Audible is the most famous audiobook service in the world. Their “one new audiobook per month” subscription has been many people’s favorite for years, but, lately, they’re trying to switch things up and become the ultimate audio streaming service all around. In this Audible review, we’ll find out if the industry leader is (still) worth the price.
We’ll discover all the details of Audible’s newest subscription options, why its unique features make it such a good pick for audiobooks, and whether or not it’s really worth it for you, based on your unique circumstances. Here’s a handy table of contents so you can jump to any section you want:
Table of Contents
- Quick Summary of Our Audible Review (FAQ)
- Pros and Cons of Audible
- What Is It Like to Use the Audible App?
- Additional Features of the Audible App
- Other Listening Options
- How Much Does Audible Cost?
- 9 Benefits of Using Audible
- How Audible Helped Me Become a Better Person
- Is Audible Worth It?
- Conclusion: Our Audible Review
- Other Reviews
Strap in, and let’s get right into our Audible review, starting with the most commonly asked questions you might have about the service.
Quick Summary of Our Audible Review (FAQ)
1. How many books do you get a month with Audible?
Audible has two membership options. The classic one-credit-a-month plan, known as Audible Premium Plus, will let you choose a title in their library to keep and listen to any title they have. They also now have a cheaper option called Audible Plus, which is like a streaming service for audiobooks where you can listen to all you want a month at a time.
2. How much does Audible really cost?
Audible Plus is $7.95 a month, for which you get to listen to any book in the library (but you don’t get to keep them). Audible Premium Plus costs $14.95 a month and gives you everything Audible Plus does plus 1 credit per month to select any audiobook in their library to keep.
3. How many audiobooks are on Audible?
There are over 200,000 audiobooks available on Audible. I’ve been using it for years and have yet to find that it doesn’t have one of my favorites. It’s also usually the quickest service to get bestsellers as they come out and many audiobooks are only available on Audible.
4. Is Audible free with Prime?
Audible is not free with an Amazon Prime membership. However, if you choose to get a free trial of Audible Premium Plus then you get to select 2 audiobooks to keep instead of just one!
5. Can I get Audible for free?
You can try Audible for free for 30 days. Then, your subscription will renew monthly depending on which plan you chose. If you subscribe to Audible Premium Plus you’ll get at least 1 audiobook to keep even after the free trial is over. For those who purchase Audible Plus, you can listen to any audiobook in their library for free for 30 days.
6. Do I need a subscription for Audible?
You do not need a subscription for Audible to keep the books you’ve purchased or received as part of a free trial. Without a subscription, however, you will not be able to listen to unlimited audiobooks in their library or use credits to purchase audiobooks.
7. Can I still listen to Audible if I cancel my subscription?
If you cancel your Audible subscription, you still get to keep the books that you’ve received as part of a free trial or purchased with credits or otherwise. I’ve gone through times when I don’t have an active Audible subscription and I can still listen to any book in my library all I want!
Pros and Cons of Audible
Audible has got to be the most popular audiobook service out there. And for good reason, too! We’ve certainly enjoyed using it!
Let’s get into why it’s so great and also look at what cons there are to Audible as well. Most of these only apply to an Audible subscription and do not refer to the free trial or non-subscription use of it.
Pros of using Audible:
- You get to listen to any audiobook in the “included” library no matter which subscription you purchase. Remember earlier how we said it’s kind of like a streaming service for audiobooks? That’s what We’re talking about here. Unlimited access to all the audiobooks you want! You can listen to 10 books a month if you feel so inclined!
- The selection on Audible is absolutely unbeatable. Many of the books are Audible-only, so you can’t get them anywhere else. Audible is also really on top of getting new titles, especially bestsellers, quickly after they’re released if not at the same time.
- Using the Audible app is an almost flawless experience. I say almost because nothing is perfect. But Audible comes very close here! No crazy glitches, a beautiful user interface that includes dark mode, and so much more. We’ll get into that later.
- You get a 30% discount on the full price of any audiobook for as long as you keep your subscription. Audiobooks are expensive, so this is a pretty big deal!
- It’s really affordable. $7.99 a month is like $.26 a day! Audible also has additional options for purchasing monthly credits that can make it pretty inexpensive. A 2 credit plan is $22.95 a month, for instance, which is about $11 per audiobook. That’s a steal! Other options are the annual 12-credit plan for $149.50 and the annual 24-credit plan for $229.50 which are both great deals as well.
