Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a much better name).
An audiobook allows you to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to discover new things, get lost in an enchanting story, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
So you’re most likely pretty 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 untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So your brain will have to cope with a significant influx of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. 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 frequently becomes a helpful exercise. Also, for people who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not so much that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better understand what you hear.
What happens when I listen to audiobooks?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is precisely what auditory training is designed to do. Humans have a fairly complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some significance. Your brain needs 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, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not just the hearing part that can need some practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication a lot smoother!
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take part in a full conversation, particularly if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You might require some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get accustomed to hearing and comprehending speech again. During normal conversations, however, you will have far 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. This works really well for practicing making out words.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most individuals would love to broaden their vocabulary. Your vocabulary will get stronger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to hear speech, it’s another to understand 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 linking those concepts to words. In your day-to-day life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is highly advisable. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections more robust. In essence, it’s the perfect way to reinforce your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also nice because they’re pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can instantly get them from Amazon or other online vendors. Anywhere 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 listen to a podcast to get the same experience (and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to play audiobooks?
Many modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can use your hearing aids for this instead.
This creates an easier 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 uneasy about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.