Audio books are recorded voices of a book or textbook that is listened to instead of reading. This can come in verbatim versions of books or a shortened versions. Technology has made it easier for users to download them on smartphones, laptops, tablets, or in cars. Like digital music and videos, there are also free audio books found online, in bookshops, or on public domain sites.
Free audio books online help one carry out their daily activities and get the entertainment and knowledge required at the same time. So many websites provide a compiled and well-archived audio books for the use of the public. Audio books have greatly provided a solution to those looking for good novels that can help your relaxation, among other things.
Websites That Offer The Best Free Audio Books Online
Audible is an Amazon-owned audio book and podcast, which allows its users to buy and listen to audiobooks and other audio-recorded materials. One can use audible by outright payment or through subscription. Its subscription is monthly and gives access to the library accruable to such a subscription. In the United States, audible is the highest in audio book production and retailing.
Audible, air-launched in 2005, permits users to download audio books straight into PDAs and smartphones. The software updates automatically and deletes audios that have been listened to. Audible in content produced over 200,000 audio programs through current audio book publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazines and newspaper publishers, and business books. It offers two types of monthly subscriptions, Audible Gold for $14.95 and Audible Platinum for us for $22.95, which comes with Credit Points that can also be used to buy audio books.
- To get a 30-day free trial, visit audible.com.
- It can be accessed using different audio players.
- Audible has so many archived titled audio books for subscribers to access.
- It is always updated to better versions and content.
- Users can always keep downloaded audio books to themselves.
- It is costly to purchase: An average income earner will prefer to take the stress of buying a hard copy of a book than spending much in subscribing for audible.
- It has a temporal subscription that stops once it hits the 30th day after subscription.
- The trial period lasts for only a month.
- Users are limited to only two audio books.
Scribd is a limitless reading subscription that presents users with access to audio books, magazines, documents. It is aimed at finding a simple way of publishing written content on the web. Presently, it is faced with getting written content into audio book format. The audio book was incorporated in Scribd reading subscription package in November 2014. With a subscription fee of $9.99 per month, you can access the following:
- Unlimited Books.
- Unlimited audio books from major publishers.
- Unlimited magazines & news.
- Free perks like TuneIn, Mubi, and more.
Click on Scribd to enjoy the 2-months free trial and more.
- Scribd gives 2-month free audio books online trial access.
- It has a large collection of audio books in the Library.
- The software and the websites are very easy to use.
- It is accessible with Android, iOs, Kindle Fire, Nook, and computers.
- Scribd has a wonderful support team.
- It offers a special discount for students.
- It has limited access to popular titles.
- No room for an annual membership subscription.
Audiobooks.com is an audio book platform that offers users access to three audio books for $14.95. It gives users access to 1 book premium plus and the other 2 from VIP selection with access to 1.2 million podcasts. On the expiration of the free trial, users are also entitled to 1 premium, 1 VIP, and a passage to special member offers and discounts monthly.
- Access audiobooks.com and listen to audio books.
- It comes with a multi-platform that gives its users access to listen to it on iOS devices, Andriod, Amazon, and the Internet.
- Purchased items can be used for the long term.
- It gives room for unused credit rollover.
- Less stressful to sign up and use.
- It saves users credit as books can be previewed before purchase.
- They offer a robust reward for both premium and VIP members.
- Offers better mobile convenient services (streaming).
- It is very expensive.
- It is not data saving.
- It doesn’t have a wide range of catalogs.
Hoopla digital is not only offering audio book services but also movies, music, comics, eBooks, and television services to users. Users can access this audiobooks site with a valid library card at a supporting library. In searching for audio books at hoopla, users can arrange the results in average rating, new arrivals, title, popularity. It can also be filtered by titles and languages for adults and kids.
- Hoopla offers a wide range of other services aside from audio book services.
- Hoopla gives users an instant right to borrow the title, unlike another audio book website that takes months for you to borrow a title.
- The hoopla app can be used on the phone and can be streamed on PC.
- It gives a long-term borrowing plan.
- It is data saving as it can be downloaded and listened to.
- It is free, with no fine attached.
- Borrowing of titles is limited to a maximum of about 20 titles per month.
- Difficulty in getting eBook content highlighted.
- Restrictions of libraries without the Hoopla app.
LibriVox is a Latin name with “Libri” meaning book, free, or independent, and “Vox” meaning voice. The aim of the platform LibriVox is to create a free public domain for audio books and the hosting of websites on the internet. Librivox makes available all the free audio books online in the public domain, which is properly recorded by volunteers and distributed for free in the form of audio on the internet.