Cons of using Audible:
- You don’t get to keep the books if you subscribe to Audible Plus (the one that’s like a streaming service). I’m not sure I really mind this though, because how often do you really re-read or re-listen to your favorite books? I know I do occasionally, but I can only do it every few years or so. Just recently I wanted to find something new to listen to but my Audible library only has about 6 books in it, all of which I’ve listened to recently! With a subscription, even to the cheaper option, you get unlimited listens to any book in their “included” library.
- It’s owned by Amazon, which means that its effectiveness as an audiobook service may be hindered by Amazon’s goals. I think of it like buying running shoes from a general shoe company as opposed to buying from a company that only does running shoes. The one that solely makes running shoes is going to have a lot better shoe than the generalist one. That being said, I’ve not really found that Audible is lacking at all because of this. It’s still top-notch, and, on the plus side, having a giant with endless resources behind it makes it more stable and reliable than other options.
What Is It Like to Use the Audible App?
The best thing about the Audible app is that it’s a perfect mix of simplicity and functionality that makes listening to audiobooks a fantastic experience. This section will focus on the main features of the app and in a moment we’ll get into some other cool tools within it.
You can get the Audible app for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You’ll need a subscription or to purchase audiobooks individually to add new listens to your library. But once you own those titles you get to keep them forever and listen for free, even if you decide to cancel your subscription.
Let’s dive in with the audio player itself and its main features. Note that these screenshots are from the iPhone version of the app but it looks almost identical in the Android app.
Here’s what it looks like when you’re in the app listening to an audiobook:
On the top left you have the down arrow that will take you back to the main screen where you can see the following:
- The home page, which includes recommendations for new books, shows what you’ve been listening to, offers a subscription if you don’t currently have one, and more.
- Access to your library of books.
- The Discover section, where you have many options to find great new listens.
- Your profile, which shows you your achievements, account details, customer support, and more.
We’ll get into these features more in a moment. For now, let’s continue focusing on the listening experience in the Audible app.
The car icon on the top right will put you into driving mode which takes over the screen and only shows the play, rewind, and bookmark buttons:
Next to that, you have the menu icon which gives you options to view Title Details, share it, give a rating, and more:
Here you can also enter “button free” mode which can be really useful when you’re in the car or don’t want to be distracted by so many options on the main screen:
That covers the top part of the listening screen, now let’s take a look at the bottom portion and see what options we have. Here’s that player screen to remind you of what we’re looking at:
These player controls cover all the basics and have some neat additional features that make listening even better. Starting from right below the image of the book’s cover and moving downward we have:
- The chapter or section title and the place you are within that chapter or section right below it. You can press and hold the orange bar to move to a different place in the section.
- Connect to Device which lets you play the audiobook from wireless devices like a Bluetooth speaker.
- Controls to go directly to the front of the chapter, rewind 30 seconds, pause or play, fast-forward 30 seconds, and go directly to the next chapter.
- Options to change the playback speed, select a specific chapter, enter sleep mode, or add a clip or bookmark so you can easily return to that part of the book. I particularly like these features as they go beyond what most audiobook apps have available, and the audio clip feature especially.
Here are all the options you have for changing the narration speed:
Most of the time I find myself trying to speed things up, but some authors, like Ryan Holiday, talk fast so I like to slow it down. As a side note here, I’ve learned that it’s more enjoyable and helpful to listen at normal speed or slower. Trying to listen at faster speeds works if you need to finish something quickly or find the right spot in a book (although you can just use clips for that as we’ll see in a moment).
But if you really want to immerse yourself into a fictional book’s story, normal or slower is best. And if you’re listening to non-fiction slower is even better because you’ll remember more and get more out of it. I know it works because I’ve been listening to books more slowly recently and I’m really enjoying these benefits!
After the playback speed button, we have the chapters button, which is pretty straightforward:
Next is sleep mode which just lets you start a timer after which audio playback will stop. You can do this for as little as five minutes and as long as 120 minutes or until the end of the chapter or even choose a custom amount of time all the way up to 23 hours and 59 seconds!
Recently I’ve been really enjoying listening to fictional books to disconnect from work. It’s especially helpful to do this at night when I lay down and my brain starts reminding me about all I need to do.
This sleep timer is really useful for times like this when I want to relax but don’t want to worry about falling asleep! If you’re the kind of person who gets stressed out at night and struggles to sleep, try listening to fictional audiobooks and putting a sleep timer on.
