Is Audible Worth It? An Honest Review of Amazon’s Audiobook Service

Mobile Apps

Book lovers out there have probably heard of Amazon’s audiobook app, Audible. It is said that Audible is a great platform for audiobooks because it packs great features that will surely attract the bookworms out there. However, there is one nagging question in every user’s mind: is Audible worth it?

Whether it’s worth the time and money of bookworms out there, we shall find out in this article. Spoiler alert: you might be surprised by the number of benefits you can get on an Audible subscription.

 

What Is Audible?

audible logo
Photo from Audible

Audible is a subscription-based audiobook service made by Don Katz in 1995. By 2008, Audible was acquired by the tech and retail giant Amazon. As we all know, Amazon is a household name in many aspects, from shopping, video streaming, and library services. Currently, they have two library apps, namely Audible and Kindle. As the name implies, Audible offers audiobooks, while Kindle focuses on e-books.

Audible offers a library of audiobooks with varying genres to choose from: from indie to sci-fi and nonfiction. It houses approximately more than 200,000 book selections for your listening pleasure. The app also offers millions of podcasts and spoken word poetry. You can find original creations that are only available on the app itself.

The Audible app is available on a slew of devices, from PCs and Kindle e-book readers to Android, and iOS devices.

Audible for Android

Audible for iOS

 

Is Audible Worth It?

Perhaps, Audible is the most mainstream audiobook service you can get right now. With claims that it owns an enormous amount of titles and podcasts, we should expect it to be jampacked with tons of features. But is the subscription worth every penny? We will find out in this comprehensive review.

 

Pricing

Audible subscription plan
Screengrab photo from Amazoncom

Choose an Audible Plan

 

Audible is purely a subscription-based audiobook platform that provides audiobooks for a reasonable price. At first, they provided Gold and Platinum subscriptions, which start at $14.95. To attract more book lovers and streamline their services, Audible has recently changed its subscription scheme.

Currently, they have two kinds of membership on its helm: Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus. Audible Plus is priced at $7.95/month, while the Audible Premium Plus is $14.95/month. You may also opt for an annual Audible Premium Plus subscription priced at $149.50/year.

All of these products offer a 30-day free trial period without any hidden charges. If you’re not satisfied, you can cancel your free trial anytime without additional charges. After this 30-day trial, you will be charged for the corresponding plan you’ve subscribed to.

The Audible Plus plan offers unlimited content from the Audible Plus library. Subscribers can stream and listen to thousands and thousands of audiobooks from its extensive library, from crime thrillers to fantasy fiction and even nonfiction books. Not only that, an Audible Plus subscription offers a lot of “Audible Originals.” This catalog changes monthly, so you can freely choose what audiobook you want.

Meanwhile, Audible Premium Plus offers more services than Audible Plus. Aside from unlimited streaming on the Audible Plus catalog, you can get one monthly Audible credit on your subscription. This is a great addition to your subscription for you can purchase audiobooks of any price.

 

Library Contents

Photo by Audible from the Play Store

Bookworms hate it when a library lacks variety in its book offerings. Not with Audible, though. Currently, Audible offers 200,000 titles that range from fiction genres, like horror, fantasy, fictional history, and the like to nonfiction genres like documentaries, autobiographies, inspirational works, and many more. Moreover, Audible features your classic titles like that of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and George Orwell.

To date, Audible still has the most number of audiobooks under its helm. With over a hundred thousand titles to choose from its library, there is no doubt that Audible is the most compelling choice for all book lovers out there. The diversity of their library is truly unparalleled compared with its competitors.

When you subscribe to any Audible plans, you can get a free audiobook of your choice. You will also find many free audiobooks published here for kids.

While you’re at it, check out our top list of the best reading apps for kids today.

 

App Features

The Audible app has plenty of features on board that can make your experience with the audiobook app pleasurable. Just like what is already mentioned, you can stream tons of different content with different genres on different devices on Audible.

Some books can also be synced with Kindle using “Whispersync.” Now, you can listen to your audiobooks and go back and read them on Kindle. Just make sure that you also own the e-book equivalent on Kindle.

Just like your typical paperback or e-book, you can bookmark some highlights on what you are reading or listening to. Now, you won’t miss those clues that lead to the climax of the story.

Lastly, if you are in for a long journey, you can download your favorite e-book for offline listening. So now, you can listen to your beloved titles on your way somewhere.

 

Audible App Pros and Cons

Now we know the different features of this audiobook app, let us dive into its pros and cons. There are different ways to enjoy our experience with Audible, but generally speaking, there are some things we should consider before getting a subscription for Audible.

 

The Pros of Audible App

There are many things we can rave about Audible. That is why we believe that it is still the best audiobook app out there.

Here are some things we love about Audible:

1. A Large Collection of Titles

audible description
Photo by Audible from the App Store

This is the first and we think the best feature to rave about Audible. The huge collection of audiobooks is just unimaginable up until this day. Its 200,000+ number of titles on its platform is solid proof that Audible is still unbeatable when it comes to its number of audiobook collections.

 

2. App Versatility

Audible is not isolated on Amazon devices such as the Kindle Fire. Audible works on almost all modern devices that run on Android and iOS. You can even use Audible on your PCs. And because of its Whispersync feature, no matter what device you are using, you can be assured that you are reading on the right page on the right timeframe. No more scrubbing of that media player forward to that exact time where you left off.

 

3. Audible Originals

Photo by Audible from the Play Store

Sometimes, we want some fresh, out-of-the-oven ideas to read. It’s because we are all tired of those stale, boy-meets-girl stories that sound plain boring. What’s great about Audible is that it delivers brand new and distinctive ideas on the platform monthly. Audible publishes new audiobooks, podcasts, theater programs, and even sleep programs on Audible Originals.