To find books, users can search by title, subject, language, or author. Users can browse all the titles, look up the most recent additions, and sign up for new audio books as podcasts. Downloading all the audio books can be done directly on LibriVox on a Zip file. Some are obtainable via an M4B file and a torrent. Users can download on iOS here and Android devices here for phones or tablets or stream.
- Librivox is totally free for users registered on the platform and gives full access to its audio library.
- There are many ways to help users find a particular title.
- Users can listen to particular chapters without downloading the whole chapters.
- Users can receive new audio books by podcast.
- It is available in many languages.
- It is compatible with several devices.
- Librivox has restrictions on contents and bases only on books in the United States public domains.
- Their funding is totally dependent on the public contribution. If the public fails to raise enough funds, there will be a decline in recording more Audio books.
- It doesn’t sort titles by most popular.
Rakuten Kobo is mainly owned by a Canadian company known as Indigo books and music and other subsidiary owners (Borders Group, Cheung Kong Holdings, and REDgroup Retail). Kobo is apparently in the business of recording for e-readers with e-paper screens, free reading applications for windows and OS X systems, Android, iOs, Blackberry, Windows phones, and smartphones. Kobo has a collection of more than 5 million titles for subscribed members.
- Kobo.com offers free audio books online for registered members.
- It has a wide range of titles, making a subscribed member of kobo.com have access to more than 5 million audio books and eBooks.
- Kobo allows for a monthly subscription of $9.99. This is almost the cheapest to compare with other websites offering audio book services of the same quality.
- Kobo app gives a unique custom recommendation of Audio books related to what you read before.
- Access to audio books that have been exchanged for credits is valid after the cancelation of subscriptions.
- Unused credits are valid for six months after the cancelation of subscriptions.
- Even though kobo monitors chapters of its book, the parts of the book that is not numbered distort the accurate count of the chapters.
- Kobo often encounters narrator change in the middle of a chapter and even a page.
- It restricts users without the Kobo apps.
- Kobo.com audio books are available to users in few countries like Cannada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
7. Google Audio Books
Google Audio books cover a wide range of topics, including arts, entertainment, biographies, memoirs, business, investments, children’s audio books, fiction, literature, health, mind, body, history, language instruction, mystery, thrillers, religion, spirituality, romance, science, technology, science fiction, fantasy, self-help, and sports. The price of google audio books is within the range of $1.99 to $40 per book. Books are bought and owned by users from the catalog.
- It has a timing system for readers where they can set a timer to automatically stop, very useful, especially when you are reading at night.
- The audio tempo of the narrator can be increased if it is too slow for a listener and can be decreased if the narrator is too fast for your assimilation.
- Users do not have restricted access to any purchased audio book. Once purchased, it’s forever yours.
- It is easily accessible as it does not demand any subscription fee.
- Special app downloading is not required as users can play through their browser.
- Every content in the google audio book store has a price tag that follows suit.
- Books in Google Audio book are very costly to be compared to other audio books online stores.
Downpour is a subsidiary company of Blackstone Audio, which has been in operation since 2012. The company gives room to renting audio books and is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows. It also allows offline listening and has no room for a free trial. They have a monthly subscription of $12.99.
- Downpour allows the saving of titles that you will love to listen to later in a wishlist.
- With a downpour sleep timer, users can set a timer to stop playing at a given set time.
- The narrator’s speed can be adjusted to gain a better understanding of the book being listened to.
- Downpour offers a rent title for as low as $1.99, and your monthly credit allowance can be rolled over as long as you have a subscription.
- Compared to other audio book service providers, downpour only gives room for 80,000 titles, which stand to be the least amongst others.
- Downpour monthly subscription is more costly than others that offer the same quality of service as Kobo.com.
9. Free Classic Audio Books
Free classic is a free online domain where users can download free audio books on MP3 or MP4 devices. Free classic Audio books raise their funds from bulk special orders. For example, when you order 200 classic audio books on your USB, you are charged $9.95; the same rate is applied to 600 classic audio short stories on your USB—likewise, seven full audio language courses in mp3 format.
- Free classic, as its name implies, is a free audio book online with no subscription fee charge attached.
- The free classic audio book comes in different audio formats like mp3 and mp4 for iPhones and is compatible with any media player.
- It is not centered on any particular kind of content; hence, it contains varieties.
- Single chapters, as well as whole chapters, can be downloaded.
- Since it is free, current trending work in free classic audio books is always difficult to see by users.
- There is unavailability of graphics, which makes it hard for a great user experience.
Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming, which has been among the best audio book streaming service delivery companies, having about 100 million subscribers and still counting to date. Spotify’s premium subscription is $10 every month and allows certain recordings to be accessed by users for free.
- Spotify has a wide range of collections of audio books for users selection. You will likely get all the audio books you are looking for.
- It allows users to download for offline playback, available for premium subscribers and not for free users. Users can also download the audio book for offline use, thereby saving data for streaming.
