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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.
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:
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:
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.
Book Lender 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.
Book Lender offers a large inventory with over 30,000 audiobooks to choose from. To find a specific audiobook, Book Lender 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, Book Lender 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.
Book Lender offers a couple of pricing plans for your audiobooks:
One feature unique to Book Lender 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.
Book Lender 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best audiobooks stores available today. We hope this information helps you with your next audiobook purchase!
Audiobooks In The News
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The audio entertainment space has seen several big shifts in 2019 so far, from Spotify's dual acquisition of podcast network Gimlet Media and podcast tool provider Anchor to splashy podcast startup ...
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While we'll never give up the pleasure of cracking the spine and turning the pages of a great new book, there are times when the audio version is just better. Mostly, when you're in motion: on your ...
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You know how there's way too much to watch these days, with new streaming services launching every week and the amount of must-see content growing? Well, there's too much to listen to, as well. ...
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Many young readers would find it hard to imagine a world without Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." Kinney's series of books about the hapless middle schooler Greg Heffley has sold more than 200 ...
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