We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like when you were younger and a teacher or parent read to you. You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass the time and enrich your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds tedious like homework.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, developed to help you enhance your ability to process, perceive, and decipher sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We often talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting used 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 get out of practice. So your brain will need to cope with a substantial influx of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. When this takes place, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. Also, for people who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: 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?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. If you think about it, people have a really complicated relationship with noise. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain get used to hearing and understanding again.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps 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 ready for any situation.
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing completely. Audiobooks help you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken 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 daily life.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and involved 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 took part in and listened to a complete conversation. You may need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Individuals with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a little rusty. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making general communication much easier!
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. But you also have a little more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. This works really well for practicing making out words.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is definitely recommended. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt more quickly to the new auditory signals. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training adventure. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also good because they are pretty easy to get right now. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. Many online vendors sell them, including Amazon. And you can listen to them anywhere on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced simultaneously.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that is included with many modern hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. This means you don’t have to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
This creates an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing might be starting to go, or you’re concerned about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.