The Best Audiobook Apps in 2018

All of the best audiobook services come with an audiobook app. So, which service has the best audiobook app? Just like each subscription plan, we have reviewed and rated the most popular audiobook apps. The best audiobook apps should allow you to browse for new titles whilst using it, be compatible with a number of different devices, allow you to download audiobooks to it and that’s just for starters. If you are unable to do this on your current audiobook app then we highly advise changing to one of our recommendations.  

Below you can see out of the services that we compared which one has the best audiobook app.

Compare audiobook apps

  • Narration Speed
  • Skip Length
  • Sleep Timer
  • Downloads
  • Web Listening
  • Devices
  • Register In-App
  • Browse In-App
  • Buy In-App
  • Support In-App
  • Start Listening

1. Audible

The Amazon-owned Audible offers one of the best audiobook apps on the market. This isn’t only because they have the biggest store offering over 200,000 titles. Audible’s app is effective as it is so straightforward to use.

It also has lots of handy features which make your life easy when listening to audiobooks. You can browse new titles via genre, new releases, best sellers and so on. iPhone users have the CarPlay feature for hands-free listening whilst driving functionality.

Audible’s audiobook player is self-explanatory to use. Along the bottom, you can alter the following – narration speed, chapter selection, sleep timer and add bookmarks (see image).

If you have an Amazon home device you can listen to your downloaded books through the Alexa App.

There is one small downfall with the Audible app, this is that you cannot buy new audiobooks through it. Whilst browsing in the app you can add titles to your wishlist though.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android & Windows
Price – Free, monthly subscription – 1 audiobook £7.99/$14.95 2 audiobooks £14.99/$22.95

Audible Audiobook Player

2. Scribd

Next up is Scribd, who also offer another great audiobook app. They differ a bit as their membership is an unlimited listening subscription. At $8.99 per month, they have the cheapest audiobook app with a membership. Android and iOS users are able to download the Scribd app from either store. The Scribd app also contains ebooks and magazines on top of their audiobook offering.

Under the audiobooks tab, you can browse Scribd’s offering. If you find something that interests you can immediately download it, save it or add it to your list.

With a 30-day free trial available why not sign-up and try their product for yourself.

Device Compatibility – iOS & Android
Price – Free, monthly subscription $8.99 per month

Scribd App Player

3. Audiobooks.com

The app from Audiobooks.com works with the credit based membership. You can download the app on Android, iOS and Windows devices. The basic layout makes the app super easy to use. What’s also great about the Audiobooks.com app is that you can buy a new title whilst you browse in the app. This is due to their Instacredit feature, which makes your life much easier. They also house over 7000 free audiobooks which are sourced from LibriVox.

If you download the app and register for an account you will receive your first audiobook for free. Click on the link below to retrieve this offer.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android & Windows
Price – Free, 1 audiobook per month £7.99 or $14.95

Audiobooks.com Player

4. Playster

Time for another audiobook app that offers an unlimited download subscription. The Playster app is available for all users on an iOS or Android device. Playster host over 100,000 audiobooks and they also offer other media types too. If all you’re looking for is audiobooks then you can access their full library for £/$14.95 per month. The cost is almost double that of Scribd, but Playster does hold more titles in their store.

Luckily you can get a feel for the Playster app with their 30 days free trial. Register here and check out their store offering to see if it’s the best audiobook app for you.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, monthly subscription £/$14.95

Playster App

5. Kobo App

Kobo’s Audiobook app has been available for download since September 2017. This is the newest audiobook app on the market, and it’s definitely a good one. You might already be using Kobo for your ebooks. If that’s the case then the transition to using them for audiobooks as well will be simple.

Their store offering is growing at a fast rate as they try to compete with the market leader, Audible. At only £6.99 per month, it’s the cheapest audiobook app that uses credit-based memberships. You can get your first book for free when you sign up for their free trial.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, £6.99/$9.99 per month 1 audiobook

Kobo App Player

6. Audiobooks Now

Audiobooks Now offer a simple app that allows you to buy and listen to audiobooks at the touch of a button. The app has all the features that you’d expect from the best audiobook apps. Playback speed variable, bookmarks, sleep timer and ratings. What is great about this app is that you can buy your next title through it. Which allows you to never have to use a computer unless you want to listen at home.

If you are a new customer with Audiobooks Now you will get your first audiobook at $5.95!

