Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Back then, of course, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. Today, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
With an audiobook, you will listen to the book as it’s being read by a narrator. It’s a bit like when you were a kid and a teacher or parent read to you. You can connect with new ideas, get swept away in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks while passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
Turns out, they’re also a wonderful way to achieve some auditory training.
Auditory training – what is it?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you ask? It sounds laborious like homework.
As a specialized form of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and understand 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.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to become used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So when you get a new pair of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to deal with an influx of extra information. When this takes place, your brain will find it hard, 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 those who are coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Think of it like this: Audio books won’t really make you hear clearer, but they will help you better distinguish what you’re hearing.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. People have a pretty complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound means something. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The idea is that audiobooks are a great way to help your brain get used to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice understanding someone else’s speech. But you also have a little more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something over and over again. This works quite well for practicing making out words.
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re subjected to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Let your impressive new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps those potatoes look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than only the hearing part. Individuals with hearing loss often also deal with social isolation, and that can leave their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can make communication a lot easier by helping you get a handle on pronunciation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with a little help from your audiobook friends. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take part in a complete conversation, especially if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing completely. Audiobooks give you practice processing and understanding what is being spoken about. Your brain requires practice helping concepts take root in your mind by practicing joining those concepts to words. In your day-to-day life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you 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 faster to the new auditory inputs. It’s definitely a great way to enhance your auditory training experience. That’s because audiobooks enhance hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also good because they’re pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. You can easily get them from Amazon or other online vendors. And you can listen to them at any time 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 pretty much every topic). Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced simultaneously.
Can I listen to audiobooks with my hearing aids
Bluetooth capability is a feature that comes with many modern hearing aids. This means you can pair your hearing aids with your phone, your speakers, your tv, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Instead, you can listen directly with your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you believe your hearing might be starting to go, or you’re worried about getting accustomed to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.