Audiobooks.com and Audible are two popular audiobook services. While both have a lot in common but there are also some key differences. In this review of Audiobooks.com vs. Audible, I take a closer look at both services to help you decide which one is best for you. This includes how each service works, their pros and cons, and how to try either one for free.
4 reasons Audiobooks.com is better than Audible:
- Audiobooks.com has an excellent app that many people prefer to Audible’s.
- Audiobooks.com has curated book lists on its website and within its app that make it easy to find your next listen.
- Audiobooks.com has Audiobook Clubs that provide unlimited listening to thousands of best-selling and classic audiobooks. Some of the popular clubs are Romance, Mystery & Thriller, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy.
- Audiobooks.com is not owned by Amazon which has been criticized for its business practices e.g. Brandon Sanderson recently said, “Audible has grown to a place where it’s very bad for authors”.
4 reasons Audible is better than Audiobooks.com:
- Audible has a larger library of titles including some exclusives and originals.
- Audible has the Plus Catalog which provides unlimited listening to select audiobooks and podcasts.
- Audible’s easy return policy allows members to return or exchange a title via the website or app (restrictions may apply).
- Audible easily integrates with Amazon products and services, including WhisperSync for Kindle users and Alexa-enabled devices.
Pricing Audiobooks.com vs. Audible
How much does Audiobooks.com cost?
Audiobooks.com costs $14.95 USD per month for one credit with its standard membership. This one credit can be used to:
- Access one premium selection title audiobooks from the entire catalog, or
- Join one of eight Audiobook Clubs for 30 days of unlimited listening to the hundreds of audiobooks in your chosen club.
You can purchase a single (or multiple) top-up credit(s) easily as needed. Audiobooks.com also offers 2 and/or 3 credits per month subscription plans.
Another option is to pre-pay for your Audiobooks.com membership. Currently, you can purchase a 12-month Audiobooks.com membership for $149.40 USD which will save you $30 vs. paying monthly.
How much does Audible cost?
Audible costs the same as Audiobooks.com at $14.95 USD per month for its standard membership, Audible Premium Plus, which includes one credit per month for any premium selection title and access to the Plus Catalog (a selection with thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks).
Another option is Audible Plus at $7.95 USD per month which includes access to the Plus Catalog only. Note: while Audible Plus has an interesting selection of titles, I think most audiobook listeners will want Audible Premium Plus. You can read more about the two plans in my guide Audible Plus vs. Premium Plus.
Like Audiobooks.com, with Audible you can save with an annual membership which includes the Plus Catalog and 12 credits a year for any premium selection titles.
Audiobooks.com vs. Audible pricing comparison table
|Membership / Monthly||$14.95 USD per month||$14.95 USD per month|
|Membership / Yearly||$149.40 USD / year||$149.50 USD / year|
|Cost Per Credit / Yearly||$12.45 USD||$12.46 USD|
|Free Trial||Yes – 30 days||Yes – 30 days|
As you can see, when it comes to cost Audiobooks.com and Audible have very similar pricing structures and there’s no clear winner. Let’s look at how the two services compare when it comes to their apps…
Apps Audiobooks.com vs. Audible
Is the Audiobooks.com app any good?
Audiobooks.com offers apps for iOS and Android. The app rating in the Apple Store is currently a very respectable 4.7 out of 5. Features of the Audiobooks.com app include:
Offline access. Whether you’re on an airplane or in an area without network coverage, you can enjoy any previously-downloaded audiobooks that are saved to your device, since playing downloaded books doesn’t use data or require an internet connection.
Customizable narration speed. With the Audiobooks.com app you can adjust the playback speed to your liking (0.5x to 2x). For example, if a narrator is not relaying information fast enough you may wish to speed it up to 1.5x or 2x.
Sleep timer. Before falling asleep, you can select an amount of time you’d like the audiobook to continue playing. After that time has elapsed, your audiobook will pause and you can nod off without worrying that your book is going to keep playing and you’ll lose your spot.
Bookmarks. If there’s a section of the book you’d like to recall or make note of, hit the orange flag icon in the app. You can leave your thoughts about the time you’re on, which gets saved to My Notes. You can navigate to the My Notes section from the main menu.
Connect to a device. Want to play your audiobook through a device nearby? If you tap the speaker icon in the app you will launch a pop-up asking you to select the device you’d like to connect to. Plus, you can control that specific device’s volume from this pop-up as well.
Is the Audible app any good?
You can listen to Audible books with iOS and Android devices, plus others including Amazon Fire Tablet and Kindle (see here for a full list). The Audible app is highly rated with a current rating in the Apple Store of 4.9 out of 5. Features of the Audible app include:
Offline access. Download your audiobooks to your app so you can listen without using data or Wi-Fi — at no extra cost.
Customizable narration speed. Pick the pace that works for you. Vary the listening speed from 0.5x to 3x.
Sleep timer. Don’t lose your place when you fall asleep. Set a timer for up to an hour, or until the end of the chapter.
Bookmarks. Clips is a feature that allows you to save your favorite audiobook passages. The clips you save in the Audible app can also serve as bookmarks you can use to replay the favorite parts of your audiobooks or jog your memory on important plot points or dialogue.