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, monthly membership $5.95

Audiobooks Now App

7. Downpour

Downpour’s audiobook app is definitely the best when it comes to rentals. In the home of the app you can easily browse weekly rentals, hottest rentals and best sellers. You have the option to use one of your credits, buy the audiobook outright or rent the title for 30 days. Note that you can also extend to 60 days should you need longer. This enables you to save money on titles that you don’t want to own forever. It’s easy to select a new chapter, amend the speed, add a sleep timer and bookmark wherever you like. Unfortunately, Downpour doesn’t offer a free trial to new users. But you can test the app by renting an audiobook for 30 days.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, 1 audiobook credit $12.99 per month

Downpour App

8. Audiobook Store

The Audiobook Store has it’s app synced with their online offering. Each time you buy a new audiobook on their website you will then be able to download the audiobook in the app. The negative side of the app is that you can’t browse or buy whilst using it. The app simply acts as a place to play your bought titles. Standard audiobook app functions are available; narration speed and skip lengths. Get your first audiobook for only $5.95 when you register for a new account.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, $5.95 per month for reduced audiobook prices

Audiobook Store App

9. BookBeat

The BookBeat app is available in the U.K. but not America at the moment. If you are reading in the states you can skip this one. BookBeat offer an unlimited audiobook membership that costs £12.90 per month. You can currently download the app on iOS and Android devices. BookBeat’s app design makes it enjoyable to use. The search bar allows you to locate your favourite titles, authors and narrators. Like most of the other audiobook apps BookBeat offers a free trial. You can listen for free for 14 days, click here to start using the app.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, £12.90 per month unlimited membership

BookBeat App

10. Hibooks App

This next audiobook app is a new one. The Hibooks app hasn’t been around for long and is taking a similar road to Scribd. You can only listen to audiobooks on their app and it will cost you $9.99 per month. Hibooks app is available to use on iOS and Android devices.  On first use, the app does seem a bit slow compared to some of the others. The free trial for Hibooks is only 3 days, one week would be a better amount. Some people trialing it won’t even finish an audiobook in 3 days. You can download the app and search their offering by clicking the button below.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – $9.99 per month, unlimited

Hibooks App

How do audiobook apps work?

Audiobook apps are extremely easy to use. All you have to do is download the app on your handheld device. Go to your devices app store, most likely Apple or Google Play Store, type in the name of the company, Audible for example, hit download and away you go.

You will then need to create an account for the audiobook service that you want to start using. The best audiobook apps allow you to register and buy audiobooks from through the app, however, with some of them, this isn’t possible. It’s a small inconvenience that can be easily solved by jumping on your computer or laptop for 2 minutes.

Which features does a good audiobook app have?

A good audiobook app will contain most of the below features. Some won’t have all of these features, however, that doesn’t mean that they are bad. It just means that another service has a better audiobook app. It is then up to you to decide whether you can live without that certain function or not.

  • Compatible on multiple devices (Android, iOS, Windows, desktop streaming)
  • Free trial period offered or discounted audiobook prices upon the first purchase
  • Bookmarks and syncing across multiple devices, to ensure you don’t lose your place
  • A vast selection of audiobook titles. We want new releases and timeless classics
  • Ability to purchase new audiobooks from within the app
  • Able to listen to audiobooks offline
  • Playback variable speed settings to adjust the pace of the narration
  • Get to keep all of your audiobooks even if you cancel your membership
  • Sleep timers are a nice addition to audiobook apps

These are just a start to what we look for when choosing an audiobook app to use. For us, the absolute best audiobook apps offer a free trial or free credit, depending on their membership plan. This allows customers to get a good feel for the audiobook app and the overall service that they offer.

Best audiobook apps for different devices

Best audiobook apps for iPhone and iOS devices

Time to look at the iOS platform. How to get audiobooks on iPhone and which are the best audiobooks apps for iPad and your current iPhone.

Downloading an audiobook app on iOS is the same across all devices. It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone 8, iPad 5th generation or still rocking an iPhone 5. All you have to do is go to the App Store and search for the audiobook app that you want to use.

The best audiobook apps are available on all iOS devices so you don’t need to worry about not finding any. The top audiobooks apps for iPad or your iPhone are these below.

Audible

Audible boasts the largest audiobook store. With a simple mobile and tablet app it's difficult to look elsewhere. Amazing Audible exclusives are the cherry on the cake! New Audible users will receive a 30-days free trial for the best audiobook service on the market!

