I've recently gotten into listening to podcasts. Over time, as I get accustomed to the speaker's voice, I'm able to increase the speed of the podcast to as high as 3x speed. It still feels "normal" to me, as if the speaker is having a normal-speed conversation with me.
When I turn down the speed to 1x, it sounds unbearably slow. For non-speed-listeners, listen to something at 0.5x or 0.25x, and you'll know what 1x sounds like to speed listeners. It's as if speed listening shifts up a listener's range of acceptable speed, so that lower speeds are no longer in that range.
I know there are plenty of other speed listeners who do the same thing (just Google "speed listening" to see for yourself). Yet, others have told me that at this speed, podcasts are basically unintelligible.
Thus, I have a handful of related questions:
What occurs in the brain when a person speed listens?
a. Why does the podcast feel "normal" at such fast speeds?
b. Is there a fundamental/biological difference between those who can speed listen and those who can't, or is it a learned ability?
Is speed listening detrimental to listening comprehension?