Listening to books is something modern society had to invent to accommodate the fast-paced lifestyle most of us are living. Although it may feel more pleasurable to touch the papers, underline favorite parts, and physically hold our favorite books, many people simply can’t spare the time to do so.
That’s where audiobook apps come into play. You can now listen to your favorite books while driving, cooking, relaxing, or exercising. Audiobook apps and services are provided by websites that either host audiobooks or allow you to purchase them. Today, I’m going to review the 9 best audiobook apps that you don’t want to miss in 2022, so let’s get started.
What Are the Best Audiobook Apps?
Here is my list of the 9 best audiobook apps in 2022.
Audible is among the most popular audiobook apps on the market, mainly for being an Amazon-owned brand. It offers a range of different audiobooks, including meditation programs, sleep tracks, even podcasts, and the acclaimed Audible Originals.
The Originals are a huge part of Audible’s charm, as this content can’t be found on any other platform. When it comes to more traditional audiobooks, the Audible app offers one of the most comprehensive libraries, encompassing over 200,000 books.
Its smartphone audiobook app is streamlined and very easy to use. The brand has added dozens of on-screen guides to help newcomers learn more about its basic features.
Audible works on a simple system. Users get a certain number of credits each month (depending on chosen subscription plan), which they can exchange for audiobooks. Extra credits can be purchased, but only by members that have a Premium Plus subscription.
What separates the Audible app from other audiobook apps is the Whispersync for Voice function. Basically, this feature allows users to pick up where they left off on a different Whispersync-enabled device. The playback marker, notes, and all bookmarks will be saved, and the same settings applied on a different device when this feature is enabled.
- Audiobook marketplace and listening platform.
- Audible Originals, which are exclusive to the Audible app.
- Over 200,000 audiobooks and podcasts.
- Amazon A La Carte system makes books purchased on Amazon compatible with Audible.
- A library where users can store audiobooks; it’s accessible for both online and offline listening.
- Audible Newsfeed provides accurate information about the author and author-related events.
- Whispersync for Voice feature, allowing users to transition from listening to reading instantly.
Audible offers two subscription plans. The Audible Plus costs $7.95 per month while the audible Premium Plus costs $14.95 per month. The latter offers an additional book title each month, which is typically handpicked from best-selling releases.
What I Like / Dislike About Audible
- The variety of content on Audible is the thing I liked the most. From traditional audiobooks, over podcasts, to sleeping tracks, I’d say you’ll find whatever you may be searching for here.
- Although the Audible credit system is generally great, I don’t think that the members with the basic subscription appreciate the fact that they can’t buy extra credits.
Who Is This For?
Audible is one of the best audiobook apps for people that value convenience. From start to finish, the process of getting and enjoying audiobooks is quick and simple. Any audiobooks you may have purchased from Amazon can be listened to on this platform as well.
Audiobooks.com is a huge name in this industry, offering an eclectic catalog of audiobooks, podcast episodes, as well as curated audio magazines, meditation content, and audio news.
Many compare Audiobooks.com to Audible, as both audiobook apps offer more content than could be enjoyed in one lifetime. Audiobooks.com uses the same credit-based system as Amazon’s Audible and allows all subscribed members to purchase additional credits.
With well over 300,000 audiobook titles spanning dozens of different categories, Audiobooks.com’s catalog is among the largest and most versatile ones on the market.
Supporting the A La Carte system, any audiobook that users have purchased outside of this platform can still be used on it.
Similar to Audible’s Originals, Audiobooks.com offers the VIP Rewards program, which rewards all members, even those that are on Free Trial, with a single title from a special hand-picked selection each month.
- Over 300,000 audiobooks, many of which are free.
- Millions of podcast episodes.
- Offline listening is available.
- A La Carte System.
- InstaCredits is accessible via an app.
- VIP rewards for all members.
- Wi-Fi-only setting to preserve data consumption on smartphones.
Audiobooks.com offers a 30-day free trial period, during which users can enjoy up to three free audiobooks. After it expires, users need to sign up for a monthly subscription, which costs $14.95 per month.
What I Like / Dislike About Audiobooks.com
- Aside from the sheer number of available audiobook titles, the versatility of this platform’s catalog is easily its strongest point.