Connect to a device. With Audible it’s easy to connect to another device such as a smart speaker to listen to your audiobook.
Audiobooks.com vs. Audible app comparison table
|App Store Rating||4.7 / 5.0||4.9/5.0|
|Devices||iPhone, Android, PC||iPhone, Android, PC, Amazon Devices|
|Customizable Narration Speed||Yes||Yes|
|Bookmarks and Notes||Yes||Yes|
The apps for Audiobooks.com and Audible will both let you conveniently listen to your chosen title anytime, anywhere. Both are highly rated and come with similar features with Audible having a slight edge when it comes to device compatibility and rating (although there are people that don’t like the Audible app for various reasons). Now, let’s review the benefits each service offers…
Benefits Audiobooks.com vs. Audible
What are the benefits of Audiobooks.com?
Great selection. Audiobooks.com has an impressive library of 400,000+ premium titles. I like the way they make it easy to find a great listen with their curated book lists, including ‘Perfect First Listens’, New York Times Best Sellers, Books With Buzz, Bestselling Audiobooks of All Time, and many more.
Additional audio content. Members can access a curated selection of VIP titles, podcasts, audio news, audio magazines, and sleep & meditation audio content. Note: Audiobooks.com does not produce any podcasts, so you can find these episodes elsewhere but the app does provide a convenient way to find and listen to podcasts.
Member sales. Audiobooks.com offers members exclusive discounts and 2-for-1 deals. Audiobook and genre selections are updated every month. Browse current Audiobooks.com deals.
Unlimited listening. Audiobook Clubs are a unique offering from Audiobooks.com where you can join one of 8 clubs for 30 days of unlimited listening to thousands of bestselling and classic audiobooks. These clubs include:
- “Best of” Audiobook Club
- Romance Audiobook Club
- Mystery & Thriller Audiobook Club
- Sci-Fi & Fantasy Audiobook Club
- Health & Wellness Audiobook Club
- Business & Economics Audiobook Club
- Kids Audiobook Club
- Religion & Spirituality Audiobook Club
Ownership. Titles you purchase are yours to keep with Audiobooks.com, even if you cancel. However, VIP Rewards program books are only accessible while you are an active member.
What are the benefits of Audible?
Huge selection. Audible has an ever-expanding library of more than 600,000 audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. This library includes Audible Originals, audio titles that are exclusive to Audible.
Easy exchanges. As an Audible member, you can exchange or return an Audible book as long as it’s within 365 days of the original purchase. This risk-free exchange policy means you can take a chance on a new narrator or story without losing a credit (although this ability may be restricted if done too much).
Member sales. Members can buy additional titles at any time for 30% off the list price, plus get access to exclusive sales and daily deals.
Unlimited listening. Listen all you want to the Audible Plus catalog which includes an ever-growing selection of audiobooks, exclusive podcasts, and Audible Originals.
Amazon integration. With WhisperSync for Voice you can switch between listening on Audible and reading on your Kindle or do both. Audible also easily integrates with Alexa-enabled devices.
Audiobooks.com vs. Audible benefits comparison table
|Additional Content||Yes – VIP Selections||Yes – Audible Plus catalog|
|Exclusive Content||No||Yes – Audible Originals|
|Unlimited Listening||Yes – with Audiobook Clubs||Yes- with Audible Plus|
|Ownership||Yes – Purchased titles||Yes – Purchased titles|
Both Audiobooks.com and Audible offer a lot of value but when comparing their benefits side-to-side it clear that Audible distinguishes itself in a number of ways.
Audible has a larger library and a growing selection of original and exclusive content, including popular titles such as Project Hail May and Born a Crime.
Audible has a very user-friendly refund policy that allows you to return or exchange a title via the website or app. Returning a book with Audiobooks.com is possible but not quite so easy; you’ll need to contact customer support and requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Lastly, Audible has Whispersync which may be appealing if you also like to read books on Kindle and easily integrates with Alexa-enabled devices. Note: you can pair Alexa with the Audiobooks.com app but it doesn’t seem this works quite as well as with Audible and Alexa.
Verdict – Is Audiobooks.com or Audible Better?
Before delivering our final verdict, let’s review the pro and cons of each service:
- Excellent app
- Great selection
- Curated books lists
- Member sales
- Unlimited listening with Audiobook Clubs
- Smaller catalog than Audible
- No easy returns
- Excellent app
- Huge selection
- Member sales
- Audible originals and exclusives
- Unlimited listening with Audible Plus
- Easy returns
- Amazon business practices
In summary, both Audiobooks.com and Audible offer a great way to enjoy audiobooks. Audible does objectively provide more value with its standard Audible Premium Plus membership. However, if you don’t like Audible for whatever reason, Audiobooks.com is an excellent alternative.
A great thing about both services is you can try them free for 30 days:
- 400,000+ titles
- Highly rated app
- $14.95 a month after trial
- Cancel anytime
- 600,000+ titles
- Highly rated app
- $14.95 a month after trial
- Cancel anytime