In the past they were called “books-on-tape”. Naturally, that was long before CDs, not to mention digital streaming. These days, they have a much better name; audiobooks.
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s kind of like having somebody read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s exactly that). You can connect with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or discover something new. Listening to audiobooks when you’re passing time will be a mind enriching experience.
And they’re also an ideal tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely pretty interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complicated and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a specialized type of listening, developed to help you increase your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (medically known 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 grow out of practice. So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope with an influx of additional information. 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 coping with auditory processing disorders or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a useful tool.
Another perspective: 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 exactly what auditory training is designed to do. People have a pretty complex relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some significance. It’s a lot for your brain to absorb. The idea is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, particularly if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can assist with your auditory training in various different ways, including the following:
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! 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. This can help you follow conversations more closely in your daily life.
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t just the hearing part that can need a little practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social isolation 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!
- A bigger vocabulary: Who doesn’t want to increase their vocabulary? The more words you’re exposed to, the bigger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by throwing out amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy standing outside the bar looks innocuous, or your dinner at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you pick the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook friends. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new set of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a full conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in staying focused and tuned in.
- 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 much less control than you will with an audiobook. You can rewind if you can’t understand something and listen to something as many times as you want to. It’s the perfect way to practice understanding words!
Audiobooks as auditory aids
WE recommend that, as you listen to your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book as well. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio signals making those linguistic connections stronger. In essence, it’s a great way to bolster your auditory training. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. You can instantly purchase them from Amazon or other online vendors. And you can hear them at any time on your phone.
And there are also podcasts on pretty much every topic in case you can’t find an audiobook you feel like listening to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced at the same time.
Can I use my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Lots of contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. So all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. Rather, you can listen directly through your hearing aids.
You’ll now get better sound quality and greater convenience.
Talk to us about audiobooks
So if you believe your hearing may be on the way out, or you’re concerned about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.