Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s a lot like having somebody read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can connect with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Audiobooks are a great way to pass time and enrich your mind.
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 a lot like school.
Auditory training is a special type of listening, designed to help you increase your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the context of getting used to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have neglected hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will have to deal with a big increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. In practice, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not at first). As a result, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for those who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better understand what you’re hearing.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is exactly what auditory training is designed to do. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than just the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring on social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand it! When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain needs practice connecting 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.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re worried that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and involved for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve been able to participate in a full conversation, particularly if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and understanding speech again. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works quite well for practicing making out words.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. This will help make those linguistic connections stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt faster to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a good 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. Many online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
A wide variety of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and increased convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re worried about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.