Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Today, 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 aloud to you (okay, it’s just that). You can connect with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Audiobooks are a great way to pass the 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 exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complicated and a lot like school.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, created to help you increase your ability to process, perceive, and decipher sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a set of hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So your brain will have to cope with a huge increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Auditory training can be a useful tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals with language learning difficulties or auditory processing conditions).
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get accustomed to making sense out of sounds again. If you think about it, people have a really complex relationship with noise. Every sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain has 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 understanding again.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than only the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have far 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!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last took part in and listened to an entire conversation. You may need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing completely. When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain requires practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing connecting those ideas to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE suggest that, as you listen to your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book also. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic links stronger. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also nice because they’re pretty easy to come by these days. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can instantly purchase them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always listen to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Many contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. This means you don’t need to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.