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Frequently Asked Questions

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Science & Tech

What is Brain.fm?

Brain.fm makes music to help you do what you need to do, better. The company uses a patented A.I. engine to create music backed by scientific research to help listeners focus, relax, and sleep. While other music is primarily made to sound good and evoke feelings, Brain.fm works with teams of scientists and composers to engineer music specifically designed to help you enter particular mental states within minutes of use.

A pioneer in auditory neuroscience, Brain.fm has recently been recognized by the National Science Foundation with a grant to support its work in the field.

How does Brain.fm make music?

Humans compose the musical content (the art: melodies, harmonies, chord progressions, sound design, instrument choices, etc.) Then, a patented algorithmic system (A.I.) arranges these motifs over long timescales, and adds the acoustic features which constitute our core technology (the science: modulation to alter brain activity, 3D spatialization, salience reduction, etc.). Finally, compositions are assessed by human listeners in-house and tweaked or discarded if necessary, and are tested via large-scale experiments to ensure they have the properties required to help listeners attain and sustain desired mental states over long periods of time.

What’s the science behind Brain.fm?

The music is designed to have effects on neurophysiology via unique acoustic features woven into the music (Brain.fm holds patents for key aspects of this process). Examples include modulations optimized to evoke entrainment of neural oscillations, filtering to exclude distracting sound events, or smooth movement in virtual space to direct attention or avoid habituation.

Brain.fm is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF-STTR#1720698).

Research conducted by Brain.fm and other literature can be found here.

How long does Brain.fm take to work?

Brain.fm sessions are designed to work within 10 - 15 minutes of use, and the effects while listening are designed to be sustained over long periods of time. Users often listen to Brain.fm in sessions lasting 30 minutes at a minimum, with runs of several continuous hours not uncommon.

Is Brain.fm using binaural beats?

No, and Brain.fm is very different from binaural beats. Binaural beats use stereo separation to create phantom modulation in the brainstem, which is not what Brain.fm is doing. Although both use acoustic modulation, Brain.fm also includes many other sound features designed to help you reach particular mental states. Just to give a few examples, our sleep music uses 3D spatialization to produce relaxing auditory motion (‘rocking’), and our focus music filters out high frequencies that can otherwise be distracting.

Access and Accounts

What devices can I use to listen to Brain.fm?

If your device can run Chrome, Firefox or Safari, you can use it to listen. Visiting brain.fm in any modern web browser lets you access the full app.

We also have mobile apps for iOS(available on iTunes)and for Android(available on Google Play).

How do I purchase?

In the free trial, you’ll spot an “Upgrade” button in the top right corner. There you’ll find all the subscription details, and the option to purchase using any major international credit card (Need an account? Sign up here).

How do you ensure payment security?

We use a service called Stripe, an internationally trusted payment provider certified at the most stringent level available in the payments industry. We don’t store your credit card details on our servers, meaning their security can’t be compromised by either our company, or anyone who might access your brain.fm account.

What if I need to cancel?

No problem! None of our subscriptions tie you to a contract. See below for the steps to cancel, based on where you purchased the subscription:

(Purchased on Brain.fm website) You can cancel at any time from your Account Overview, or by contacting us at support@brain.fm.

(Purchased on iTunes) Please see the following Apple support article:View, change, or cancel your subscriptions.

(Purchased on Google Play) Please see the following Google support article:Subscriptions on Google Play

Getting Best Results

Any gear needed or recommended?

We suggest using high quality earphones or headphones. For Sleep sessions, it’s ideal to use headband-style earphones for added comfort and stability during the night.

When should I listen?

Listen anytime you want to focus, relax, sleep, nap or meditate. We suggest listening during the activity, (i.e. use the audio while you’re studying, instead of before) and listening as often as you’d like.

Why shouldn’t I listen without headphones?

Without headphones you won’t hear the 3D audio enhancements, which are significant to the impact that the sessions are capable of.

With stereo headphones, we can place a sound anywhere in 3D audio space. Behind you, in front of you, below you, around you, etc.

For Focus sessions, we spatially locate all of the sound in front of you - as if the sound were coming from a book you are reading or a central point on the monitor in front of you. It keeps your mind attentive to what it’s looking at. It also places other sounds around you, which helps to drown out background noise.

For Sleep and Relax, it mimics the rocking of a cradle or hammock. This is one of the theories behind why our sleep sessions work so well. The ears have a lot to do with balance.

Can I download the audio and listen offline?

Yes! Via our mobile apps for iOS and Android, you can download any track for offline playback (note: this is a PRO feature).

Can I use sound cards or DSP's for added effects?

To get optimal effects of the music and desired mental state, we suggest disabling any DSP or EQ settings your device and/or headphones have which may be adding reverb, echo, or other FX to your audio.

Project and Team

Who’s the team behind brain.fm?

Learn more about us here.

I have another question / spotted a bug / have a suggestion - where do I reach you?

You can contact us at support@brain.fm about any or all of the above- we’d love to hear from you!