The last feature of the Audible player is adding a clip and bookmark, which is in the bottom right corner. Once you press it, a clip and bookmark will immediately be added and you’ll see options to add a note to it and preview it as well:
When you press the “Preview” option you get to change the length of the clip you’ve saved, play it back to see if you got everything you wanted in it, and enter a title also. I really like this option and wish I was better at utilizing it. I’m usually listening to audiobooks while doing something else though, so it’s kind of tough to do.
If you listen to the same books a lot, which I highly recommend you do after finding the books you like the best, you’ll want to use this feature to mark your favorite parts. I’m definitely hoping to start using it more, even if it means I have to stop whatever else I’m doing to save the clip!
We’ve now covered all of the basics of using the Audible app to listen to audiobooks. But we’ve not even got into all the other cool features of the app, which I really think you’re going to love.
Additional Features of the Audible App
Audible has some awesome ways to make the listening experience even better. And that’s not just within the audiobook player, either. There’s a lot to discover in other areas in the app, too.
When you press on the “home” icon in the bottom left, you’ll see this screen:
I’m not currently a paying subscriber of Audible, so the first thing I see is an ad for purchasing a subscription. We’ll get more into the details of the costs and options later.
Continuing down the page you’ll find great ways to listen, including:
- Sample Audible Bestsellers, which lets you listen to clips of recent bestsellers to see if you like them.
- Continue Listening to Your Library is a section that shows the books you’ve listened to most recently in order so you can pick up where you left off.
- From your wish list shows you books you’ve added to your wishlist, starting with most recently added.
- Best Sellers, including the most recent popular books.
- Recommended For You, which is a great way to find new reads based on what you’ve listened to in the past.
- Popular In Your Top Genres is a cool one that takes the genre of what you listen to and recommends top listens from that genre.
- New Releases is the newest books on Audible. They add more all the time, so this section is constantly changing.
- Editors’ Picks are recommendations from the editors at Audible.
- Top 10 free podcasts shows you the best podcasts that you can listen to for free, with or without a subscription.
I really like seeing the recommendations in the Best Sellers, Recommended For You, and Popular In Your Top Genres. It’s really helpful to make sure I don’t miss a good listen or a potential gem that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to find!
The next option on the bottom menu is your Library, which is pretty self-explanatory:
The main use for this page is selecting a book to listen to. But if you click on the three vertical dots by a title you can see its details, find more books by the author, share, mark it as finished, rate and review, add it to your favorites, add it to a collection, archive it, or download it or remove it from your device if it’s been downloaded.
Across the top, just above your list of books, you can select different options for viewing your library. These include All, Not Started, Started, Downloaded, and Finished.
Above that, you can see additional ways to view your content or find new listens. You can sort by:
- Audiobooks or Podcasts
- Wish List
Most of these are pretty basic features you’d want to see in an app like Audible. But one of my favorites that I haven’t seen many other places is collections:
With this section, you can create your own groups of audiobooks. This makes it really easy to keep track and listen to just what you want to at the right time. This makes finding books a lot easier, and sharing some of your favorites with others, too! I also really like that it makes it possible for me to split up the fiction and non-fiction books that I listen to.
This next section we’ll talk about is another favorite of mine that makes Audible quite unique. It’s called “Discover,” and here’s what it looks like:
From the top moving downward, you have some great options for finding new books. These include:
- Browse by genre
- Sleep & meditation
- Audible Originals
- Included With Membership
I really like how simple this is. It doesn’t have a ton of options, but that’s good because it only includes the best.
Scrolling down below that you can see best sellers, creator picks, coming soon, and more. At the bottom is a list of the main categories and an option to see all categories. If you don’t have a subscription you’ll see an option to “Compare plans and start listening.”
Remember that if you purchase any Audible subscription you can listen to any book in their “included” library as much as you want. It’s just the higher tier subscriptions that let you keep one book, but those also let you listen to any book in the library. So any of the books here are free game to listen to if you have a subscription!
The last feature of the app that I’ll cover is the profile section. This might sound boring, but there are some cool features within it. Here’s what it looks like:
You get the typical options to view your account settings and billing and get customer support. But what I really like about this is the “Achievements” section. You can see how long you’ve listened, what level you’re at, and even the badges you’ve earned.
The badges are particularly interesting and are a good motivation to read and use the app to its full potential. Here are some that I’ve earned:
The really cool thing about these is that if you press on any of the badges that you don’t have yet you can see generally how to get it but not the specifics. It’s kind of a mystery what you need to do to get the badge, but that makes it even more fun!
