I got Audible a few months ago and in 2019, I devoured way more books that I had previously read in any other year. (They say leaders are readers..)
I love that I can listen to audiobooks while I’m biking/walking to work, at the gym and right before I go to bed.
This Audible review is for anyone that is on the fence about Audible (btw, they have a free trial with 2 free downloads).
I’ll show you the Pros and Cons of Audible in 2020.
Let’s start with a few key criteria on what makes Audible so damn worth it:
Top 5 Audible Features
Audible’s features are what sets it apart from other audiobook services. They are designed and constructed to enhance the quality of listening and experience in using their app and services. These top five Audible features help in the ease of use as well as customer satisfaction:
- Whispersync for Voice
This ingenious feature lets you switch between reading and listening quite easily. With just a tap, you can sync your Kindle to your Audible so that you can resume listening after reading and vice versa. This way, you will never lose where you are in a book even after switching devices. You can listen to your book on your way home and resume reading before bed
All you need to do is get a Kindle, buy the Kindle book version and add an audio companion. Now, you can switch between reading and listening anytime and anywhere.
- Customizable Listening Speed
Audible lets you choose the pace which is comfortable for you. Select a listening speed between 0.5x to 3.0x. Considering that people read and listen at a different speed, this feature lets users enhance comprehension and relax while listening at their own pace. (My default is 1.5x)
- Ad-free Offline Listening
Downloading your audiobooks lets you listen anywhere at any time, even without Wi-Fi or data access. This feature is offered with no added cost to your membership. You get an uninterrupted listening time, no Ads, with no extra charge.
- Sleep Timer
Do you love to sleep while someone reads to you? You might love the sleep timer feature. It allows you to set the time or the end of the chapter to pause the narration. This way, you won’t lose or forget where you are in a book when you fell asleep.
- Car Mode
The Car mode feature lets you listen to your audiobook while you’re driving, and it is so easy to set up. To use this feature, just tap on the car icon in the Audible app. For vehicles with an in-dash system, you can use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, whichever is available. Simply connect your phone via Bluetooth, AUX or USB cable, and you’re good to go.
Of course, none of this is important if you don’t have tons of books to choose from, which Audible does.
Amazon’s Audible holds the largest collection of audiobooks in the world.
Their wide selection of content covers almost any subject or genre like classic novels, children’s books, business, history, biographies, and fiction, together with original audio shows just to name a few.
No matter what your interest or needs may be, they promise you can find a perfect audiobook to listen to in Audible.
You can choose an audiobook you’d like to listen to their curated lists and collections of:
- Editor’s Must-Read
- Audible Originals
- Best Sellers
- Best Sellers from Audible
- Books Based on Your Previous Book Purchase
- New Releases
- NY Times Best Sellers
- Top Series
- or Features Books
These collections are built with users in hindsight, by finding out what people want to read or listen to. But if you haven’t found what you are looking for you can browse from their categories that include:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Bios & Memoirs
- Drama & Poetry
- Health & Fitness
- Language Instruction
- Live Events
- Mysteries & Thrillers
- Newspapers & Magazines
- Religion & Spirituality
- Science & Technology
- Sci-Fi & Fantasy
- Travel & Adventure
- And others
Ease of Use
Audible might have all the bells and whistles, but is it easy to use? Audible has a minimalistic and straightforward design that takes a small amount of time to get used to. Once you have set up your account, accessing your books is fast and simple to do.
- Audible App
The Audible app is fairly easy to use. The interface is designed similar to a music player, making it easy to navigate and access its functions and features. One thing I don’t like is the fact that the smartphone app doesn’t have the ability to purchase books yet. (You need to go the the website)
- Audible Mobile or Desktop Site
Their site lets you browse their lists and collections easily. You can quickly search the audiobook you need using its title or the name of the author. They also have a help center that contains informative guidelines and instructions if you are having troubles with the app, the site, service, and your account.
- Audiobook Description Pages
The audiobooks come with a description page when you click on a book from their site. It gives you the basic information about the book like its title, author, the narrator, length and etc. It also contains a summary which provides a brief preview of the story.
- Ratings and Reviews
The member’s ratings and reviews are also helpful when choosing your book. You get to hear what people have to say about the book, the performance of the narrator and the story, so you know what you are getting.
How Much Does Audible Cost? (Pricing and Plans)
Joining Audible lets you purchase and listen to your audiobooks on your devices upon membership. You can use credits to save on audiobooks cost which they give out one credit per month. Credits are good for purchasing any audiobooks in their collection regardless of its cost. Members can also get to pick two Audible Originals per month, too.
