In a world where time is a precious commodity, the best free audiobook apps have become an ideal solution for reading lovers who are always on the go. These applications offer a convenient way to enjoy literature without having to dedicate exclusive time to reading.
I’ve spent time exploring and evaluating various audiobook apps, focusing on their variety of content and ease of use. My goal is to help you discover apps that are not only free but also rich in content and functionality.
In this article, I will share a selection of the best free and paid audiobook apps. Do not miss it.
The Best Free and Paid Audiobook Applications
Do you want to relax and enjoy a good book without reading? Have you already exhausted the options these apps offer you to listen to podcasts on your mobile? Then you are surely interested in some of the best audiobook apps, which will transport you to your childhood days when your parents read you stories and fantasy stories before going to sleep.
Audible has a wide catalog of novels of various genres. You can also find series, podcasts and self-help. The good thing is that you can download audiobooks to listen to them offline, configure the app to continue listening when you are driving, and sync it with multiple devices.
If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can use Audible for free for 60 days. Otherwise, you would only have a 30-day limit to access a book without having to pay for it. Some titles are paid, but depending on your subscription, you can listen to one or two audiobooks for free.
2. Google Play Books
This application hosts a wide variety of titles and formats, including audiobooks. If you use more than one device, you can sync your account and continue listening from where you last left off.
Like every Google app, Play Books is free. You just have to download it and log in with your Google account. While some audiobooks are free, paid ones are more common, although it is possible to preview the content before purchasing it.
3. LibriVox AudioBooks
If you are looking for the best audiobook app that is completely free, this is your best option. Its catalog houses more than 40,000 titles, including “The Little Prince”, “La divida comedia”, “Drácula”, among others. You can add bookmarks, go back or pause the sound.
Something to highlight about this application is that it has a customizable sleep timer. That is, if you plan to listen to your favourite story at night, you can time it to stop playing automatically.
4. Storytel: Audiobooks and Ebooks
Storytel has a wide variety of original and exclusive stories for all ages, making it ideal if you want your children to get into reading. There are also options for young people and adults who want to spend time listening to what they like most.
Although downloading the application is free, you will have to pay for a subscription. Luckily, you can have a free trial period to explore their catalog and, thus, cancel it a day before to avoid any charges.
5. Freed Audiobooks
If you want your children to spark an interest in reading, you can start with audiobooks. In this app, you will find a wide variety of classics such as “Moby Dick” and “Romeo and Juliet”, as well as poetry readings, science fiction, self-improvement and much more.
You can listen to all the books for free without limits since they are in the public domain. The advantage is that you can search by title or author, control the playback speed and sync it with Chromecast.
6. LibriVox: Audio bookshelf
LibriVox is the best app to listen to free books if you are studying English since it allows you to read the text as you listen. You can also download the audiobooks to listen to them offline and take them with you wherever you want.
You can search by titles or select the genres that interest you most. It also has the option to search by keywords and authors. The advantage is that their repertoire of free books is quite extensive, so there is a lot to choose from without limits.
7. Smart Audio Book Player
This is another good free audiobook app that is focused exclusively on playing books of all types. As you finish listening to a title, it will move to the “completed” category to add others to the pending list.
Some of its features are automatic shutdown, playback speed control, use of widgets and playback history. In the first 30 days of registration, you will be able to access the full version and, later, stay with the basic plan if you opt for a free account.
Like LibriVox, Beelinguapp is also recommended for learning English by reading and listening to stories. In addition, it includes content in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean and Japanese, in case you are studying languages and looking to improve your vocabulary.
The animation of the reading mode is similar to that of karaoke apps, so it would be useful if you are looking to read aloud. Includes a free trial to explore its catalog and get familiar with the platform.
9. Kobo Books
This book-reading application has a simple and easy-to-use interface. Like Google Play Books, it also has ebooks and audiobooks that you can save to your library. Its audio player allows you to see how much time you have left to finish it and has an automatic shut-off function for when you go to sleep.
You can leave reviews of stories you have heard for those people who can’t decide which titles to read first. Some audiobooks are available for free, although the prices are quite affordable and there are usually many offers. It is also considered a good app to download free books.
10. Libby, by OverDrive
Libby’s audio player allows you to add bookmarks and notes to note the most important parts of your favourite audiobook. You can also set auto power off and go back with just a swipe of the screen.
The catalog houses a wide variety of classics, as well as some bestsellers and original stories for readers of all ages. You can rent or download audiobooks for free to listen to them without an internet connection.
Why use apps to listen to books?
On some occasions, we want to have a good book on hand to isolate ourselves from the hustle and bustle or simply because we enjoy reading. However, you don’t always have enough time to dedicate a few minutes to it. In these cases, the ideal alternative is audiobooks, since in addition to being able to enjoy a good book while doing other things, they also allow you to not have to carry the weight of a physical book.
Reading itself is the gateway to a world full of wonders, but these books stimulate the imagination and improve concentration. The tone of the narrator’s voice and the different nuances allow the brain to recreate the story as if it were living it in situ.
On the other hand, fewer and fewer young people like to read. To do this, we have the possibility of using applications to listen to books to stimulate the habit. And they are not only an alternative, but they can also become a way of life.
Electronic books with audio are also a great solution for those with vision problems who cannot read with others or for people who have reading problems.
In summary, audiobooks, in addition to allowing you to combine reading with other activities, also help establish links between the narrator and the person who is listening, and are an excellent alternative for all those users with reading difficulties.