We used to call them books-on-tape, once upon a time. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. These days, people call them audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a far better name).
With an audiobook, you can listen to the book being read by a narrator. It’s sort of like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can connect with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass time and enhance your mind.
As it turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to accomplish some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely pretty interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex and a lot like school.
As a skilled form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the principal uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will need to cope with a huge influx of new auditory information when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it generally does (at least, not initially). Consequently, auditory training often becomes a useful exercise. Also, for individuals who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can improve your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
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 complex relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. So if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids, listening to audiobooks can help your brain become accustomed to hearing and comprehending again.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice comprehending somebody else’s speech. But you also have a bit more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can rewind if you don’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll stay focused and involved for longer periods of time. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last took part in and listened to a full conversation. You might require some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Maybe that guy standing 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: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing completely. When you follow the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice differentiating speech. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing joining those ideas to words. In your everyday life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll often need practice with more than only the hearing part. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can make communication much easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you listen to 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. In essence, it’s a great way to bolster your auditory training. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. And you can listen to them at any time on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on nearly every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you want to listen to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced simultaneously.
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth capability is a feature that is included with many modern hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your television, and your speakers, can be paired with your hearing aids. This means you don’t have to place cumbersome headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
This leads to an easier process and a higher quality sound.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re worried about getting used to your hearing aids, consult us about audiobooks.