In order to get the most benefit out of binaural beats, it is recommended that you lay down on a comfortable support such as a bed or a chair where you will not be bothered.
Stereo headphones are required with over-ear and noise-cancelling being the best. Ear-buds produce low sound quality but I’ve personally had success with them. Speakers will not work for playing binaural beats as a different frequency needs to be played in each ear.
Listen to binaural beats in a quiet room that’s dimly lit or dark. You can also use an eye-mask if a dark room is not possible. Make sure not to squirm around as this will prevent your brain from adjusting to the patterns of the binaural beats. Adjust the volume to a level that is pleasurable for you. Loud binaural beats will not increase the effectiveness and may induce migraines. We recommend a gentle level so that you can relax and let it take effect, even if you’re using it as a study aid. It is also okay to play music or white/pink noise along with your binaural beats.
When listening to binaural beats, simply relax and let yourself drift into the right state of mind. If you’re using ones that are specifically tailored towards alertness, you can use them while studying or working, but we don’t recommended using them while driving.
In regards to companies selling “drug” binaural beats. Binaural beats can’t actually reproduce the effects of drugs. All they do is produce a base frequency with an offset between each ear, say one ear gets 100hz and the other gets 110hz, resulting in a 10hz difference that your brain will pick up on and match internally. There is no brainwave for drugs. Brainwaves go from awake, calm, sleep, etc. What can happen is your brain can resonate at a relaxing frequency and have the placebo effect kick in for an audio tape labelled “Marijuana” and you start feeling the effects (yes, people actually sell binaural beats labelled the names of drugs). Placebo works even if you know it’s a placebo as long as you believe it will have an effect. Binaural beats aren’t a placebo, however your attitude towards it is one of the factors in determining whether or not it’s effective for you.
The more you use binaural beats, the more effective they become as your mind is plastic (figuratively) and new neural pathways will be strengthened just like with hypnosis.
The video below from NeuroSoup provides a great explanation on how to get the most out of binaural beats.