Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, once upon a time. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can engage with new ideas, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to achieve some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather curious about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds complex and a lot like school.
As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is designed 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 perspective of getting used to a set of hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to get used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So your brain will need to deal with a substantial 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. As a result, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. Also, for those who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: Audio books won’t necessarily make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Auditory training was created to help your brain get accustomed to making sense out of sounds again. People have a fairly complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single 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, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements of focus: With a little 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 complete conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids. You might require some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than just the hearing part. Those who suffer with hearing loss frequently also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a little rusty. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks help you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice joining words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your day-to-day life.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have much less control than you will with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book as well. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections stronger. In essence, it’s a great way to reinforce your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. Many online vendors sell them, including Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up 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 listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that is included with many modern hearing aids. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
This creates a simpler process and a better quality sound.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing might be starting to go, or you’re worried about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.