- The ability to purchase more credits both on the Audiobooks.com website and via the app is also a huge benefit.
- The only potential drawback I found was Audiobooks.com’s pricing. The only option is the monthly subscription after the free trial ends, and it’s a bit more expensive than Audible.
Who Is This For?
Audiobooks.com is good for everyone fond of online audio content. Since it isn’t fixed on audiobooks exclusively, you can listen to the news, audio adaptions of magazines, and podcasts. It may be slightly more expensive than Audible, but it’s still fairly approachable and offers more titles than other audiobook apps.
Libby is a unique audiobook app that uses the reader’s library card information to search for available digital content in real-world libraries. It’s a free audiobook app and has no in-app purchases, which made it remarkably popular among students.
This audiobook app is vastly different from Audible and Audiobooks.com, as its content is different for each user. However, it supports several standard features, such as an offline library, the ability to listen to content on different devices, and Kindle compatibility.
Using Libby can be likened to using a digital library card. The books are ‘borrowed’ and set to be returned at specific dates, but this process is automatic. Users can return their audiobooks early, or apply for a renewed loan in case they haven’t finished listening.
Aside from being able to borrow audiobooks, users can also read samples or add tags to titles that could help them find similar books later.
- Automatically scans available audiobooks and digital content based on the user’s library card.
- Download audiobooks and listen to them offline.
- Shared access across multiple devices.
- Stream audiobooks for free.
- Intuitive user interface.
- Smart audiobook player.
- Adjustable font size and book layout.
Libby is one of the best free audiobook apps and can be downloaded from app stores at no cost.
What I Like / Dislike About Libby
- Libby is probably one of the most creative e-book apps of the decade.
- It’s a free audiobook app and it offers a variety of interesting features that could be used to create a personalized listening experience.
- Libby only allows users to browse through digital content available in the libraries they have a card in.
- Although the majority of libraries have thousands of audiobooks and digital titles available, many offer a very limited selection.
Who Is This For?
As a free audiobook app, Libby may be more useful to people who can’t afford Audible or Audiobooks.com subscriptions. The type and availability of content is different for each user depending on the content in physical libraries they have a card to, making it hard to gauge who it’s best for. Since its Kindle support only works for American libraries, US readers and listeners can benefit the most from it.
Hoopla is another one of the free audiobook apps that offers a variety of interesting features. Just like Libby, it requires users to have a valid library card to use the app, but it’s different in almost all other aspects.
Unlike Libby, Hoopla doesn’t source digital content from libraries – the company is partnering with library branches and provides the content to them for a small fee. The users, on another hand, don’t need to pay anything to use Hoopla’s audiobook app.
The library card requirement isn’t too strict. Hoopla will search the locations of each user during the registration process and scan for libraries that have partnered with the brand. This way, people that have registered in libraries that don’t support it can still gain access to Hoopla content.
Speaking of which, Hoopla offers over 500,000 content titles, more than a third of which are audiobooks. This website sources its content from reputable names in the industry, including Blackstone Audio, Simon and Schuster Audio, as well as Harper Collins and Tantor Audio.
Aside from audiobooks, Hoopla also offers thousands of moves, music, e-books, comics, and TV shows.
- Over 500,000 digital content titles, over 150,000 of which are comprised of audiobooks.
- Music, e-books, magazines, comics, and TV shows.
- Free audiobooks to listen to and download.
- Exclusive limited-time audiobooks are also free of charge.
Hoopla is free to use, and its app can be downloaded on Google Play or Apple Store.
What I Like / Dislike About Hoopla
- It’s a one-stop shop for fans of digital entertainment making it one of the best audiobook apps.
- There are plenty of titles to enjoy, regardless of whether you prefer reading e-books, listening to audiobooks, or watching TV shows and music videos.
- Hoopla’s system is a bit more advanced, allowing users to make an account in a nearby library, provided that it’s partnered with the brand.
- Hoopla’s content is the same for all users, which is another huge advantage it holds over Libby.
- You still need a library card to use it, and there is a chance that none of the libraries in your area support Hoopla.
Who Is This For?
