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9 Best AudioBook Apps for 2022 (Free and Paid)

Last Updated on August 25, 2022

Woman Running with headphones on listening to the best audiobook apps

We’ve all been there. We’re reading a book, and we just can’t seem to get into it. We are either too busy or don’t have the attention span to keep reading.

But sometimes, life gets in the way, and you don’t have time to sit down and read a physical book. Or maybe you’re traveling and don’t want to pack as many books as you’ll potentially finish on your trip.

That’s where audiobooks come in. Audiobooks can be a great alternative to reading, and they can also help improve your listening skills.

They are also a great way to experience stories without taking the time out of your day to sit down and read them. And with so many different audiobook apps out there, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Just pop in your headphones, hit play, and let the story transport you to another world.

*Spoiler Alert* If you’re looking for the best audiobook app to listen to on the go, then my top recommendations are Audible and Audiobooks.com.

With that said, let’s fly!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can compensate me (at no cost to you – but will buy me a cup of coffee) if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in the affiliate disclaimer.

What are the Best Audiobook Apps?

There’s no need to go to the library and sift through rows of physical books anymore. You can now easily find and download audiobooks straight onto your mobile device through an audiobook app.

1. Audible.

Best For Variety and Quality.

Audible home page

Love books but don’t have time to read?

The Audible app is the perfect solution! They offer a wide selection of audiobooks to listen to while you’re on the go. You can even start listening to your book before you finish downloading it.

With Audible, there’s no need for late-night trips to the library or bookstore. Plus, their Whispersync technology saves your spot in a book so you can pick up right where you left off – even if you switch devices.

Owned by Amazon, Audible has a massive selection of audiobooks that will appeal to everyone. Whether you’re into romance, mystery, biography, or science fiction, they will have something for you.

And if that’s not enough, Audible Originals are made exclusively for Audible members and are always available to listen to ad-free. So whether you’re looking for a new book to read or want to hear from your favorite author or celebrity, Audible has got you covered.

Key Features

  • Whispersync technology – allows users to seamlessly switch between listening to an audiobook and reading the corresponding e-book.
  • Exclusive discounts and benefits for members, such as free audiobook credits and access to exclusive sales with Audible Premium Plus.
  • The mobile app also makes it easy to keep track of your place in a book, make notes, and jump back to specific passages.
  • A-List program – which offers access to a rotating selection of premium titles. This program is perfect for readers who want to try out new authors or genres.
  • Who can resist an advertisement from Michael Bolton (which was played in Australia).
  • Audible Plus Catalogue – designed to give members a range of additional features on top of their membership without using up valuable credits.

Pricing

Each user gets a 30-day free trial with one free audiobook (two free audiobooks for Prime members). It includes their premium selection of titles, and at the end of the trial, even if you don’t continue with the subscription, the audiobook you choose is yours to keep!

After the trial, a subscription costs $14.95 per month with the option to cancel at any time.

Audible offers returns and exchanges that give you that peace of mind if you’re also not happy with your choice.

Sign up for a free trial of Audible today to choose from over 180,000 titles and get your first audiobook for free!


2. Audiobooks.com.

The Best Alternative to Audible.

Audiobooks.com home page

Audiobooks.com is another leading provider with over 300,000 premium titles to choose from. They offer instant access to audiobooks on any device, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. With its easy-to-use and straightforward interface, Audiobooks.com makes it easy for anyone to find and listen to their favorite audiobooks.

They offer a variety of features that make listening to books easy and enjoyable. In particular, their bookmarking feature allows listeners to pick up where they left off, even if they switch devices.

There is a sleep timer so listeners can fall asleep without worrying about the audiobook playing all night.

Key Features

  • Unlimited additional audio entertainment such as sleep and meditation tracks.
  • Enhance your listening experience with access to their podcast app with over 100+ million podcast episodes to choose from.
  • Cloudmark sync and intelligent restart.
  • Access to Audiobook Clubs gives you unlimited access for 30 days.
  • Free three-minute preview of the book before you purchase it.

Pricing

Audiobooks.com offers a 30-day free trial for one free audiobook plus two BONUS VIP rewards books.

After the trial, a subscription of $12.99USD per month applies for one book. If you wish to enjoy more books every month, you can purchase two or three credit subscriptions per month.

In addition, every month, members get the opportunity to access exclusive member deals where you can get two audiobooks for just one credit.


3. Scribd.

Best For Value and Unlimited Book Subscription.

Scribd Homepage

Scribd is a treasure trove of knowledge, containing everything from the latest New York Times bestsellers to hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re looking for educational material or just want to delve into a good book, Scribd has you covered.

Scribd is the perfect place to improve your reading skills and broaden your horizons with its massive selection and engaging platform.

When you sign up for Scribd, you get a similar experience to a popular streaming service. It’s not just e-books and audiobooks that you’ll find, but magazines, and sheet music, all for a monthly subscription.

