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      March 28, 2017

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  1. Books Free
  2. Audiobooks
  3. Simply Audiobooks
  4. Barnes & Noble
  5. Audiobooks Now
  6. Highbridge

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Audiobooks Better Business Bureau Reliability Seal

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Audiobook at Audible Today! Audiobooks were once considered a costly luxury that most people could only splurge on. But today, audiobooks are an excellent way to be entertained while you're on the road, on a lunch break, or listening quietly with your children.

Within the last few years, iPods and MP3 players have become a common gadget in most homes. With numerous improvements in technology and functionality, listening to audiobooks with these players is both simple and cheap. Never before has it been easier to listen to an audiobook.

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2017

Audiobooks Reviews

5 stars
Audible

AUDIBLE Visit Site

Cost:

Starting from $7.49

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Audible is a fantastic site for those looking for audiobooks. They have a huge library of audiobooks to choose from, low prices, and a website that makes it easy to find what you're looking for.

Audible's impressive library contains over 100,000 audiobook titles that are available for download. With such a large number of audiobooks, Audible provides two convenient ways that you can find the audiobook you want:

  • If you're looking for a specific audiobook, you can use Audible's state-of-the-art search facility. Just enter title, author, or keyword of your audiobook and Audible will show you all matching results.
  • If you don't have a particular audiobook in mind, Audible provides over 200 categories of audiobooks that you can browse through. These include such areas as Best Sellers, Mystery Fiction, Classic British Comedy, Political Nonfiction, and Modern Drama.

When you're browsing through Audible's vast inventory of audiobooks, you may be curious to know what other people think of the audiobook selections. Audible lets you read through other people's audiobook reviews to help you with your choices. This is a fun way to help you decide whether you want to download and listen to the audiobook you're considering.

In addition to the customer reviews, Audible also provides audio samples of most audiobooks they offer. We enjoyed listening to the high quality audio samples, which give a clear indication of what you can expect in your audiobook.

Audible offers a number of affordable audiobook membership plans to meet your needs:

  • 1 audiobook a month - $7.49 for the first 3 months, then $14.95 per month thereafter. This is an easy, affordable way to start listening to your audiobooks.
  • 2 audiobooks a month - $22.95 per month. You get an additional audiobook each month over the basic plan while paying 20% less per title.
  • 12 audiobooks all at once - $149.50. With a one-time fee, you get access to a dozen audiobooks that you can download at any time.
  • 24 audiobooks all at once - $229.50. If you want to instantly build a library of audiobooks, this is the option for you.

Audible offers an impressive website for audiobook lovers of any age. They have a huge library of over 100,000 audiobook titles to choose from, an easy-to-use search facility, and competitive pricing. Audible sets the standard for audiobook stores, and they earn our highest rating.

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4.5 stars
Books Free

BOOKS FREE Visit Site

Cost:

Starting from $9.99

Books Free boasts one of the leading audiobook rental services and it is easy to understand why, as they offer over 60,000 titles to choose from. Another big perk with this service is that you do not need to be a member to rent from this expansive online library.

Books Free offers a large inventory with over 30,000 audiobooks to choose from. To find a specific audiobook, Books Free gives you a search bar where you can enter a title, author, or ISBN number. If you don't have a particular audiobook in mind, Books Free also gives you over 90 categories to browse through. These include such areas as Award Winners, Oprah's Picks, Crime, and Self-help.

Perhaps one of the best features of this website is that they offer both the more traditional CD option as well as the more modern MP3 download option. The site is very easy to navigate and quite enjoyable to browse.

Books Free offers a couple of pricing plans for your audiobooks:

  • A la carte - with this plan, no membership is required. You simply select the individual audiobook you want, and pay the associated fee. Prices start at $9.99 and vary based on the audiobook you select.
  • Membership plans - Books Free offers a number of membership plans based on the number of audiobooks you want to get each month. For a single audiobook each month, the cost is $11.75 for the 1st month, and $23.49 per month thereafter. For 2 audiobooks per month, the cost is $14.25 for the 1st month, and $28.49 thereafter. They offer similar pricing plans for 3, 4, 5, and even 6 audiobooks per month.

One feature unique to Books Free is that in addition to audiobooks, they also offer paperback book rentals. For paperback books, they have a huge library of over 200,000 titles you can choose from. Their paperback book pricing plans start at 2 paperback books at $7.50 for the 1st month and $14.99 per month thereafter. They also have pricing plans that include a mix of both audiobooks and paperback books.