Hoopla is an excellent choice for audiobook fans, as it offers a massive selection of popular titles and classics. Given that it’s free to use, it can also be very appealing to people that want to enjoy free music and TV shows. Its catalog is being constantly updated, but it’s not as versatile or as rich as the catalog of audiobook apps like Audible or Audiobooks.com.
Downpour Audiobooks may not be as popular as Audible or Hoopla, but it could fit in the same basket in terms of unique features and benefits.
The way Downpour works is dissimilar to any of the best audiobook apps we’ve covered so far. Downpour does offer a subscription, but you could still purchase or rent titles even without being a member. Audiobook rental makes it closer to Libby than Audible or Audiobooks.com, but unlike Libby or Hoopla, Downpour doesn’t offer free audiobooks.
Anyone can freely browse the catalog of about 80,000 audiobook titles. By making an account, you can either rent or purchase the book you wish to listen to. However, with a monthly subscription, you can pick a single book each month for free (just like on Audible or Audiobooks.com). Extra credits can be purchased on Downpour’s official website.
What makes this service different from the others is its selection of DRM free audiobooks (digital rights management). This is actually a huge benefit for people that may want to share the books they’ve purchased or borrowed with their friends or family, as that’s not possible with DRM-protected files.
- Roughly 80,000 audiobooks in the store, many of which are DRM free audiobooks.
- Audiobooks are available in several formats.
- Its audiobooks app is compatible with both Android devices and iOS devices.
- Sharable audiobooks.
- Titles can be bought or rented at a slightly reduced fee.
- Membership provides free credits each month; additional credits can be purchased at a fixed price.
- Downpour members are often offered exclusive discounts.
Downpour Audiobooks offers its services at a monthly fee of $12.99. A free trial is not available, but users can purchase or rent audiobooks even without the membership (only a registered account is required).
What I Like / Dislike About Downpour
- The option to rent audiobook titles is one of its best features.
- When rented, titles cost drastically less, although they need to be returned at a specific date.
- Rentals can be extended up to 60 days, and the price still wouldn’t match the original purchase.
- Best audiobook app solution for DRM free audiobooks.
- The membership is a bit too pricey, considering the fact that this service offers only a fraction of the titles some of the companies we’ve listed offer.
- You don’t have to subscribe to use the platform, although that’s the only way to get free credits (and free books).
Who Is This For?
Downpour offers a decent selection of audiobook titles, although it can’t compare with some of the other best audiobook apps we’ve covered so far. Its membership also costs a bit more than Audible while it’s more affordable than Audiobooks.com. It’s more convenient and more versatile than Libby while being almost even with Hoopla.
It’s great for people that don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription, who would rather purchase or rent titles how and when they wish.
Blinkist is not a dedicated audiobook platform; rather, this is a type of service that deals with book summaries, helping its clients grasp the most important elements of selected books in as few as 15 minutes.
In addition to providing book summaries, Blinkist also offers nearly 5,000 audiobook titles in its library. On the brighter side, Blinkist introduces dozens of new books each month and is growing at a steady pace.
The personalized approach of this service allows users to explore various titles through tags or categories. It’s remarkably easy to use, although its features are somewhat limited.
One of its most distinctive features is the ‘shortcasts’ – a series of podcast summaries that is a product of collaboration with numerous podcast hosts and content creators. In terms of audiobooks, Blinkist’s intuitive app offers a streamlined user experience.
- Roughly 5,000 audiobook titles in the library; dozens of new titles are added monthly.
- User-friendly app with a clean UI.
- Numerous helpful tags that help with content exploration.
- Book and podcast summaries that explain the gist of the matter in record time.
- 7-day free trial.
Blinkist is a subscription-based service that costs $8.34 per month. The subscription is billed annually and costs $99.99 a year.
What I Like / Dislike About Blinkist
- One of the best things about Blinkist is how easy it is to use.
- From account creation, over streamlined title browsing, to reading and enjoying the content the platform has to offer, everything was made so that everyone can use it.
- The downsides mainly revolve around the lack of content. For a few extra dollars, you could purchase a subscription to Audible and gain access to hundreds of thousands of audiobooks instead.
Who Is This For?
Blinkist may not be perfect for avid readers that can pass through multiple books a week. Its selection of audiobooks is very limited, but the curated content and highly intuitive design of the app make it worth considering for casual audiobook readers.
