We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a great way to pass time and enrich your mind.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds tedious like homework.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting used to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a quieter environment.) So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to deal with an influx of extra information. In practice, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. People have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound signifies something. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new set of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. You may need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. But you also have a little more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works really well for practicing making out words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks help you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice connecting words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. In your everyday life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not only the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring on social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections more robust. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can improve your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
A wide variety of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. This means you don’t have to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This leads to a simpler process and a higher quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re worried about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.