Books-on-tape was what we used to call them, way back when. Of course, that was long before CDs, much less digital streaming. Nowadays, people call them audiobooks (which, we won’t lie, 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 explore ideas you were never aware of. Audiobooks are an excellent way to pass time and enhance your mind.
And they’re also a great tool for audio training.
Auditory training – what is it?
So you’re most likely rather interested about exactly what auditory training is. It sounds complex and an awful lot like school.
Auditory training is a specialized form of listening, designed to help you enhance your ability to process, comprehend, and decipher sounds (known medically as “auditory information”). One of the main uses of auditory training is to help individuals learn to hear with their new hearing aids.
That’s because when you have neglected hearing loss, your brain can gradually grow out of practice. (Your auditory centers become accustomed to living in a less noisy environment.) So your brain will have to deal with a significant increase of new auditory signals when you get new hearing aids. When this happens, your brain will find it difficult, at first, to process all those new sounds as well as it should. As a result, auditory training often becomes a helpful exercise. Also, for those who are coping with auditory processing conditions or have language learning difficulties, auditory training can be a helpful tool.
Think of it like this: It’s not really that audiobooks can sharpen your hearing, it’s that they can help you better distinguish what you hear.
When you listen to audiobooks, what happens?
Auditory training was designed to help your brain get accustomed to distinguishing sounds again. If you think about it, humans have a really complicated relationship with noise. Every single sound you hear has some meaning. It’s a lot for your brain to manage. The concept is that audiobooks are a great 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 few ways audiobooks can assist with auditory training:
- Perception of speech: Audiobooks will help you get used to hearing and comprehending speech again. But you also have a little more control than you would during a normal conversation. You can listen to sentences numerous times in order to distinguish them. This works quite well for practicing following words.
- Listening comprehension: It’s one thing to perceive speech, it’s another to comprehend it! When you follow along with the story that the narrator is reading, you will get practice distinguishing speech. Your brain needs practice helping ideas take root in your mind by practicing linking those ideas to words. 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. Your vocabulary will get bigger as you’re exposed to more words. Impress your friends by using amazingly apt words. Perhaps that guy sitting outside the bar looks innocuous, or your food at that restaurant is sumptuous. With audiobooks, you’ll have just the right words ready for any situation.
- Improvements of focus: You’ll be able to focus your attention longer, with some help from your audiobook pals. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been able to engage in a complete conversation, especially if you’re breaking in a new pair of hearing aids. You might need some practice tuning in and staying focused, and audiobooks can help you with that.
- Improvements in pronunciation: Sometimes, it’s not only the hearing part that can need a little practice. People with hearing loss frequently also suffer from social isolation, and that can make their communication skills a bit out of practice. Audiobooks can help you get a grip on the pronunciation of words, making general communication a lot easier!
Using audiobooks as aids to auditory training
Reading along with a physical version of your audiobook is absolutely advisable. Your brain will adjust faster to new audio inputs making those linguistic connections more robust. It’s definitely a good way to enhance your auditory training adventure. Because hearing aids are enhanced by audiobooks.
It’s also really easy to get thousands of audiobooks. There’s an app called Audible which you can get a subscription to. A wide variety of online vendors sell them, and that includes Amazon. Anyplace you find yourself, you can cue one up on your phone.
Plus, 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 practically every topic). You can sharpen your hearing and enrich your mind at the same time!
Can I listen to audiobooks through my hearing aids
Bluetooth functionality is a feature that comes with many contemporary hearing aids. So all of your Bluetooth-equipped devices, including your phone, your tv, and your speakers, can be connected with your hearing aids. This means you don’t have to put huge headphones over your hearing aids just to listen to an audiobook. You can use 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 come in and talk to us if you’re concerned about having difficulty getting used to your hearing aids or if you think you may be experiencing hearing loss.