In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a much better name).
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s just that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging story, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a great way to accomplish some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, created to help you enhance your ability to process, comprehend, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain abruptly has to cope with an influx of extra information. When this happens, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training often becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for those with language learning challenges or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is exactly 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. The concept is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks give you practice digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing connecting those concepts to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re subjected to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making general communication much easier!
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to take part in a full conversation, especially if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids. You might require some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice understanding somebody else’s speech. But you also have a little more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. It’s a great way to practice understanding words!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
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 inputs making those linguistic links more robust. In other words, it’s the perfect way to strengthen your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also great because they’re pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. Many online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. Anyplace 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 pretty much every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Lots of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t need to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
This creates an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re concerned about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.