There has been a greater focus in recent years on the understanding that there are different types of learners. Some people learn in a traditional classroom setup, while others are kinesthetic learners who need to learn by doing, or are visual learners, etc. This is precisely why certain people can’t perform well in schools despite being geniuses.
The same understanding is to be applied when it comes to reading books as well. Some people love reading books, while others enjoy movies, and others need auditory books.
Precisely for the last category and others, we have audiobooks and podcasts. Audiobooks are, as the name suggests, recorded readings of books. Today, you can listen to them on your phones because of greater accessibility.
Here, we will be looking at the different and the best audiobook apps. So, if you’re someone that would prefer listening to reading, this article is for you.
Best Audiobook Apps: Our Top Pick👌👌
You may have heard people being called bookworms, or perhaps you call yourself one. Bookworms are basically people who enjoy reading. However, sometimes while people want to read what is in a book, they may not enjoy the act of reading or perhaps have the time for it.
After all, in a world where all of our schedules are busy, it can be difficult to find time to sit down and read a book. This is where audiobooks come to the rescue.
Audiobooks are books that you can listen to on the go, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. This has become even easier since you can easily download audiobooks.
In this article, we have listed out the best audiobook apps that you can find on the App Store. Some of the names on this list may be very familiar to you. Even so, there are many different alternatives listed here that can give you options.
Interestingly, some apps support local libraries in how they offer you access to ebooks and audiobooks you would find in your library.
Others offer a lot more than just audiobooks, so you can have access to podcasts, sheet music, documents, TV shows, and even music.
Some apps offer exclusive access to content that you may not find at other places, and this is for reasonable prices.
Most apps are free if you want to download them, but there is a cost that can either be for individual audiobooks or a price on a monthly subscription basis. Certain other apps are entirely free, especially ones that rely on public libraries for their content.
All the details you would need to understand what each app listed on here has to offer have been given below. This way, you know what content can be found where, how is it that the app charges if they’re not free, and on what devices you can access the audiobooks you want.
This is bound to help you compare and find the audiobook app that suits your taste, preference, reading/listening habits, and budget the best. Let’s get started with our list of the best audiobook apps!
1. Apple Books: Books & audiobooks you’ll love
Apple Books is one of the apps that is one of the best audiobook apps and is also one of the Editor’s Choice apps.
Apple is known to have some of the best apps in general for iPhones, and this means that its app for audiobooks is no exception. The standard of excellence that Apple keeps for its apps is seen in Apple Books as well.
This is an app that has millions of ebooks as well as audiobooks for practically every category you can think of, kids’ books, thrillers, comics, mysteries, romance, non-fiction, fiction, and a whole lot more.
You can listen to these audiobooks on the Mac, Apple Watch, iPod Touch, iPad, and also your iPhone for the greatest convenience.
The interface of this app is clean and intuitive, and this is, as said, just like anything else that Apple has designed. The audiobooks that you find here are narrated by authors, actors, and other memorable voices so that you will truly enjoy the experience.
There are also features that allow you to track the audiobooks and ebooks that you would want to read and also set reading goals for yourself.
There is also the option of Family Sharing, so all of your audiobook and book purchases on this app can be shared with up to six members of your family.
Besides all of this, there are also plenty of free books and other special offers here that will give you more books and more access to them.
You can instantly and easily download all of the books that are classics, bestsellers, and even those by up-and-coming authors and more. The selection here, as mentioned before, is vast, and every category you can think of will be found on Apple Books.
You can also find recommendations, limited-time offers, and new releases on the Top Charts that are updated on a weekly basis.
If you’re not sure about whether or not you want to get a certain book, you can check out the previews and download free samples. Sometimes these can be downloaded on Apple Books much before they are available anywhere else.
Since you can listen to your audiobooks on the Apple Watch as well, you can take your books along with you wherever you go. Be it on a hike or on your next exercise session.
You can customize the reading experience as well since you can choose the fonts, night mode, page colors and also adjust the screen brightness. You can also enable scrolling view instead of having to turn pages.
Any books you download will be found on any of your Apple devices. You can also organize your PDFs and books into personal collections. You also have access to your current page, notes, highlights, and bookmarks on all of your devices.
The selection of books on this app, though, varies depending on the country you’re in. The app itself is free for download, but you need to pay for the books you want.
2. Kobo Books – eBooks & Audiobooks
Kobo Books is one of the names that need to be mentioned when it comes to the best audiobook apps, and it has great deals on premium ones.
It has an excellent collection of ebooks and audiobooks with a whole range of useful features. There is a monthly subscription fee, and with it, you get one free audiobook every month.
