I’ve always loved reading, but sometimes it’s hard to sit down with a book when life gets busy! Then I found out about Audiobooks. Pop in some headphones and listen to Audiobooks on your daily commute! I knew about Audible’s Audiobook subscription, so I asked myself: Is Audible Worth It? At the very least, the free trial is worth it, because you get one free audiobook! Read about our thorough Audible review below.
Note: Because of the new year, Audible is offering 4 free audiobooks – 2 audio books of any kind and 2 Audible originals! Try Audible out for free!
- 1 What Is Audible?
- 2 How Does Audible Work?
- 3 Why Are Audiobooks Awesome?
- 4 How Much Does Audible Cost?
- 5 What Can You Listen To Audible On?
- 6 Access To Audible Channels (Originals)
- 7 Does Audible Offer Refunds?
- 8 Special Audible Discounts
- 9 WhisperSync For Audible
- 10 Does Audible Have Customer Service?
- 11 Audible Listening Stats
- 12 Special Audible Software Features
- 13 Last Audible Tips
- 14 How To Speed Up Your Reading
- 15 Why Audible Isn’t For Everyone
- 16 Audible Pros And Cons
What Is Audible?
Audible is a subscription service for audiobooks every month. The company was created in 1995 and was bought by Amazon in 2008. Audible currently has over 450,000 Audiobooks on its platform in any genre you can think of. In 2017, Audible users listened to over 1 Billion hours of audio content.
Audible is an amazing way to read books just by listening to them. You can listen to audiobooks, anytime, anywhere.
How Does Audible Work?
Audible starts off by giving you a free monthly trial with a free audiobook. If you decide not to subscribe and just use the free trial, you’ll still get to keep the audiobook!
Depending on which Audible plan you choose, you’ll get credits for Audiobooks. Each audiobook costs one credit, no matter how much the audiobook actually costs. If you didn’t have Audible, most audiobooks cost $30-$40 because of all the extra work they have to do. Publishers already publish a book, but if they create an audiobook, they’ll have to pay a voice artist, or extra if a lovely celebrity voice reads it (Morgan Freedman, anyone?). You can hear a sample of each audiobook to see if you like the voice of the narrator before purchasing.
Once you get an Audiobook, you’ll be able to listen to it on a phone, computer, tablet, and even an Alexa or another smart-home device.
You can see how long each audiobook is so if you’re going for the best bang for your buck. You can choose audiobooks based on how many hours long it is and how much the audiobook is. Audible shows you an audio sample of each audiobook as well.
You can put your account on a three-month hold once per year.
Why Are Audiobooks Awesome?
As a child, my parents would read to me every night before I went to bed. Listening to an audiobook is reminiscent of that time.
I used to listen to podcasts when I went to the gym, but I realized that audiobooks might be a better option. Podcasts are generally only an hour long at most, so I’ll finish my gym session by getting to the end of the podcast. Audiobooks are generally several hours long, so if I want to keep listening I’ll have to get my butt to the gym.
Lastly, I love rereading books, but sometimes I just want to sit down and read a new book. With audiobooks, I’m opening to listening to them again because it seems more a form of entertainment than a chore.
Here’s how an audiobook is recorded. You can hear a sample of an audiobook. What I didn’t realize before listening to audiobooks was that some books have background music to set the mood. Depending on the scene, you might get mysterious wind chimes or energetic pumped up music. A narrator will create different voices for characters and occasionally an audiobook will have different audiobook narrators for different characters.
It’s almost like listening to a play or movie. It’s better than text, because you can hear someone’s voice and emotion.
How Much Does Audible Cost?
Audible has two pricing tiers, Gold and Platinum. Each offers a slight discount if you pay for an entire year’s membership up front.
Gold – $14.95/month or $149.5/year for one credit per month
Platinum – $22.95/ month or $229.5/year for two credits per month
Both plans offer a 17 percent annual discount, which means you get roughly 2 months free per year. This means you get 1 credit free for the Gold plan and 2 credits free for the Platinum plan.
Each monthly plan allows for 5 months worth of rollovers. For the Gold plan that is 5 credits. For the Platinium plan, it’s 10 credits because you get 2 credits per month. For the annual plan, you get 6 months worth of rollovers. The Gold plan allows for 6 credits of rollover, and the Platinium plan allows for 12 credits to roll over.
To be clear, the annual plans disburse all your credits at once. This means that once your year is up, you’ll be able to rollover 6 credits you haven’t used yet.
For the gold plan, each audiobook costs $14.95. For the platinum plan, each audiobook is $11.48, which is a discount of 23 percent.
Audible Channels is free if you have Amazon Prime Membership. If not, Amazon Channels is $4.95 per month.