In addition to the 30% discount on audiobooks, there are also daily deals and exclusive sales that are exclusive to members.
- 30-day Free Trial ($0)
With the free 30-day trial, you get access to all their audiobooks collection, plus two credits which you can use to purchase an audiobook and 2 Audible Originals. The trial gives you a sufficient amount of time to check out their features, and everything Audible has to offer before deciding to sign-up for a membership.
- Gold Monthly ($14.95/mo)
For $14.95 per month, you get one credit and 30% off on additional audiobooks that you purchase. For additional credits, you’ll have to pay $14.95 per credit. Gold membership will let you listen offline, with no Ads, and you get to keep your books forever.
You can store a maximum of five credits in your account for as long as you maintain your membership active. They give you two Audible Originals for free, each month.
- Platinum Monthly ($22.95/mo)
Platinum membership, on the other hand, gives you the same service as Gold but with twice as many credits per month. For $22.95 per month, you can keep up to 12 credits for as long as you are a member. You can purchase additional credits for a price of $11.48 per credit, cheaper than the Gold Monthly membership.
- Gold Annual ($149.50/yr)
Gold Annual membership costs $149.50 per year (roughly ~ $12.46/mo). It gives you 12 credits annually, plus a 30% discount on additional audiobooks purchases. Store up to 18 credits at a time for as long as you’re an active member. Pay $12.46 per credit in this plan.
- Platinum Annual ($229.50/yr)
Pay as much as $229.50 per year for 24 credits (roughly ~ $19.12/mo). Choosing annual memberships gives you a greater savings of as much as two-month subscription fees. So, if you are an avid audiobook listener, Platinum Annual will be a great choice if you want to save more.
- Hidden Silver plan ($14.95 every 2 months)
If you feel like one credit a month is too much and you don’t listen to that many books, you might find the secret audible silver plan just right. Here are the steps to get on it.
- Go to My Account
- Click on Change or cancel my membership
- Select Upgrade/downgrade my membership
- You will be connected with customer support, so now just tell them you want to get on the Silver Plan.
Details on Membership Plans. What are Audible Credits?
Signing up for an Audible Membership gives you access to tons of audiobooks, features, and services that you can enjoy for a fee. Here are a few details you need to know to get a better grasp on Audible Membership plans:
- Audible Credits
The credits awarded to members monthly or annually can be used to exchange for an audiobook where one credit is equivalent to one audiobook no matter how much it costs. They are non-transferable. It expires once you cancel your membership.
- Unused Credits
Depending on the membership plan you have signed up for, there is a limited number of unused credits that can be carried over to the next month or year. Here is a list of the number of credits that can be rolled over per year based on membership plan:
- Gold Monthly – 5 credits
- Platinum Monthly – 10 credits
- Gold Annual – 6 credits
- Platinum Annual – 12 credits
- Purchasing Credits
You can purchase additional credits if you want to or when you have used up all of yours. The price varies depending on your membership plan.
- Returning or Exchanging Books
With Audible’s Great Listen Guarantee, you can return any audiobook you purchased within 365 days for whatever reason it may be. You get your refunds for the same mode of payment whether it’s credits or money. Credit refunds are received immediately, while other forms may take 7 to 10 business days. This feature is handy if you purchase a book and for some reason end up not liking it. (Here’s how to return an audiobook on Audible)
But, keep in mind that Audible has also stated a limit on the number of refunds that you are allowed to request to avoid misuse of the service.
- Putting Membership on Hold
For monthly membership plans, you can put your Audible membership on hold for as long as three months for any reason. Your account will resume after the term expires and cannot be put back on hold for another year.
- Audible for Business
Empower your team by giving them access to great contents that can help them improve their skills and get inspiration from a catalog of business titles. These selections cover from:
- Guided Learning
- Language Instruction
- Critical Business Skills
- History and Culture
- Personal Development
- Professional Development
- Economics and World Affairs
- Sales and Marketing
- Science and Technology
- Special Offer: Romance Package
For an additional of $6.95 per month, you can binge-listen to Audible’s thousands of romance audiobooks. You can select lists based on a story theme, character types, steaminess or romance categories.
- What are Audible Originals? These are titles created, directed, and recorded by Audible meant to be enjoyed primarily in audio form.
How to Start Listening
Audible is very easy to install and use. To begin enjoying Audible, all you need is your smartphone (or it can also be your laptop), access to the internet and to follow these three steps:
1. Sign up for Audible
Here’s the free trial link.