 

4. Neat Syncing Capability

You don’t want to scrub on that progress bar again and again whenever you listen to your audiobooks. Audible’s Whispersync feature is truly neat because it syncs your reading progress across all your devices that have Audible on them. Just make sure your phone is connected to the internet to ensure that your reading progress is synced across all your devices.

 

5. Offline Audiobooks

audible offline mode
Photo by Audible from the App Store

You’re off on a flight to Asia and you want to have some entertainment on your flight – look no further than Audible. Similar to how Spotify Premium lets you download music, Audible also has an offline playback for times you have to disconnect to the internet. Just save your favorite titles on your smartphone or tablet and listen to your favorite titles without fretting about your mobile data.

 

The Cons of Audible App

With all the greatness Audible gets, it also has its downfalls. These are some of the things you might want to consider before biting into this audiobook app:

1. Pricing Not for Everyone

Imagine entering a bookstore where you can read and own every book in that store. Yes, you can do that with Audible. A $7.95/month or $14.95/month price for unlimited streaming on audiobooks is a real steal for its price.

However, if you’re a casual reader, you might not find the subscription worth its price. The price might be too steep for readers who just read an average of two books per month. Even if you earn and consume your monthly Audible credits, you might not find any worth your subscription. Better buy yourself a standalone audiobook or a paperback title somewhere else other than Audible.

 

2. Search Engine Not Optimized

On Amazon, you can sort products according to its price point but not with Audible. Therefore, if you are on a hunt for an affordable title, tough luck. Good luck with scrolling and finding that cheap audiobook for your enjoyment.

 

3. Hardcopies Cheaper Than Audiobooks

As we already know, most of the hard copies of books are still way cheaper than audiobooks. Just go to your local bookstore and you’ll find cheaper finds for your reading enjoyment. Yes, there is convenience in downloading and listening to your favorite titles as audiobooks. But there is still joy in reading and flipping every page of an actual book.

 

4. No In-App Purchases for iOS Devices

Apple is known to take a 30% cut on in-app purchases. This helps Apple make a profit on the App Store. To keep the prices competitive, you can’t purchase any audiobooks on the Audible app itself on your iPhone and iPad. You need to get to your browser just to buy your audiobook. That is a little bit of a hassle for iOS users.

 

Audible vs. Kindle Unlimited: Which Is Better?

As was mentioned earlier, there are two library apps currently carried by Amazon. These are Audible and Kindle. In July 2014, Amazon added Kindle Unlimited to its e-book services. Just like Audible, it provides unlimited e-book and audiobook content for its subscribers.

It would seem like Audible and Kindle Unlimited are two competing library apps owned by the same company. They both provide great content for our itch in literature. But which is better between these two apps?

In this table, we’ll enumerate some of their differences. This would let you ponder which reading app is better for your reading pleasure.

Audible Kindle Unlimited
Audiobook-only library Audiobook and e-book library
200,000+ title collection 1,000,000+ title collection
You can purchase and keep any titles from Audible’s collection You only get to borrow titles from Kindle’s library
Worldwide availability Available in the US and select countries
$7.95 or $14.95/month subscription $9.99/month subscription
New monthly releases on Audible Originals New content is rarely seen on Kindle Unlimited
You can pause your subscription anytime End of subscription means you cannot continue what you’re reading

Considering these features, which one is better? That would depend on your preference. For instance, if you want to maintain your reading habits despite your busy schedule, then get Audible. It gives you the ability to read (or listen) to your books wherever, whenever you are.

But if you got the luxury of time, Kindle Unlimited is the one for you. With over one million titles to choose from, you can never go wrong with Kindle Unlimited. Plus, you get to read books just like how we usually do it.

 

Audible Alternatives

Maybe you’re still not convinced about the pricing and benefits of Audible. Then you might want to look at some of the alternatives to Audible. These apps can give you your needed enjoyment that can satisfy the bookworm spirit in you.

 

Audiobooks Now

Photo by Audiobooks Now on Google Play Store

If you want a cheap alternative for your audiobook fix, Audiobooks Now is the right choice for you. It may not have the most diverse library versus Audible, but its 85,000 title collection for $4.99/month can persuade you enough to consider subscribing to Audiobooks Now.

What makes it more riveting is Audiobooks Now provides DRM-free books. This means that you can play your audiobooks on any media player. Now, there is no need to download Audible anymore when you want to get your reading fix for yourself.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

Librivox Audio Books

Photo by BookDesign on Google Play Store

The best things in life are free. That’s how Librivox works. You can listen to a total of 50,000 audiobooks all for free. Now, these numbers may not be that much, but with the free content that you’ll get, we think there’s no room for complaining here.

It’s all thanks to the curators and developers behind Librivox. Now, listening to your favorite title is much easier and accessible. You can even listen to it in your car (for Android Auto users). Having an access to your classic titles to radio anthologies and world-renowned literature is now really easy, thanks to Librivox.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

Scribd

Photo by Scribd

Scribd offers unlimited streaming on audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers. With its 1,000,000 audiobook and e-book titles, you can explore the vast library on a Scribd subscription.

For only $8.99/month, you can get three e-book credits and one audiobook credit. If you want premium audiobooks, you can purchase them using Scribd’s credits.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

Verdict: Is Audible Worth It?

Audible is perhaps the most comprehensive audiobook app today. If you’re a true bookworm and want to have a different experience in discovering stories, Audible is a great choice for your everyday reading habit. With a good collection of classic and original titles, Audible gives you unlimited choices to feed your mind.

 

 

What Are Audible Credits?

Can I Get a Refund on Audible?

Is Audible Free With Amazon Prime?

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