Key Features

  • Access to trusted journals such as The New York Times and The Wall St Journal.
  • Scribd Originals which launched in 2019, allows subscribers access to exclusive content.
  • Personalize your app to have your favorite articles at the top.
  • Download books and listen to them offline.
Scribd features compared to Audible and Kindle Unlimited

Pricing

Read FREE for 30 days, then $11.99USD (+ tax where applicable) per month.

You can also cancel your subscription at any time, and you will still have access to Scribd’s library for the remainder of the time you have already paid for.


4. Chirp.

Best For Discovering New Books at Lower Prices.

Chirp books home page

Chirp is the perfect way to get amazing deals on audiobooks. With no monthly subscription fees or minimum purchases, you can get great deals on select digital audiobooks. Plus, everything you purchase is yours to keep, so there’s no need to worry about losing access to your books.

Chirp is currently available in the United States and Canada.

Chirp is a book discovery service used by millions of readers to find their next favorite read. The company started as an idea at BookBub. They were responsible for recommending new books based on users’ preferences and interests detected from online reviews across various websites like Goodreads or LibraryThing. Now it has grown into one global platform, helping people discover incredible stories worldwide!

Key Features

  • Money-back guarantee.
  • New deals every day with savings of up to 95%.
  • No subscription fees. Listen when you want to.

Pricing

There are no subscription fees. You just pay per book. With huge savings on best-selling books, prices range from $1.99USD to $20.99USD for new releases.

The best part is that once you pay for a book, it’s yours to keep.


5. Libro.fm.

Best For Supporting Indie Bookstores.

Libro.fm Homepage

With Libro.fm, you can buy audiobooks through your local bookstore, supporting your community while enjoying great content.

When you purchase an audiobook through Libro.fm, the proceeds are split between the bookseller and the publisher, ensuring that everyone benefits. Plus, Libro.fm offers a monthly membership plan that gives you even more savings than the already-discounted prices.

This is how it works:

  1. Create a free account, and then choose your desired bookstore.
  2. Sign up for a monthly membership or pay as you go.
  3. Listen to your favorite books anywhere, anytime!

Key Features

  • Every time you make a purchase, Libro.fm will split the profits with your local bookstore, which helps support small businesses.
  • Free apps on both iOs and Android to customize your learning experience and listen how you want.
  • Bestselling books updated hourly from over 1700+ bookstore partners.
  • Cancel your membership any time.

Pricing

For a limited time only, when you sign up for a new monthly membership, Libro.fm will give you one free audiobook.

Membership pricing starts at $14.99USD per month for one credit (book). Members also get 30% off additional audiobooks when ordered à-la-carte.

A credit card from the United States or Canada is required to purchase a membership. However, you can buy a gift membership from anywhere in the world.


6. Kobo.

Best For Book Reading or Audiobook Playing.

Kobo Home page

Kobo is a Canadian company that specializes in e-reading products, including e-books, audiobooks, and e-readers. The company was founded in 2009 and has since been acquired by Rakuten. Kobo books offers its services in 190 countries and has over 12 million customers worldwide.

Kobo’s e-readers are some of the most popular on the market, and the company has won several awards for its products and services. They have a strong focus on customer satisfaction and offer a wide range of customer support options.

The timeline scrubber bar lets readers fast forward or backward through sections without having any trouble navigating around the page, while time skip buttons let you easily jump several minutes at a time.

It’s perfect if you have missed something crucial during playback due to another interruption.

Key Features

  • Kobo branded e-readers have built-in lights that allow users to read in dark or dimly lit conditions.
  • A free app that can be used on most smartphones and tablets, making it easy for customers to access their e-books from anywhere.
  • Available in a variety of formats, including PDF, EPUB, and MOBI.
  • In addition to its e-book offerings, Kobo also sells a selection of accessories, including cases, covers, and chargers.

Pricing

Kobo gives you one free audiobook when you subscribe. Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month with one credit for any audiobook regardless of its listed price.


7. Smart Audiobook Player.

Smart Audiobook Player inside Google Play

If you’re looking for an app that will allow access to your audiobooks without having them wrapped up in tricky DRM (digital rights management), Smart AudioBook Player is a great choice. The players come with features like variable playback speed and bookmarking right out of the box.

This includes some basic collection management tools like sleep timers or control widgets on smartphones, which can be accessed through notifications tray icon launches and home screen shortcuts.

Smart Audiobook Player is the perfect app (purely an audiobook player – there is no content) for audiobook fans who want to listen without having their screen obstructed.

Key Features

  • The sleep timer function allows you to continue listening when it resumes and features like playing LibroFM or LibriVox recordings individually instead of all at once, so users can easily switch between different types if they have more than one favorite reader.
  • Google Chromecast support.

Pricing

Free from the Google Play store.