The eStories website is rightfully counted among the best audiobook apps. It offers flexible subscription plans, great discounts for new members, unlimited cloud storage for all accounts, and a catalog of more than 110,000 titles, many of which are free to download and access.
What separates this website from similar services is the excellent recommendations system. As soon as you make an account, you won’t have to browse through thousands of titles before bumping into something interesting; the system will present you with new releases, a few titles with superb reviews dubbed ‘great first listens’, after which the bestsellers come into play.
- More than 110,000 audiobooks, over 9,500 of which are free.
- Easy to use audiobook player.
- Multiple subscription plans.
- Up to five free books per month with a Premium subscription.
- Between five and ten devices can be connected to the same account.
- Unlimited audiobook cloud storage for all subscriptions.
The eStores platform offers three subscription plans, including Basic at $11.99 per month or $9.99 per year, the Plus at $21.99 per month or $17.99 per year, and Premium at $49.99 per month or $39.99 per year.
What I Like / Dislike About eStories
- The extensive eStores library is one of its strongest points.
- Nearly 10,000 audiobooks featured on their website are free while the other 100,000 will give you months of listening.
- There aren’t many shortcomings aside from the expensive subscription fees.
- The Basic subscription is decently affordable, but the other two may be too pricey for casual listeners and podcast enjoyers.
Who Is This For?
The eStores Audiobooks service is ideal for people that have just set their feet in the world of book listening. With thousands of titles and a simple-to-use app, this is probably one of the best audiobook apps for those who don’t mind paying a bit more for it.
Chirpbooks is a popular marketplace of audiobooks, offering deals on well over 200,000 titles. The platform is completely free to use and it’s different from most of the websites on the list by requiring no subscription whatsoever.
Audiobook fans use ChirpBooks to buy titles at drastically reduced prices. According to the brand, users can save up to 95% of the money they would otherwise spend on full-priced books by leveraging their discounts.
- Over 200,000 titles.
- Direct purchases; no subscription costs.
- Deals on various audiobooks each day.
- Intuitive audiobook player.
- Money-back guarantee.
- Valuable learning center.
ChirpBooks is an audiobook marketplace. Although each audiobook needs to be purchased, the platform itself is free to use.
What I Like / Dislike About ChirpBooks
- ChirpBooks offers cheap audiobooks and doesn’t require you to commit to paying a monthly fee.
- Its money-back guarantee inspires trust, and the fact that new deals are generated every day translates to good value for the money.
- Its only drawback is that it doesn’t really offer as many convenience-oriented features as Audible, Audiobooks.com, or Hoopla.
Who Is This For?
People that are after specific audiobooks or simply want to enrich their collection should give ChirpBooks a shot. Its deals and money-back guarantee make it an excellent place to shop for cheap titles.
Kobo is a decently affordable audiobook subscription service that utilizes the same credit system as Audible, Audiobooks, Downpour, and eStories.
With more than 100,000 audiobook titles, it’s capable of catering to the most avid book listeners, providing free content to its members each month.
The Kobo app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, and you can use it to listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or e-books. The app is well-designed, easy to use, and available for free download on Apple Store and Google Play store.
- Over 100,000 titles.
- Free audiobook upon subscription.
- Kobo Originals exclusive content.
- Smart audiobook player.
- In-app adjustable features for a personalized listening experience.
Kobo offers a 30-day free trial, after which the monthly subscription costs $12.99.
What I Like / Dislike About Kobo
- Kobo is more affordable than Audible, and its content library is pretty decent.
- Although it is a subscription-based platform, you can cancel your membership at any point without having to pay any additional fees.
- The only problem is that its content isn’t the same in every country. Some users may like it better than those living in a different area.
Who Is This For?
Kobo is a qualified alternative to Audible and Audiobooks.com in terms of value, offering a great selection of audiobooks at a slightly more approachable subscription fee.
With audiobooks becoming more and more popular, having a high-quality audiobook app that can offer you the content you want is essential. Although there are pros and cons to every audiobook app provider, they each have their unique selling point. These nine apps are a great place to start if you’re looking for an amazing audiobook experience. So, what are you waiting for? Start listening to your favorite audiobooks today!