Time To Read: 6 minutes
Hearing. Use it or lose it - and audiobooks are an excellent way to help your brain process sounds:
- How to use audiobooks to help your hearing
- Tips for selecting audiobooks for hearing aid users
- Where to find audiobooks
One of the big benefits of new technology is being able to enjoy familiar activities in a new way.
With smartphones and tablets now commonplace, listening to your favourite stories in the form of audiobooks, whenever and wherever you want is more convenient than ever. You can listen to them during long drives and flights, while out exercising, and even you’re working around the house.
But do you know that audiobooks are an enjoyable and effective way to get used to wearing new hearing aids?
If you and your audiologist are concerned about your ability to process speech, using an audiobook in conjunction with its print edition is a great way to help your brain associate particular sounds with words.
It is part of a series of activities you can do to begin isolating and identifying specific sounds to help you get used to background noise and build concentration on the sounds you really do want to hear. We have useful tips here on how to get used to wearing hearing aids.
We recommend starting with a book at you’re already familiar with, and already have a print copy of, so you can follow along with the narrator and help your brain process the audio signals into recognisable words.
The company Amazon, which owns the Audible audiobook company, offers a special feature called Whispersync to create immersion reading.
Their immersion reading functionality allows you to read a Kindle eBook and listen to its professionally narrated Audible companion audiobook at the same time. The ebook version highlights each word as you hear the narrator speaking to boost reading comprehension and overall retention of content.
Variety is the spice of life - Audiobooks come in fiction and non-fiction titles, new releases and the classics, so you are very likely to find a title you enjoy.
Try before you buy - There is more to audiobooks than simply selecting your favourite title. You have to like the narrator as well. Audiobook retailers offer a sample to listen to, so take advantage of that to make sure you feel comfortable with the voice. Retailers also allow you to search by narrator, so if you find someone whose voice you like, you can investigate other titles. Who knows, you may find a new favourite author.
Go for number one - Ideally choose audiobooks with a single narrator. Audiobooks which have multiple voices narrating, like those in traditional radio plays, can be confusing while you’re still getting used to processing sound. It would be like watching television without seeing the actors to give you visual cues as to what’s happening.
There are a number of places you can buy audiobooks. And many libraries also lend audiobooks, so be sure to ask your librarian. If you're looking to save money, there are also apps that have free public domain titles in audiobooks.
Here’s a selection:
Value Hearing Selects
I love crime series which are hard to put down. My favourite is PD James - Devices and Desires, or any other of her Adam Dalgliesh Mystery crime series
It’s no surprise that mine are historical romances and two of my favourites are by Australian authors. The first is by a good friend The Girl In The Green Dress by Tea Cooper and the other is by another terrific author, The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester
Value Hearing cares about you and your on-going hearing health. We look at some of the serious effects to your health and ongoing quality of life.