The 5 Best Audiobook Apps | meshable

There is something magical about audio books. Press play on a title, close your eyes and this digital format can take you on a journey around the world, teaching you tons of knowledge, making you laugh and overflowing with emotions. And thanks to a variety of easy-to-use apps, you can listen to audiobooks wherever you have your smartphone and headphones. Whether you want to listen to an audiobook on your commute, at the gym, with everyday household chores, or just lying in bed, we have an app to help.

Screenshots from Audible


Photo Credit: Screenshot / Apple

Audible can be credited with popularizing digital audio books. The platform changed the market from cassettes and DVDs to simple downloads that could be placed on your MP3 player or smartphone. Today, Audible, now owned by Amazon, is the largest audio book producer and retailer in the United States.

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The Audible app, available for both iOS and Android, is as fully featured as you would expect from such a pioneer in the market. The app offers a handy widget that allows you to quickly and easily return to your last listening experience by simply accessing it from the home screen. There is also an option to listen offline by downloading tracks instead of streaming them. If you are signed in with your Amazon account, you can enjoy cross-device listening with “Whispersync”.

While the Audible app is a free download, you need a membership plan to listen to content. An Audible Plus membership costs $7.95 per month(opens in a new tab) and gives you access to podcasts, some meditation programs, and a selection of free titles. You can then purchase additional content.

For a monthly cost of $14.95(opens in a new tab) You can enjoy an Audible Premium Plus membership, which grants you access to bonus material in the Audible Plus catalog and one title per month from a selection of bestsellers and new releases. Currently, Amazon Prime members get any two titles for free with an Audible Premium Plus trial.

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Audible can be downloaded from the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).

Audiobook screenshot


Photo Credit: Audiobooks/Apple

Audiobooks.com isn’t as well known as Audible, but it’s a comprehensive audiobook platform that offers a nicely designed website and decent iOS and Android apps. Audiobooks.com has been around since 2012, is based in Canada and is run by “a bunch of book and tech nerds” according to its website.

It’s the same price as an Audible Premium Plus membership — $14.95 — but for that monthly fee, you get not one, but two audiobooks: one from Audiobooks.com’s entire library of over 300,000 titles, and a second from the “VIP” library that changes every month.

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An Audiobooks.com membership also gives you access to exclusively curated audio news, audio magazines, audio summaries, and sleep and meditation content in the apps. It’s also a really strong player in the podcast market, offering its members unlimited access to over 100 million podcast episodes.

You can search thousands of available book titles and instantly search for and listen to podcasts. Audiobooks.com’s patent-pending sync technology means you can start a book on your smartphone, continue reading it on your laptop, and then read it at home on a tablet. We especially like the app’s customizable sleep timer for reading before bed.

Audiobooks.com can be downloaded from the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).

Screenshot of Barnes and Noble Nook


Photo Credit: Screenshot / Apple

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NOOK was developed by Barnes & Noble as an Android-based e-reader platform and launched in late 2009. Barnes & Noble still produces NOOK devices, but the brand has expanded into offering software and content.

When you download the Nook app, you can instantly explore over 75,000 free eBooks and over 10,000 free audiobooks. For premium content you need to subscribe to the paid service “B&N Audiobooks”. This is a monthly subscription that costs $14.99 and earns you a monthly audiobook credit.

Once you’ve downloaded the audiobook of your choice, it will sync to your NOOK app and you can start listening straight away via the in-app player. If you have a standalone NOOK device, the app and your e-reader stay in sync while you listen. The app is CarPlay compatible, offers bookmarking functionality, the ability to set up sleep timers and can change the speed of the narration.

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Barnes & Noble NOOK can be downloaded from the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).

Google Play screenshot


Photo Credit: Screenshot / Apple

Google Play Books for iOS(opens in a new tab) and Google Play Books & Audiobooks for Android(opens in a new tab) are free apps that do not require a monthly commitment. This means that they are highly recommended apps for anyone who only listens to audiobooks occasionally, for example only on vacation, or for anyone who is unsure whether they will enjoy the audiobook experience and would like to try it out without signing up for membership.

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With no monthly subscription required, you can browse available audiobooks and download individual titles for a fee. The iOS app requires you to purchase the titles from the Google Play Books web store and they will be synced to your mobile device.

The apps are simple and make it easy to see what titles you’ve downloaded. The audiobooks themselves are synced across all your devices, even in the car with CarPlay. Anyone using the Google Play Books iOS app can enjoy integration with Siri; You can use Siri shortcuts like “Hey Siri, play my audiobook.”

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One feature we like about the apps is the ability to skip forward or back 30 seconds – very handy if you’ve missed a few words because of outside noise, for example. There’s also a smart sleep timer feature that you can set for an hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, or until the end of the current chapter.

Google Play Books is available for download from the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).

Kobo screenshot


Photo Credit: Screenshot / Apple

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The Kobo Books platform is another one that started with hardware; The original Kobo eReader was launched back in 2010. Rakuten Kobo still makes electronic reading tablets, but the apps are available for iOS(opens in a new tab) and Android(opens in a new tab)can be used as standalone software on your existing smartphone.

Kobo Books is currently the cheapest of the major audiobook platforms, but offers over six million eBooks and audiobooks despite the cheaper monthly cost. A Kobo Books membership will cost you $9.99 per month after an initial 30-day free trial. Each month, your $9.99 monthly fee gives you a credit to use on a new audiobook, regardless of the list price.

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If you browse the Kobo Books site, you can view titles by traditional categories, but Kobo Books also offers some interesting curated collections, such as Audiobooks That Will Change Your Life, Audiobooks That Come Alive Through Voice, and Exciting audiobooks”. for kids.” Once you’ve purchased an audiobook through the website, it will sync to your phone.

Kobo Books audio book player has a clean and uncluttered design. App features include the ability to adjust listening speed, the option to set a sleep timer, and a quick tap to skip ten seconds forward or back.

Kobo Books can be downloaded from the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).