In today’s fast-paced world, the abundance of new content can make it challenging to carve out time for reading. However, audiobooks offer a solution! Whether you’re on the go, working out, or simply unwinding, audiobooks provide an immersive storytelling experience. Thanks to streaming services, audiobooks are now more accessible than ever before.
It can be difficult to determine which audiobook service to select from the numerous options available. The abundance of choices can make the decision-making process overwhelming. Considering factors such as title selection, pricing, and user interface, as well as reading reviews from other users, can aid in selecting an audiobook service that aligns with your requirements.
Top Best Audiobook Service Free And Worth Try In 2023
Best audiobook service overall
Audible is the best audiobook service out there in terms of both quality and selection.
As of 2023, there is little question that Audible will be the most widely used and most extensive audiobook service. Over 200,000 distinct book titles are housed in the library’s collection, which spans all genres.
A subsidiary of Amazon explains the service’s enormous size. Audible has a wide range of choices and benefits for audiobooks. Audiobooks may be purchased, streamed, or rented.
Pros of Audible
- There is a 30-day free trial for Audible to help you get started. A total of four audiobooks, including two Audible Originals, are offered as part of the free trial period.
- Every month, you receive two Audible Originals.
- All audiobooks are 30% discount for members.
- Even if you decide to discontinue your Audible subscription, all of your purchased books are yours to keep.
- A live sync function in Audible keeps tabs on your progress. As a result, resuming the audiobook would be as simple as pressing Play and picking up where you left off.
- If you don’t like an audiobook, you may return or swap it.
Cons of Audible
- One audiobook is included in the $14.95 monthly membership fee, which may not be enough for specific users.
With the free Hoopla app, you may quickly borrow 10 to 20 titles each month from your local library, depending on your institution’s policies.
Pros of Hoopla
- It’s not only audiobooks available on Hoopla; it also contains eBooks, music albums, comic books, TV series, and movies.
- Instead of placing holds and waiting weeks or months for titles to become available, you may immediately borrow them from your library, as you do with comparable programs like Overdrive.
- You may either use the app on your phone or the browser on your PC to borrow and stream a movie or audiobook.
- The app’s catalog is simple to navigate and well structured.
- Audiobooks and movies may be kept for three weeks and three days.
- More than 500,000 titles are accessible, and new ones are added every month to keep things fresh.
- As an alternative, you may download an audiobook or other title.
- There are no late fees or penalties for using the app.
- Audiobooks on the Hoopla platform
Cons of Hoopla
- Even though you can only borrow a specific amount of titles each month, even if you don’t read a book or borrow the incorrect one by mistake, it still counts as one of your borrows.
- eBooks can’t be highlighted.
- For example, some libraries restrict the number of books you may borrow daily from your overall borrow allocation.
Good non-fiction audiobook website
Blinkist is an excellent resource for listening to nonfiction audiobooks online. We’ve included Blinkest since it’s the only audiobook service on our list that focuses only on nonfiction books.
You should choose one of the other sites suggested in this article if you seek nonfiction material rather than this one if your primary goal is self-development and education. Because each audiobook on Blinkist is broken down into bite sized portions, only the most essential information is included.
Pros of Blinkist
- Blinkist provides a free 7-day trial to anybody who wishes to give it a whirl.
- You get unlimited access to over 5,000 nonfiction books that can be downloaded for offline study with Blinkist Premium.
- If you’re short on time, an audiobook that lasts just 20 minutes can be a decent choice.
- Numerous nonfiction works on various subjects, from parenting to wildlife and economics.
- It’s a great deal! $89,99 per year or $7,49 per month is the cost of the yearly plan
Cons of Blinkist
- Fiction novels are not accessible.
Best value & best unlimited audiobook subscription
In terms of value, Scribd has the most OK unlimited audiobook membership.
Apart from Audible, Scribd is a noteworthy choice for audiobook listening. Although it may not be as renowned as Audible, it is considered a viable alternative with comparable popularity and quality. Scribd initially focused on e-books when it was established.
On the other hand, Scribd gives its members access to thousands of ebooks, as well as audiobooks, periodicals, and sheet music, all for a flat fee. Scribd may be used on a computer browser or smartphone or tablet. It is possible to download audiobooks from Scribd and listen to them offline or stream them while on the move.