£7.99/month

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

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

iBooks

If you want to enjoy audiobooks and are an iPhone or iPad user then you can use the iBooks app. You will find this app already downloaded on your Apple devices. Your iTunes account is linked to this app meaning you can buy audiobooks or books whenever you like. When browsing make sure you are under the correct tab. You wouldn’t want to buy a book that you’ll never read. Some audiobooks are cheaper here than on Audible. That is if you don’t have a monthly membership with them. As you’d expect their store offering is large, but not as extensive as Audible’s.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, a la carte purchasing

iBooks app

Best audiobook apps for Android devices

Android audiobook apps are up next. Exactly the same as iOS devices, you will find all of our top audiobook apps picks available in the Google PlayStore. It’s the same again head over to the store and search for ‘audiobooks’ this will give you the result of the best audiobook apps for Android.

Just like with iOS we have certain picks that we think are the best audiobook apps for Android. Although all the of the listed audiobook services are available on Android devices, we have chosen Audible, Audiobooks.com, and Kobo as our top Android audiobook apps.

Audible

Audible boasts the largest audiobook store. With a simple mobile and tablet app it's difficult to look elsewhere. Amazing Audible exclusives are the cherry on the cake! New Audible users will receive a 30-days free trial for the best audiobook service on the market!

£7.99/month

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

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

Google Play Books

That’s right Google have also moved into the audiobook offering. They entered the market at the start of 2018, and you can now download their Google Play Books app. The app is available on Android (of course) and iOS devices. Google Play Books doesn’t have a monthly subscription. Which means that you have to buy each title outright. If you listen to more than 2 books a month, then this isn’t the best audiobook app for you.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android
Price – Free, a la carte purchasing

Smart Audiobook Player

The Smart Audiobook Player is one of the best audiobook apps for Android devices. That is if you aren’t looking for a monthly audiobook subscription. If you own DRM-free audiobooks then you can easily listen to them using this app. It has all the features that you expect from an audiobook app. Narration speed adjustment, sleep timer and multiple skip lengths to name a few. Smart Audiobook Player will cost you $1.99 after your 30-day free trial.

Device Compatibility – Android
Price – Free, £1.99 (Pro version)

Best audiobook apps for Windows devices

If you have a Windows device then, unfortunately, you don’t have the same options that you would with an iOS or Android device. This is the case for other mobile apps too, not just audiobook apps. However, the best audiobook apps for Windows devices are Audible and Audiobooks.com. Both of these services offer you a 30-days free trial which entitles you to 1 free audiobook. There’s some good news for all of you Windows device users. 

Audible

Audible boasts the largest audiobook store. With a simple mobile and tablet app it's difficult to look elsewhere. Amazing Audible exclusives are the cherry on the cake! New Audible users will receive a 30-days free trial for the best audiobook service on the market!

£7.99/month

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

New audiobook apps

There aren’t a huge amount of new audiobook apps hitting the market. The big names have been around for at least 5 years, in some cases many more! However, there are new audiobook apps being added to app stores that allow you to play DRM free audiobooks. These can be free or may cost a small fee like £1.99. If you head over to our free audiobook apps page you can see the best picks there.

Kobo could be classed as a new audiobook app as they only joined the audiobook space back in September 2017. The Kobo app has been around since 2009 for ebooks and other written documents. Now though they have added audiobooks to their easy to use app. As they have been around for less than a year it is fairly likely that you don’t have an account with them. Therefore, why not sign-up for their 30-days free trial, this gifts you 1 free audiobook that you can keep even if you cancel.

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

Cheap audiobook apps

When we refer to cheap audiobook apps, we mean an audiobook service that has a low subscription fee or cheap prices for titles.

If you want to go down the membership route that gifts you a certain amount of credits per month, then the best cheap audiobook app would be Kobo at just £6.99 per month. If you need more credits they also allow you to buy 3 extra for only £19.99!

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

There are also unlimited services that have cheap audiobook app services, most notably, Scribd. At $8.99 per month, you can listen to as many audiobooks as possible through their audiobook app.

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

However, if you are looking to purchase your books outright without using the free credit system we would suggest Audiobooks Now as the cheapest audiobook app for this.

Audiobooks Now

AudiobooksNow offers their whole library at a reduced rate when you are part of their club membership. For $4.99 a month you can enjoy these cut prices. Get a month free of their club pricing package when you register!

$4.99/month

Free audiobook apps

All of the audiobook apps that we have mentioned so far are free. If you then want to purchase titles you will have to pay the monthly subscription or buy them outright. If you have an account with Audiobooks.com then you also get most of librivox’s offering which is great. You have to be registered with Audiobooks.com, but you don’t have to have an active subscription to benefit from these free audiobooks.

