Audiobooks are a great way to bring words on a page to life and fit reading into your schedule throughout the day when you’re doing things like working out, cooking, driving and relaxing. Amazon-owned Audible is arguably the most popular audiobook app out there, but there are several other lesser-known options that offer a great listening experience if you’re looking to try out a new app or are just starting to get into the world of audiobooks.
We have compiled a list of six audiobook apps that we think are worth checking out. The right app for you will likely depend on your listening preferences and budget, so the list includes a variety of apps that follow different models.
Audiobooks.com gives you access to one audiobook credit and one VIP book credit for $14.95 per month. You can use the credits to buy one of the service’s 425,000 audiobooks or join a genre club that gives you unlimited access to titles in that club for a month. For instance, you can join the mystery and thriller club and listen to unlimited titles in the club for 30 days.
If you don’t want to commit to the monthly subscription, you can purchase individual titles. Audiobooks.com offers a 30-day free trial that comes with three free audiobooks. It’s worth noting that the service also has a collection of 10,000 free audiobooks. The service is a good option if you’re already an audiobook-listener and want to try out a new option.
Everand from Scribd is a great option for users who want to read several audiobooks each month and are willing to pay a monthly fee. The app gives users access to audiobooks, e-books and magazines $11.99 per month. The monthly fee includes access to content from Everand, Scribd and SlideShare. It’s worth noting that when you access a title on the platform, you’re streaming it like you would a movie on Netflix, which means you don’t actually own the audiobook.
Everand gives you access to a limited number of titles per month depending on where you live. The platform lets you download titles for offline reading and listening, and allows you to access titles across four devices. The service offers a 30-day free trial if you’re not ready to commit but want to try it out.
Libby is a great option if you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend money on audiobooks every month. The app lets you enjoy thousands of free audiobooks, e-books and magazines from your local library. Libby also lets you add more than one library card to the app, which opens up access to even more titles.
The downside is that if you’re looking to listen to a popular audiobook, you may have to wait awhile before it’s available to loan. You have up to three weeks with the audiobook before you have to return it, but the app remembers where you stopped so you can always just borrow it again in the future. There’s also a limit on how many audiobooks you can borrow at a time, which isn’t really an issue when you’re getting access to titles for free.
Like Libby, Hoopla gives you access to free audiobooks, e-books and magazines as long as your library is a Hoopla affiliate. In addition to reading material, the app also offers TV shows and movies. Hoopla includes your typical audiobook controls like a sleep timer, bookmarking and the option to adjust the audio speed. As with any regular library, there is a limit on the number of titles you can borrow.
It’s worth noting that the audiobook selection will likely include fewer audiobooks than a paid subscription offering like Audible or Scribd. But, nonetheless, the app is a great option if your library has a partnership with Hoopla and you don’t have the budget for a monthly subscription.
You may be surprised to find Spotify on this list, but hear me out. Spotify has started giving Premium members 15 hours of free audiobook listening every month. Many best sellers fall under 15 hours, which means you can enjoy a free audiobook every month. It’s worth noting that Spotify also lets you purchase audiobooks individually.
If you’re someone who pays for Spotify Premium and doesn’t plan on listening to several audiobooks or are just starting out with audiobooks, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the streaming service’s new offering before trying out a dedicated audiobook service. However, if you just plan on listening to one audiobook a month, you may not even need another service.
Libro.fm is an interesting audiobook app because it lets you buy audiobooks while supporting your local bookstores. The service lets you pick a local bookstore to support with your purchases. Libro.fm gives you one audiobook credit for $14.99 per month, but you also can purchase audiobooks à la carte. Each time you get an audiobook through Libro.fm, the service shares profits with the local bookstore you have chosen. Libro.fm currently has partnerships with more than 2,500 bookstores.
What makes Libro.fm unique is the fact that audiobooks bought through Libro.fm are DRM-free, which means you aren’t forced to use the service’s app to listen to audiobooks. You have the option to download MP3 files and listen to the audiobooks on any app or device, and you get to keep them forever.