top of page
bookworms and biblios website header all other pages.png

The Best Audiobook Service

Discover Five Audiobook Services to Use to Get Your Listening Fix. (And One to Avoid.)

The world of audiobooks has come a long way from its early days of clunky cassette tapes and scratchy CDs. Streaming broke the media worldwide open, and it's never been easier to listen to the stories you want to hear. In fact, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the audiobook action. Choosing which is right for you can be tricky with so many options. Never fear! I tried out a bunch of different audiobook services, so you don't have to.

I was skeptical of audiobooks for a long time. It seemed like the voices in my head never matched with the narration, or I couldn't immerse myself fully in the story. I was a physical book (then ebook) advocate through and through. But after (a lot) of trial and error stumbled upon the secret sauce to my listening enjoyment: listening at two times the speed. Once I discovered that little trick, I was off to the races. Now I can't imagine my daily routine without them. As someone who's constantly on the go, audiobooks allow me to make the most of my time. Whether I'm cooking dinner, chauffeuring kids, doing work, or even taking a shower, audiobooks have become a beloved part of my day.

The Best Audiobook Services

Please keep in mind this is just my opinion on audiobook services. Yours might differ, and that's okay.







Best Overall - Scribd

Pro: Unlimited monthly listens

Con: None

Two apostrophes turned on their side to make an 'S'

This gets my vote as the best audiobook service! I thought Scribd was too good to be true. Honestly, $11.99 a month for unlimited audiobooks (and loads of other goodies) sounds like a scam. Not only is it, not a scam, but they also give you a TWO-MONTH FREE TRIAL. And there's none of that limited catalog mess on the freebie version. You have access to the entire catalog from the moment you signup. Since starting my membership, I have been searching for the 'gotcha,' and the other shoe has yet to drop. I've found every title I'm interested in, from The Golem and The Jinni by Helen Wecker to Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. So run, do not walk to get this subscription service.

**While I am not a Scribd brand affiliate, I do get a bonus if you use my link.**



Best for Kindle Owners - Audible

Pros: a massive catalog of audiobooks with lots of free titles

Cons: It's Amazon

It's no use pretending Amazon doesn't have me in a chokehold when it does. I bought my first Kindle in 2013, and I never looked back. And while the company's ethics leave LOADS to be desired, they have an excellent product and a pretty darn good interface. I bought the Oasis specifically so I could alternate seamlessly between reading an ebook and listening to an audiobook. Now that is a common feature across all Kindles, including the app. That kind of user integration, along with over half a million titles, makes this subscription a good one to consider. Audible works on a credit system, which works out to about one title a month. There's also a good selection of the Classics for free.



Best for Readers on a Budget - Chirp

Pro: No monthly fee

Con: Cost for individual audiobooks will vary wildly

The word 'chirp' in navy blue on a white background

Chirp is not a subscription service; it's a sale site. With a quick turn around the app, I was able to find some great audiobooks for a low price. (And when I say low, I mean $2 cheap). They also have an excellent selection of best sellers at a significant discount. Not to mention their audiobook bundles are incredible if you're a series enthusiast. The flip side of it being the audiobook equivalent of TJ Maxx is, well that it's the audiobook equivalent of TJ Maxx. The sale prices are going to vary from fantastic to underwhelming. My suggestion for a site like this is to add the more expensive books to your wishlist and check back periodically.

**While I am not a Chirp brand affiliate, I do get a bonus if you use my link.**



Best for Freebies - Libby

Pros: Free and easy to use

Con: Selection is limited to your local library, and wait times can be lengthy

an aqua book with a little girl's head peaking out from behind
Libby App

Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card. Libby is an excellent choice for those who are low on funds or have no funds. It is a third-party app, so you will need to apply for a library card from your local library, but once you do, the world is your oyster. The main drawback to using Libby is the main drawback when using any other public library service: impulsivity is not your friend. And if your library has a somewhat limited selection, you might find yourself with more misses than hits. However, using interlibrary loans, book requests, or a little planning, it's a great platform to listen to audiobooks.



Honorable Mention: Kobo Plus

the letter 'R' in a red circle next to the word kobo in black on a white background

I admit to only really using Kobo to play around with it, so I cannot comment on whether the price point matches the offerings. However, unlike Audible, Kobo offers a subscription service that allows you to read the ebook and listen to the audiobook for a monthly fee of $9.99.



Best for Endless Frustration -

This is a joke category, but I found to be an awful platform. While they have an extensive selection of audiobooks, it doesn't mean much if you can't play the book straight through. I first got the service to refresh myself on The Blood Trials by NE Davenport before reading the ARC for the sequel, The Blood Gift. However, I found the audio c