Android Entertainment iPhone and iPad

The Best Audiobook Apps for All Types of Listeners

Dann Albright 18-10-2017

One of the best things about audiobooks is that you can take them with you wherever you go. At your desk, in the kitchen, on the road, on a run — there’s nowhere that you can’t be listening to a work of fiction.


However, the places where you do most of your listening (and which devices you use to listen to audiobooks) can change which audiobook apps you should be using on a daily basis.

We have found six of the best audiobook apps available right now, all of which offer something different. Your job is to work out which audiobook app is right for you.

For Compulsive Listeners: Audible

Audible is the biggest player in the audiobook game, and the app gives you access to over 150,000 books. The service has just about every audiobook out there, and the pricing system is very reasonable. $15 per month for one free audiobook and a discount on additional books purchased isn’t bad at all — and the company’s secret silver plan is perfect for less-compulsive audiobook fans.

best audiobook app audible

The app itself has some great features, too. There are the features you would expect from a top-tier listening app, like variable playback speed, bookmarking, and offline listening. But it also syncs with your Kindle so you can continue listening to Kindle books Read Or Listen: Amazon Integrates Audible In The Kindle Reader Apps Amazon has cleverly brought together reading and listening in the new update to the Kindle app. With a tap you can now seamlessly go from reading to listening without losing your place in the book. Read More via Whispersync for Voice.


Like the Kindle, you can also sync your notes and bookmarks between devices.

If you listen to audiobooks constantly, there’s no better app than audible. The massive store, integration with Amazon and Kindle, and easy-to-use interface are tough to beat.

Download Audible for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Kindle, Alexa, and more

For DRM Haters: Downpour

Digital rights management (DRM) What Is DRM & Why Does It Exist If It's So Evil? [MakeUseOf Explains] Digital Rights Management is the latest evolution of copy protection. It’s the biggest cause of user frustration today, but is it justified? Is DRM a necessary evil in this digital age, or is the model... Read More basically means that you don’t own what you buy. Instead, you lease it indefinitely. And that comes with some caveats, like only being able to listen on certain apps and the possibility that your lease could be revoked at any time.


Downpour is an audiobook app that lets you download DRM-free audiobooks from the company’s store. There are some books with DRM, but if you’re looking to own your books, Downpour is a great choice.

You can also rent audiobooks, which could save you some money:

Downpour doesn’t pack in as many features as Audible, but it does have the important ones, like bookmarks and variable playback speed. The fact that you can try the app on a free book (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) and without signing up is a big plus too!

Download Downpour for iOS
Download Downpour for Android


For Free Book Lovers: Librivox

Librivox has over 24,000 free audiobooks 20 of the Best Free Audiobooks You Need to Listen To Don't have time to read books? These free audiobooks allow you to enjoy some of the greatest literature of all time. Read More that you can stream or download directly from its app. There are some compromises you’ll have to make, such as most of these books being narrated by volunteers so you never know how good the narration is going to be.

best audiobook app librivox

The books are all in the public domain, so you won’t be getting the latest bestsellers. If you can deal with those two things, Librivox is a great way to go. There are tons of great public-domain books available, especially if you’re into the classics, and some of the narrations are actually quite good.

The listening interface isn’t the best, as it lacks some of the nicer options present in other apps. But because the books are DRM-free, you can load them into another app if you’d like. No matter which app you use, the fact that you can download thousands of free books is a massive plus.


Download Librivox for iOS Download Librivox for Android

For Interface Appreciators: Audiobooked

Most audiobook apps aren’t all that exciting to look at. They let you browse books, play them, and tweak the playback settings. The creators of Audiobooked wanted to make an app that not only functions well, but also gives you a great interface. And they have succeeded.

best audiobook app audiobooked

Unfortunately, Audiobooked is currently only available for Windows 10 Mobile Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile and How to Do It Windows 10 Mobile has finally been released to the public. Provided your phone is supported, you should upgrade. Here's everything you need to know about upgrading from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile. Read More . But if you’re using this operating system, you have access to one of the best audiobook apps available.

With the ability to handle tons of bookmarks, adjust the playback speed from 0.5x all the way up to 3.0x, lots of import options, and a customizable library, Audiobooked was clearly designed for fans of audiobooks who are also fans of great design.

Here’s hoping it becomes available on other platforms in the future. Especially as Microsoft has abandoned Windows 10 Mobile Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Mobile Is Dead Microsoft has put Windows 10 Mobile on life support, administering the bare minimum in order to keep it alive. But in reality, Microsoft's dream of making an impact in the mobile market is over. Read More .

Download Audiobooked for Windows 10 Mobile

For Indie Bookstore Lovers:

Amazon may have all the books, but local, independent bookstores are still a joy to visit. With, you don’t have to buy audiobooks on CD to support your local bookstore. Open an account, select your local bookstore, and buy the audiobooks that they have made available for their patrons.

best audiobook app

Every book you buy is DRM-free, so you own it. Listen into the app on your phone, on your computer, or import the file into your preferred listening app. No matter what you do, you’ll be supporting your favorite local bookstore!

