You’ve seen the ads, heard people talking. However, you’re just not sure and are wondering — is Audible worth it? Well, I’m here to answer that question with my honest and in-depth Audible review.
With a base price tag of $14.95 per month, Audible – Amazon’s audiobook platform – isn’t something to purchase on a whim. However, if you love reading and are keen on switching over to audiobooks, Audible could be the ultimate service you’re waiting for.
In my Audible review, I’ll first explain how the platform works. I’ll then outline a few of its major pros and cons. This will help you decide if you’re ready to become an Audible member or not.
How does Audible work?
Before answering your question “Is Audible worth it?”, I’ll need to first explain what Audible is for those who don’t yet know.
Audible is a monthly subscription service that gives you access to Amazon’s enormous library of audiobooks — over 200,000 titles (and counting) as of 2019. This makes it the largest audiobook library in the world today.
When you first sign up for Audible, you’ll have a 30-day free trial. This trial allows you to download one audiobook and two Audible Originals* at no charge. Sweet deal!
*Audible Originals are monthly exclusive audiobooks created by Audible, which we’ll get into a little later in my Audible review.
You’re free to cancel your trial at any time – and even get to keep your free audiobooks permanently!
If you decide not to cancel, you’ll be charged a monthly fee to access the rest of the Audible library. This fee also includes a varying number of Audible credits, which can be traded in for an audiobook of your choice every month.
Each single Audible credit can be used to download one free audiobook, no matter its price. In other words, you’ll be able to use your credit to nab a more expensive audiobook on your wishlist – and save your cash for cheaper additional titles.
Now that I’ve covered the platform’s basics, let me address another big question: is Audible worth it in terms of value for money?
How much does Audible cost?
Audible offers several tiered subscription plans. Deciding which plan is best for you (if any) really depends on how many audiobooks you intend to listen to each month.
The following graph shows a quick overview of each plan, which I’ll elaborate on.
The basic plan, known as Gold Monthly, costs $14.95 USD per month. It gives you one credit (or one audiobook) per month, plus access to two Audible Originals.
Alternatively, you can also choose to pay an upfront price of $149.50 USD annually with grants you 12 credits for 12 months. This will save you $30 USD per year over the Gold Monthly plan.
Do you intend to listen to more than one Audible audiobook a month? Then you might want to consider the Platinum Monthly plan, which offers you two credits (or two audiobooks) every four weeks for a monthly cost of $22.95 USD.
Just like the Gold Plan, you can alternatively make an instant bulk payment of $229.50 USD each year, which nabs you 24 credits per 12 months. This will help you save about $45 USD over the monthly option.
The Audible Escape Subscription (for Romance fans)
Audible offers a special plan for fans of romance literature. With Audible Escape, you’ll have access to 10 romance audiobooks at a time, which can each be returned and replaced with new titles. Even better, you get to test everything out for FREE with their no-strings-attached 30-day trial.
In short, if you love binging on steamy romance novels, this plan is incredibly worth your time with its low cost of $12.95 / month as a standalone option (only after your free trial ends).
If you’re already a member of Audible or Kindle Unlimited, you’ll only need to pay $6.95 / month on top of your current subscription.
Click on the image below to activate your 30-day free trial of Audible Escape.
Audible Review: The Benefits
Let’s look at some of the main benefits you’ll get with your Audible membership. This will directly address the question “Is Audible worth it?”.
An unparalleled library of audiobooks
Amazon proudly bills its Audible service as an “unparalleled” offering of audiobooks — and it’s with good reason. Their truly immense library will satisfy even the most voracious listeners!
To be clear, many self-published books are not likely to be launched with accompanying audiobook versions. However, you can be pretty much certain that most releases from bigger publishing houses will have audiobooks available on Audible.
In short, you don’t need to worry about running out of audiobooks to listen to. Audible gives you access to all the classics and best-sellers you could ever want – and then some.
Access to Audible Originals
As mentioned earlier, in addition to monthly Audible credits, your membership also gives you access to Audible Originals. These are special audiobooks that are exclusive to the platform.
Audible releases six Audible Originals on the first Friday of every month. Your subscription allows you to download two of the six offerings every month for free.
These exclusives run the genre gamut from true crime stories to dramas to educational titles — and way, way more!
You might not fancy every single Audible Original that comes your way. However, given their great quality, there’s a good chance you’ll find at least two per month that interest you enough to download and keep.
In short, I think Audible Originals are a great bonus offering that go nicely with your awarded Audible credits (which you can claim for any audiobook). They really help to mix things up!
Audible credits can be rolled over
Here’s another great thing about Audible: you never have to feel pressured to spend your Audible credits immediately. Instead, any unused credits are automatically carried over to the next month.
In other words, you won’t have to fear losing a month’s worth of credits if you’re too busy to use them. Just store them up and use them on a later date (within a year of their original issue date).
Discounted audiobooks beyond your credits
Think you’ll be tearing through more than one or two free audiobooks a month?
Well, as an Audible member, you get to enjoy 30% off any additional audiobooks you want from their library.
