5 best audiobook apps for avid listeners

5 best audiobook apps for avid listeners

In For the Love of Reading by Lanie Pemberton

5 best audiobook apps for avid listeners

I’m all-too-familiar with the pain of putting down a great book — usually right when the plot is heating up — to do chores, run errands, or commute to work. That’s why audiobooks are so fantastic: Not only are audiobooks the best way to stay engaged in a story without skipping a beat, but they also allow us to bask in the vocal talents of incredible narrators like Julia Whelan and Simon Vance.

If you’re a voracious reader like me, none of this is news to you. The bigger challenge is finding the best audiobook service that supports your (healthy) habit. There are plenty of audiobook apps to choose from — but which one is right for you?

From Everand to Audible and beyond, I’m here to explore the five best audiobook apps for avid listeners like yourself. Compare them, try them out, and then dive right in. A whole world of immersive stories awaits.

1. Everand

Obviously I’m a bit biased, given that I work for Everand and all, but Everand truly is a fantastic service for audiobook lovers.

Everand, formerly known as Scribd, offers a robust catalog of audiobooks and a whole lot more. For an $11.99 a month subscription fee, readers get access to over a million titles via audiobooks, ebooks, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, and sheet music. There are also exclusive Everand Originals from authors like Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay, Stephen King, and other literary stars.

Everand is a subscription-based model, so your monthly payment grants you access to all of the above content, including tons of audiobooks, which you can download and enjoy offline. Your progress saves across devices, so you’ll never lose your place in your current audiobook.

The app is easy to use, nice to look at, and offers recommendations curated by Everand editors (including yours truly!). You can try it free for 30 days, so it’s a no-risk investment.

Note: Be aware that there are monthly limits for some titles on Everand, which are based on your listening or reading activity. But don’t worry: With so much content to choose from, you’ll always have something great to listen to until your next billing cycle begins and your library refreshes.

2. Audible

Audible, an audiobook service owned by Amazon, is what many people automatically think of when they’re asked to name the “best audiobook app.” But of course, “best” really depends on your individual needs, budget, and more (like the fact that some audiobook fans increasingly don’t want to fuel Amazon’s perceived monopoly on the book market).

Audible has a few different pricing plans to choose from, with 30-day free trials to start. Audible Plus is $7.95 per month, and it includes unlimited listening to Audible Originals and other popular audiobooks, plus podcasts and content for meditation and sleeping. Like with Everand, your monthly fee gives you access, not ownership, to content, which can be downloaded and listened to offline.

If you’re interested in purchasing some titles, you may enjoy Audible Premium Plus. At $14.95 a month, this plan offers everything in the Audible Plus category, with the addition of one credit each month to buy an audiobook — which you can keep forever, even if you cancel your subscription. Audible also offers a few options for yearly plans or additional credits, if you want to purchase more audiobooks. 

Note: Unused Audible credits expire after a year.

3. Libro.fm

Libro.fm is a unique audiobook app that allows listeners to support their local bookstores — which is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. 

Here’s how it works: A Libro.fm membership costs $14.99 per month, which gives you one credit a month to purchase an audiobook (there are over 450,000 titles to choose from). A portion of every purchase goes to a local bookstore of your choosing. How cool is that?

The membership fee also gives you 30% off additional audiobook purchases. Be aware that some audiobooks cannot be purchased with credits due to licensing deals. For those, you’ll have to use a credit or debit card. 

If you aren’t interested in a monthly subscription, you can create a free Libro.fm account and buy audiobooks à la carte.

Besides supporting local bookstores, the other nice benefit of Libro.fm is that all audiobooks are DRM-free (DRM: digital rights management). This not only means the audiobooks you purchase are yours forever, but also that you can listen to them on any device or app. Libro.fm recommends using their own app for “the best possible listening experience,” but you have the freedom to choose.

4. Libby

If you love the written word but want to save money, you’re in luck. All you need is a library card to listen to audiobooks for free using an app called Libby (built by OverDrive). 

Even though it’s a free resource, the Libby app is well-designed and user-friendly. The only downside to Libby is that, like with a physical library, there are limited licenses for each audiobook, so you may have to wait to listen to certain titles if they’re already checked out (new releases are especially popular). And you still have to return audiobooks and ebooks within a certain time frame.

Still, that’s a small price to pay for free audiobooks! You can even download books from the app to listen to offline. 

Keep in mind that not all libraries support Libby, but most of them use some type of app for digital content. For example, my local library uses an app called cloudLibrary for audiobooks and ebooks. Check with your local library to find out which app they support.

5. Kobo Plus

Another option among the best audiobook apps is Kobo Plus. Kobo, a Canadian company that’s a subsidiary of Rakuten and sells its own brand of e-readers, has three different subscription options under Kobo Plus. 

Kobo Plus Listen is $7.99 per month for unlimited listening. If you enjoy audiobooks and ebooks, the Read & Listen plan at $9.99 per month may be for you. (There’s also a Read only plan for $7.99). Each plan includes a 30-day free trial. 

While Kobo Plus is affordable, it has a more limited selection than some of the other audiobook services on this list. Currently, Kobo Plus’ catalog includes over 150,000 audiobooks. (Their ebook selection is much greater, at over 1.5 million).

If you want more selection, along with the option to keep your preferred audiobooks forever, check out Kobo Audiobook Credits. For $9.99 a month, you’ll get one credit to redeem on an audiobook of your choice from an expanded catalog of over 350,000 titles. This plan can be used separately or simultaneously with any of the Kobo Plus plans.

Honorable mentions

The above five best audiobook apps are the most popular, and, in my opinion, offer the greatest balance of affordability, selection, and ease of use. But, there are few others you may want to check out, like:

No matter which app you choose, one thing is clear: Life is better with audiobooks. Start listening today!

One more time, for emphasis: Ready to start listening to more audiobooks? Sign up for a free 30 day trial to Everand, your home for stories and knowledge with millions of ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, sheet music, and so much more.


About the Author: Lanie Pemberton

Lanie is a San Diego-based freelance writer who loves reading crime thrillers and nonfiction about animals and the natural world. When not writing and reading (or writing about what to read), Lanie spends as much time as possible at the beach with her husband and pampered pittie, Peach.