In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was long before CDs, much less digital streaming. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can engage with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds complex and a lot like school.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We often discuss auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So your brain will need to deal with a significant influx of new auditory signals 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 deal with this. Also, for people who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. If you think about it, people have a really complex relationship with noise. Every sound signifies something. It’s a lot for your brain to process. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and comprehending again.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to expand their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe those french fries look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends 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.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and involved for longer periods of time. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take part in a full conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You might require some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During normal conversations, however, you will have much less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to distinguish them. This works quite well for practicing following words.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Those with hearing loss frequently also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks help you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. Your brain requires practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing connecting those ideas to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE suggest that, as you listen to your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book as well. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections stronger. In essence, it’s the perfect way to reinforce your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also great because they’re pretty easy to come by right now. 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.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you really 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 at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. 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 play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
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 accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.