Pros of Scribd
- Scribd’s audiobooks, ebooks, periodicals, and sheet music are included in a 30-day free trial (Read complete Scribd review).
- Scribd’s monthly fee is just $9,99. And yes, you receive unlimited access to all audiobooks, ebooks, periodicals, and sheet music for one subscription.
- Offline listening is available by downloading books.
- Allows you to establish a sleep timer so that the audiobook will stop playing after a certain amount of time.
- It is possible to access Scribd from various devices, including smartphones and tablets.
- Read our comparison of Audible and Scribd.
Cons of Scribd
- No audiobooks or ebooks are yours to keep when you terminate your membership.
Users may either buy or rent individual titles using Downpour, or they can pay for a subscription.
Pros of Downpour
- You may create a wishlist of titles you’d want to listen to.
- The narrative may be sped up or slowed down.
- You may set a sleep timer for it to turn off automatically.
- You can rent titles for as little as $1.99, and if you have a subscription, they don’t count against your monthly credit allotment.
- It’s possible to extend the length of a rental by paying a little more.
- Each month, you may add more credits to your account.
- Downpour credits are suitable for a year, so you may store them up and use them later if you don’t use any.
- Both the app and the web version of Downpour may be used.
- There are hundreds of subcategories inside each of the 22 genres, making it simple to zero down on the specific sort of audiobook you want.
- The application provides user reviews, allowing you to read about what others have to say regarding the game.
- A prompt and helpful response is always provided by the customer service staff.
- Service for downloading audiobooks from Downpour
Cons of Downpour
- Content is limited, with just 80,000 titles in the catalog.
- Due to the limited number of credits available each month, the subscription requires a one time payment of $12.99 for each game selected.
- With the app, there are fewer options for searching than with the Downpour browser add-on.
- Titles can’t be returned if you don’t like them.
- No one from the customer service department is on-call round the clock, seven days a week.
Best Audiobook Service for iPhone users
In contrast to Amazon, Apple Books is not a membership service but an online retailer. However, there are upside and downside for this.
There is no monthly subscription for starters, so you don’t have to download a new book every month to justify the expense – you simply pay as you go. Apple Books is an excellent option for those who like audiobooks since the app can be installed on an Apple Watch and used to listen to books while exercising or commuting.
Because iCloud allows you to sync purchases across all your devices, it’s a beautiful choice if your tech preferences lean toward Apple. It’s less tempting if you don’t.
On Apple Books, you don’t receive a free audiobook download every month, and the prices might be steep. If you listen to many audiobooks in a month, you’ll end up spending more for each one than you would if you bought them separately.
Whether you’re unsure if a book is right for you, you may read a free preview before purchasing it on Apple Books. Compared to classic books, the range of options for audiobooks is more limited.
Freebies are hard to come by, and podcasts must be downloaded separately from the App Store. An excellent alternative to other products for Apple customers, although not as attractive as others.
Pros of Apple Books
- With a wide range of books plus no monthly costs
- Before you purchase, check out the previews.
Cons of Apple Books
- Not a specialized audiobook app
Best service and superb quality
Audiobooks.com, which was created in 2011, is another of my favorite subscription services for audiobooks. However, I feel that the platform has its own benefits and distinct features over Audible.
A web browser or a mobile app may be used to access the service on various platforms. Audiobooks.com’s catalog is almost as extensive as Audible’s.
Pros of Audiobooks.com
- Audiobooks.com has a 30-day free trial like Audible and Scribd. A free audiobook and an additional audiobook from the VIP area are included as a perk if you opt to join up for a trial.
- The Audiobooks.com handpicked VIP area gives you one audiobook a month for free.
- Over 70,000 episodes may be found in the podcast area of Audiobooks.com.
- Even if you decide to end your membership, all of your previously bought audiobooks will remain with you.
- Before purchasing an audiobook, you may listen to a 3-minute sample of the content.
Cons of Audiobooks.com
- For $14.95 a month, you may read one book as part of a standard membership (plus one book from the VIP section, as mentioned above).
Best Audiobooks Service to Support Independent Bookstores
Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service, doesn’t need our help anymore, but tiny, independently owned retailers do. Hence, Libro.FM has been added to the list. It’s a fantastic audiobook service that offers a wide variety of new and vintage titles, as well as a little bit of kindness to those in need.