The app is simple and intuitive to use, and you can adjust the display in accordance with what you prefer. The homepage has a list of all that you’ve listened to recently so that you can listen to many different books all at once. There is also an extensive sorting option so that you can find whatever you need.
Kobo Books also lets you seamlessly switch across devices because there are options to sync and also preview books so that you know what you’re getting before you get it. This app is compatible with CarPLay and is a great alternative to Audible also.
There are many different languages that you can read on Kobo apart from English, including Japanese, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Turkish, Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, French, German.
It is convenient because it is compatible with CarPLay, supports many different devices, and has a great catalog as well. But the filters could be better on Kobo.
3. Libby, by OverDrive
Libby is one of the best audiobook apps for a very different reason than the other ones. If you don’t want to buy audiobooks but would like to borrow them instead, Libby is the app for you.
You get access to all the libraries that are around you through Libby, and you can find all the audiobooks and ebooks you want and borrow them.
Firstly, you need to be located near some libraries and then register and have the library card from that place. Then you can download the audiobooks you like to listen to offline or can even stream them if you don’t want them to take up space on your device.
Content from different libraries can be found on this app, like a unified shelf of sorts so that you have access to a lot more.
Most apps offer you free books, only do so for old books or classic ones. But Libby is great even if you want new releases, obscure titles, and basically audiobooks of any sort.
This is a convenient, simple, and also legal way for you to be able to listen to free audiobooks on your device. Local libraries offer books for free all over the world; this app just lets you access them on your phone. You can also send the ebooks to your Kindle device, but this is only for U.S. libraries.
You can use Apple CarPlay to listen to these audiobooks as well. There are also tags available so that you can create books lists as you would like. The reading position will be saved across all of your devices as well.
You can adjust the book design, background color, and text size. You can also zoom into comic books and magazines while reading them and also add highlights, notes, and bookmarks. There are also features to help you set a sleep timer and slow down or speed up the audio from 0.6-3.0x.
The issue here though is that while it supports local libraries, you only have access to what your libraries have. And this isn’t the app that will help you if you don’t have a library membership or don’t have any public libraries that are near you.
4. Scribd – audiobooks & ebooks
Scribd is another common name you would think of when it comes to the best audiobook apps. It is more than just a smart audiobook player, though, as it does a lot more.
The subscription model means that for an affordable price, you get access to magazines, newspapers, academic articles, ebooks, audiobooks, other documents, and also music.
You can easily call Scribd a content powerhouse, and it has excellent features and practically every genre that you can think of.
You can download titles for offline listening, set a sleep timer, and even adjust the speed of narration. This app is also available for use on the Apple Watch, so you can listen to it on the go.
Scribd is called a digital treasure trove, and it gives you access to all sorts of books instantly. Even ones you won’t find anywhere else for the price you get here. You also get research documents, sheer music selections, and a lot more on Scribd as well.
Their genres include cookbooks, health and wellness, children, true crime, self-help, personal growth, YA, business, celebrity narrated memoirs, fiction, biography, religion and spirituality, entertainment, science fiction, politics, current events, romance, and travel.
With the membership, you get access to sheet music selections for every difficulty level, instrument, and genre. There are also hundreds of magazines like Time, New York Magazine, People, and more.
There are more than 60 million documents alongside these and this includes medical reports, academic dissertations, study guides, case studies, official government reports, and more.
You can read or listen to this app on multiple devices, with all of them being synced. You can download audiobooks for offline listening, add bookmarks, make annotations and notes, and even customize the background color, font type, and size.
There are also options to choose vertical or horizontal page scrolling on this app. You can also print or save your documents with Scribd.
Audiobooks.com is one of the best audiobook apps because it answers the question of how you can get free audiobooks on your iPhone. It has a catalog of ten thousand free audiobooks and more than 250,000 others.
It has the best-selling non-fiction titles, Bible readings, latest releases, kids’ content, and a whole lot more. It also has a great interface so you can easily get what you want.
It has smart recommendations as well, so you get curated books that are according to your preferences and taste.
You can also look at lists like books you can finish in a day, most-anticipated releases, the best audiobooks of the year, and so much more. You can easily find new titles on this platform that you may have heard of.
It has more than 100 million podcasts, all you can listen to book clubs, more than 250,000 audiobooks, more than ten thousand free audiobooks, books sales and promotions, and VIP rewards all in one app.
They have a great library where you can listen to your favorite audiobooks and podcasts at any moment and wherever you go. You can do this at your lunch hour, while you’re going to work or college, and even while you’re traveling.
You can download or stream your favorite books on the go, in the office, or at home from the library of health & wellness books and also books on history, politics, thrillers, mystery, crime, fiction, and anything else you want.
There is also a customizable sleep timer that is great if you want to unwind or de-stress after a long day. This means that if you have books that you simply could not find time to read, you can listen to them on the go. It’s a lot simpler and much more convenient.
