Ultimate audiobooks guide - Buy, rent, stream and download

Welcome to UseAudiobooks.com! This is your one-stop-shop for all things audiobooks. We are here to help you find the best place to easily buy, download and rent audiobooks. Listening to your favourite audiobooks definitely shouldn’t be a painful process!

We have you covered with our in-depth product analysis and top audiobook reviews section. It doesn’t matter if you are a complete audiobook virgin, or a veteran searching for your new title. Make sure to check out our best audiobook services comparison page. Here we have highlighted all the relevant information that you need to make your pick. We took into account a number of different necessities. The number of audiobooks in the website’s store, free trial offers, how their audiobooks apps perform, monthly pricing and then finally our overall rating.

Each audiobook service that you find on UseAudiobooks.com has been tried and tested for hours on end. This should now enable you to pick which service is best suited for you, then you can listen to your heart’s content.

Our top pick audiobook services

#1 Service
  • 30-days free trial (1 free audiobook)
  • Access Audible exclusives
  • World's largest audiobook offering, over 200,000 titles
  • 4 membership plans to choose from
  • Swap any audiobook for any reason
Best App
  • 30-days free trial - 1 audiobook free
  • Purchase additional credits for £7.99 each
  • 2nd largest audiobook store
  • Most intuitive audiobook app
  • Available on iOS, Android and Windows devices
Best Value
  • 30-days free trial - 1 audiobook free
  • Cheapest audiobook membership on the market at £6.99/month
  • Easy to use app
  • Purchase 3 additional credits for £19.99
  • Great for both occasional and avid listeners

What is an audiobook?

If you are a complete newbie to the world of audiobooks then you may be asking yourself – what is an audiobook? Let us explain. An audiobook is simply a recording of text that comes from a book or any other written publication. Each audiobook will have a narrator, the person who will read the text so that you can listen along.

Audiobooks have been around for longer than you probably think, all the way back to the 1930s, in fact. They used to be recorded on cassettes and CDs, however, nowadays we use digital audiobooks that can be downloaded or listened to online.

How to start listening to audiobooks

Choose your audiobook service

Compare the different audiobook services to find which will suit you best.

Sign-up for free

Register for a free account with any or all of the best audiobook services.

Enjoy audiobooks anywhere

Pick your first audiobook title and start listening, it’s as simple as that!

Which devices can I listen on?

Audiobooks can be listened to across a range of different devices. You can listen to audiobooks online through your website browser, Chrome, Safari etc. Once you have signed up for one of the audiobook services you can then easily buy audiobooks on their website.

There is also the option to listen through the audiobook services app. All of the best audiobook services now come with an easy to use app. These audiobook apps can be downloaded to your iOS, Android or Windows device within a couple of minutes. Once you have the application on your phone or tablet you can then easily download audiobooks for offline listening. A great way to save your mobile data!

Make sure to check out or audiobook app page to find out which service is best suited for your specific device.

Buy, download, rent and stream audiobooks

There are a few different methods for listening to audiobooks. Depending which way you prefer will change which audiobook service is best for you. If you want to buy audiobooks we recommend Audible, Audiobooks.com or Kobo. If you want to stream audiobooks and then remove them once you are finished one of the unlimited services is best for you, Playster or Scribd. You can also rent audiobooks, if you’d prefer to use this method then Downpour would be the best service for you.

Buy Audiobooks

How you can you buy audiobooks then. Well, it’s actually very straightforward. When we talk about buying audiobooks, it’s simply purchasing a great audiobook from one of the audiobook services that we have highlighted.

Depending on which audiobook website you go with you will have a different subscription plan. If you decide to use Audible, Audiobooks.com, Kobo or Downpour then you will be using the credit type membership. To buy audiobooks you will exchange 1 free credit per title. If you run out of credits early in the month, you can then buy additional credits if the service allows you to, or else you will have to pay the full audiobook store price.

#1 Service
Best App
Best Value

Download audiobooks

Downloading audiobooks is handy for when you want to listen offline. Once you have chosen which is the best audiobook service for you, go ahead and download their app as soon as possible. Then to download audiobooks you will first have to buy your chosen title. All audiobook services except audiobooks.com don’t allow you to purchase new audiobooks within the app. So purchase the audiobook on your computer or through your mobile browser.

You can then download any purchased audiobooks to your preferred device. If you are using Playster or Scribd remember that all of your downloaded audiobooks will be removed if you cancel your subscription. Also, it is good to note that having lots of audiobooks downloaded can take up significant storage on your device. If you have bought the audiobook then it will forever be in your library and available to download again and again.

Renting audiobooks

Renting audiobooks was more popular before the digital age. You could order and rent audiobooks on CD and then return them via post. Saying that it is still possible to rent audiobooks. The audiobook service, Downpour, is probably the most well known for this type of listening. With Downpour you can rent an audiobook for 30 or 60 days depending on the length of the title. Renting audiobooks with Downpour is a good way to save money, especially if you know that you won’t want to listen to it again. Check out our full Downpour review for more information or sign-up now to start enjoying audiobooks.

Downpour

Downpour has a good offering from lots of genres. They are the only service that allows you to rent audiobooks. This can save you money if you don't want to purchase the title outright. Enjoy 1 credit a month or just rent for a cheap price!

