In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. These days, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, to be honest, is a much better name).
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s a bit like when you were younger and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an enchanting tale, and experience ideas you never knew about. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re probably pretty interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds tedious like homework.
As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is designed to give you a better ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the primary uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become used to living in a quieter environment.) So your brain will have to cope with a substantial increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. Practically, this usually means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not initially). Auditory training can be a useful tool to help deal with this. Also, for those who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t necessarily 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 created to help your brain get used to making sense out of sounds again. People have a fairly complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every sound signifies something. 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 understanding again.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Improvements of focus: With some help from your audiobook, you’ll remain focused and engaged for longer periods of time. Perhaps it’s been some time since you’ve been able to take part in a full conversation, especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to improve their vocabulary? Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Surprise your friends by using amazingly apt words. Maybe those french fries look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends along to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words queued up for any situation.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you get real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. During typical conversations, however, you will have far less control than you get with an audiobook. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to understand them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to understand it! Audiobooks give you practice digesting and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts stay rooted in your mind. In your daily life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need a little practice. People with hearing loss often also suffer from social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a little out of practice. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a grip on pronunciation.
Audiobooks as auditory aids
Reading along with a physical copy of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic links more robust. In other words, it’s the perfect way to bolster your auditory training. Because hearing aids are complemented by audiobooks.
It’s also very easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. Many online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
And you can also get podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. You can sharpen your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
A wide variety of modern hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. 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 need uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting accustomed to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.