- Spotify is well structured to be user-friendly, making it less confusing or difficult for the user. You can organize your playlist and find new audio books.
- Spotify gives its free audio books users a very low-quality sound of 160kbps while streaming. But the premium subscribers get a quality sound of 320kbps.
- Spotify uses DRM encryption, making it difficult for premium subscribers to play the downloaded audio book on another device that does not have a Spotify App.
- There is no provision for lyrics features for better assimilation.
- Non-paying customers are restricted from downloading free audio books.
- Finding audio books amongst the music isn’t easy for users.
11. BBC Sounds
This is a subsection of BBC world Service that makes audio services available to the public. To find audio books, download the BBC Sounds app, go to the homepage, move to the categories section, click on view all, and select the audio books category.
- They produce a high-quality audio book to give their users comfortable sound services.
- BBC Sounds Service has a wide range of collections of titles in its catalog for users.
- It is accessible by many devices like tablets, smart televisions, personal computers, and cars.
- They have embraced technological enhancement, both in the sound development and other technical aspects of BBC sounds.
- It is not possible to download audio books and use them in an offline mode.
- BBC sounds don’t give room for audio book subtitling.
12. Open Culture
Open culture audio book is mainly centered on cultural and educational audio recording. They are free audio books platform that has more than 1000 free audiobooks, 150 best podcasts, 800 free ebooks, 300 free language lessons, and others. Open culture is a learning community that is not so keen on entertainment but knowledge impartation. That is why they run about 1700 free online courses with high-profiled Universities. The Open Culture audio books offer users free audiobooks, free courses, free language lessons, music podcasts, science podcasts, travel podcasts, arts and culture podcasts, technology podcasts, news/information podcasts, and University podcasts on (general directory, business school, and law school). The community was founded in 2006 by Dan Colman.
- Open culture is free of any membership subscription charges in accessing audio books.
- The website is easy to use. Open culture segmented their other activities from the audio book services in their website to make it easy for the user to navigate.
- Open culture has limited audio books, unlike other audio book websites with many audio books.
- The site gives out mainly audio books for educational purposes.
- There is no option to search through the list.
- Most of the audio books are mostly streams and not downloads.
13. Learn out Loud
Learn out loud has since 2005 paved its way in the audio book service rendering industry through its achievements. They have over 50,000 best audio books, podcasts, free downloads, videos, documentaries, lectures, interviews, speeches, etc. Learn Out Loud goes with a monthly plan of $12.95 and 3 credits per month.
- Learn out loud offers a $100 gift certificate as a means of encouragement on subscription to 100 subscribers.
- Users stand to incur zero expenses on shipping on any audio book order made, even with their credits.
- Learn out loud removed all DRM encryption that will restrict playing users downloaded files on any other device of their choice.
- Learn out loud offers easy shopping with users’ credit cards.
- It offers a discount of up to 40% on some audio book titles.
- Though Learn Out Loud subscriptions come with a 3 credit for the month, and it is still expensive compared to some other audio book sites that charge $9.99 per month.
OverDrive offers free audio books online services with the use of the app and is available in local libraries. Users can check up on a local library where they can access overdrive audio book titles. Overdrive has a lot of categories that users may want to choose from. To use overdrive for free, you have to go through your school library or local library.
- Overdrive is totally free from charges on membership subscriptions.
- It also offers a digital library with a great catalog of audio books.
- It works with thousands of libraries.
- This works with major platforms like iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Kindle.
- It has provisions for free audio books samples.
- Most times, the loan time given by OverDrive for users is short for them.
- It is time-consuming as users need to create a file format before use after downloading.
- It doesn’t work with all platforms.
Storynory is an application that stirs the charming voice of Natasha Gostwick on audio stories. She makes her audio books in an exceptional way that attracts many listeners. Her free audio books online are totally free of any charges, and it comes in on weekly release. Since November 2005, Storynory has been in the business of giving out free wonderful stories to the world. They have recorded a million downloads in some months. For children’s books, Storynory stands to be the largest in recorded children’s books, giving out great imaginations and superb narrations. It has over 600 audio stories on its website.
Americans give most of their listening audience because there is a huge awareness creation of podcasts in the USA than the UK and the rest of the world. Storynory is very recommended for long-distance driving of parents who move with their children. A story from Storynory will calm the children and give the parents more rest of mind.
Storynory makes most of its funding from advertisements on AdSense. They don’t place adverts in the middle of a story because they bring about distractions; instead, they run their adverts in the form of “supported by” or “brought to you by.”
- Storynory offers totally free audio books online for its target audience with no membership subscription charges for its services.
- To download audio books on Storynory is easy and convenient with no charge except for the availability of a working network and data.
