We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
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 parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and explore ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably rather interested about what exactly auditory training is. It sounds tedious like homework.
As a specialized kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We frequently discuss auditory training from the context of getting used to a pair of hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope with an increase of extra information. When this takes place, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. (As a side note, auditory training is also helpful for people who have language learning challenges or auditory processing conditions).
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.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a very complicated relationship with noise. Every sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The idea is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get used 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 number of different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much smoother!
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being talked about. 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 daily life.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. You might need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice understanding somebody else’s speech. But you also have a little bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. This works quite well for practicing following words.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE suggest that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book also. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links more robust. It’s definitely a beneficial way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also nice because they’re pretty easy to get right now. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online sellers. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Also, if you can’t find an audiobook you particularly like, you could always try listening to a podcast to get the same effect (and there are podcasts on practically every topic). You can improve your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. 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 have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
This creates an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and talk to us if you’re worried about having trouble getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.