In the past they were known as “books-on-tape”. Of course, that was well before CDs, much less digital streaming. 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 sort of like having someone read a book aloud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a wonderful way to pass the time and enrich your mind.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather curious about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complicated and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, developed to help you improve your ability to process, perceive, and decipher sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have neglected hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a quieter environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope with an influx of additional information. When this happens, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. Consequently, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, 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 distinguish what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was created 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 single sound you hear has some meaning. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. 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.
Here are a few ways audiobooks can help with auditory training:
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting used to a new set of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to an entire conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your everyday life.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than only the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring about social isolation which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot easier!
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. During normal conversations, however, you will have much less control than you will with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe those potatoes look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is absolutely recommended. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links more robust. In essence, it’s a great way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
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, and that includes Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on just about 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 listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Lots of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. Meaning, you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. This means you don’t have to place huge headphones over your hearing aids just to play an audiobook. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This results in a simpler process and a better quality sound.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re concerned about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.