Subscription based music streaming service Libro.FM joins the ranks of the other services on this list. Over 150,000 volumes, including many New York Times bestsellers, are available to you for a small monthly price.
Regular subscribers enjoy a 30-percent discount on any additional audiobooks they purchase, plus they get one free credit to use on any book of their choosing. Really?
The software is well designed and easy to use, with a few useful extras. A built-in sleep timer ensures that you won’t be spinning through books after you’ve fallen asleep, much as the sleep timer on audiobooks.com The narrator’s pace may be changed, so you don’t have to sit through a monotonous read along.
As if that wasn’t enough, every single audiobook in their vast collection is sourced from a small, local bookseller. It’s a terrific opportunity to help out during these difficult times without having to compromise on quality or choices.
You may test out libro.com for 30 days for free to see whether it’s right for you. If you neglect to cancel your membership, your credit card won’t be charged. This is unlike the great majority of services today.
Pros of Libro.FM
Supports small, locally owned bookshops
A vast collection of audiobooks, including some of the best known works.
30 day risk free trial
Cons of Libro.FM
The selection is limited in comparison to other services like Audible.
Totally free, but limited to classics
Librivox is the most acceptable option for free audiobooks.
My last recommendation is LibriVox, a fantastic audiobook streaming and download service with hundreds of titles in various genres, from fiction to nonfiction to instructive to inspirational to all of the above.
Among these services, LibriVox is the only one that does not charge you a dime for access to an incredible library of audiobooks. LibriVox’s audiobooks are all free to download and listen to.
Volunteers read these books, so they are absolutely free. Your PC, iPod, and other mobile devices can play LibriVox audiobooks. LibriVox is a great place to start if you like classics.
You may also read public domain literature for the benefit of others by volunteering with LibriVox.
Pros of LibriVox
- Anyone may download and listen to LibriVox audiobooks.
- There is a synopsis and a sample reading for each audiobook.
- Contains several well known works.
Cons of LibriVox
- LibriVox’s library of audiobooks is significantly limited compared to that of other audiobook providers.
- Audiobooks aren’t recorded by professionals. Thus the sound quality isn’t often that great.
Best value subscription
Using the Kobo app, you may read books from a library of more than 5 million titles for a monthly membership fee.
Pros of Kobo
- Overdrive allows you to borrow library books for free.
- As a result, you may read lengthier articles stored in your Pocket account on your desktop computer.
- Listen to your first book for free.
- Millions of audiobooks and ebooks are immediately available to you.
- Paying $9,99 a month is less costly than Audible, which charges $9.99 for a premium membership.
- Each month, you may purchase more credits.
- The app generates personalized suggestions for you based on the books you’ve read.
- Book previews and reviews might help you decide which book to read next.
- Thanks to the automated synchronization of your bookmarks, there is no need to worry about forgetting where you left off when you move between devices.
Cons of Kobo
- Even while Kobo maintains track of chapter numbers, it counts sections of the book that aren’t indeed chapters, resulting in an erroneous total of chapter numbers.
- You would expect to see this on the page, but it isn’t there while reading an app. Thus it might be unsettling for readers.
- When you wish to flip the page, there may be some latency.
Good for Android users
Each of Google’s audiobooks is sold separately, ranging from $1.99 to $40 per book, and may be purchased via the Google Play Books app.
Pros of Google Audiobooks
- If you’re listening to the book at night and don’t want to lose your place if you doze off, you may set a timer to end it automatically after a particular length of time.
- If you think the narrator is reading too slowly, you may speed up the voice speed.
- When you buy a book, you can keep it forever.
- All of your progress is automatically backed up to the cloud.
- There isn’t a regular monthly price for this service.
- It’s not necessary to use an application to listen; you can use your web browser instead.
- Service for listening to audiobooks provided by Google
Cons of Google Audiobooks
- No free content is available.
- In some instances, books are more costly on digital reading platforms like Audible than on traditional bookstores.
Libby by OverDrive
Best Free Audiobook Service
Cheap audiobooks are the best. Of course there are free audiobooks! It’s possible to download free audiobooks, ebooks, and periodicals from your local public library using OverDrive’s new Libby app.
