Back in the old days they were known as “books-on-tape”. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs never mind streaming services. 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 a lot like having someone read a book out loud to you (okay, it’s precisely that). You can connect with new concepts, get swept up in a story, or learn something new. Audiobooks are a great way to pass time and enrich your mind.
Turns out, they’re also a fantastic way to accomplish some auditory training.
What’s auditory training?
Wait, wait, wait, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds complex and a lot like school.
Auditory training is a special form of listening, designed to help you improve your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (medically known as “auditory information”). We frequently talk about auditory training from the perspective of getting accustomed to a pair of hearing aids.
That’s because when you have unaddressed hearing loss, your brain can slowly grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a less noisy environment.) So when you get a new set of hearing aids, your brain suddenly has to cope 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. Auditory training can be a practical tool to help handle this. Also, for those who are dealing with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a helpful 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?
Helping your brain distinguish sound again is exactly what auditory training is designed to do. If you think about it, people have a very complicated relationship with noise. Every single sound means something. Your brain needs to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are an ideal way to help your brain get used to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a brand-new set of hearing aids.
Here are a number of ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to broaden their vocabulary. The more words you’re subjected to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Let your stunning new words impress all of your friends. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Perception of speech: When you listen to an audiobook, you gain real-time practice comprehending someone else’s speech. But you also have a little more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences as many times as you need to in order to understand them. It’s an excellent way to practice understanding words!
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting accustomed to a new pair of hearing aids, it may have been a while since you last took part in and listened to an entire conversation. You might need some practice tuning in and remaining focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Improvements in pronunciation: You’ll frequently need practice with more than only the hearing part. Individuals with hearing loss often also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit rusty. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making basic communication much smoother!
- Listening comprehension: Hearing speech is one thing, comprehending it is another thing entirely. 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 day-to-day life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE suggest that, as you listen to your audiobook, you also read along with a physical copy of the book too. This will help make those linguistic associations stronger in your brain, and your brain could adapt more quickly to the new auditory signals. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training experience. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
Audiobooks are also great because they are pretty easy to get these days. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. Many online vendors sell them, including Amazon. And you can hear 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 feel like listening to. You can improve your hearing and improve your mind at the same time!
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 connected with your hearing aids. This means you don’t have to place huge headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get superior sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So if you think your hearing may be starting to go, or you’re uneasy about getting used to your hearing aids, talk to us about audiobooks.