I only listen to Xperience with headphones. Like I said, I try and follow the reccomended listening instructions as closely as possible. I can usually achieve a highly relaxed state when meditating normally (without brainwave entertainment). However, I haven't ever been able to get to sleep paralysis or hypnagogia. That is why I purchased the brainwave entertainment in the first place.
As far as having low-quality copies, I highly doubt this is the case, as I purchased them illegitimately from the seller's websites.
A few nights ago, I meditated until highly relaxed, where I usually hit a roadblock. I reached over, put on a set of noise-cancelling headphones, played Xperience, and resumed meditation. It was at midnight (minimal environment noise) and in a dark room. I was unable to get past my regular state of meditation, even after listening to both the Xperience Balance +, and Xperience Original all the way through.
I did some research, and found nothing to help me out, so I assume this is a pretty rare occurrence. Help?
Breaking a meditation to put on headphones will create quite a disruption to your flow. It's almost like getting up to use the bathroom when you're on the verge of going to sleep - you have to spend time settling in again. Any movement tells your brain "I"M AWAKE!" but the idea is to trick your brain
into thinking your body is ASLEEP. So any kind of movement, opening your eyes, or new stimulation (the sound of the entrainment itself) will shake things up and disrupt your progress, setting you back.
Fortunately, these entrainment audios start at alert/waking frequencies anyway and guide you into a theta meditative trance state. So you don't need to prime yourself by meditating first, as you want to be synchronized with the audio from the outset. That means, you should start listening from a normal waking state and let it guide you in, rather than trying to "jump start" the process. This is what works for most people. If you're not seeing results, then maybe just accept brainwave entrainment isn't for you, and focus on developing your own quality silent meditation. Figuring out how to experience your hypnagogia will be key, as this leads to memory impressions and Wake Induced Lucid Dreams.
You could contact the creators of each audio and discuss it with them as they may have more technical advice, but the fact that neither work for you suggests there might be something with your approach. But I'm not great at diagnosing other people's meditation techniques, as it is such a subjective experience and I believe everyone has a slightly different way of "going in". All I can really tell you is how I do it and how I get to the point where I experience out-of-body phenomena, hypnagogia and sleep paralysis. Essentially, I lie down, plug in and listen. I don't move at all; I forget my body exists. I send my mind off elsewhere and I visualize imaginary visual, auditory and kinetic stimulus. My goal is total dissociation.
You could study up on more meditation techniques to help you go deeper. Brainwave entrainment works very well for many people but it is not the final word in meditation, so don't feel you have to force it.