We used to call them books-on-tape, way back when. Back then, obviously, we didn’t even have CDs let alone streaming services. Nowadays, people refer to them as audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, is a far better name).
An audiobook gives you the ability to read a book by, well, listening to it. It’s sort of like when you were a kid and a parent or teacher read to you. You’ll be able to learn new things, get lost in an engaging tale, and explore ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a terrific tool for audio training.
What’s auditory training?
Hold on, what’s this auditory training thing, you may ask? It sounds tedious like homework.
As a skilled kind of listening, auditory training is created to give you a stronger ability to perceive, process, and comprehend sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). We often discuss auditory training from the context of getting used to a set of hearing aids.
Because untreated hearing loss can cause your hearing to get used to a quieter environment and your brain can get out of practice. So your brain will need to deal with a big increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. In practice, this often means that your brain can’t process those sounds as well as it normally does (at least, not at first). Consequently, auditory training frequently becomes a useful exercise. Also, for individuals who are dealing with auditory processing disorders or have language learning challenges, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Another perspective: Audio books won’t really 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 make sense of sound again is exactly what auditory training is created to do. People have a rather complicated relationship with noise if you really think about it. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. Your brain has to do a lot of work. The concept is that audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain get accustomed to that process again, especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids.
Audiobooks can help with your auditory training in a few different ways, including the following:
- Improvements in pronunciation: In some cases, it isn’t only the hearing part that can need some practice. Hearing loss can often bring about social solitude which can cause communication skills to atrophy. Audiobooks can help you get a handle on the pronunciation of words, making general communication a lot smoother!
- Listening comprehension: Perceiving speech is one thing, understanding it is another thing entirely. When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice linking words to concepts, and helping those concepts remain rooted in your mind. In your everyday life, this will help you understand what people are saying to you.
- A bigger vocabulary: Most people would love to increase their vocabulary. The more words you’re exposed to, the larger your vocabulary will become. Surprise your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps those french fries look dubious, or you’re concerned that bringing your friends to the bar will really exacerbate your problems with your boyfriend. Either way, audiobooks can help you find the right word for the right situation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to pay attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. After all, if you’re getting used to a new pair of hearing aids, it might have been a while since you last engaged in and listened to a complete conversation. An audiobook can give you some practice in remaining focused and tuned in.
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. During typical conversations, however, you will have a lot less control than you will with an audiobook. 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.
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
WE suggest that, as you enjoy your audiobook, you read along with a physical copy of the book too. Your brain will adapt faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections more robust. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training adventure. That’s because audiobooks complement hearing aids.
Audiobooks are also great because they are pretty easy to get right now. You can subscribe to them on an app called Audible. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. Anywhere 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 want to listen to. Your mind and your hearing can be enhanced together.
Can I utilize my hearing aids to listen to audiobooks?
Many contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can connect your hearing aids with your cellphone, your speakers, your television, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. With this, when you play an audiobook, you won’t have uncomfortable headphones over your hearing aids. You can utilize your hearing aids for this instead.
You’ll now get better sound quality and increased convenience.
Ask us about how audiobooks can help with your auditory training
So come in and speak with us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting used to your hearing aids or if you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss.