Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. These days, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like when you were younger and a teacher or parent read to you. You can connect with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re most likely rather curious about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, designed to help you enhance your ability to process, perceive, and decipher sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently discuss 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 when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to cope with an increase of additional information. In practice, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not at first). As a result, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for those who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was created 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 you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain get used to hearing and comprehending again.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to expand their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to engage in a full conversation, especially if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and understanding speech again. But you also have a little more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need some practice. Individuals that have hearing loss frequently also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a little rusty. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot easier!
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book as well. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections more robust. In essence, it’s the perfect way to bolster your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks complement 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. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on just about every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
A wide variety of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. Meaning, you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you don’t need to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
This leads to a simpler process and a higher quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.