Is Audible worth it in 2020? (unbiased review)

If you're reading this, you've probably heard of Audible, and are wondering — is Audible worth it?

And the answer? Yes. In fact, it's a no-brainer!

With a price of $14.95 per month, Audible costs just about one coffee a month.

Whats more, if you prefer listening to audiobooks over reading, it's the best option for you! There's no doubt that Audible is the #1 audiobook reader.

Currently, there's two ways to get Audible:

Method #1: Try Audible for 30 days:

Audible-free-trial

Method #2: Get Audible Subscription:

Currently there's the Gold and premium plus plan. I recommend the latter to get discount off premium bundles (which is going to save you a lot in the long-run).

is-audible-worth-it

Read on if you'd like to learn more about Audible.

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.

These days, we lead such busy lives that we can neither find the time nor be able to muster up the motivation to sit down and read a book. Audiobooks solve this problem to some extent.

It’s of no surprise that audiobooks have been gaining traction in the last few years. But where will you get these audiobooks? There are quite a few options for such platforms on the market.

A highly popular option is Audible. It boasts over 200,000 books and numerous features that help improve your experience with the site.

In this article, I will review Audible and dive deep into its features and pricing so that you can find answers to questions like “Is Audible worth it?”.

Alright, so let’s begin with the review of Audible. We will start with the pros and cons of Audible.

Audible.com Review: Is it worth the money? 

Audible Pros

As you might have guessed from Audible’s popularity, it has quite a lot of great things to offer you. It features such a vast library of audiobooks that you can find virtually any book you might want to read on here.

A few things are especially lovely, like it has an easy refund policy, and it is compatible with quite a few platforms so you can listen to your audiobooks from any device you want.

By the way, to understand why Audible is excellent, you should look at what makes audiobooks so lovely. Here is what I think:

In my opinion, the multi-tasking benefit attached to audiobooks is what makes them so desirable. You can easily do your daily chores while listening to an audiobook and still absorb all the info.

It’s different from reading an ordinary book where you would have to concentrate entirely on the text to immerse yourself.

Also, audiobooks are generally more engaging than regular books. In the 21st century, many things are simultaneously fighting for your attention; most people wouldn’t prefer reading a book over many of those things.

Another nice benefit is that you can listen to audiobooks on the go. You certainly can’t read books while walking on the road. So, if you are someone that travels a lot, audiobooks will make your commutes more bearable.

Here are a few things about Audible that particularly stand out:

Audible Review 2020

1. Great choice for fanatic readers

Audible is all-around a fantastic choice for avid readers as its features cater to them. Like, it has a massive library to offer you.

If you get an Audible membership, every month you will receive:

One credit

What’s a credit? It’s a feature of Audible that lets you purchase any book, no matter what the price is, for zero charges. Audible gives you one credit so that you can get a book of your choice for free every month.

Audible Originals

Audible produce completely original audiobooks each month. Famous writers and journalists work on these, so they are worth a listen. You get these for free every month.

Besides these, you also receive other benefits with an Audible membership, like you get a 30% discount on every book you buy on the platform.

At first glance, you might think that the amount of audiobooks you get for free every month is small.

But, if you think about it, the free book should keep you engaged for at least two weeks.

You can go through the Audible originals or buy a new book at a 30% discount for the remaining two weeks. The month will be over just like that, and you will get a new batch of free content at the start of the next month.

By the way, as a note, keep in mind that Audible originals aren’t comparable to full-blown Audiobooks. They are usually shorter and a bit different from classic books in their offering.

2. Huge collection of titles

A books platform without an extensive library? Something like that would be such a big bummer. Thankfully, Audible has got it covered. You can choose from over 200,000 books available on the service

With such a massive amount of audiobooks available on the platform, you are sure to find one that you may be interested in reading.

Is audible worth it?

Audible makes searching through this colossal library an easy task, too. There are different genres for each audiobook, like adventure, romance, business, etc.

There are further subdivisions based on sub-genres, which is quite useful as you can easily find precisely the kind of book you have been looking to read.

