Best 5 Audiobook Services for 2020 | Free & Paid Apps | Imho Reviews
Audiobooks are one of the easiest ways to cultivate a consistent reading habit. Don't get me wrong, I love reading a physical book, but between work and family, I often struggle to find time for that. And that is why I often choose audiobooks. You can literally listen to audiobooks anywhere, be it on your commute, on a vacation, or even in the shower. Audiobooks give you the opportunity to fully and productively manage every second of your day.
Listening to audiobooks is simple, all you need is a subscription to an audiobook platform that will give you access to the best audiobooks out there. There are a lot of audiobook services available today and each one has its own pros and cons, which makes choosing the best one a time-consuming and difficult task. I hope that this review of the best audiobook services in 2020 will help you make this choice easier.
Audible is, undoubtedly, the largest and most popular audiobook service as of 2020. Its library contains over 200,000 different book titles in every thinkable category. The service is a subsidiary of Amazon which explains its sheer size. When it comes to audiobooks, Audible offers you a lot of options and features. You can either buy, stream, or rent audiobooks. Plus, you have the option to download your preferred audiobooks so that you can listen to them offline.
Things I love about Audible:
- Audible comes with a free 30-day trial to help you get started. The free trial comes with two audiobooks and two Audible Originals.
- You get two Audible Originals every month as a bonus.
- Every member gets 30% off all audiobooks.
- All Audible books are yours to keep even if you decide to cancel your membership.
- Audible has a live sync feature that tracks progress. That means that the next time you resume listening to your book, you would just have to press "Play" and resume listening from where you left off.
- You can return and exchange any audiobook if you didn't like.
Things I don't like about Audible:
- The basic subscription plan costs $14,95 a month and includes only one audiobook, which is not enough for some people.
Scribd is another excellent audiobook platform. It may not be as popular as Audible but it certainly gives Audible a run for its money. When Scribd was first launched, its initial focus was on e-books. However, today Scribd users get unlimited access not only to thousands of e-books, but also to audiobooks, magazines, and sheet music. You can use Scribd on your browser or download an app and use it on your mobile device. Scribd gives its users an option to download audiobooks for offline listening and streaming when on the go.
Things I love about Scribd:
- Scribd offers a free 30-day trial which gives you premium access to all audiobooks, e-books, magazines, and sheet music from their library.
- Scribd monthly cost is just $8,99. And yes, for that price you get unlimited access to all audiobooks, e-books, magazines, and sheet music.
- Possible to download books and listen to them offline.
- A "sleep timer" feature that lets you a set time when the audiobook should stop playing.
- Scribd allows its users to use the service on multiple devices.
Things I don't like about Scribd:
- You don't get to keep any audiobooks or e-books if you cancel your subscription.
Another one of my favorite audiobook subscription services is Audiobooks.com. It was launched back in 2011. The platform is similar to Audible in many ways, but I believe that it has its own advantages and unique features. The service can be used through a web browser or mobile app on a number of devices. Audiobooks.com has a very extensive library, almost as big as Audible.
Things I love about Audiobooks.com:
- Just like Audible and Scribd, Audiobooks.com comes with a free 30-day trial. If you decide to sign up for a trial, you will get one free audiobook plus one audiobook from their VIP section as a bonus.
- You get one audiobook from the Audiobooks.com curated VIP section every month at no extra cost.
- Audiobooks.com gives its members access to a podcast section that features over 70,000 podcasts.
- You get to keep all the audiobooks you purchased even if you cancel your subscription.
- Every audiobook comes with a 3-minute preview that you can listen to before you purchase it.
Things I don't like about
- Their basic subscription plan is $14.95 a month and it gives you access to just one book (plus one book from the VIP section, as mentioned above).
Playster is a great platform for streaming audiobooks and other media like games, movies, and TV shows. It is often referred to as the "Netflix for Everything". If you are looking for a platform that will give you unlimited access to all the media at a very low price, then Playster might be perfect for you. Their unlimited plans are truly unlimited. Playster has an amazing collection of over 100,000 audiobooks and once you pay the $14,95/month subscription fee, you can stream or download any audiobook of your choice.
Things I love about Playster:
-The Playster free 30-day trial gives you unlimited access to Playster library and allows you to enjoy all e-books, music, movies, TV shows, and games, plus listen to extended audiobook excerpts (each one usually lasts several hours).
- You can use save all of your favorite music, e-books, audiobooks, TV shows, and movies to your mobile device, and stream them anytime even when you are offline.
- For just $34,95 a month you can purchase the Playster Unlimited Standard plan that includes unlimited access to audiobooks, e-books, music, TV shows, movies, games, etc.
- Playster is always ad-free.
- Possible to customize playback speed.
Things I don't like about Playster:
- To get unlimited access to all of the newest titles on the day of the release, you need to have a subscription to a Premium plan which costs $29.95 per month.
- If you decide to cancel your membership, you won't be able to keep any of the titles you downloaded.
Last, but not least, I want to talk about LibriVox, a great audiobook streaming and download platform that comes with hundreds of audiobooks across many categories including fiction, non-fiction, educational, and motivational. LibriVox is the only service on this list that will let you listen to an amazing collection of books without forking out a single cent. All audiobooks on LibriVox are in the public domain. These books are read by volunteers which makes them completely free. You can listen to LibriVox audiobooks on your computer, iPod, or mobile devices. If you fancy classics, then LibriVox should be one of your primary destinations. LibriVox also gives you the opportunity to volunteer through reading public domain books so other people can listen. A great way to give back.
Things I love about LibriVox:
- LibriVox audiobooks are free for anyone to listen to.
- Each audiobook has a summary and comes with a sample reading.
- Features many classic books.
Things I don't like about LibriVox:
- Compared to other audiobook services, LibriVox has a much smaller collection of audiobooks in its library.
- Audiobooks are not professionally recorded, and the quality is often quite low.
To conclude this IMHO Review of the 5 best audiobook services, I want to say that there are many other good platforms including AudiobooksNow, Kobo, Librophile, Simplyaudiobooks. It can be quite challenging to choose among the best audiobook services since each one has its own unique features. The good news is that pretty much every platform comes with a free 30-day trial and you don't have to spend any money before you find the one that suits your needs the best.
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