12 Best Audiobook Apps for iPhone and Android (Free & Paid)
There are many people in the world who like to read a good book when they go to work, whether on the subway, the bus or on foot, or even at night before going to sleep. But there are also those who prefer not to strain their eyes after a hard day’s work and prefer to listen to their favorite books instead of reading them.
Luckily, enjoying audiobooks is something that you can easily do with your iPhone, iPad or Android phone, thanks to the best free apps to listen to audiobooks that we are going to recommend in this article.
If you are interested in audiobooks, whether it is for a love of reading, to learn languages or for other reasons, these free audiobook apps have many features to offer you.
Let’s get started.
The 12 Best Apps to Listen to Audiobooks
Let’s start with an app that is one of the most popular and one of the best audiobook apps out there.
Audible was acquired by Amazon for around $300 million in 2008 and has gotten a lot better since then. Audible is to audiobooks what Amazon Kindle is to ebooks.
Audible specializes in offering audiobooks exclusively: it has over 180,000 audio titles for you to choose from, with more titles being added every day. You can be sure that the audio version of your favorite book will be available here. This is the place where new audiobooks are published first.
When it comes to the interface, the app supports a beautiful dark theme. Playback controls are pretty good with adjustable playback speeds, bookmark support, sleep mode, and more.
Audible is available in Spanish, Latin Spanish, English, German, French, Italian and Chinese. You can use the app for free and purchase as many audiobooks as you like, or you can purchase a monthly subscription ($14.95/month) where you will receive one free book every month.
Storytel is another free app to listen to audiobooks on your phone.
With Storytel, you can stream your favorite titles or download them for offline listening, choose the narration speed, add an app shutdown timer, and more. While audiobooks are playing, you can also add custom notes and bookmarks and share recommendations with your friends.
With a monthly subscription of $12.99 per month, you will have access to thousands of audiobooks in different languages. It also has a totally free 14-day trial, so we invite you to try it and see if it really convinces you.
With over 10 million downloads, Scribd offers you a digital library of over 60 million audiobooks, books, magazine articles, sheet music, official documents, and more. It has a free trial period of 30 days and, after that, it requires a monthly subscription of 9.99 dollars that renews automatically.
It allows you to customize the narration speed, set a sleep timer, and download audiobooks for offline listening. And all the content you read or listen to on Scribd can be synced across multiple devices.
Audiobooks.com is another audiobooks service similar to Audible. Their selection of titles is a bit smaller than Audible’s (about 50,000) but most of the top titles can be found here. Just like Audible, you can use the app for free and buy the books or you can pay a monthly subscription and get a free book every month.
The service is pretty good with cross-device syncing and variable playback controls. It is compatible with Android and iOS platforms, so all your purchases will be with you even if you switch devices. However, it’s hard to recommend this over Audible, given that it costs the same.
Probably the only reason one should prefer this over Audible is its simplicity. This is an audiobook-only app, so you won’t find podcasts here. The app’s interface is quite simple and is easier to get used to than Audible. Also, the featured section has a very prominent ‘free section’ where you can browse the books that you can listen to for free. Although Audible also hosts free books, they don’t explicitly display it in their app. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend using the Audiobooks.com app and listening to a few free titles before you jump into the paid subscription.
5. Libro.fm Audiobooks
Next, we have Libro.fm, an audiobook store aggregator, allows you to purchase audiobooks from their huge collection of 250,000 audiobooks that features exclusive content found at your local bookstore.
Choose from more than 250,000 audiobooks on Libro.fm, including bestsellers and bookseller picks, and your audiobook purchases are synced with the app immediately so you can start listening right away.
LibriVox offers a catalog of over 24,000 audiobooks of classic novels and stories. This app is completely free and includes audiobooks of novels such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Divine Comedy, Alice in Wonderland, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
What makes LibriVox different is that their audiobooks are read by volunteers from all over the world, who are in charge of reading public domain books that are no longer protected by copyright.
Its catalog is very extensive (more than 3,000 titles) and it allows you to search by author, genre or simply by title.
If you are fascinated by Anglo-Saxon literature in its original version, with LibriVox you will enjoy it like never before. The app is completely free and exclusive to iOS.
7. Kobo Books
Kobo may not be as popular as other names on the list, but it does have a rich collection of ebooks and audiobooks that comprises more than 1.5 million titles. It offers apps for both Android and iOS platforms, and cross-platform syncing lets you pick up where you left off.
The app makes personalized recommendations based on your reading history and progress so far. Kobo’s audiobook section is equipped with useful tools like a timeline scroll bar, time jump buttons, chapter navigation, playback speed settings, and a repeat timer. Also, it shows how much time is left to finish the story.
iVoox is an app mainly for music and podcasts, although it has the peculiarity that some of its programs are exclusive for audiobooks and stories about science and culture, leisure, technology, history, beliefs, well-being, family. In addition, they (except some exceptions) are totally free.
The highlight of this platform is that any user has the ability to upload their own story or narration and share it with other members. As if that were not enough, you can download any content you like in MP3 format and save it to play it anywhere you want.
We all know that Spotify is the king of streaming music and podcasts, but very few people know that it is also possible to get audiobooks in your library such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Harry Potter and the Stone by J.K. Rowling.
Similar to what happens with iVoox, some of its audiobooks are focused on this type. The advantage of Spotify is that being a bigger and more popular platform, the content offers increase.
10. Barnes & Noble NOOK
The app has a library containing more than 300,000 titles of various genres selected by passionate readers. The app offers useful features like multiple page styles, audio speed, custom bookshelves, and social sharing tools that personalize the user experience.
Instead of offering a subscription, Nook allows its users to pay only for the audiobooks they are interested in. Users can download their favorite audiobook and listen to it from within the app on smartphones and tablets. Also, this app seamlessly syncs its digital content across devices.
11. Google Play Books
While discussing the best audiobook apps out there, we cannot neglect Google Play Books, an excellent platform that offers tons of audiobooks for all tastes.
Available for free on Android as well as iOS devices, you’ll find audiobooks from different genres, along with ebooks, textbooks, and comics, which is an added bonus.
The app is equipped with various features that help improve users’ audiobook experience on various devices. Users can resume audiobooks from where they left off on any device of their choice.
Unlike other apps, you can preview the audiobook before you buy it from the market, which helps you understand whether it is worth it or not.
12. Apple Books
The last option on this list could not be other than Apple Books.
Apple Books (formerly known as iBooks) is an exclusive audiobook app for iOS with which you can access your titles as many times as you want from any Apple device.
Its catalog is very varied. You’ll find best sellers, alternative authors, comics, exclusive titles, a selection of works from all genres… You just have to choose the audiobook you want and in a matter of seconds you’ll have it on your device.
Best Audiobook Apps for Android and iPhone
Sometimes, we want to have a good book at hand to isolate ourselves from the hustle and bustle or simply because we enjoy reading. However, you don’t always have enough time to spend a few minutes on it. In these cases, the ideal alternative is audiobooks, since in addition to being able to enjoy a good book while doing other things, they also allow you not to have to carry the weight of a physical book.
In short, if you want to listen to all those books that you love when you are at home, doing work or when you are out for a walk, I encourage you to download some of the best app to listen to audiobooks on your mobile device.