A huge Audible library also means you don’t have to subscribe to buy books on another platform, thus saving you time and money.

A great feature of Audible is that it lets you download all your purchases, so even if you decide to cancel your membership, you can still access and listen to your audiobooks.

So yeah, if you are looking for a reason to get it, the massive Audible library might be it.

3. Easy return policy

Nobody wants to feel like they wasted their money on a bad book. Fortunately, it’s different on Audible. It has a pretty generous return policy, ensuring that you will always be spending your credits on only good books.

You can return any book anytime you want. The only condition is that it must be within 365 days of purchase. Once you give back a book, you will receive back the credit in your Audible account that you spent on it.

By the way, you can return books even if you have already finished reading them, and there is also no limit on the number of times you can get a refund on a book.

Though I won’t recommend returning too many times as it might raise a flag in Audible’s (Amazon’s) systems, and they might block refunds from you.

If you are curious about the limit, ten credits in a row will get your refunds blocked from my research. So, be sure never to hit this number.

Audible’s refund policy is excellent since you receive a maximum of two credits (if you get the premium membership) every month, and you would want to make sure you spend them on only the finest audiobooks.

4. High-quality audio

As expected of an audiobooks platform, Audible provides you with all its books in high-quality, crisp audio. The file size is still reasonable as they compress it just enough not to compromise the quality.

Audible gets some experienced narrators, writers, and voice artists like Stephen Fry or Michelle Obama to record the audiobooks.

It ensures that voice quality remains high. But not only that, but it also elevates the original book medium higher, thanks to the audio.

5. Compatible with different devices

A feature of Audible that I like is the compatibility with a massive set of platforms. The devices it supports are listed here:

  • iOS devices – iPhones, iPods (Touch and Classic), iPads
  • Android devices – phones and tablets
  • Windows Phone
  • Kindle Fire tablets
  • Kindle Oasis (9th Gen)
  • Kindle Oasis (8th Gen)
  • Kindle (8th Gen)
  • Kindle Paperwhite (10th Gen)
  • Kindle Keyboard & Kindle Touch
  • Sandisk MP3 players
  • Creative MP3 players
  • VictorReader Stream
  • BrailleNote & Apex BrailleNote
  • Garmin & TomTom GPS devices
  • Mac & Windows computers

With such a vast amount of options available, you are sure to find a compatible device with you at all times.

Audible also has a “car mode” that lets you listen to your audiobooks through your car’s stereo while you are out for a drive.

A significant advantage of a big selection of platforms is that you can listen to your audiobooks anytime and anywhere you like.

Many such platforms are only compatible with PCs and phones. Of course, you don’t always have access to these. Audible makes things more convenient by offering a plethora of device options.

While using Audible, one thing I have noticed is that I can go through books much faster. It’s all thanks to it being available on so many different platforms that I can practically listen to audiobooks all day outside of work.

6. WhisperSync feature for Kindle and Audible

Many of us not only like audiobooks but also love reading books whenever we get the time. You will sometimes find yourself reading a book that you have already been listening to as an audiobook.

If you try to switch between the two like that, you will have to look up the point in the e-book where you left off while listening to the audiobook, and vice-versa. But, that often proves to be quite challenging and frustrating.

Audible has a solution to this problem, too. WhisperSync is a unique feature of it that lets you sync your audible progress with your e-reading device.

Whispersync makes life easy as you won’t have to waste time trying to go back to the point you want to continue listening.

However, one drawback to Whispersync is that you can only sync with the e-book if it’s available to purchase on Amazon.

7. A summarized version of the audiobook

Sometimes you are just not in the mood to go through a long audiobook and wish there was a shorter version of it available. Kind of like how there is a “summary/verdict” section featured in online articles.

The good news is that Audible has a feature for getting a shorter version of the audiobooks. These summarized editions are not only of smaller length but also cost less than the full ones.

If you consider the average length of an audiobook to be 6-8 hours, skimming it down to just a couple of hours means a substantial time-saving. And, then there is also the additional benefit of the cost-saving.

