Best 8 Audible Alternatives for Audiobooks

Audible has a great selection of Audiobooks, but it can be expensive. These alternatives might have more to offer you.

Headphones on books

Audible.com is one of the most popular online portals for purchasing, downloading, and listening to audiobooks. They have a larger library than most of their competitors, allow you to listen to books that you purchase on the Audible website or your device of choice, and offer different subscription plans that help you save when you buy multiple books – and even get some free ones! However, Audible’s subscription packages are rather expensive, and the books that you buy can’t be downloaded or listened to on anything other than Audible-authorized apps.

If you’re interested in saving money, try free Audible alternatives like Overdrive.com, or the volunteer-run LibriVox.org. If you’re just looking for audiobook stores that offer less expensive subscription rates, then we would recommend AudiobooksNow.com or Downpour.com.

If you need more information, in this article, we’ll help answer all of your questions, by telling you about these things:

Whether you’re just looking for free audiobooks or would like to pay a little bit less for today’s hottest titles, here are nine Audible competitors.

 

Best 8 Audible alternatives for listening to audiobooks

1. Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com website

An Audible competitor from Canada, Audiobooks.com has a very similar structure. It requires you to sign up for a $15-per-month subscription, but once you do, you get one free book per month. After that, you can buy extra book credits at any time (unlike on Audible), and get any other books that you want for reduced prices.

Audiobooks.com button

 

2. Audiobooks Now

AudiobooksNow website

AudiobooksNow.com is very similar to Audible, but its major departure point is in its pricing structure. Whereas Audible’s lowest membership fee is $15 per month, the lowest membership fee for Audiobooks Now is $5 per month. In addition, Audiobooks Now offers up to 40% off of the regular price of its audiobooks with a membership fee, in contrast to Audible’s 30% off. However, you get fewer free books with an Audiobooks Now membership (but still get 50% off the first book that you buy each month. Audiobooks Now only has about 60,000 audiobooks for sale, as opposed to Audible’s 150,000.

AudiobooksNow button

 

3. Downpour

Downpour website

Downpour.com works a little bit differently than some of the other alternatives to Audible here, in that it allows you to both purchase and rent audiobooks, depending on your needs. It is also a bit less expensive than Audible, with its membership fee costing $13 a month as opposed to $15 per month for Audible (though Downpour has no other options) and getting you one free book a month. Downpour also allows you to listen to any books that you purchase on any software that can play them, as opposed to having to use Audible-exclusive players for books purchased from Audible.

Downpour button

 

4. Playster

Playster website

Playster.com is a unique Audible alternative in that it doesn’t follow a “buy, or subscribe to save” pricing model. Instead, you are required to sign up for a membership in order to use it, and its cost is almost twice as much as Audible per month. However, Playster operates on an “all-you-can-stream” system, so with your membership, you can watch as many movies, listen to as many audiobooks or music tracks, or play as many video games as are available in Playster’s library. You can also choose to only have access to one type of media in order to cut costs a bit, but Playster is still kind of expensive.

Playster button

 

5. Overdrive

Overdrive website

Overdrive.com is a free alternative to Audible that can be accessed with a valid student ID or a library card. Like Playster, it offers rental downloads of e-books, audiobooks, movies, music, and more that can be enjoyed on your desktop computer or your mobile device. However, you are limited to the selection that your local library has in stock, and the item that you download will stop working once your rental period is up.

If you’d like to know more about how Overdrive works, check out our Overdrive course.

Overdrive button

 

6. LibriVox

LibriVox website

LibriVox.org, like OverDrive, is a completely free place to download audiobooks. However, unlike OverDrive, there are no strings attached to listening to what you want to hear. All books on LibriVox are considered to be public domain works, so they’re read by ordinary people like you and distributed to the public for free, for anyone to download. If you think you have a good voice for reading books, you can even volunteer to help expand LibriVox’s collection!

LibriVox button

 

7. Kobo

Kobo audiobooks website

Now owned by Japanese e-commerce group Rakuten, Kobo is a spin-off from Canadian book company Indigo. Instead of selling audiobooks, though, it sells a similar product called “e-books.” These are electronic books that you can read using special applications or devices (which Kobo provides or sells), similar to how you would listen to audiobooks from Audible.

Kobo Audiobooks button

 

8. Alibris

Alibris website

Alibris.com is less of a bookstore than it is a book exchange. It runs by having independent sellers use the website to sell physical copies of books, movies, and music. This can even include rare copies of media that have gone out of production. You might even want to join as a seller yourself, if you have collectible books, movies, or music to pawn off!

Alibris button

 

Services like Audible comparison table: cost, platforms, and more

ServiceCostPlatformsBest Feature
Audiobooks logo$14.95/month for 1 book + buy additional credits anytime
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iOS | AndroidGift plans to give audiobooks to others
AudiobooksNow logo$4.99/month + pay per book purchased
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Android | iOS | KindleFire | Chrome | Microsoft Edge | Firefox | Nook | SafariSubscription plan gets you up to 50% off the price of audiobooks
Downpour logo$12.99/month for 1 book + buy additional books anytime
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Android | iOS | Digital Downloads, CDs, mp3-CDsDigital rentals available for a reduced rate
Playster logo$14.95/month for unlimited streaming
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iOS | AndroidYou can bundle books, audiobooks, music, movies, and games for only $34.95/month
OverDrive logoOnly accessible through libraries you belong to
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Android | iOS | MicrosoftA large catalogue of educational titles are also available
LibriVox logoFree
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iOS | AndroidLIbriVox will always be free because its content is read by volunteers
Kobo logo$12.99/month for 1 book
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Android | iOS | Blackberry | WindowsStudent discounts available as well
Alibris logoPay per book: As little as $1/book
Read More
Physical booksPrices are unbelievably low because you can buy pre-listened to books

 

How do audiobooks work and how do you get them?

Speaker in kitchen in home

Audiobooks are digital recordings of a book, read by someone, so you can listen to the words of the book rather than needing to read them. They are available on various platforms, usually so you can take them with you on mobile devices, listen on your computer, or even on devices like the Amazon Echo.

When you sign up for an Audiobook service, you can typically download audiobooks to save to your other devices, or save them to your account and access them through the service’s website or apps when you want to listen to them. As you listen you can save your place to access it again later, choose where you want to listen from, and even take notes while you listen!

 

Can I return an audiobook?

In some cases, depending on which service you use, you can return an audiobook. However, you cannot simply listen to a book and then return it like a library. If you paid for an audiobook, you can return it if there is an issue with it, such as the track skipping or the audio quality being poor. In general, returns of audiobooks are made on the “honor system,” so if you request your money back 3 times or more, they may no longer accept returns from you.

 

Other helpful resources for finding great books online

These articles can help you get rid of your Audible account if it’s costing you too much money, and how to find other great books online.

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