Ever heard of binaural beats?
For those of us interested in biohacking our way to becoming a better person, binaurals are the next big thing. This I-Doser review is an in-depth look at the popular online store, I-Doser, that’s selling doses of binaurals and promising digital highs to the brain entrainment and self-improvement crowd.
We want to answer the question, does I-Doser work? And find out whether these audio tracks can better our sleep.
Let’s take it away…
What is I-Doser?
I-Doser is a downloadable application for your computer, laptop, tablet or phone. It’s a free player which you can use to buy and play audio tracks of binaural beats in a .drg format.
The player is compatible with Windows, Max OS X, iOS and Android operating systems.
They describe themselves as the “leading provider of artisan brainwave doses and software”, and are particularly popular with people who want to experience the effects of illicit drugs without actually indulging in anything harmful or illegal.
As sleep hackers, we were particularly interested in the audio tracks that claim to entrain your brainwaves to a state of relaxation, meditation and sleep, although we did explore some of the ‘drug’ tracks that I-Doser are so famous for.
I-Doser offers you hundreds of brainwave doses to choose from, which are all legally available and downloadable.
The I-Doser Hype
The major reason behind I-Doser’s popularity is undoubtedly their marketing of certain tracks as ‘digital drugs’.
Their wide range of binaural doses are designed to stimulate your brain into a certain mood, experience or feeling. Some are designed to help you sleep, others to quell anxiety, while some are designed to elicit the effects of certain illegal and prescription drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, morphine and alcohol.
While the effects of these doses are much lighter than they would be if you were actually taking a tangible drug, they do offer a way to experience these unique moments without the risk of obtaining illegal substances and the health risks of taking them.
For many people, I-Doser‘s offerings are a great way to explore the valley of drugs, psychedelics and stimulated experience without the usual risk factors.
Of course, whether these audio tracks actually work or are simply taking advantage of the placebo effect is another argument — and a popular one among binaural beats sceptics. We’ll find out the answer to ‘does IDoser work?’ shortly.
How to Use I-Doser
You simply download the app for your computer, laptop, phone or tablet to choose from a huge variety of brainwave doses to be listened to through headphones.
The app plays .drg files (doses) which can only run with the use of the I-Doser software, and each track lasts for about 30 – 40 minutes.
Tracks cost roughly between $3-$5 each, but there are a few ‘premium’ experiences which are much more costly, designed as they are to offer much more unique experiences.
If you see the value in I-Doser and start to spend lots of money on tracks, it may make sense to choose the premium software upgrade, which allows you to buy 30-dose combo packs for up to $60 and to use the MP3 export option.
From Delta, Serene and Lucid Dreaming to Alcohol, Morphine and Sleeping Angel, each dose is designed to offer different results. Which sessions you choose all depends on what type of experience you’re looking for from your digital high.
Here are a few sleep-related doses which caught our eye when we were browsing the store:
- AntiSad: (Strong) Takes your brain from .30Hz to .15Hz from your normal Alpha wave state of 10Hz
- Hibernate: (Very Strong) The most powerful sleep dose available, reducing metabolic rate and body temperature for deep, long sleep
- Insomniac: (Strong) For deep sleep
- Lucid Dream: (Very strong) Helps you remember your dreams and aids lucidity by bringing you from a high to low theta state
- Lullaby: (Mellow) A daily pre-sleep dose that promotes REM sleep and chakra sleep alignment
And here are a few more out-there doses which look interesting:
- Gate of Hades: (Unexplainable) Expect nightmares, near death experiences and a strong onset of fear
- Cocaine: (Very Strong) Increases alertness, wakefulness, mood elevation, euphoria, decreasing fatigue, clearer thinking and increase in energy and concentration
- Iboga: (Extreme) A powerful dose with roots in the spiritual and ritual side of dosing. You could experience auditory hallucinations, euphoria, anxiety, intense visual dreams, contemplation and comedown.
- Aphrodisiac: (Very Strong) To increase sexual desire
- Adderall: (Very Strong) Enables focus and the ability to stay awake
Now to the big question – does IDoser work?
How do Binaural Beats Work?
Before we take a hard look at I-Doser, we should first examine the science behind the app.
Binaural beats are an audio tool, popular with the self improvement population, that can help you achieve certain mind states.
They work by beaming two tones of a different frequency into your ears — one into one ear and the other into the other ear (you have to wear headphones to realize the effects).
The frequency difference between the two tones — providing it’s less than 40 Hz — produces an auditory illusion of a third tone, the so-called binaural beat.
So, if you were listening to a track that presented 450 Hz in one ear and 470 Hz in the other, you would hear a 20 Hz binaural beat.
The frequency level of the binaural beat will then be able to influence your brainwaves to settle at that frequency too, producing various feelings, moods and experiences associated with brainwaves oscillating at that frequency.
Here are the associated behaviors experienced at different brainwave frequencies:
|Type of Brainwave||Frequency||Associated Behaviors|
|Delta Waves||0.1 to 4 Hz||Deep, slow wave sleep|
|Theta Waves||4 to 8 Hz||Meditation and hypnosis|
|Alpha Waves||8 to 14 Hz||Relaxed mental state|
|Beta Waves||14 to 30 Hz||Active thinking and concentration|
|Gamma Waves||30 to 50 Hz||Maximum sensitivity, conscious experience, transcendental meditation|
I-Doser, therefore, is attempting to stimulate certain behaviors and feelings via the use of their binaural audio tracks. But are they successful in this endeavour…?
Does I-Doser Work?
It’s very hard to decipher whether the tracks actually work or whether they’re simply the placebo effect at work.
We found the sleep tracks to encourage long, deep sleeps and had some success with the lucid dreaming track too — although it may be worth noting that we’re already reasonably experienced lucid dreamers.
As for the ‘digital drug’ tracks, we’ve heard mixed reviews. Some people find them very effective for relaxation, particularly the more mellow tracks like Marijuana, whereas others have found them to have only a very light effect.
Here’s one guy’s experience with the Marijuana track:
Like with anything so personal, you really need to try it before you can truly assess whether it might work for you. Helpfully, the I-Doser player is free to download and tracks are mostly under $5, so it’s definitely worth doing some experimentation (there are also some free samples to take a look at too!).
What is for sure is that I-Doser is incredibly popular: it boasts over 10.8 million users with 8.3 million dose downloads and over 2 million software downloads. Clearly its message is resounding.
We would definitely encourage people interested in binaural beats to try out I-Doser and see for themselves if it’s worth their time. After all, what’s the worse that could happen?
What do you think — does IDoser work?