Over centuries, written material/ books have been a source of enlightenment, and over time, book reading culture has equally advanced. From papyrus to scrolls, books and now we have audiobooks, thanks to internet technology. Today, you do not have to walk into a public library to get yourself a book. You can alternatively search the internet for an audio version of the book.
In the last decade, audiobooks have become very popular, and so have online audiobooks stores. There are hundreds of online audiobook stores, and Audible.com is undeniably the giant audiobooks store on the internet. It is a world-class audiobook producer and retail store. You can almost find any book on Audible.
However, this article will be focusing less on Audible and more on some of the best Audible alternatives. Are you looking for a change of scene? Or looking to find an audiobook you are missing on Audible? Well, do not worry! This post will introduce you to some of the best Audible alternatives on the internet. Check them out!
Part 1: What is Audible?
Audible.com is an audiobook and podcast store that allows users to purchase books in spoken
word content. It is arguably one of the largest online audiobook stores on the internet. Audible
was founded in 1997 at a time when audiobooks were not so popular. The American-based
company underwent several challenges until Amazon Inc acquired it in 2008.
As of today, the platform is host to over 200,000 audio programs from leading audio publishers, entertainers, magazines, and newspaper publishers. With a vast audiobook resource, you might be wondering. Is Audible free? Can in download Audible audiobooks for offline playback?
Well, the answer is Yes and No! Usually, new Audible users can access free Audible audiobooks within the 30-day free trial period, after which they will have to purchase a premium version. You can either choose the Audible plus at $7.95 every month to access unlimited audio content or the Audible premium plus at $14.95/ month that allows users to download Audible audiobooks for offline playback. As a premium subscriber, you can purchase audiobooks at discounted prices.
Part 2: 4 Best Free Audible Alternatives
If you are on a tight budget and you would like to continue enjoying audiobooks, there are a few Audible alternatives that you can try for free. Check out the list below!
One OverDrive is an award-winning free Audible alternative that allows users to rent and listen to audiobooks for absolutely free. The only catch to using OverDrive is that you need to be a bonified student or a member of a supported library. Luckily, over 30,000 libraries have access to the OneDrive store, and hence access to audiobooks is always a step away.
One can easily search and create a wishlist of audiobooks on the platform. Also, returning books is super easy thanks to its advanced digital media lending system. For convenience, the OverDrive platform is accessible via most modern devices, including Android, iOS, and Windows.
It is free
Supports over 30,000 libraries
Access to latest releases and best sellers
Easy to create a wishlist
Audiobook library is not that extensive
Popular books have a long waiting period
2. Google Play Books
Google Play Books is a subscription-free Audible alternative with over 5 million e-books and thousands of audiobooks. It is arguably the most extensive online book store on the internet. Developed by Google, the "Google Play Books" has an intelligent algorithm that tracks your interest and recommends books accordingly. This way, you can quickly find your desired audiobook.
Like Audible, Google Play Books offer access to multi-lingual audiobooks- you can listen to Spanish, Portuguese, English, among others. Access to the platform is not configured to any particular region, and therefore it is possible to find local content on the platform.
Great user interface
Access to discounted books
No monthly credit system
No original titles like Audible Originals
Here is another free Audible alternative. Even though the platform is not as popular as Audible, LibriVox is an excellent source of popular audiobooks without spending a penny. The platform prides its self a top audiobooks resource center with over 50,000 audiobooks, including some best-selling books of all time, biographies, short stories, poems. The platform avails over 15,000 copyright-free audiobooks in the public domain. This means that users can download the audiobooks for offline music playback. The audiobooks are available in over 30 different languages. Even though the quality of the audiobooks is wanting, the platform avails new content every year, thanks to volunteer audiobook producers from across the world.
Over 50,000 audiobooks
Produces around 1000s new items each year
Supports 30 languages
Some audiobooks are old
4. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a free digital library built to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks." The platform was launched in 1971 and has since grown to become one of the best free audiobooks online stores. Users can access over 56,000 audiobooks from various publishers worldwide. The online store allows users to listen to human narrated audiobooks as well as a computer programs. Being one of the oldest audiobook stores, Project Gutenberg is home to some old classics such as the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It supports various languages such as English, French, Chinese, and Swedish making it a convenient option for many audiobook lovers.