Books Free has a lot of great things to offer people who enjoy listening to audiobooks. They have a large variety of audiobooks, convenient search functionality, and a paperback rental option for more traditional book lovers.

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4 stars
Audiobooks

AUDIOBOOKS Visit Site

Cost:

Membership $14.95/month for 1 book, $22.95/month for 2 books

Audiobooks offers access to more than 25,000 titles with their different membership plans. Their website is very well organized and easy to maneuver making shopping for your next audio book fast and efficient.

If you are looking for a specific book or author you can search by either one in the search box. However, if you want to browse their books feel free to search one of the many genres. One feature we liked was being able to browse both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

Like many of the other companies reviewed you can listen to a free sample of the book before you purchase it. All the books are in a downloadable format and Audiobooks even has their own custom app for your smart phone, allowing easy access to listen to your book on the go.

Membership prices are as follows:

  • 1 book per month - $14.95 per month
  • 2 books per month - $22.95 per month

There is a 7-day trial that allows you access to one book for free. If you do not want to keep the membership you must cancel in those first 7 days, otherwise you will automatically be billed for the membership level you signed up for. There is also a great option of giving a 3-month or 6-month gift to someone for either the 1 book or 2 books per month membership level.

Audiobooks is comparable to some of the other companies that ranked higher. The companies receiving more stars had a few more special deals for signing up and offered more titles, but we still recommend Audiobooks as a great option when you are on the hunt for your next audiobook.

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3.5 stars
Simply Audiobooks

SIMPLY AUDIOBOOKS Visit Site

Cost:

Starting from $11.95

Simply Audiobooks appeals to all sectors of people in that it offers so many options for rental and purchase. It not only offers rental deals for physical audiobooks and MP3's, but they also offer ready-to-play device rentals for those who have no mechanism of playing the audiobooks.

If this isn't enough Simply Audiobooks also allows for purchases of MP3 downloads, CDs, and cassette tapes. There are great and reasonable rental prices for monthly downloads of either one, two, or three titles at a time, of either physical audiobooks or online downloads. Or, you can try the ready-to-play device rental for a very reasonable price as well. These are both great options for avid audiobook listeners.

For the rental programs, you must return the previously rented audiobook before receiving another one. If the title is lost or damaged, the customer must pay 80% of its retail value. For ala carte physical audiobooks, Simply Audiobooks offers a full refund less a 30% restocking and shipping fee if it is returned unopened within 30 days. If you are only looking for some quick one-time entertainment, the a la carte option is definitely for you.

With great prices and over 47,000 titles to choose from, you can easily find the perfect audiobook for you. The site is very well organized, with listings for genre, narrator, author, lists, or newest books. The site is so easy and enjoyable to navigate, it would be difficult to not find something that interests you.

Simply Audiobooks offers the selection and format variety that customers want. This is a very good website for both frequent audiobook listeners and one-time purchases alike.

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3.5 stars
Barnes & Noble

BARNES & NOBLE Visit Site

Cost:

Starting from $9.99

Barnes & Noble, known for their great book stores, provides an on-line audiobook offering as well. An especially nice feature of this site is that it rates each book with a star system. However, Barnes & Noble requires you purchase all audiobooks and therefore is not as flexible as the higher rated companies.

It is certainly a good site in the sense that it offers great new books for a good price but if your focus is specifically audiobooks you may be better off considering a website where you could do some sort of rental program rather than one where you are always paying full price for the newest book.

Another very helpful feature is the organization by price. It gives categories including an under $10 option which is quite reasonable for an audiobook to own. Also, it gives Barnes & Noble's recommendations. Although there is a good selection it is not nearly as extensive as the selection on sites entirely dedicated to audiobooks. Browsing titles is very easy and enjoyable. The site is very well organized but the selection is not as extensive as other audiobook stores.

Even so, the selection is good and this is a reliable website as it is so well respected. If you have something specific you have been searching for this website is a good bet but probably not the cheapest and definitely not as flexible.

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3 stars
Audiobooks Now

AUDIOBOOKS NOW Visit Site

Cost:

Monthly discount plan starting at $5, titles starting at $2.49

With more than 60,000 titles to choose from, Audiobooks Now has one of the widest selections in the audiobook market. As with most retailers, customers can stream or download purchases directly from the website or through tablet and smartphone apps.

Their pricing structure is different from many other online providers: users can purchase audiobooks at full price, or they can opt into one of the two discount packages that Audiobooks Now offers: monthly or yearly. In the monthly Club Pricing Plan, customers pay $5 and receive 50% off the first audiobook each month and 40% off all subsequent purchases. If the 50% off discount is not used in a particular month, it automatically rolls over to the following month.