$12.99/month

Stream audiobooks

Streaming audiobooks can be done through any device that is compatible with your audiobook service. People usually stream audiobooks if they are on their laptop or computer with a strong WiFi connection, this is also referred to as web listening. All of the audiobook services that we promote on UseAudiobooks.com (except Kobo) have this option.

If you decide to stream audiobooks on your mobile then make sure that you have a sufficient amount of mobile data, otherwise, you could end up with a hefty phone bill. We advise downloading audiobooks if you are using your mobile phone to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com has a wide range of titles on offer. Their app is simple to use, you can even purchase new audiobooks from within it. Being able to buy extra credits for the same monthly cost is a great addition. Enjoy 30-days for free when you sign-up!

£7.99/month

Playster

Playster offers unlimited audiobook listening! Great for commuters, and avid listeners. With a vast store too you won't be stuck for which title to pick. New customers can benefit from their 30-days free trial when signing up!

£14.95/month

Making use of audiobook free trials

What we love about some of the audiobook services that we have listed are that they give new users a free trial upon registering an account. In fact, 5 out of the 8 best audiobook services offer a 30-day free trial!

On top of that, if you join Audiobooks.com, Audible or Kobo you actually get to keep your free audiobook forever. It doesn’t matter if you don’t go ahead with the monthly subscription, your chosen audiobook will stay in your library forever.

Playster and Scribd also offer free trial periods. They, however, allow you to access unlimited titles during the 30-day free trial. Testing these different audiobook free trial methods can help in making you realise which audiobook service is right for you. If you listen to more than 2 audiobooks a month then we would recommend for you to go with Playster or Scribd. If not, then the best option would be Audiobooks.com, Audible or Kobo. Click the ‘start free trial’ buttons below to enjoy your free audiobook listening. 

Free Trial
  • 30-days free trial
  • £7.99/month after 30 days
  • Cancel anytime
Free Trial
  • 30-days free trial
  • £7.99/month after 30 days
  • Cancel anytime
Free Trial
  • 30-days free trial
  • $8.99/month after 30 days
  • Cancel anytime
Free Trial
  • 30-days free trial
  • £6.99/month after 30 days
  • Cancel anytime
Free Trial
  • 30-days free trial
  • £14.95/month after 30 days
  • Cancel anytime

Audiobook recommendations

So, you are now at the stage where you have signed up for a free trial with one of the best audiobook services but have no titles in your library. Well, it’s a good thing that we have a whole page dedicated to audiobook recommendations. Here you can find our reviews of some of the best audiobooks of all time.

On each audiobook recommendation page, we have given a synopsis of the book, full title details, our score and of course, where you can listen to the audiobook.

Each week we will be uploading a new audiobook review to this section. Therefore, make sure to check back to see which title it is we have chosen for that week. We hope that our audiobook recommendations make the choosing process slightly easier for you. Please go ahead and leave us comments under each review giving us your opinion on the selected audiobook.

Cheap audiobooks

If you are looking for cheap audiobooks there are certain audiobook services that are better than others. For us Kobo is one of the best, you can get any audiobook for £6.99. They also allow you to buy a pack of 3 credits for £19.99. Which works out to be £6.67 per audiobook. Audiobooks.com is only £7.99 per audiobook which is also one of the cheapest.

Kobo

Kobo by Rakuten now offers audiobooks. Benefit from the cheapest subscription on the market, and buy additional credits whenever you need. Perfect for all types of listeners. They also offer a 30-days free trial upon registering!

£6.99/month

If you feel like you don’t need to own the title then why not rent with Downpour, they have a rental of the week for just $1.99. Or else you can benefit from Scribd’s unlimited audiobook offering for a small monthly fee of $8.99. If you listen to 3 or 4 audiobooks a month then you can definitely class Scribd as having cheap audiobooks.

Scribd

Scribd allows you to listen to as much as you want for the cheapest price on the market. No credits needed. Included in the membership are ebooks too. See if Scribd is the right choice for you with their 30-days free subscription!

$8.99/month

FAQs

You might have also heard the following less commonly coined phrases, abridged and unabridged audiobooks. The difference between the two is simple. Unabridged audiobooks are the full-text version, word for word, whereas abridged has been edited for a shorter listening time.

Audiobooks vs Reading, should this really be a debated topic. Here at UseAudiobooks.com we like to have our cake and eat, and why not? What we mean by this is that we still enjoy reading books whether that’s paperback or on an e-reader. Just because we still read books shouldn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to listen to audiobooks. We believe that you can still thoroughly enjoy a story, even if it is being narrated to you. In fact, if the author plays the narrator too then this just makes for an excellent production.

Listening to audiobooks offline is extremely straightforward. All you have to do is select your chosen audiobook, then find it in your library on your handheld device. In the audiobook app, you will then see the download button when viewing the title. Hit that button when you have WiFi, and then depending on the size of the book it will be downloaded within seconds. As simple as that, now you can listen freely to your favourite audiobooks offline!

Of course, there is no definitive answer to this question. To be able to enjoy audiobooks whenever you like, you just need to find an audiobook service that is fully compatible with your device or devices. Audible or Audiobooks.com are definitely the safest option, especially if you are Windows user.

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