2. Install the App on Your Device (or go to Audible.com)
3. Search for your favorite titles and purchase them
To purchase audiobooks, search for the title of the audiobook in the app or using a browser to access the Audible website. Make sure that you have signed in with your Amazon account. After finding your audiobook, you can pay it using your Audible credits or purchase it. (Note: You can only buy books via their desktop site or mobile site, not the AUdible app)
4. Enjoy your new Audiobook
Now, you can go back to the Audible app and look for your titles under Cloud or All Titles in your Library. Tapping on the audiobook will initiate the download so you can start listening once it’s done downloading.
Audible Supported Devices
You can listen to your Audible audiobooks anywhere at any time using your devices, like a:
- MP3 player
- Fire TV
- Sonos speakers
- Alexa-enabled devices
- Amazon devices
With these options, you can take your audiobooks with you while you an on your way to work, working out, waiting at the doctor’s office, sitting in a café, cooking in the kitchen and etc. You can have your favorite audiobook playing while you are busy doing something else. It is a very convenient tool that allows an efficient use your time.
What are the Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks?
Audiobooks are quite beneficial not just for book lovers, but also anyone who wants to learn. This technology helps people get easy access to information and contents that can help them develop and improve their knowledge and thinking skills.
- Finish Reading or Listening to More Books
If you are having trouble finding time to sit and read through your book, audiobooks can be a great alternative for you. You can be busy doing something else or be somewhere else while listening to your favorite book.
There is no more need to set aside time to finish your book. Instead, you can drive, clean, eat or lay down and relax while listening to your story being narrated for you.
- Helps Use Your Time Wisely
So much time is wasted staring into space while stuck on traffic, waiting in line, etc. Instead of browsing through the internet, you can instead listen to audiobooks. You’ll be able to learn, discover or be entertained with the exciting adventures, mysteries or romance a great novel can bring you. It’s the best use of your time, especially compared to mindless browsing.
- Stories Are Narrated as Intended
A story can be interpreted in so many different ways, and this brings the fun in reading as you can bring it down to a personal level as you interpret it in your own understanding. But, listening to the author themselves, as they read through dialogues and paragraphs paints a better picture.
This intimate experience lets you hear it in their voices every inflection that tells you how every word was intended. In other cases, actors or actresses delivers a performance that enhances the emotion and overall experience of listening.
- Better Way to Read or Learn
Audiobooks give more clarity to self-help books as it helps improve the learning experience. Sometimes a spoken word is well received, absorbed, and retained compared to reading written or printed texts alone. This is primarily because the listener will be focused on the knowledge being imparted rather than decoding and sounding out the words. Also, for those audio-learners, it may make more sense to get the audio version of a book instead of the printed one.
- Increases Understanding of Content
Children, for example, greatly appreciates books when accompanied with audiobooks as the story if read for them or with them. They can follow the words or images in the pages or screen, while they listen to the words that are read out loud. This way, they can keep their focus on the book and put all the prices of information faster and better.
- Helps Struggling Readers
With audiobooks, even those who struggle with their reading ability will have the opportunity to learn or get access to great contents and knowledge. This helps them improve their intellectual capabilities in spite of their reading level. They can develop thinking skills through audiobooks that would have been otherwise inaccessible or stressful to read.
- Assists in Independent Learning
Students who have access to audiobooks can use them to work on their studies independently, at their own speed and time. It gives them an advantage and confidence in learning and developing skills by having control.
Here are some of my favorite Audible listens
These are some of the books I’ve enjoyed listening so far:
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It (a great book on negotiation, as told by an FBI hostage negotiator)
- Shoe Dog (The story of the founder of Nike, very inspirational)
- MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (financial advice by Tony Robbins)
- Deep Work (how to get more focused and less distracted)
Let me know in the comments which book I should listen to next! I always love great recommendations in psychology, business and finances.
I recommend you give Audible a try.
Overall, Audible has made it very convenient for me to enjoy books while on-the-go and has definitely made me learn more.
Whether you are driving on the road, jogging, or doing chores, Audible lets you listen to great stories narrated by famous A-list celebrities, actors, actresses or the authors themselves.
A great interface paired with extensive selection makes it my favorite, compared to Google Audiobooks for instance.
With the free app, it is an easy, cost-effective, and efficient solution for your learning or leisure needs.
If you enjoyed this review, drop a comment and share it with a friend! Which book are you listening to this week? Is listening the new reading?