Vast audiobook library
Easy to use
Lacks the latest audiobooks
Part 3: 4 Best Cheap Audible Alterative
On average, an Audible plus subscription will cost close to $200 annually. That is quite an amount considering that you can access the same content for free or at a much-reduced price. If you are looking for a cheaper premium platform to enjoy Audible-level audiobooks, you are looking at the right post. Below are some cheap and affordable Audible alternatives of all time.
Audiobooksnow is possibly one of the best affordable Audible alternative on the internet. The platform is very much similar to Audible in several distinct ways. For example, users can access Audiobooksnow from an iOS or Android device.
This smart audiobook store hosts around 85,000 audiobooks- it is much smaller than Audible, but you can find almost any popular audiobook. You can enjoy access to its colossal audiobooks library for only $4.99 per month. Under the Club Pricing Plan, users can get audiobooks at a 50% discount.
Over 120,000 titles
Smaller audiobook library
Some audiobooks are DRM-protected
Downpour is an excellent and pretty affordable Audible alternative. The platform provides for over 80,000 titles from across the world- it always has something for everyone! For example, you can enjoy listening to some old classics such as Nobel, Man Booker, Hugo, etc.
Unlike Audible, Downpour offers DRM- free audiobooks. That means that they are playable on any device or application. The platform offers two options – you can either rent an audiobook for 70% off price or subscriber to the platform for $12.99 per month.
Unlimited audiobook play
Rent option is cheap
Over 80,000 titles
Finest classics are available
Membership option is expensive
3. Kobo Audiobooks
With millions of audiobooks and e-books, Kobo Audiobooks is one of the most recommended Audible alternatives. Its vast audiobook library puts it among the best audiobooks online stores in the market. Users can access the massive library for a monthly subscription of $9.9 per month and a 30 day free trial for new users.
This is much cheaper than the Audible premium plus plan that goes for almost $15/ month. The platform has an excellent interface, high-quality audiobooks and comes with a night mode. Kobo is available for Android and IOS devices, making it a convenient option for audiobook enthusiasts.
Cheaper than Audible premium plus
Available for Android and iOS
Not available for macOS
Spotify is one of the world's leading destinations for music and podcast lover. If you like Joe Rogan podcasts, this is the best platform. Besides music and podcasts, the platform also provides for 1000s of audiobooks from different publishers.
Compared to Audible, Spotify has a relatively small audiobook library. Still, on the stronghold, the platform has an intuitive interface that makes is it easy to find any audiobook using keywords. Users can enjoy Spotify audiobooks at a monthly fee of around $9.99 every month. New users usually have a free trial period before their first payment.
Decent library of audiobooks
Small audiobook library
Bonus Tip: How to Remove DRM Protection on Audible Audiobooks
As mentioned in the former parts of this article, downloading Audible audiobooks for offline playback is an uphill task. Ideally, Audible audiobooks are DRM protected and encoded in AA/AAX file format, which is incompatible with most devices and unauthorized applications.
Therefore, to download Audible for offline listening, you need a third-party software, and here we highly recommend the Ondesoft Audible Converter. It is a top downloader tool that allows you to download and convert AA/AAX Audible to playable MP3, AAC, AC3 audio files. Here is a guide on removing DRM protection on Audible audiobooks using the Ondesoft Audible
i. Download and install the Ondesoft Audible Converter.
ii. Purchase a software license.
iii. Sync your Audible audiobooks to iTunes.
iv. Add Audible audiobooks to Ondesoft Audible Converter.
v. Define output file format.
vi. Select the output destination folder and customize the filename.
vii. Download and convert Audible audiobooks
If you have canceled your Audible subscription or looking for a change of scene, you are now furnished with some best free ad cheap Audible alternatives. To make the decision easier for you, we have also featured a list of pros and cons for each application. This way, you can weigh each option and find the best alternative for you!