When it comes to listening to the audio version of a book, the choice of a narrator can indeed make or break your enjoyment of it!
With more of us turning to audiobooks, the selection of the narrator is beginning to play a huge part in the way many of us pick our next title.
Here we offer a list of some of the best audiobook narrators hugely popular with fans of the spoken word. These audiobook narrators know precisely how to narrate the written word, offering the most compelling of stories for every listener.
13 of the Best Audiobook Narrators
Best known for his narration of the entire Harry Potter series, Stephen Fry’s warm melodic voice is an absolute joy to behold. A genuine British icon, J.K. Rowling personally requested Fry to narrate all the Potter books after hearing him read just one!
With a delightful manner and most celebrated of accents, Fry transports listeners instantaneously to each creative world he reads about, adding a touch of humor each time.
Now in constant demand for his narrating skills, Fry’s smooth dictation is an enormous joy when listening to any of his audio offerings.
Popular narrations from Stephen Fry:
An award-winning narrator, Scott Brick has narrated a staggering number of titles, including those from Clive Cussler and Pulitzer prize winners, to name but a few.
For this very reason, he’s been regularly voted narrator of the year and even teaches about audiobook narration.
It’s easy to see why Brick’s voice is held in such high esteem. A most comforting of sounds, he offers clear and concise audio to every book read, instantly adding depth to all the subject matter.
Warm and rich in tones, he’s considered by many to have the best storyteller voice ever!
Popular narrations from Scott Brick:
Not content with creating mesmerizing books, films, and TV series, Neil Gaiman also lends his smooth raspy narrating voice to many of his own books.
With a charming distinct British voice, Gaiman’s vocal expertise appears in many audiobooks, breathing light into those darker of subject matters.
Audiobook fans and Gaiman fans alike love hearing this storytelling master at work. Gaiman delivers his prose in his captivating way inviting us into his unique worlds.
A quintessential storyteller, his soothing voice pleases both young and old alike.
Popular narrations from Neil Gaiman:
An immensely popular audiobook narrator of the action and thriller genres, R.C Bray has been captivating listeners for years.
With his strong passion for both books and indeed narration emphasized throughout everything he reads; Bray incorporates his distinguishing American accent with his many years of solid voice training. The result is a narration that is not only crisp and clear in quality but ultimately sheer fun to listen to.
A natural storyteller, some of Bray’s narrating credits to date include The Martian and Homefront.
Popular narrations from R.C. Bray:
American funnyman David Sedaris lends his distinctive uplifting voice to all of his own novels, fearlessly narrating most of his own books to date.
With a typical nasal style of sound but equally soothing voice, Sedaris enters the world of the book itself, taking the listener on his journey with him every step.
Sedaris emits humor throughout his prose in mere everyday conversation, and this is a massive hit with many audio listeners as he never strays from his own sense of style when narrating. Thus, he draws many a fan in during this most natural of story-telling process.
Popular narrations from David Sedaris:
Voicing best-selling psychological thrillers such as Gone Girl and An Anonymous Girl, American actress Julia Whelan lends her low tone and fantastic American drawl to a vast selection of audiobooks.
Reading a plentiful of genres, Julia’s voice always works to serve the author best while offering her unique style of audio with every book. The result is instinctive raw emotion and superb analysis of what makes each character and setting.
With an unmissable raspy tone prevalent in much of her work, Whelan’s emotions often drive the audio style, pleasing audiences no end.
Popular narrations from Julia Whelan:
Famed for his audiobook narration of Hilary Mantel’s and George R. Martin’s masterpieces, Simon Vance’s luxurious narrating capability oozes confidence.
Winner of several awards for his delightful voice, Vance offers a breathtaking narration to any title he reads, instantly setting the scene in just a few words.
Preferred by many audiobook fans for his sheer emotive use of the written word, Vance exudes stress and drama, captivating all listeners, while providing hours of entertainment and satisfaction.
Ultimately, Vance’s audiobook narration is one that breathes life into every character and therefore remains a most memorable voice.
Popular narrations from Simon Vance:
Actor, blogger, and writer, Wil Wheaton is also an award-winning audiobook narrator, lending his fresh, smooth American tones to a selection of audiobooks.
Favored by many for his narration of the popular hit Ready player one, Wheaton’s is a calm, confident and steady paced style of narrating.
Boasting confidence in every genre he narrates; Wheaton has an uplifting way with words and a great tone when it comes to emphasizing and highlighting key sections of a book.
A firm favorite with many audiobook fans, Wheaton’s enthusiasm for narrating is perhaps his biggest attraction for many.
Popular narrations from Wil Wheaton:
Best known for adding his impeccable narration to action-packed works, Ray Porter actually crosses all genre boundaries when narrating.
An actor and casting director of diverse projects, when narrating Porter is clearly comfortable lending his strong, confident and vibrant voice to books from bestselling authors such as Timothy Ferriss and Haruki Murakami.
One of the sharpest of all audiobook narrators, Porter’s voice is considered by many to be the perfect presence to whatever book he’s working on.
A pleasure to listen to all day long, Porter delights listeners of all ages.
Popular narrations from Ray Porter:
Considered one of the best audiobook narrators by far, Jim Dale’s audio credentials are staggering!
Known for his ability to breathe life into any book he lends his audio skills to, Dale is the proud narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks for American audiences.
Better known for providing no less than 134 separate voices for this series alone, Dale is also a British narrator.
However, when compared to Stephen Fry’s narration on the potter series, some feel that Dale offers a more energetic and exaggerated reading of this magical world.
Popular narrations from Jim Dale:
As well as an accomplished actress, Kate Winslet also lends her delightful tone to audiobooks.
A firm favorite amongst Enid Blyton fans for her The Magic Faraway Tree narration, Kate’s voice is undeniably a quintessential English rose voice, but one that is undoubtedly the more soothing to listen to.
Loved by many parents alike for her ability to read children’s stories with sparkling clarity, Winslet’s instinctively recognizable voice is pure joy for all adult fans of the very best classic books, with a diction to transport you each time.
Popular narrations from Jim Dale:
From Stephen King to Charles Dickens, Frank Muller will be forever known as a hugely successful audiobook narrator alongside that of a successful stage and television actor.
Considered by many to be America’s best audiobook narrator, Muller was a classically trained actor who applied his stage knowledge directly to the many books he narrated.
With a mesmerizing voice that captivates listeners from the very first word, Muller’s distinct voice, delivery, and timing makes him the king of narrating. Even earning the accolade from Stephen King himself.
It was indeed fitting that Muller was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his audiobook narrations.
Popular narrations from Frank Muller:
A Tony award-winning actor, Roy Dotrice is perhaps better known now as the acclaimed audio narrator of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
Though Roy is no longer with us, his spirit lives on through his devoted storytelling.
An utterly unique master narrator, Dotrice was the leader at creating and implementing a staggering amount of voices, lending real authenticity to each book he read.
A most gentle manner and thoroughly clear-cut British accent, he’s guaranteed to remain a favorite with audiobook listeners for many years to come.
Popular narrations from Roy Dotrice: