Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Naturally, that was long before CDs, much less digital streaming. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a far better name).
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a teacher or parent read to you. You can engage with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the context of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to get 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 deal with an increase of additional information. In practice, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not at first). Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. Also, for people who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is precisely what auditory training is designed to do. Humans have a pretty complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound means something. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. The idea is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your meal at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing entirely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your 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 require some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making general communication a lot smoother!
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and understanding speech again. During normal 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 the perfect way to practice understanding words!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE suggest that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book too. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt faster to the new auditory signals. In essence, it’s the perfect way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anywhere 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 pretty much every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced simultaneously.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Lots of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t need to put cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
This creates an easier process and a better quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and talk to us if you’re concerned about having trouble getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss.