We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Of course, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s sort of like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s exactly that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and explore ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, designed to help you enhance your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the perspective 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 get out of practice. So your brain will need to cope with a big increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. When this happens, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Auditory training can be a practical tool to help handle this. (As a side note, auditory training is also helpful for individuals with language learning challenges or auditory processing disorders).
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.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. Humans have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to process. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than just the hearing part. Individuals who suffer with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a little out of practice. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much easier!
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. It’s a great way to practice understanding words!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last took part in and listened to an entire conversation. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining 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 digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain requires practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. In your day-to-day life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE suggest that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book too. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic links stronger. In essence, it’s a great way to reinforce your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also good because they are pretty easy to get right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same experience (and there are podcasts on just about every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced simultaneously.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Many contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This results in a simpler process and a better quality sound.
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 concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.