Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Of course, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You can engage with new concepts, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mentally enriching experience.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and distinguish sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the context of getting used to a pair of hearing aids.
Because neglected hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can grow out of practice. So your brain will have to deal with a significant increase of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. When this occurs, your brain will find it hard, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training often becomes a worthwhile exercise. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: It’s not so much that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain make sense of sound again is precisely what auditory training is created to do. Humans have a rather complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound signifies something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The idea is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get used to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a number of different ways, including the following:
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps those french fries look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your issues with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and understanding speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have a lot 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 often 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 make communication a lot easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing entirely. Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. In your daily life, this will help you distinguish what people are saying to you.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new set of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to an entire conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book as well. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain may adapt more quickly to the new auditory inputs. In other words, it’s a great way to reinforce your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
It’s also very 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 vendors. And you can hear them anywhere 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 experience (and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind simultaneously!
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Many contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth equipped. 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 listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Consult us about audiobooks
So come in and talk to us if you’re worried about having difficulty getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you think you may be experiencing hearing loss.