There are also premium hand-picked listens that you can choose from. You can also keep your children entertained with all-time favorites that are family-friendly.
You can also subscribe to your favorite podcasts and get notified when the next episode is out. If you want interruption-free listening, simply add multiple episodes to your playlist.
The drawback to this amazing app, however, is the fact that it is not exactly affordable and could be pricey for many.
6. Google Play Books
If you are a user that enjoys Google services, Google Play Books is one of the best audiobook apps that you need to have as it adds value as well.
The catalog here may not be as extensive as Audible or Amazon, but you can buy audiobooks here individually instead of paying monthly on subscriptions.
This is an excellent audiobook app and has a vast library that has digital content like comic books, textbooks, audiobooks, and ebooks.
You can listen to the audiobooks that you want on your devices like phones and your iPad and also on your laptop on a browser. This app is compatible with CarPlay, and the content will sync across all of your devices.
No subscription is required here, but one issue is that due to the App Store policies, you can’t purchase within the app directly.
7. Kuku FM: Best Audiobook App in India
Kuku FM is another good audiobook app that has a premium subscription feature. You can listen to audiobooks of more than ten different genres and be entertained as well as learn from the audiobooks.
There is a collection of more than 1000 books and there’s always something new that you can listen to.
If you’re someone that struggles with reading a book, this is the perfect app for you. You can also check out the audiobook summaries if you don’t want to listen to the entire book.
In this way, you can finish listening to a book in about 30 minutes or less! Kuku gives you audiobooks in English, Tamil, Gujarati, Bangla, Marathi, and Hindi.
There are some courses and episodes of books that you can access for free, but to be able to access the entire library, you need to get a Premium subscription. The plan is affordable and you will get access to many stories, courses, and more.
You can listen to as many episodes that you like with the Premium model and as new audiobooks get added every day you will never run out of books to listen to.
Premium also gives you an experience that is ad-free and you also get tailored content along with personalized recommendations.
You can set up a sleep timer for up to an hour and also according to a show. What’s more is that all the audiobooks can be shared with others over email, SMS, Telegram, and even WhatsApp.
You can easily listen to audiobooks on the go as you commute or keep your mind occupied as you do your daily chores.
8. Bound – Audiobook Player
Bound is another one of the best audiobook apps and this is a cloud-based solution that can help you if you don’t want audiobooks to take up space on your device.
You can stream DRM-free audiobooks from storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud on Bound and play them on your device.
This is an mp3 audiobook player that supports many different formats like .aac, .m4b., and .m4a files.
If these formats were played on any other regular audio player, you would lose the post you stopped the audio app every time you go out of the app.
But Bound lets you have options for seeking times and bookmarks, a sleep timer, and also adjustable playback speeds. This is a great option, especially if you already have audiobooks that are DRM-free.
You can also import audio files from all of these cloud services and stream them on your device with a modern interface. You won’t even lose your place since the listening position will be saved each time.
You can move audio files on Bound between the books, even change the cover art and sort the books based on recently played, recently added, title, and author. There are also different fun themes that you can choose from, and there is dark mode support.
You can independently configure the seek backward and forward times. You can also change the playback speed, and this is from 0.5x-3.0x. If you return to your book after some time, there is smart rewind.
There is a sleep timer that you can have at the end of the chapter or to the configured time. There is also CarPlay support, and it costs $3.99.
9. Hoopla Digital
Hoopla Digital is one of the best audiobook apps, and it supports local libraries. Just how you can easily borrow from your public library, you can do the very same on your device.
You get TV shows, music, movies, comics, ebooks, and of course, audiobooks, all for free. There is a massive catalog on here, and this means more than 800,000 titles that you can choose from.
This means hard-to-find content that is niche, blockbuster movies, as well as best-selling novels.
Some of its features that people love include the fact that you can sync seamlessly across all of your devices, you can download as you want offline, and there are also no late fees.
This is the best way to have 24/7 access to your library as you can carry it wherever you go. The interface is also user-friendly and intuitive.
This is the all-in-one digital library that you can take with you. The content syncs across devices, so the reading position is also marked across devices.
Hoopla Digital is available on a wide range of platforms like Apple TV. The downside is that this app is available only in a few places.
10. Chirp Audiobooks
Chirp Audiobooks is one of the best audiobook apps that is a must-have app and has many different deals on many different titles.
You can save up to 95% on these audiobooks since there is no subscription fee. This app has unbeatable prices when it comes to bestsellers and even to rare finds and unique titles.
You can choose to listen offline by downloading or streaming the books that you get since the purchases are yours since you’ve bought them.
