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The Best App for Audiobooks (Our Top Picks)

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You’re probably familiar with the convenience and enjoyment that comes from listening to your favorite books on the go. But with so many audiobook apps out there, how do you choose the best one for your needs?

In this article, we’ll explore the top audiobook apps available today. We’ll delve into each app’s description and functionality as well as their pros and cons. We’ll provide insights into pricing so you can make an informed decision. So, whether you’re a dedicated bookworm or a casual listener, read on to discover which audiobook app is the perfect fit for you.

The 7 Best Audiobook Apps

Audible: Your Gateway to Literary Soundscapes

audible homepage

Functionality

Audible, an audiobook app and Amazon company, is a monthly subscription service that caters to audiobook enthusiasts. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Audiobooks Everywhere: Audible hosts an extensive library of audiobooks, allowing users to listen on their smartphones, tablets, or Amazon Echo speakers. Whether you’re commuting, exercising, or relaxing at home, Audible keeps your literary journey alive.
  • Seamless Downloads: With a simple tap, users can download their favorite audiobooks on Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, and Kindle devices. The app offers features like chapter navigation, bookmarking, variable narration speed, and background listening.
  • Whispersync for Voice: Seamlessly switch between reading and listening. Start your book on Kindle and continue via Audible without missing a beat.

Stats and Company History

Let’s crunch some numbers:

  1. Subscribers: Audible boasts a massive subscriber base. In the United States alone, it’s predicted to reach $1.5 billion in 2020. Globally, the audiobook market is set to grow by 25% to a whopping $3.5 billion.
  2. Total Books Available: Audible’s collection spans over 200,000 audio programs, making it the largest audiobook producer and retailer in the United States.
  3. Podcasts: Audible isn’t just about books; it also offers a variety of ad-free podcasts.
  4. Company History: Audible launched independently in 1995 with a digital audio player that held around two hours of audio in its proprietary format. After overcoming challenges and signing a deal with Apple for iTunes books, Amazon acquired Audible in 2003 for $300 million. Today, it produces originals under the name “Audible Studios” and continues to thrive as a top choice for audiobook enthusiasts.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Vast Library: Access thousands of audiobooks across genres.
  • Whispersync: Seamlessly switch between reading and listening.
  • Originals: Enjoy exclusive content produced by Audible Studios.
  • Quality Narration: Professional narrators bring stories to life.

Cons:

  • Subscription Cost: While credits make purchasing economical, some may find the monthly subscription fee steep.
  • Proprietary Format: Historically limited by its unique format (now less relevant).

Pricing

Audible offers flexible pricing options:

  1. Monthly Subscription: Subscribing grants you one or two credits per month (used to purchase audiobooks). Most titles cost one credit; longer works may require two credits. Audible Plus cost $7.95/month while Audible Premium Plus costs $14.95/month
  2. Credit-Free Purchases: Additional books can be bought without using credits at a $30 discount.

If you want to learn more about Audible, we did a feature review on what is Audible.

Sign up for a free 30-day trial today

Blinkist: Unlocking Big Ideas in 15 Minutes

blinkist homepage

Functionality

Blinkist, founded in 2012 by four friends, caters to those who crave knowledge but are time-starved. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Book-in-Blinks: Blinkist distills key insights from popular nonfiction books into bite-sized summaries. Whether you prefer reading or listening, Blinkist offers 15-minute audio and text versions to fit your schedule.
  • Discover Tab: Explore intriguing titles and discover fresh ideas.
  • Library Tab: Access your saved summaries, which can be downloaded for offline reading.
  • You Tab: Personalize your learning journey by tracking your progress and preferences.

Stats and Company History

  1. Subscribers: Blinkist has a whopping 26 million app downloads since its inception. The user base continues to grow globally.
  2. Total Books Available: The Blinkist library houses over 6,500 books across various genres, from psychology to mindfulness. The team adds approximately 40 new titles each month.
  3. Podcasts: While Blinkist primarily focuses on book summaries, it also offers original Shortcasts (available in the app) for those who enjoy audio content.
  4. Company Journey: In 2018, Blinkist secured $18.8 million in funding and expanded its library to 2,500 titles. Its minimalist interface and commitment to quality have garnered international recognition.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Time Efficiency: Get the essence of a book in just 15 minutes.
  • Wide Range of Topics: Cover everything from entrepreneurship to personal growth.
  • Offline Access: Download summaries for on-the-go learning.

Cons:

  • Depth vs. Breadth: Summaries may lack the depth of full books.
  • No Critical Review: Blinkist doesn’t provide critical analysis.
  • Fun-Fact Approach: Some users find it less rigorous than traditional reading.