- Storynory records more of a quality audio book that is in mp3 and mp4 format for users’ use at any time.
- Compared to other audio book services rendering sites, Storynory has few audio books in its archives.
- Storynory focuses more on children’s long stories, unlike other sites that provide audio books on other ages and various categories of books.
16. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is one of the free libraries offering free audio book services, with more than 60,000 zero-charge audio books. It provides human reads and computer-generated audio books on its website. You can stream the audio book you want without signing up or having an account with Project Gutenberg. They are rated best for public domain Titles and Multiple formats.
It is noted that Project Gutenberg audio books were invented under the intensive research of Michael Hart in the year 1971.
- Users don’t need an account or register on the website to be eligible to access the audio books available.
- Project Gutenberg has a wide range of titles in its collections of audio books, even though it is free to users.
- The site supports various languages to aid a better understanding of users.
- The app allows you to save chapters differently or even to download a whole book.
- Project Gutenberg lacks its audio book accessible application for iOS devices.
- It is not all the title that is recorded as an audio book.
- Most of the recordings are voiced by computers.
- The app doesn’t allow descriptive titles in most chapters.
17. Internet Archive
The internet archive is an audio book website containing lots of free audio books that users can access by subjects, keywords, or by the use of the search box. The website contains over 20,000 audio books and poetry. The best way of searching for the most popular books is by sorting by view count and can be done using the link. Some books can be downloaded in multiple formats, such as the MP3 or OGG format.
- It consists of thousands of audio books.
- Internet Archive allows users to filter the downloads of the audio book on a specific basis.
- The downloading of books can be done in bulk or in single chapters.
- On downloading books, multiple audio formats options are given.
- In finding the perfect audiobook, several finding options are given.
- The substandard naming of audio books brings about difficulties in finding books by users.
- Non-English audio books downloads are limited.
Presently, Scribl merged with Podiobooks.com merging all the audio books and making them available on iTunes and google play. The platform goes with an exceptional CrowdPricing system, which is set based on fans ratings. A title that stands to be weakly recognized gets a lower-Price; likewise, those with a strong rating come with a higher price. Scribl has created too many of finding the exact book you are looking for from their genre.
- Scribl structured its pricing system to show the most valued audio books through the rating of users. This can be regarded as a very fair judgment because no one gets to influence the rating of users.
- In comparison with other audio book service rendering websites, Scribl is relatively cheaper.
- For every purchased audiobook, there is an ebook edition.
- They have a very large collection of titles for users to choose from and listen to it.
- Scribl came to resolve the pricing problem of Podiobooks but ended up hanging a price that is almost the same as other websites that offer more with the same $9.99 per month.
Digitalbook.io is an online audio book service that ventures into the recording of audio books in the following genre categories; Young adult, Romance, Mystery, Children, History, Horror, Fantasy, Fiction, Classics, Sci-fi, Trending, Top-rated. The Audio books are translated into different languages, including; English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Latin. Digitalbook.io is the same as Librophile.
- Digitalbook.io offers more online or offline streaming or downloads, making it a convenient service to users.
- Users can use their mobile device or desktop to listen to the audio book.
- Digitalbook.io allows you to share the most preferred audio books.
- The audio book is very adaptable in the following ways, it gives room for playback, reducing and increasing the volume to get the most preferred narration.
- Digitalbook.io has a limited title in their archive for users in the public domain.
20. Loyal Books
Loyal books were formally known as “books should be free.” The website makes it easy to find a better book to listen to. In their public domain, no author holds the copyright on any audio book, thereby creating room for free audio books online in the public domain. Titles can be downloaded by Loyal books using the Apple podcast app, Mp3 file, or streamed on the RSS feed. Being a multi-lingual site, it provides audio in about 28 languages.
Gutenberg.org digitizes most of their public domain audio books, likewise, Librivox.org, to get quality audio book delivery. The website is subdivided into different categories; Paid books, Genre, and Language, which specializes more in classic literature. Books to listen to are easily found on Loyal books.
- Loyal Books has many audio books titles on their archived shelve.
- Most of the Loyal books go through so many steps to ensure high quality. For instance, Gutenberg.com runs the digitalizing while Librivox.com goes with the recording all to gain quality.
- The Loyal books can be downloaded in MP3 and streamed using iPhones or through an RSS feed reader.
- The audio is read out in different languages such as Italian, Mandarin, and Spanish.
- Audio books that are meant to be for adult consumption are also made accessible for children. Schools using the website for educational purposes should always monitor the way students use the website.
- Users will have to constantly jump through Ads traffic on the website.
Any of the aforementioned audio book service rendering websites is totally capable of satisfying the reading hunger of its users without engaging in the traditional reading style of written materials.