Secret Silver Audible Plan
Audible has a secret plan known as the hidden Silver plan. This plan is $14.95 every two months and gives you one credit during each period. It’s basically the gold plan, but just every other month. You’ll have to chat with an Amazon representative to downgrade to this plan. It’s best to look under your settings for “upgrade/downgrade your plan” so you get an Amazon customer service representative who is familiar with the plan.
What Can You Listen To Audible On?
You can download the Audible app and software on multiple devices:
- Apple iPhone
- Android smartphone
- Apple & Android tablets
- Google Home
- Smart TV
If you’re streaming Audible, you’ll need wifi. It’s good to have a few backup audiobooks downloaded through the Audible app for when you’re not connected to wifi. Audible works the same way as Netflix does — you can download Netflix videos in the app for when you don’t have wifi.
Access To Audible Channels (Originals)
Audible channels are similar to Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu original programming. Audible produced a number of original podcasts:
- Where Should We Begin? – Each episode is a counseling session for a married couple.
- Sincerely, X – Each episode is an anonymous TedTalk
- Ponzi Supernova – Similar in style to Serial, Ponzi Supernova is an investigative podcast looking at the $65 Million Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, with never before heard interviews from Bernie Madoff in prison
Does Audible Offer Refunds?
If you decide you don’t like a book, you can chat with the Amazon customer service rep to exchange it. Obviously, if you’re abusing the system, they’re going to reject your claim, but if it happens once in a while, that should be fine.
Special Audible Discounts
Audible offers a discount to the audio version of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
You can purchase any audiobook for a 30 percent discount.
Audible will frequently have Member-only deals, with Audiobooks going down to below $5, and sometimes even 99 cents!
WhisperSync For Audible
WhisperSync allows you to switch between listening to an Audiobook and Kindle ebook.
Note that you’ll have to buy both versions of the book in both an Audiobook and ebook, but if you were reading your Kindle ebook and decided you just wanted to sit on the couch and listen to the audio version, you can just hit a button and do so.
Does Audible Have Customer Service?
Audible offers customer service 24/7 by chat, phone, or email. If you’ve ever contacted Amazon’s customer service, know that Audible issues are resolved the exact same way.
Audible Listening Stats
As an effort to gamify listening to audiobooks, Audible has a section where you get badges for different accomplishments. Whether they listened to X books in a row or a collective number of hours, you can see all your Audible stats.
You’ll be able to see the collective hours of audio you’ve listened to. Having a statistic about that makes me feel really good about knowing how many hours I was productive in a year listening to books.
Special Audible Software Features
Audible offers playback speeds so you can listen to the audiobook at any speed you want.
You can access your books anytime you want, even offline.
Lastly, if you’re the kind of person who loves to listen to audiobooks before bed, but know you fall asleep in 20 minutes, you can set the audiobook to stop on a timer.
Last Audible Tips
If you’re unsure about Audible and want to try the free trial, make sure you cancel before the 30 days is up in order to not get charged for the first month! I’m always up for getting free stuff and am willing to try it out, but I keep a spreadsheet in Google Docs of dates that I need to be aware of to not let my card get charged for subscriptions I don’t want.
How To Speed Up Your Reading
One of the best tips for being productive and absorbing more information is to play the audiobook at 1.5x speed and follow along in text. Do this a few times and you’ll be a master at the material. Also, make a note that different people learn differently. Some people can remember information better by reading and others remember better by listening to a voice. If you’re the later, an audiobook is perfect for you.
Why Audible Isn’t For Everyone
Audible is a subscription service, so if you don’t listen to at least one audiobook per month, you might not want the service.
If you’re asking yourself, “Is Audible worth it?”, the first thing you should ask yourself is if you like audiobooks. You can try out an audiobook for free via their trial. If you only like reading paper books, you shouldn’t get Audible!
If you’re a person who really loves hearing a certain type of voice, this might be difficult. The Audible audiobooks are narrated by a real person, not by a computer’s voice, so they won’t all have the same voice.
Audible Pros And Cons
Audible offers a free trial currently for 7 audiobooks. It’s a free trial, so there’s really no harm. If you don’t like it, you can cancel before the 30-day trial is up and still keep all the audiobooks. What’s a better deal than that?
You can listen to a sample of an audiobook to see if you like the narrator’s voice. If you buy the audiobook and don’t like it, you can get a refund pretty easily. So no downside there either!
Once you purchase an audiobook, it is yours to keep, even if you cancel your Audible subscription, so there’s no downside.
You’re able to listen to more books than you can read because you can listen to an audiobook hands off.
If you hate listening to voices or are really fixated on reading a book, Audible might not be a good option for you.
Newer books with an Audible audiobook run $30-$40 due to the production cost. However, some people just narrate literary books in their free time and those might be under $5. Audible also runs sales from time to time. Since one audiobook credit runs at $14.95 if you’re on the Gold plan, it’s a steal if you’re getting more recent audiobooks. If you only like purchasing audiobooks that cost less than $14.95, you might be better off just buying audiobooks as a one-off purchase.
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