Back in the old days they were called “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was well before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, designed to help you enhance your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will need to cope with a huge 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 those who have 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 distinguish 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. Humans have a fairly complex 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 get used to hearing and understanding again.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need some practice. 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 handle on pronunciation.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps those french fries look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have much less control than you will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works quite well for practicing following words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain needs practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing connecting those ideas to words. In your day-to-day life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a complete conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE recommend that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book also. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections more robust. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training adventure. That’s because audiobooks enhance 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. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Many contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, 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. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This results in an easier process and a better quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you believe your hearing might be on the way out, or you’re uneasy about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.