In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like when you were a kid and a teacher or parent read to you. You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
As it turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re probably rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, developed to help you increase your ability to process, perceive, and interpret sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help people learn to hear with their new 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 cope with a huge increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this happens, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training often becomes a useful exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also worthwhile for those with language learning difficulties or auditory processing disorders).
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can improve 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. If you think about it, humans have a really complex relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. So if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and understanding again.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- 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 stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps 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.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing connecting those ideas to words. 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 somebody else’s speech. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Individuals that have hearing loss often also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication a great deal easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to engage in a full conversation, especially if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids. You may require some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
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 too. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections stronger. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also really 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. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can improve your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I use my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that is included with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. With this, when you listen to 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 greater convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and speak with us if you’re worried about having difficulty getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you think you might be experiencing hearing loss.