In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. 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 sort of like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an engaging story, and experience ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds laborious like homework.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the context of getting used to a pair of hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So your brain will need to deal with a big influx of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for those with language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. Humans have a rather complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound signifies something. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. The idea is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a brand-new pair of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger 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.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. During typical conversations, however, you will have far less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating 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 day-to-day life.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to a complete conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need some practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much smoother!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is definitely advisable. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic links stronger. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training experience. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also nice because they’re pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can hear them at any time on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you really 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 listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that is included with many modern hearing aids. Meaning, you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device. This means you don’t have to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and increased convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So come in and speak with us if you’re worried about having trouble getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you think you might be experiencing hearing loss.