We used to call them books-on-tape, once upon a time. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an engaging story, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds complicated and an awful lot like school.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and understand 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.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to being in a quieter environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope with an influx of extra information. When this takes place, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for individuals who have language learning challenges or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is exactly what auditory training is designed to do. If you think about it, people have a very complicated relationship with noise. Every sound signifies something. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. The idea is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to distinguish them. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
- 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 accustomed to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last took part in and listened to a complete conversation. You might require some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending 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 helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing connecting those ideas to words. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need some practice. People who suffer with hearing loss often also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a little rusty. 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 highly recommended. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can easily purchase them from Amazon or other online sellers. And you can hear them anywhere on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you really like, you could always listen to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and improve your mind simultaneously!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.