Thus, in my case, I tend to use my Audible credits for the more expensive audiobooks I desire. Once I’ve used my monthly credit quota, I’m able to then save 30% on less pricey additional titles. Doing this gives me far greater value for money each month.
Daily Deals, Podcast, and Newspaper Subscriptions
My Audible review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning all the other auditory goodies on offer besides audiobooks.
You see, Audible isn’t just a service for novels and non-fiction books. Your subscription also opens the door to Audible’s suite of Original Podcasts. Many of these are exclusives that are not available on other podcasting platforms.
Beyond this, you also get access to the Audible Daily Deal — a new and different audiobook released at a discount every single day.
Finally, your Audible membership lets you catch up on some of the top newspapers in publication. This includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among many others. You can easily download them at no extra cost.
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Seamless listening on multiple devices — and in text
You know what? I still find pleasure in curling up with a good book made of traditional paper and binding. However, admittedly, reading a physical book isn’t always the best when it comes to multi-tasking.
The great thing about audiobooks is the convenience. You can listen to them throughout your day, whether you’re going to work, exercising, or even cooking. In short, audiobooks can be digested on the move.
This brings us to one of the biggest perks of Audible: the service allows you to connect to an unlimited number of listening devices. Great!
This means that you could…
- Start your morning listening to your audiobook on your iPhone;
- Continue where you left off on your work laptop during your lunch break;
- Ask Alexa to read your audiobook aloud while you cook dinner;
- Read the same book (in text) on your Kindle once you get to bed.
That last point is a real hidden perk. If you’ve got an Amazon Kindle, you can easily transition from your Audible audiobook to ebook and pick up exactly where you left off. Neat!
Sharing books with friends and family
Keen to share your favorite audiobooks with loved ones? Audible makes this easy through its Amazon Family Library service.
Here’s how it works.
Two adults, each with their own Amazon account, can create a shared Amazon Household. This will give both persons the ability to share all their Audible audiobooks with each other. Children and teens can also be added to the same Household.
So is Audible worth it? I’d say ‘yes’ to the default single account – but most definitely so if you’re able to find a family member, partner, etc. who’s equally keen to try the service. Having a communal library vastly increases the size of your audiobook collection at no additional cost to you.
Return books you don’t like
Now, here’s one of my favorite parts of my Audible review!
You may find that you’ve bought or used an Audible credit on an audiobook you simply don’t like (maybe you can’t stand the narrator’s voice?). That’s okay, because you’re able to return it for a full refund.
In other words, trying new audiobooks is risk-free for you!
To return your book, simply go to your Amazon account, head to Purchase History, and click ‘return’ next to the audiobook you aren’t keen on. Give a reason for returning it – and you’ll get your money or credit refunded.
It’s that simple!
Important note: You can return any book within 365 days of purchasing it, even after you’ve listened to it. However, please do not abuse this system as a cheap scheme to nab free audiobooks. Amazon will ban your account if they detect you overdoing your refunds. Once in a while is alright.
The downsides of Audible
Now that we’ve covered the upsides of my Audible review, let’s consider a few reasons why you might not be a good fit for this service.
You might end up spending more than you need to
Is Audible worth it for you, personally? Well, first you’ll need to think about how many audiobooks you’ll realistically listen to per month. Do you have the time for at least one audiobook every four weeks – or are you too busy?
If listening to an audiobook every month (or 12 in a year) is too much for your schedule, then Audible might not be a good fit for you. That’s because you’ll basically be paying for a monthly subscription that you aren’t fully taking advantage of.
However, I do think Audible’s free 30-day trial comes in handy here. You can give the service a try to see how it goes. If you aren’t using it as you expected, just cancel the subscription. Nothing lost!
You may not like listening to audiobooks
To be honest, not everyone enjoys audiobooks. Some people still prefer good ol’ fashioned reading, preferring their own ‘head voice’ over that of an external narrator. I have a few friends who are like that – and I can understand why.
You could also be a naturally speedy reader. In this case, you might find some narrators a bit too slow paced for your liking (although you can always increase the play speed on your Audible app).
That being said, there’s really no harm in giving Audible’s free trial a go. it’s probably the best way to figure out if you enjoy audiobooks or not. Again, you’re welcomed to cancel at any time – and still get to keep all the free audiobooks you got during the trial.
So… is Audible worth it? Here’s my Audible review verdict!
If you have $14.95 USD a month to spare, I say go for it! I think it’s really hard to resist the sheer value that Audible offers. The service’s huge library, low cost, and all the additional perks I mentioned make it truly worth it for any book-lover wanting to make the jump to audiobooks.
I’m an active Audible member myself, and have fully utilized my free credits and discounts for countless hours of immersive listening. Above all, I’ve ‘read’ more books than ever before, mostly thanks to the convenience of listening to them while doing other things (mostly when I’m jogging).
In summary, with the 30-day free trial, you’ll have tons of time to decide if Audible is your cup of tea or not. I’m willing to bet that it will be.