Pricing Plans

Blinkist offers two subscription options:

  1. Monthly Plan: $14.99 per month.
  2. Annual Plan: At a 50% discount compared to monthly pricing.

Blinkist is about making learning accessible even during those fleeting moments—whether you’re commuting or waiting in line.

Get Blinkist today

Audiobooks.com: Where Stories Come Alive

audiobooks homepage

Functionality

Audiobooks.com offers a rich listening experience for book enthusiasts. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Vast Audiobook Library: With over 400,000 premium audiobooks, Audiobooks.com caters to diverse tastes across genres. Whether you’re into thrillers, romance, self-help, or classic literature, they’ve got you covered.
  • Curated Recommendations: Discover new reads through curated booklists, including New York Times Bestsellers and Perfect First Listens.
  • Unrivaled Apps: Take your audiobooks anywhere with their free apps for iOS and Android. Enjoy convenient listening on the go, complete with in-app playback controls.

Stats and Company History

Let’s dive into the numbers:

  1. Subscribers: Audiobooks.com boasts a substantial user base. In the United States, it’s predicted to reach $1.5 billion in 2020, making it the world’s largest audiobook market.
  2. Total Books Available: Their extensive library houses over 400,000 premium audiobooks, ensuring there’s something for every listener.
  3. Podcasts: While primarily focused on audiobooks, Audiobooks.com also offers access to over 10,000 free audiobooks and provides an invitation to their exclusive community of book lovers.
  4. Company Journey: Audiobooks.com has been steadily growing, aligning with the broader trend of audio consumption. As part of the Deloitte Insights report, it contributes to the impressive annual growth in audio formats.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Huge Selection: Access a vast range of audiobooks.
  • Convenient Apps: Seamless listening experience on iOS and Android.
  • Curated Recommendations: Discover hidden gems.

Cons:

  • Subscription Cost: Monthly subscription fees may not suit all budgets.
  • Competition: Faces stiff competition from other audiobook platforms.

Pricing Plans

Audiobooks.com offers flexible subscription options:

  1. Free Trial: Start with a free trial and enjoy 3 audiobooks on the house.
  2. Monthly Plan: For $14.95 per month subscribers get access to their entire library.
  3. VIP Program: Members receive an extra free book every month as part of this exclusive program.

Certainly! Let’s explore Apple Books, a versatile platform that combines reading and listening experiences. 📚🎧

Apple Books: Your Literary Hub

apple books landing page

Functionality

Apple Books is an all-in-one destination for bookworms and audiobook enthusiasts. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Unified Library: Whether you’re into reading or listening, Apple Books houses both books and audiobooks. Browse the Book Store and Audiobook Store to find your next literary adventure.
  • Reading Now: Your digital nightstand awaits. The Reading Now tab lets you seamlessly switch between books, track your progress, and receive personalized recommendations based on your reading history.
  • Organized Library: Create collections to organize your library your way. Easily revisit old favorites in the Finished collection.

Stats and Company History

Apple has a history in Audiobooks:

  1. Subscribers: Apple Books has a massive user base, with millions of readers and listeners worldwide. Podcasts are also a powerful storytelling tool, reaching 57% of Americans over the age of 12.
  2. Total Books Available: Apple Books boasts an extensive collection of over 400,000 premium audiobooks and countless e-books.
  3. Podcasts: While primarily focused on books, Apple Podcasts offers access to 30,000+ free books from Project Gutenberg and content from independent authors and publishers.
  4. Company Journey: Originally known as iBooks, Apple Books has evolved since its inception in 2010. It continues to enhance the reading experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Seamless Integration: Access books and audiobooks across all Apple devices.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Discover new reads based on your preferences.
  • Wide Selection: Choose from bestsellers, curated lists, or personalized recommendations.

Cons:

  • Only works on Apple devices
  • Competition: Faces competition from other audiobook apps.

Pricing Plans

Apple Books is a free audiobook app. You only pay for the title you want.

Google Play Books: Your Gateway to Ebooks, Audiobooks, and More

google play books

Google Play Books is one of the better free audiobook apps on the market. Whether you’re a bookworm, a podcast enthusiast, or a manga lover, this app has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the details:

Functionality

Google Play Books is your digital library on the go. Here’s what it offers:

  1. Ebooks: Choose from millions of best-selling ebooks across genres like romance, science fiction, mystery, self-help, and more.
  2. Audiobooks: Enjoy an extensive collection of audiobooks. Download them to listen while commuting or relaxing.
  3. Comics and Manga: If you’re a visual reader, explore comics and manga right within the app.
  4. Personalization: Get personalized recommendations based on your reading preferences.
  5. Reading Experience: Customize your reading experience by adjusting text size, font type, brightness, and more.