My badges came from doing things like listening to a title that’s longer than 20 hours, listening for at least three hours around lunchtime, and finishing two books in a single week. It’s kinda fun, and if you like competition and challenging yourself, you should check it out!
Other Listening Options
If you’re like me, having your phone around can be really distracting no matter how well your “do not disturb” mode is. That’s why sometimes, I really like listening on other devices, like my computer.
To see all the listening options for Audible, click here. The tldr; version of that page is that you can get apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows to begin with. But you can also listen in other ways, including on:
- Sonos speakers
- Fire TV
- Alexa-enabled Devices
- Tablets, including Android, iPad, and Windows
- Streaming on your computer online or in the iTunes app
You’ll notice that many of these options include Amazon devices. That makes sense considering that Audible is owned by Amazon. But it’s not my favorite because it means I can’t listen to my Audible audiobooks on my Google Nest speakers. This is where Audiobooks.com wins for me personally. All things considered, though, it’s really easy to find a way to listen to your books on Audible.
When I listen on my computer I just go to Audible’s website, where I have the same options as in the app:
From here, I can click on my library then listen to any book I have:
The audio player does pop up in a new separate window, which I don’t love, but it works just fine. Your audiobooks do still play if you close the Audible tab you were on, which is nice. I could listen in iTunes/Apple Music if I wanted. But that’s just one more app to keep open on my already busy computer screen.
While I wish the audio player on desktop wasn’t an extra popup, I still really like listening on my computer. It makes putting my phone and all the distractions that come with it out of sight and out of mind!
How Much Does Audible Cost?
There are five main subscription options for Audible:
- Audible Plus – $7.99 a month. This includes access to the plus catalog, which lets you listen to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, sleep tracks, and meditation programs, as much as you want.
- Audible Premium Plus – $15.99 a month. This includes access to the plus catalog as described above plus one title of your choice each month that you get to keep in your library forever, even if you cancel.
- Audible Premium Plus (2 Credits) – $22.95 a month. Same as the regular Premium Plus, but you get two audiobooks a month to keep in your library forever.
- Audible Premium Plus Annual (12 Credits) – $149.50 a year. This option is the same as Premium Plus only cheaper, because you’re paying for a year at a time. Each credit comes out to about $12.50 on this plan.
- Audible Premium Plus Annual (24 Credits) – $229.50 a year. Same as the Annual plan described above, but you get 24 credits in the year instead of just 12. This is even cheaper, as each audiobook comes out to roughly $9.56 with this plan.
All options include a 30-day free trial. If you get Premium Plus, that means you get one audiobook for free plus the ability to listen to all those Audible Originals and more. And if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can even get two premium titles as part of a Premium Plus free trial!
Ready to start yours now? Go here, and you’ll also support us at no extra cost. Thanks!
9 Benefits of Using Audible
So far, we’ve covered features and price. In other words, you know what you get and what you pay for it. But what benefits come with listening to audiobooks on Audible? What outcomes or results will you see if you purchase an Audible subscription?
Let’s look at the two main types of books—fiction and non-fiction—to see what you get from listening to both.
Fictional books include these benefits, to name a few:
- Reduced stress. Reading is one of the best ways to disconnect from everything going on in your life. Fiction is especially helpful for getting your mind off work. It puts you into a true state of relaxation when all your worries fade away as you get lost in the story. I’ve been using fictional books for this recently and it’s wildly effective at helping me relax. It’s far better at doing so than most other ways I can take a break!
- Better sleep. How often do you lie down to rest at night only to have your brain start going crazy? It seems that all your past embarrassments, worries about the future, and everything else bothering you start to show up right at bedtime. This sucks, but you can stop all this overthinking by reading a fictional book before bed. It will calm your mind down and help you get to sleep faster and help you have a more restful sleep. This has been working wonders for my sleep recently, I highly recommend it!
- Improved relationships. Fictional books are proven to help you have more empathy, which makes you treat others better. This is because they help you naturally put yourself into the shoes of others, which directly applies to the real world after you put your book down. It even activates the parts of the brain that help you understand the world and other people better. In other words, you’ll become a better person from reading fiction.
- Memory enhancements. It’s no surprise that as you get older your mental and physical faculties start to wear out. You can’t stop this, but you can slow it down significantly by reading fiction. Research indicates that people who read often deal with Alzheimer’s a lot less than those who don’t.
