The P300 component and the oscillatory 4-7 Hz electroencephalographic activity of auditory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were assessed to study differences between passive and oddball task conditions. Theta responses from 15 adults were analyzed for single-sweep amplitude, phase locking, and enhancement against prestimulus activity. ERPs were characterized by enhanced and strongly phase-locked theta oscillations in the early (0-300 ms) poststimulus epoch, with only the late (300-600 ms) theta responses at Fz and Pz affected by the oddball condition. P300 was strongly associated not only with the concurrent theta oscillations but also with the evoked theta activity preceding P300 (0-300 ms). It was concluded that single theta response parameters can reveal specific functional differences between passive and oddball conditions and that a strong relationship exists between the theta frequency component and the time domain P300 ERP component.