Also, these summaries can be useful for learning whether an audiobook is for you. You may not want to spend an immense amount on an audiobook you may not like.

On the other hand, if you like the summarized version, you can purchase the full version.

Note that not all audiobooks have a summarized version. Nonetheless, a decent amount of them do have one on Audible, and I would say it’s worth it to get one of these if you want to.

8. Rollover credits and freeze membership

Audible features that you might not expect to see on such a platform are that your unused monthly credits simply add up to the following month instead of disappearing as soon the month is over.

The rollover credits feature is unexpected because most other platforms won’t let you carry over credits like that. Instead, they would want to charge you at every opportunity they get.

So yeah, Audible and Amazon are customer-friendly with features like these.

Another nice feature of Audible is freeze membership, which allows you to put your account on hold for three months. So, if you decide to take a break from things, you can be worry-free about getting bills.

A downside to rollover credits may be that you can keep your credits with you for a maximum of six months. If you cannot use a credit point before that point, it will disappear from your Audible account.

So, it would be wise to use your credits within a reasonable time-frame. Even if you don’t plan to listen to a book for a while, you can still keep it sitting in your Audible library for when you have the time for it.

Audible Cons

Audible is a superb audiobooks service with many great features to offer you. However, nothing is perfect.

Audible isn’t an exception to the rule, either. It, too, has some flaws.

There are a few Audible cons that I will talk about here so that the review is unbiased, and you can get an accurate picture of it.

1. Audible audiobooks can be expensive or cheap

The cost of an audiobook is generally higher on Audible as compared to some other platforms. Though, in recent years the gap has reduced as other services like Kindle have increased their prices.

The Audible credit system does help here. However, it too has a drawback attached, and it is that you have to exhaust an entire credit for books regardless of their price.

For example, if you decide to get an audiobook that costs $5, you will have to use up your credit for it. It would be wiser to use your credits on books of higher costs ($10-$15).

A solution is to purchase the audiobooks of the lower-cost usually and use your credits for full-length ones.

Then again, this can be a bummer for you if you don’t want to spend extra outside of your Audible subscription cost and only want to use the free credits that you get.

2. Credits expire as you cancel the subscription service

Earlier in the review, you saw how the Audible credits feature is nice since they don’t expire after the month is over and remain valid for up to six months.

There is another side to the credits system, and it’s that they expire as soon as you cancel your Audible account.

You should note here that the Audible subscription cancellation process is lovely as you don’t have to go through many menus and stuff for it. You can cancel it quite quickly, but yeah, you will lose your credits if you had any valid ones left in your account.

There is a solution to this problem, too. If you ever decide to cancel your membership, you can first use up all your remaining credits and then end your subscription.

Remember that you still keep your downloaded audiobooks with you even if you cancel your subscription service. So, be sure to download all your books before you try to void your membership.

3. No free account

When you are looking into platforms such as these, you might be curious about the zero-cost plan to test around the service. However, there is no free Audible account.

Nonetheless, there is still a 30-day free Audible trial that you can use to get a taste of the platform. Once it’s over, you will have to pay the monthly fee if you decide to continue.

If you don’t decide to pay for Audible, you will have to get audiobooks at a full price elsewhere.

The lack of a free plan in Audible can be a bummer for those looking to get into it at zero cost.

Even though the free 30-day trial exists, it is still nowhere near what a good free version of Audible would have offered.

Audible membership cost

People often make their final decision based on the cost of the service. So, how is Audible price per month?

As you know, Audible has a 30-day free trial, which, when expires, you have to pay the Audible membership cost.

Audible accepts virtually all major credit and debit cards. I like to use the Amazon Store credit card for it.

There are two types of Audible subscription plans.

audible membership cost

Audible Plus

The Audible plus plan is a relatively new introduction to the service, and it brings the platform’s cost down to $7.95 per month.

With this plan, you get access to all Audible originals and exclusives, whether books, audio dramas, or podcasts.

However, you don’t get any monthly credits with this plan, so you have to buy audiobooks that aren’t in Audible’s first-party selection.