Alternately, users can pay $36 and receive a 50% discount on the first 12 audiobooks purchased over the course of a year. Once those 12 half-price purchases are used, customers get 40% off for the rest of the year, or they can opt to renew the plan for another $36 as many times as they like.

While these plans may be confusing to some users, Audiobooks Now offers a free 30-day trial; there is no long-term commitment on any of their pricing plans, and customers can cancel at any time. Additionally, plan members have access to 200+ free audiobooks included with club membership.

And, for those who prefer not to provide billing information, Audiobooks Now does offer free accounts with no credit card needed; however, there are no discounts associated with these free accounts, so customers will pay full retail price on all purchases.

For customers experiencing technical difficulties or with other questions, Audiobooks Now provides support through their online contact form or via phone during normal business hours (8:30A-5P, Eastern Time).

Audiobooks Now is a solid option for audiobook listeners who prefer to purchase titles rather than rent, though customers should carefully consider the pricing structures to choose the plan that best suits their buying habits.

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2 stars
Highbridge

HIGHBRIDGE Visit Site

Cost:

Starting from $9.99

This site is a bit confusing to navigate and does not give a clear idea of how to purchase the audiobooks. After you start navigating the site it becomes apparent the only way to purchase the books is by CD and no MP3 downloading options exist. This is unfortunate as many people have become most familiar with this technology and prefer using an MP3 player to listening to CDs on the go.

Also, there are very specific genres listed on the home page of the site and not much offered outside of that. These genres include classics, poetry, biography, spirituality, fiction, and more. There are good sections but many of them appeal to an older crowd.

One particularly nice feature of this site is the recommendations it suggests when you choose which audiobook is for you. However, if you just want to browse a large selection until you find something that catches your eye, this is probably not the right site for you. Overall, good for audiobooks in a specific genre, but not the best for the average customer.

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Continued from above

To accommodate the popularity of audiobooks, many online stores now offer thousands of audiobooks either in a downloaded format, on a CD, or sometimes even an old-fashioned cassette tape. Audiobooks can even be rented and returned like a movie.

Services that provide audiobooks vary greatly in form and function. Some services involve monthly membership plans; in others you must make individual audiobook purchases; and still others provide audiobook rentals. There are indeed a variety of options that are made to suit your individual needs.

However, not all audiobook stores are the same. It's important that you consider a few necessary points before you sign up for a service, or purchase an audiobook. Some critical factors to consider include:

  • Formats Available. Does the company offer downloadable MP3 formatted copies of their audiobooks, or only CD's?
  • Selection. Will you find all the latest and classic audiobooks that you're looking for? Or is the selection limited?
  • Price. How do the audiobook prices at each store compare to their competition?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best audiobooks stores available today. We hope this information helps you with your next audiobook purchase!

The best audiobooks of March

The audio version of George Saunders's first novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo,"Ě is a gabfest made up of 166 voices, among them those of Lena Dunham, Susan Sarandon and Carrie Brownstein, and luminaries from the audiobook world, including Cassandra ...

Published:  Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:47:00 GMT



How Audiobooks and Music Help Me Quiet the Thoughts in My Brain

I don't hear voices in my head, but I do hear my voice, my brain. My brain is never quiet. Never. Sometimes, I can get a song stuck in my head, and I'm not sure it's the same thing neurotypical people experience. Imagine an old LP record with a ...

Published:  Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:02:00 GMT



Audiobooks Save Me: A Commuter's Tale

This is a guest post from Laura Marie, a writer and teacher in Ohio. She reads one or two audiobooks every week, loves falling into a good cooking memoir, and debates feasibility of tech from sci-fi books with her husband. Everyone I tell about my 50 ...

Published:  Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:40:00 GMT



How this Texas woman changed the lives of the blind and impaired with creation of audiobook studio

Shortly after, Randall heard that the University of Houston needed help to record audiobooks. She began volunteering weekly. In the late 1960s, Robert Levy founded what was then Taping for the Blind, a Houston audiobook and radio program now called Sight ...

Published:  Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:19:00 GMT



10+ Audiobooks for Kids Who Loved Harry Potter

What audiobook should my kids who love Harry Potter listen to next? This list is packed full of stories that are every bit as full of magical fantasy that will take your kids along for a journey deep into the story. From books that are full of magic to ...

Published:  Thu, 23 Mar 2017 01:00:00 GMT



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