To begin using Libby, all you need is a library card. Free audiobook rentals are available at your local library via this program. As a no-cost service, there are no membership or other expenses to worry about, and the software itself may be downloaded for free as well.
It’s impossible to know exactly how many books are available for download on Libby since they gather their audiobooks from libraries all around the world, in 78 different countries.
However, you will have to wait for new releases, just as you would when visiting a physical library.
On a mobile device or tablet or even in a web browser, you may listen. Offline listening is also an option, but keep in mind that, unlike many of the other services on our list, you won’t be able to save the audiobook you finish.
Pros of OverDrive Libby
- Totally unrestricted
- There are libraries in 78 different nations.
- Listen to your favorite book or audiobook
Cons of OverDrive’s Libby
- In many cases, you’ll have to wait to get your hands on the most recent releases
Best Audiobook Service for Traditionalists
Let us now turn our attention to something entirely different… The only other audiobook rental business that offers audiobooks on CD is Simply Audiobooks. That’s true; it’s reminiscent of Netflix’s early days. Once you’ve finished listening to the music, you’ll be sent an actual CD in the mail that you may then return.
Going back in time with Simply Audiobooks is like stepping into a time machine. That could annoy some individuals, but for many others, it is precisely what they need. Many individuals, particularly those of the older age, prefer to have a natural thing to insert and listen to around their house or in their vehicle rather than bother with downloading data from the internet to a gadget.
What Simply Audiobooks can do for you is this: For a set monthly charge, you may listen to as many of their audiobooks as you like, one at a time. Upgrade to three at a time for a small monthly fee.
On the other hand, you may choose a list of your favorite audiobooks, and they send one of those titles out based on their current supply. Your monthly subscription fee covers the cost of postage.
There are also no late penalties, so you don’t have to worry if you mistakenly keep your CD audiobook for a more extended period of time.
When you realize that these are genuine, tangible discs and not simply data on some server someplace, their current collection includes roughly 50,000 audiobooks.
Many folks won’t even give Simply Audiobooks a second thought. However, if you’re searching for something more conventional, this may be precisely the ticket.
As far as we know, this is the only Audiobook Service on our list with an outdated website, compared to the others. However, it may not come as a surprise for a business that is so old school and low tech.
Pros of Simply Audiobooks
- Perfect for people who would rather have a physical copy of their audiobook instead of just a digital one.
- Postage is free, and there are no late penalties.
- Some excellent audiobooks to choose from
Cons of Simply Audiobooks
- Most users will find it to be archaic and low tech.
Subscriptions To Audiobooks As Opposed To One-Time Purchases
It’s not uncommon for subscription based audiobook services to provide unlimited access to the platform’s collection. Audible, for example, gives you one free book a month, but you’ll have to pay for any extra recordings you wish to listen to.
There is a considerably smaller selection and no downloads with Sribd, but you will have unlimited access to its library if you sign up for a subscription.
Another option is Google Audiobooks, which is a one time purchase service that doesn’t need a subscription. If it is of the second sort, you may handle it as if it were your own.
When it comes to subscription services, it’s possible that you’ll just be able to download and retain the goods you’ve paid for, rather than owning it outright.
Where to find free audiobooks?
The Gutenberg Project, for example, has audiobooks of famous works like Little Women and Moby Dick, but you won’t be able to find any new releases there. A collection of classic texts that are no longer protected by copyright may be found on this website.
It’s possible to find both human created and computer created audiobooks on the site, depending on what you look for. Although the recording quality isn’t as good as that available on premium platforms, it’s generally relatively straightforward and may be downloaded as an M4B or MP3 file. LibriVox, as previously mentioned, is an additional service that functions in a similar manner.
What Apps for popular services?
Audiobooks are mostly listened to on smartphones and tablets. Think about it while you’re looking at different services: Is the app accessible for your preferred devices?
Is the app working as it should? Listening to these books should not be a pain, therefore make it as easy as possible.
Apps are available for every primary website.
Although it requires some more effort and technological expertise on your side, it is not insurmountable. To listen to books on a site that doesn’t provide its own app, it’s likely to provide clear instructions.
In addition to bookmarking your place in an audiobook, pace adjustments, and sleep timers are all options available in apps for your listening pleasure.
While listening to an audiobook while trying to fall asleep, using a set of noise cancelling headphones might aid people who find it challenging to do so.
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