each ear for the brain to create the desired third frequency. Solfeggio frequencies do not rely on the specific delivery of tones to each ear, so they can be used with a wider variety of speaker systems. 

Which Sound is More Effective for Deep Sleep?

Many people use binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies to promote deep sleep and relaxation. Whether you struggle with insomnia or simply want to enhance the quality of your sleep, these sound therapies can be effective tools.

When it comes to deep sleep specifically, many people have success using binaural beats. For some, the binaural beats’ delta frequency range (0.1-4Hz) works best for inducing deep sleep states. On the other hand, Solfeggio frequencies may not have the same direct impact on deep sleep as binaural beats, as they are more focused on vibrational healing and conscious/subconscious level relaxation. Of course, individual results will vary.

Choosing between binaural beats or Solfeggio tones for improved sleep ultimately depends on personal preference and what works best for each individual. Some may find that binaural beats help them relax and fall into a deep sleep more easily, while others may resonate more with the harmonizing effects of Solfeggio frequencies. Experiment with both approaches to see which provides the most effective results.

Because both techniques are inexpensive and non-invasive, people can easily try a variety of tones and approaches and measure their experiences.


As people seek alternative methods to enhance relaxation, reduce stress, and promote well-being, these sound therapies have garnered attention for their potential benefits. While medical research on their efficacy continues, the growing interest in healing music underscores a collective desire for holistic approaches to wellness and mindfulness.

Fortunately, incorporating binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies into your daily life is relatively easy. Our mobile app offers a broad library of recordings for each category. Whether you want to achieve a state of deep relaxation or enhance your focus, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. Try BetterSleep for free today!

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