Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and experience ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass the time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently discuss auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a set of hearing aids.
Because untreated 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 cope with a substantial influx of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. In practice, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not at first). Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a helpful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for people with language learning challenges or auditory processing disorders).
Another perspective: 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?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. People have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. It’s a lot for your brain to process. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice connecting 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.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending someone else’s speech. During normal conversations, however, you will have far less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than just the hearing part. Individuals with hearing loss often also deal with 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 general communication a lot easier!
- Improvements of focus: With a little help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and involved for longer periods of time. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book as well. 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 good way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also really 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. Anywhere you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Plus, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always listen to a podcast to get the same experience (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). You can improve your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and talk to us if you’re worried about having difficulty getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.