There are also free audiobook apps where you can listen to audiobooks for free. You won’t get the same selection as you would if you had an Audible or Audiobooks.com membership. That doesn’t matter though if you are just looking for a free audiobook to pass the time. We have outlined the best free audiobooks apps on a dedicated page as there are quite a lot to get through.

LibriVox

Librivox is a free audiobook app. Hugh McGuire formed the organisation in 2005. Offering users the luxury of free audiobooks.  LibriVox makes use of volunteers to narrate books that are in the public domain. They currently offer over 12,000 free audiobooks on the app. It is very straightforward to use, you don’t even have to sign-up for an account. Best of all you can also listen to these audiobooks offline. The one con of LibriVox is that sometimes the recordings aren’t of high quality. You may also get different narrators throughout the same book, which can be a bit annoying. If you are into classic books then give LibriVox a try, after all, it is free!

Device Compatibility – iOS & Android
Price – Free

OverDrive

OverDrive is a free audiobook app that links to your local library membership. All you have to do is register for an account using an email, facebook or your library card. Once registered you will need to pair the account with your library by using the number on the back of the card. After that, you can borrow audiobooks and ebooks to your heart’s content. Popular audiobooks get borrowed instantly. Which means sometimes you’ll be queueing for these titles.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android & Windows
Price – Free

Libby App

Libby is a new app from OverDrive. The usability is up there with some of the best audiobook apps on the market and it’s completely free to use! Once again, you will need a library card to start listening to free audiobooks. If you already have an OverDrive account you can sign in using that. The titles on offer completely vary depending on your local library. What’s great is that you can add as many library cards as possible. This means that you will have a bigger selection, compared to if you only paired with one.

The Libby app is perfect for kids audiobooks, due to having picture books with follow along audio. If you’re a parent and reading this, we highly suggest that you download Libby. It’s a great way to introduce children to books and audiobooks.

Device Compatibility – iOS, Android & Windows
Price – Free

Audiobooks HQ

Audiobooks HQ is another free audiobook app that incorporates the LibriVox library. You can access over 11,000 audiobook titles currently. There are in-app advertisements which you can get rid of these by buying the premium version for £1.99. This is a one-off fee.

With the same titles as LibriVox, what are the benefits of this app? To start the actual app is much more user-friendly than the LibriVox app. There are also extras on the Audiobooks HQ app too. These include 500 indie audiobooks, that they call podiobooks. On top of that, they offer 75,500 old radio recordings dating all the way back to the 1930’s! Perfect for anyone that wants to relive the past with original recordings.

Audiobooks HQ app also shows you recommendations based on previous listens. This is a nice addition to a free audiobook app that many others don’t offer.

Device Compatibility – iOS
Price – Free, £1.99 (pro version)

Hoopla Digital (US & CA only)

Hoopla is another free audiobook app that works in the same way as OverDrive. You need to sign up for an account, find your local library and insert your ID number. The Hoopla app is only for American and Canadian citizens. Although you can download the app in the U.K. you won’t find any British libraries on the list. Hoopla Digital also offer movies, ebooks, comics on top of audiobooks. 21 days is the amount of time that you can rent a title. If you have a library card and live in America or Canada we suggest that you give the Hoopla app a go.

Device Compatibility – iOS & Android
Price – Free

Using audiobooks apps offline

Audiobook apps can all be used offline. When it comes to using audiobook apps offline, all you need to do is download which audiobook you would like to listen to. We suggest doing this whilst you are connected to WiFi so that you don’t eat into your mobile data. Audiobooks can be quite big so make sure you have enough space on your device.

Once your choice of audiobook has been downloaded you can then listen offline. This is great as you won’t be worried about using up your monthly mobile data whilst on your morning run, or daily commute.

Summary

So there we have it, the best audiobook apps currently on the market. Make sure to see our best audiobook services comparison page or search through the review page of your chosen audiobook app should you require more information. Remember to always test the audiobook apps yourself, as people do have different preferences. Luckily the best audiobook apps on the market all offer a free trial period for you to get better acquainted with their service, isn’t that nice!

FAQs

Depending on the audiobook app you can easily download audiobooks just by hitting the button. If your current audiobook app doesn’t let you buy through the app then you will have to log in via your mobile browser or on your computer before you can download the title in the app. We recommend Audiobooks.com for instantly downloadable audiobooks!

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