The Plus plan sounds weak, but it’s still worth it as there are many free audiobooks available on Audible, and their first-party lineup boasts over 68,000 hours of audiobook content.

Audible Premium Plus

Contrary to what you may think, there are two types of memberships under the Audible Premium Plus plan.

With both the versions, you naturally get access to the Plus plan features. On top of that, here you get free monthly credits as well.

The cheaper of the two versions costs $14.95 per month. With this monthly subscription, you get one free credit per month.

Interestingly, in the old system, the equivalent of this plan was the Audible gold monthly subscription.

The other version has a monthly fee of $22.35 per month, and it is the same as the last one, except it offers two free credits.

Like the last version was the equivalent of the Audible gold membership, this one is the equivalent of Audible Premium membership.

There used to be a membership other than the plans I have already listed here.

Earlier you could get an “Audible Escape” subscription, which featured a wide selection of Romance titles. It had features like “Take me to the good part” for some of the books.

Unfortunately, you can no longer subscribe to Audible Escape, and after 1 November 2020, the service will ultimately end.

Audible Review FAQ

1. How does Audible subscription work?

Audible has monthly and yearly payment options for its subscriptions. You can put your subscription on hold for three months if you are going on vacation. The Audible cost varies with the plan. The per-year plans are more worth it than the per-month ones. There is also a free trial. You can use it to read one audiobook or two for free.

On a similar note, check out my guide to get free audible books without CC. It's a simple and easy method to get free books.

2. Should I get Audible?

It depends on your needs. If you think it suits you, go for it.

You can try the 30-day free trial to know whether it is for you or not.

3. How much is Audible per month with Prime?

There is no discount for Prime Amazon account holders. You will have to purchase an Audible membership separately.

You can link your Amazon account with your Audible one, though.

4. What do you get with Audible membership?

Depending on your plan, you get access to a vast library of audiobooks and Audible originals.

5. Does Audible work everywhere in the world?

Yes, it works worldwide, so it doesn’t matter whether you are in New York or London. You can listen to Audible books wherever.

6. How does Audible membership work?

You first have to buy an Audible plan. Once you get your membership, you will be able to purchase and listen to audiobooks anytime and anywhere you like.

You can also begin with the free trial.

7. How does Audible work?

Audible has a subscription model, and it features a credits system where you can obtain one audiobook for free regardless of its cost, with just a single credit.

So, you can get your favorite Audiobook for free with an Audible membership.

8. How does the Audible free trial work?

With the Audible free trial, you get a free credit point so that you can access one audiobook of your choice at no charge.

If you are thinking “one audiobook is too little,” well, if you are a Prime user, you can get two of them for free.

There is more. You also get access to the entire Audible first-party library at no cost. There is also no restriction on how much you can listen.

You also receive an email reminder before your free trial ends so that you can cancel your account if you don’t want to get a paid subscription.

9. How much are Audible books in the price?

The price of books on Audible isn’t fixed and differs between each. The cost can range from as little as a dollar to $15.

Keep in mind that you can buy one audiobook for free if you have a credit point, regardless of its costs.

Is Audible worth it?

So, in this Amazon Audible review, you learned about its pros and cons, along with its pricing. At this point, you should have formed a real image of it in your mind.

The answer to the question “Is Audible worth it?” ultimately relies on what your needs are.

Everyone is different, and no one service can fit every person like a glove. That’s why so many other services in the market can simultaneously exist.

You should consider all the features and compare them with the competition. If you think Audible would work for you, go for it.

If you still find yourself unsure, why not give the 30-day free trial a shot? There is no harm in trying, and you will get to listen to a free audiobook or two.

If you do end up liking the free trial, you can purchase a subscription.

So yeah, in the end, I would say ask yourself, “Is Audible worth it for me?” and you should find your answer soon enough!

See also:

Mark Quadros is a Content Marketer for SaaS and Online-business. He also runs 'The Real Mark', a blog about travel, remote work, and online marketing.Affiliate Disclosure.

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