8. Libby.

Best For Those Who Have Library Cards.

Libby home page

Think of Libby as your local library, but for audiobooks. All you need is a valid library card.

The Libby library audiobook service has now been made available in 74 countries across the world.

Unlike most apps that charge users a fee for their services and require subscriptions or late fees after trial periods have passed, this one is completely free with no strings attached.

All you need are valid library cards from your local branch, so there is never any risk involved because all downloads end at some point.

So unless someone else has already reserved it before you finish, they get first dibs on listening after the end date.

Key Features

  • Use multiple library cards.
  • The new, intuitive interface with an audiobook player that is similar to Audible’s made it much easier for me to find what I was looking for and listen.
  • Download books for offline viewing.
  • Change the playback speed, and enable sleep timers for specific times or all of your library’s chapters.
  • Place bookmarks.

Pricing

Free to download the app, and all books are included. All you need is a library card.


9. Librivox.

Best For the Classic Bestsellers.

Librivox home page

Librivox is a free audiobook service that offers access to more than 50,000 public domain pieces ranging from classic bestsellers and out-of-print titles. You can save your favorite books for listening at any time or set an unlimited number of bookmarks so you’ll never miss your place.

The quality can vary depending on who volunteers their voice as the narrator, but it’s still worth checking this site if you want classic books without paying top dollar.

Key Features

  • Great selection of classic bestsellers.
  • DRM-free audiobooks.
  • Simple audiobook player. Search the collection by title, author, or even the narrator.
  • New audiobooks are released daily.

Pricing

Free to listen.


While this list doesn’t cover all of the ebooks and audiobooks out there, there is one more that is worthwhile looking at, and that is Google Play Books.

This app is available on both iOs and Android devices to download at any time. You can listen to audiobooks for offline listening with no monthly fee or subscription required.


Best Audiobook App FAQs

Are Audiobooks as Good as Reading?

Audiobooks can be as good as reading a traditional book. However, it depends on individual preferences and experiences.

Some avid readers may prefer hard copies of books because they enjoy the physical act of turning pages and the feel of a book in their hands. Others might prefer audiobooks because they can listen while doing other things, such as exercising or commuting.

And still, others might find that they retain information better when they read printed words rather than listening to someone else reading them aloud.

That being said, there are some general points that can be made about Audiobooks vs Reading.

First, narrator quality is very important in audiobooks – if the narrator is bad, it can ruin the entire experience.

Additionally, audiobooks can be more expensive than regular books, and they can take longer to finish since you have to listen at a specific pace.

Finally, some people find that they focus better when reading regular books as opposed to listening to audiobooks. This is especially true for people who are used to reading silently to themselves.

There are pros and cons to both audiobooks and regular books, so it really comes down to what works best for each person. 

How do I Choose a Good Audiobook?

Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy literature while multitasking, but choosing the right audiobook can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you choose a good audiobook: 

1. Make sure the narrator’s voice is pleasant and easy to listen to. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person’s voice, so you want it to be something you enjoy listening to. 

2. Look for books that have been recorded by professional studios. These recordings will generally be of higher quality than amateur recordings and will save you from having to listen to poor sound quality or frequently interrupted readings. 

3. Choose an audiobook that has received favorable reviews. Checking out ratings and reviews from other listeners can help you weed out the duds and find a great book to listen to. 

4. Find an audiobook that is the right length for your needs. If you’re looking for something to listen to during your commute, a shorter book might be best. But if you have more time to dedicate to listening, you might want to choose a longer book.
 
5. Consider the topic of the book. If you’re looking for a particular type of book, make sure the audiobook you choose is in line with what you’re actually interested in.

Happy listening!

Can Audiobooks Make You Smarter?

Yes, audiobooks can make you smarter.

Listening to audiobooks can help improve your comprehension and retention of information and even help you learn new subjects more quickly.

In addition, listening to audiobooks can help improve your focus and concentration and help you better understand complex topics. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your intelligence and learn new things, consider switching to audiobooks.

You may be surprised at just how smart they make you!


Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to relax on your commute, learn something new while traveling, or just want a good book to listen to at home, audiobooks are the perfect way to get in some reading time. Knowing where to start with so many great audiobooks can be hard.

Here are a few of my suggestions to get you going.

If you’re looking for a classic novel, then Moby Dick is a great choice. This iconic book has been expertly narrated by Tim Curry and is sure to keep you entertained from start to finish.

If you’re after something a little lighter, then why not try The Cat in the Hat? This beloved children’s book is brought to life by the hilarious narration of Jim Carrey and is sure to put a smile on your face.

For something a little different, check out The Life of Pi. This novel tells the story of a boy who is stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger and is narrated by the author himself, Yann Martel.

Whatever you’re looking for, there’s sure to be an audiobook perfect for you. So why not give one a try today.

Which is your favorite book? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s time to be the pilot of your life, not just the passenger.


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