Chirp has all the features that you would want, like adjustable playback speed, a sleep timer, and easy chapter navigation. There are also personalized recommendations that you would get in accordance with the genres that you love.
There are also limited-time recommendations that you get on audiobooks that are popular, and this includes the New York Times Best Sellers.
They have a team of book lovers that work with authors and publishers to make a curated list of audiobooks that you need to listen to. These recommendations are given every day.
There is also a sleep timer for when you want to unwind and fall asleep to an audiobook. You can navigate by chapters and listen on your devices and in the car or smart speakers via Bluetooth.
The listening speeds are also adjustable, but the issue is that the audio quality could be better on Chirp.
Libro.fm is one of the best audiobook apps if you want to have audiobooks and also support the local bookstores that are near you.
You can get all the audiobooks that you want from the local bookstore and help the economy of the community that you live in.
This may be like a small gesture, but the difference that it makes in the community is great. The app has more than 215,000 audiobooks, and this includes bookseller picks and bestsellers.
There are also options to listen at your own pace since the playback speed is adjustable; there are also customizable tags so you can easily organize your library.
Here there is a subscription model where you receive one credit for an audiobook on a monthly basis, and this is for an automatic charge of $14.99, including taxes.
This can be pricey when compared to other apps, but it is worth it since you can support the local bookstore.
The features on Libro.fm are easy to use, the app supports local bookstores, and you can buy audiobooks within the app itself.
12. Audible: audiobooks, podcasts & audio stories
Audible is probably the first app you think of when talking about the best audiobook apps. It is a great app, free to download, and has all the features that you would need, including multitasking support for offline downloads and background playback, bookmarks, a sleep timer, easy chapter navigation, and adjustable speed.
On Audible, you have the option to either buy the audiobooks individually as you’d like, or you can get a monthly subscription. The subscription gives you credits you can use to get audiobooks, and if you listen to a lot of them, this is a cheaper option.
Audible has integrated with the Amazon shopping app, so you get additional benefits from this as well. Amazon Prime members interestingly get free audiobook credits every single month. This is along with all of the deals that are available to them through the year on the best content.
There is also the Whispersync feature from which you can seamlessly switch from ebook to audiobook and back. You can also use the smart assistant Alexa to recommend you new books, play an audiobook you have, and a lot more.
Audible gives access to audiobooks along with short-form narratives and original audio shows. You can also have celebrities narrating the stories that they love. There are also exclusive podcasts as well as Audible Originals.
The Plus catalog is huge, and the selection on here is filled with compelling content. No credits are needed to listen to the Audible Plus Catalog.
Fresh content is added every week to audible, adding to the podcasts, audiobooks, and audio entertainment collection that they already have.
One credit is needed for one book, and there is no limit to how many books you can listen to. You can also stream or download and listen offline if you want.
Your Amazon account will help in seamless listening cross-devices. However, while the app is great, some say that the recommendations can be better.
13. LibriVox Audio Books Pro
This is one of the best audiobook apps and is unique since it is a volunteer-powered service, and the audiobooks are truly free. You can access unlimited books that are in the public domain in America.
There are more than 50,000 titles, and this includes audio dramas, short story anthologies, poetry, history books, biographies, and classics.
The search function is extensive, and so you can easily find the audiobooks that you want by genre, author, title, or by keyword. There is also a recently added section so that you can find new titles.
The app also keeps your position so you can pick up and listen from wherever you left it off. There are unlimited bookmarks, and you can listen via CarPlay.
But the collection is limited, but since the app isn’t pricey, it’s worth it. There is in-app access to all content on LibriVox.
14. Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle is the last in our list of the best audiobook apps and is excellent when it comes to ebooks. But this doubles as an app that gives access to audiobooks as well.
So, you can read the books that you want and also listen when you want to. You can switch between modes on this app and have a great engaging experience.
You will see a headphones icon in the corner of the book cover of the book on Kindle if there is an audiobook available.
You can tap and download to get the audible version, and the cost is much less than than the actual price. You can then press the play icon and read and listen as you would want.
There is also the Kindle Unlimited subscription, so you get access to free content for a monthly price that is affordable. You have access to a catalog that is extensive, but not all ebooks here have the audiobook version.
As mentioned in this article, we looked at some of the best audiobook apps that are available in the market. You can download some apps for free, while others have subscriptions. But even with the former, while some audiobooks may be free, you need to pay to be able to listen to most others.
We have listed out the pros and cons of each app as well so that you have a wider range of choices. These many alternatives also give you different options so you can choose what fits your budget and time the best.
This way, you can filter down an app based on your budget as well as how much time you will spend listening to these audiobooks.
Your experience can also be shared with others that love audiobooks. What’s left for you now is to find an app and start listening to books you love.