PurposeTo investigate the anxiolytic effects of binaural beat embedded audio in patients undergoing cataract surgery under local anesthesia.MethodsThis prospective RCT included 141 patients undergoing cataract surgery under local anesthesia. The patients were randomized into three groups; the Binaural beat music group (BB), the plain music intervention group (MI), and a control group (ear phones with no music). Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate were measured on admission, at the beginning of and 20 min after the start of the operation. Peri-operative anxiety level was assessed using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaire (STAI).ResultsThe BB and MI groups comprised 44 patients each and the control group 47. Patients in the MI group and BB group showed significant reduction of STAI state scores after music intervention compared with the control group (P<0.001) but the difference was not significant between the MI and BB group (STAI-S score MI group -7.0, BB group -9.0, P=0.085). Systolic BP was significantly lower in both MI (P=0.043) and BB (0.040) groups although there was no difference between the two groups (P=1.000). A significant reduction in heart rate was seen only in the BB group (BB vs control P=0.004, BB vs MI P=0.050, MI vs control P=0.303).ConclusionMusic, both with and without binaural beat, was proven to decrease anxiety level and lower systolic BP. Patients who received binaural beat audio showed additional decrease in heart rate. Binaural beat embedded musical intervention may have benefit over musical intervention alone in decreasing operative anxiety.