Books are great to escape daily life, but sometimes it's hard to sit down and focus on reading, or you may be tired from a long day at work.
Audiobooks are quickly becoming a great solution to these problems. Have stories that are spoken to you by a range of speakers with interesting and captivating voices.
But where do you actually buy audiobooks from? I'm sure you've heard of some websites such as iTunes but there's many more less known companies out there.
Amazon's Audible is one of the best-known marketplaces, that allows anyone to list and sell their own books, so you can guarantee you'll find millions of titles to choose from.
In this article, we've looked at the top audiobook sites. You'll be able to find books in a range of topics including classics, new releases, business, biographies, fiction and non fiction.
The best audiobook sites at a glance:
Audible is the biggest and most well-known audiobook platform under Amazon. Users can try a 30-day free trial with credit for two free audiobooks. Afterwards there is are several memberships plans to choose from ranging from $16.45 to $274.60.
With the $16.45 per month plan, users get 1 credit which can be used to purchase 1 audiobook. There is a $27.45 monthly membership for 2 credits and a $164.50 annual plan for 12 credits.
The most expensive plan upfront is the $274.60 12-month one which allows for 24 credits. Users can either use credits to buy audiobooks or pay separately with money as well.
With any Audible subscription, there is access to podcasts and additional book sales. The Audible app needs to be downloaded to listen to the books yet there is also the option to use cloud reader through the Amazon website.
An unlimited number of devices can be connected through a single Audible account. With Audible, users can choose narration speed and set up timers for each book.
Audiobooks can also be returned with the credit refunded within 365 days from the date of purchase. There are a variety of genres to choose from, ranging from kids to adult fiction.
AudioBooks is a platform from Google to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. First-time users can start with a one-month free trial where 2 free audiobooks can be tested out. After 30 days, there is a charge for $16.45 which allows for 1 credit to buy any audiobook of choice.
There are also 2-3 credit plans available. More credits can be bought individually as well using the InstaCredit feature for a cost of $16.45 per credit. There are exclusive book sales for AudioBooks members such as 2-for-1 deals for many genres like romance and children.
AudioBooks houses content from well-known authors and celebrities with frequent updates. There is no subscription required to buy a standalone audiobook.
The audiobooks can be accessed through the app, available on both Google Play Store and the Apple Store. A single account can be used for multiple devices. Through the AudioBooks app, voice speed can be controlled to go faster or slower depending on personal taste.
Credits expire after a 3-month period. Cancelling a subscription will keep purchased books but VIP Rewards content will be no longer be available. The availability of this service depends on the region and most of the work is catered towards English speakers and readers.
Kobo is under Rakuten and is a service where audiobooks, podcasts and other content can be accessed and listened to. Kobo offers a 30-day free trial where one credit is available to purchase any audiobook, no matter the price.
The selected audiobook will stay in the library even if the trial is cancelled prematurely. If users are satisfied with the service, they can choose to join a $12.99 per month subscription where 1 credit is given to purchase one audiobook of choice.
If the single credit is already used and users want to listen to another audiobook, there are 3-pack credits available for purchase. However, there is also the option to not use credits and use cash instead but the prices will vary depending on the book.
There is the Kobo Books app which can be downloaded on iOS or Android. This app can be used to listen to or read books purchased. There are several features like changing narration speed.
Audiobooks purchased with Kobo credits can not be refunded. Users who cancel the subscription have 6 months to spend any remaining credits. Kobo is currently accessible to residents living in Australia and New Zealand.
This is a platform owned by Blackstone Audio which advertises affordable audiobooks up to ad advertised 70% less than retail prices. Through Blackstone Audio, there are over 30,000 works available.
Downpour offers a single credit to purchase an audiobook for the monthly price of $12.99. More credits can be bought at a cost of $12.99 per credit.
Besides purchasing books, there is also the option to rent them out weekly. Even without a membership, audiobooks can be bought. Downpour has no DMR, which allows users to download an MP3 file.
The Downpour app can be downloaded for free on both the App Store and Google Play. Like several apps, there is the option to choose play speed, bookmark and automatic savers.
Credits can be refunded within a month from the date of purchase by calling the line if there are technical issues. This same policy applies to rentals as well. Credits must be used within 12-months of purchase or else they will expire.
The Downpour app can still be accessed after subscriptions are cancelled to listen to audiobooks that were bought beforehand. Titles need to be bought on a browser before it can be accessed through the official app.
Scribd is a publishing company offers a library service. There is a 14-day free trial where there is unlimited access to both professionally published content and independent ones written by everyday people. Users can read books, short essays and articles for a price of $8.99 per month.
There is a single plan available with 1 audiobook option and 3 premium book choices. There are no limitations on the number of general contents that can be read.
There are around 70,000 audiobooks available yet Scribd also has a large variety of content such as sheet music and access to established magazines such as Time Magazine and Men’s Health.
The Scribd app is available on both Android and iOS devices, with a 4-device limit with a single account. Kindles and other e-readers are not compatible with Scribd. There is no need for a paid membership to access small sections of selected books.
If users cancel a paid membership, the library can no longer be viewed and content will not be saved. Returns need to be made within 30 days of purchase and will be allowed if there is a technical issue.
Scribd is available worldwide but there are restrictions in some content and language options.
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Best Free Audiobook Sites
While free audiobook sites do exist, the quality and availability of books is limiting. Ultimately the goal of a writer is to create an audiobook that earns them some form of income.
Amazon's Audible offers a wide selection of free audiobooks, across a wide range of topics. You can browse the site, looking for those with a low/free price point.
You can also start a 30 day trial and get 2 free books.
Other sites we've reviewed above, also offer trials with free books. You can also checkout Google Pay, Apple App Store for free books.
Elsewhere on the Internet, there are some free public domain audiobooks available. One such website is called Librivox.org.
There are many websites out there claiming to offer free audiobooks but they simply redirect you to affiliate offers, so are misleading in our opinion.
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