Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Of course, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a far better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like having somebody read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and understand sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). One of the primary uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new 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 have to cope with a big increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: It’s not really that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get used to distinguishing sounds again. Humans have a fairly complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain has to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain get used to hearing and comprehending again.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring on social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks give you practice digesting and understanding what is being talked about. 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.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting 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: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a regular old conversation. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. This works quite well for practicing making out words.
- Improvements of focus: With a little help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and engaged for longer periods of time. After all, if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to an entire conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE recommend that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book also. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt more quickly to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. Meaning, you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and increased convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re uneasy about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.