You get bookmarking, variable playback speed, and a variety of methods for sorting your library. Which is great. But the main plus point with this app is that you’ll be supporting local bookstores by buying audiobooks.

Download on iOS
Download on Android

For Library Patrons: OverDrive

Did you know that you can check out audiobooks from your local library? (This is my favorite way to get through a long road trip.) The OverDrive app is a very common one for libraries, and it interfaces with your library website to give you instant access to your audiobook.

You can access your library and browse audiobooks from within the app, download them instantly, and play them wherever you are. You can also use the OverDrive app for ebooks too.

Like most other listening apps, you can add bookmarks, adjust the playback speed, pick up where you left off, and makes notes and highlights. OverDrive saves your bookmarks, notes, and highlights so that they’ll appear if you check the book out again, which is great if you can’t quite finish a book before you have to return it.

Download OverDrive for iOS
Download OverDrive for Android
Download OverDrive for Windows Mobile
Download OverDrive for Windows

What Are Your Favorite Audiobook Apps?

These six audiobook apps are sure to appeal to all kinds of audiobook listeners. But there are plenty more out there, and everyone has their own preferences. Maybe you prefer a wider range of playback speeds. Or a more intuitive interface. Maybe you don’t care about having access to a store all of the time.

No matter your preferences, we want to hear about your favorite audiobook apps. Which audiobook apps do you use? Why do you like them? Which is the best one on our list? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Audible, Audiobooks.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jeff
    August 12, 2018 at 5:39 am

    You forgot an important category: For subscription users that don't want to support the "evil empire": Not quite as slick as, but definitely good enough and you are not making Bezos richer.

  2. Eric
    July 14, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Oldio (it's free) is also a great option on iOS for listening to audiobooks from Librivox.

    It also lets you skip some to the repetitive intros that you'll hear at the beginning of every chapter.

  3. Suge
    April 1, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Check out Libby - very similar to Overdrive with some different options and also CloudLibrary. I'm enjoying the library experience.

    October 19, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Playster is the audiobook app I've made my primary. The selection is much more limited tgan Audible but it allows you to listen to unlimited books for the price of 1 with Audible. As i probably spend about 100 hours a month the unlimited works best.

  5. Muson
    October 19, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Smart audiobook player eats Audible for breakfast. I even rip my Audible bought audiobooks to listen on smart audiobook player. What a poor researched article.

    • Laura Crouse
      October 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Couldn't agree more!!

  6. Tony C
    October 19, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I have used Bookmobile by Freshmowed for a very long time. I've tried others but nothing comes close.

  7. Orrin Jason Bradford
    October 19, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Hoppla and Overdrive make for a winning combo that's hard to beat, that is if you enjoy free audiobooks.

    • Lucinda
      July 15, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      That’s my combination as well.

  8. Udit
    October 19, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Listen audiobook player and Smart audiobook player for android. Both are superb. Both auto sleep settings that I simply love.

  9. B. A. Crawford
    October 19, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Overdrive has a "sister app" Libby
    It's got the same library connection but a nicer user interface

  10. Bill B
    October 19, 2017 at 4:16 am

    MP3 audiobook player for IOS makes it easy to import audiobook files without going through iTunes

  11. Chris Janzen
    October 19, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Smart Audiobook Player! Simple and powerful, intuitive and... Smart! Try it and you will see.

  12. Frankie McDonald
    October 19, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Smart AudioBook Player for Android is hands down the best one for Android if you have your own mp3 files. It's just for playing the files not for purchasing books, and it's not very pretty but the performance is rock solid and it's full of great features.

  13. Joni
    October 19, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Use both Audible and Overdrive. For older books with good to excellent narration, I use Overdrive. For new releases and favorite authors, I don’t think Audible can be beat.

  14. Kate
    October 19, 2017 at 12:06 am

    OverDrive is miserable garbage. But the new app, Libby, made by the same company, is superior to everything outside of Audible.

  15. TheDude
    October 18, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Smart audiobook player. The best audiobook player on Android by a mile - I've tried them all. You need to have your own files, ripped from CDs or otherwise but this app is brilliant.

    Love to try audiobooked if ever comes to android

  16. Lynn S
    October 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I have listened to hundreds of books on Overdrive and I love all of its features. I've also listened to books on Hoopla. It provides a different type of
    Romance/Erotica, that I can't get from Overdrive, and great narrations, if you're into that. What I can't get on Overdrive, I get from Hoopla.

  17. Jim
    October 18, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Tuneinn Premium lets you listen to as many audiobooks per month as you like.

  18. Richard Jenkins
    October 18, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Calibre is a solid audiobook performer.

    • Matt
      October 19, 2017 at 1:46 am

      How so? You've got me excited! Is there a new feature that I have missed? IDK if I just don't understand what you mean here but I have Calibre on my PC and it has really only been good for ebooks. I wanted it to organize my audiobooks too so I started to zip them up and import them that way. Works great for that but not for playing, especially on a device. I can use Calibre Companion to transfer the ZIP files to my devices easily enough. I then unzip to the proper folder and play them with Smart AudioBook Player but I have never found a way to be able to really use Calibre in a meaningful way to play audiobooks. Thanks Richard!