When listening to or reading non-fiction books, you’ll find the following positive changes in your life:
- You start to become like the authors you read the most. It’s been said that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I believe that you’re also the average of the five authors you read the most. You can get mentoring from anybody, even people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to meet, by reading non-fiction.
- You’ll get smarter by learning tons of life lessons. I can’t tell you how many valuable insights I’ve gained from non-fiction of all kinds. Every one of them, from biographies to business books teaches lessons that, if applied, will make you smarter.
- It makes your life better. All those principles you learn from non-fiction books show you ways to improve your life. The more you listen, the more you’ll discover about how to live life to the fullest.
- Non-fiction books motivate you to be your best self. I love listening to non-fiction even if I can’t always remember everything. Just hearing the ideas in each book is enough to inspire me to be better. I’ve even had times where something I learned from a non-fiction book came back to my mind at just the right moment when I needed it!
- You’ll become happier and more successful. I could talk about this one all day. I’ve summarized over 400 non-fiction books and read the best ones multiple times. In all that reading I’ve found the clearest pathways to joy and prosperity. Each time I read a new non-fiction book or re-read a favorite, those ideas get reinforced and my ability to grow happier develops even further.
How Audible Helped Me Become a Better Person
Take it from me, books make your life better in so many ways. And even if you’re doubting, just try it yourself and see how they can improve your life. Get a free trial of Audible and you’ll discover why I feel so strongly about the power of books! Even one book, maybe even that book you may get or listen to during a free trial, can wildly change your life.
For instance, a couple of years ago, I came across Greg McKeown’s Essentialism during a very stressful time of my life.
Its principles helped me simplify my life by eliminating the unessential so I could focus on what was most important. Doing that brought me greater happiness and a better ability to handle stress than I would have had without it. I’ve since listened to the book many times. Each time I get a new insight that makes my life better. There are countless books that I’ve had this same experience with.
I’ve even seen the power of fiction working for me to make my life better. Just a few weeks ago I was really overwhelmed with everything going on in my life when I re-discovered a couple of old favorites. I listened through them and used them to help me relax and unwind each day. My stress levels went down, my sleep improved, and it became easier to handle everything going on!
Is Audible Worth It?
Now that you know all of these benefits that are possible with an Audible subscription, the only question left is whether or not all of that is worth $7.99 or $15.99 a month.
That’s a small price to pay for better sleep, stress management, happiness, and success. So in that regard, just considering all of these benefits we’ve discussed, Audible is 100% worth it.
Although, if you think about it, do you even have to add that monthly expense to your budget? Maybe not, if you consider some expenses you could do without that would cover the cost of a subscription.
Think for a moment about what you’re already spending money on. You might have Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, or some other subscription. Chances are you have multiple of them. Most of these are about the same price as an Audible subscription, if not more. So what would happen if you just canceled one of them and instead used that money and time to pay for and listen to audiobooks on Audible?
Watching too much TV is proven to make your life worse. It can cause you to gain weight, decimate your mental health, reduce the effectiveness and amount of sleep and rest you get, increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, and even cause brain damage, just to name a few.
Think about all of that in terms of cost. Not just monetary, think about these intangible costs like your health and happiness. If too much TV is causing you to miss out on a good life, isn’t the cost of an Audible subscription worth gaining that all back and then some?
Conclusion: Our Audible Review
Audiobooks have completely changed my life in dozens of ways. And one of my favorite ways to listen to them is Audible. It’s got the best selection, a solid app and other listening options, and many great options for purchasing a subscription. For just $7.99 or $15.99 a month it’s a bargain when you consider everything you get out of it!
My conclusion is that Audible is definitely worth the price. You’ll get unlimited listening access to a great selection of audiobooks, one audiobook to keep forever each month, and all the intangible benefits that come with reading more books, be they fiction or nonfiction titles.
If you’d like to try Audible and support Four Minute Books at no extra cost to you, click below to sign up for your free 30-day trial. You’ll get a free audiobook plus the ability to listen to any title in their “included” library for the duration of your trial:
If you’ve made it all the way here, thank you for reading this review! We hope that Four Minute Books helps you learn more, get smarter, and improve your life!
Looking for our other reviews of the most popular book summary apps, tools, and services? Here’s a list of all the reviews we’ve published so far:
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- Audiobooks.com Review 2023 – Is It Better Than Audible?
- Blinkist Review 2023
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- Shortform Review 2023: Is Shortform Better Than Blinkist?
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Last Updated on January 2, 2023