We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s a lot like having somebody read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s exactly that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, created to help you increase your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a quieter environment.) So your brain will have to deal with a substantial influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a practical tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals with language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Another perspective: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. If you think about it, people have a really complex relationship with noise. Every single sound means something. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain get used to hearing and understanding again.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe those french fries look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. Maybe it’s been some time since you’ve been able to engage in a full conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You might need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks give 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 daily life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you get with an audiobook. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is highly advisable. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory signals. In essence, it’s a great way to bolster your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly purchase them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on just about every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get better sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.