Stats

  • Subscribers: Google Play Books doesn’t have subscription plans; it follows a pay-per-book model .
  • Total Books Available: Millions of ebooks and audiobooks await your discovery.
  • Podcasts: Alongside books, explore podcasts and guided wellness content.
  • Company History: Owned by Google, Google Play Books has been a reliable source for book lovers.

Pros

  • Built-in Credits: The credit-based system lets you choose titles with ease.
  • Excellent User Experience: Intuitive interface for seamless reading.

Cons

  • No real downside.

Pricing Plans

Google Play Books operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. No subscriptions required. Buy or rent books as needed.

Get Google Play Books here

Scribd: Audiobooks and More

scribd homepage

Scribd is your go-to app for a world of captivating audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, podcasts, and sheet music. Let’s explore what makes it the best free audiobook app:

Functionality

Scribd brings you a digital library like no other. Here’s what it offers:

  1. Audiobooks: Dive into over 40,000 audiobooks, perfect for your daily commute or chores.
  2. Ebooks: Explore millions of ebooks across genres – from romance to science fiction.
  3. Magazines: Stay informed with articles from trusted sources like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
  4. Podcasts: Get inspired and entertained by a variety of podcasts.
  5. Sheet Music: Musicians can access compositions from top artists.

Stats

  • Subscribers: Scribd boasts over 1 million paying subscribers worldwide.
  • Total Books Available: A vast collection of ebooks and audiobooks awaits you.
  • Podcasts and Magazines: Alongside books, Scribd offers articles and podcasts.
  • Company History: Founded in 2007 as an open publishing platform, Scribd evolved into a reading subscription service.

Pros

  • Cost-Free Trial: Start with a free trial and explore the library.
  • Diverse Content: From classics to current hits, Scribd has it all.
  • Accessible Anywhere: Listen or read on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Cons

  • Smaller Collection Compared to Some Services.
  • No Premium Features

Pricing Plans

Scribd keeps it simple:

  • Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, and more for only $11.99/month.
  • Cancel anytime if it’s not your cup of tea.

So whether you’re an avid reader or a podcast enthusiast, Scribd has something for every audiobook lover out there! 🎧📚🌟

Get Scribd here

LibriVox: Best Portal for Free Audiobooks

librivox homepage

LibriVox is your passport to a world of captivating audiobooks, all at your fingertips. Let’s explore what makes it the best free audiobook app:

Functionality

LibriVox brings you timeless classics, read aloud by volunteers from around the globe. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Free Audiobooks: Dive into a treasure trove of over 40,000 free audiobooks.
  2. Global Volunteer Effort: Passionate volunteers record, edit, and distribute these literary gems.
  3. Easy Access: Listen on your computer, or mobile device.
  4. Genre Diversity: From novels to history, poetry to short stories, LibriVox covers it all.

Stats

  • Subscribers: LibriVox doesn’t follow a subscription model; it’s open to everyone.
  • Total Books Available: A vast collection spanning genres and languages.
  • Podcasts: While primarily focused on audiobooks, LibriVox also offers classic radio dramas.
  • Company History: Founded in August 2005 by Hugh McGuire, LibriVox has been a beacon for book lovers worldwide.

Pros

  • Cost-Free: No subscription fees; listen as much as you like.
  • Diverse Catalog: Explore novels, biographies, and more.
  • Community Spirit: Volunteers make this rich resource possible.

Cons

  • Smaller Collection: Compared to other services, LibriVox’s library is more modest.
  • No Premium Features: No bells and whistles; just pure audiobook joy.

Pricing Plans

LibriVox doesn’t charge a dime! It’s the epitome of free access. So grab your headphones and immerse yourself in literary magic 🎧📚✨.

Get LibriVox here

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, fellow audiobook listeners. We’ve reviewed some of the best free audiobook apps, and paid options available today. Whether you’re a lover of classic tales or modern mysteries, these apps have got you covered.

Google Play Books, Scribd, and LibriVox each bring something unique to your listening experience. Google Play Books offers a gigantic library of ebooks and audiobooks. If you yearn for a diverse range of content, Scribd is your perfect companion. And let’s not forget LibriVox, a smart audiobook player that brings the joy of books to everyone, all thanks to its generous global community of volunteers.

Happy listening! 🎧📚🌞

Looking for an old-fashioned reading session? Check out our recommendations on the best books on personal growth.

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