In this Audible review, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of Amazon’s audiobook service in order to find out whether it’s worth the $14.95 monthly fee. Read on for my FULL Audible review….
I signed up to Audible AGES ago and then forgot all about it. It was only after going through my bank statements that I realised I’d been paying $14.95 a month for it for about 18 months.
I was kind of shocked, to say the least; I didn’t realise it was like Spotify, whereby your account is debited each month for membership. I figured it was done on a purchase-by-purchase basis. But no… this is not how Audible works at all, as you’ll find out in this extended Audible review.
How Audible Works – It’s Simple Enough (If You Read The T&Cs)
- You sign-up for an account.
- It debits $14.95 a month from your bank account.
- And in return, you get one Audible credit a month (i.e. one free audiobook)
And that’s it. Pretty simple, right?
Is Audible Worth It?
I know what you’re thinking: $14.95 is a lot to pay for membership. And it would be, save for the fact that you get a new Audible credit every month, which means you can buy one, new audiobook a month. And audiobooks aren’t cheap; if you want to buy another audiobook, not using your credit, you’re looking at prices that range from anywhere between $10 to $30 for a title. Basically, it’s expensive.
And for this reason, I wanted to cancel, thinking it wasn’t for me. But here’s the rub: I had around 17 Audible credits on my account – and that meant I could download around 17 audiobooks.
I’d paid for these through my membership, but me being the numpty that I am, I had never used them, so I had a massive surplus to get through. And because it takes a while to listen to an audiobook (anywhere from 10-20 hours), you can easily spread one out over a month, ensuring you never have to fork out additional monies on top of your membership fee.
Or you can do what I did and just let the Audible Credits rack up for a few months before you start using the service, though I wouldn’t advise this, as it kind of defeats the purpose of downloading the app. Amazon is offering a free trial of Audible now, and this is basically the best way to try it out. A lot of my friends have done this and not one of them as decided not to continue with the service after the grace period.
Why I Like Audible (A Mini Audible Review)
For me, it’s a great way to get books into my head that I wouldn’t necessarily read. I do 80% of my non-fiction through Audible and save the fun stuff (fiction) for reading.
I use Audible when I’m walking the dog or doing cardio at the gym. This way, I can get through three or four non-fiction books a month. I was dubious at first, being an avid reader, but Audible is a great way of ramming lots of information into your brain with very little effort.
The Android application is great; you can buy new titles inside it and it updates across devices, so you never lose your spot. It’s simple enough to use and is easy to navigate around when you’re on the treadmill or walking a Jack Russel.
Beyond this, Amazon – the company that owns Audible – is constantly working to make the application more useful. For instance, Audible now fully works with Amazon Alexa products like the Echo.
And you can use Alexa to browse new titles, look for and download free audiobooks, read Audiobooks to you, and a whole load more besides. You can even change the speed at which Alexa reads to you by saying, “Alexa, Read Faster!”
Audible Review – Who Is It For?
Anyone, really. For me, I like it because I can get all my non-fiction books done with very little effort. I know this a point I’ve already made throughout this Audible review – but it is true; for getting non-fiction in, Audible is brilliant.
I can learn while I’m walking the dog or hitting the treadmill, or even while I’m driving or travelling. If you want to start consuming more books but aren’t time-rich, Audible is a great option for helping you form a new habit and consume more literature and information.
Of course, you can get similar results from podcasts, but I’m kind of old school in my view of the power of books. The only potential off-putting element of Audible is the price – it’s $14.95 a month.
This aspect doesn’t really bother me, however, as I can spend that in less than 10 seconds on a round of drinks (which I do most Fridays, multiple times), so for me, it’s a cost I am willing to take.
Plus, audiobooks are REALLY expensive. Like, really expensive. However, with an Audible membership, you’re getting an audiobook for free (or the price of your membership) every month – and it applies to ALL content inside Audible.
I love Audible and use it every day. In the past year, thanks to Audible, I’ve probably consumed around 25-30 more books than I normally would. If you’re in the business of constantly expanding your knowledge base, Audible is a great tool for doing so – even more so if you’re still reading books as well!
If you’re interested in checking it out, you can sign up for a free 30-day trail right now (just remember to cancel it before the 30 days is up!) if you don’t want to continue paying $14.95 a month. For me, though, Audible is 100% worth the asking price; an AudioBook by itself usually retails for $20-$30, so you’re effectively getting one a month for next to nothing.
8 Things I Love Audible… (Or, Why I Didn’t Cancel After 30 Days)
#1) I Can Get ALL My Non-Fiction Done On The Go…
I read a lot, a good 2-3 books every other week. But even at that rate, I’m always behind on thing I want to check out. Mostly, it’s non-fiction stuff; things related to work and finances and healthy living. And for these, I use Audible.
The main reason for this is that A) it’s more fun listening to non-fiction books, B) you can listen at 1.5X normal speed and get through them quickly, and, finally, C) because it leaves me plenty of time to read fiction.
#2) I’m Constantly Learning. Even When Walking The Dog…
As I said: I listen to A LOT of non-fiction stuff; everything from fitness and nutritional stuff, down to finances and stock speculation. And I do most of it when I’m either running or walking my dog. At first, I didn’t think it’d all go in, especially when running, but it does, surprisingly.
Audible also helps me to “zone-out” when I’m running too; it helps me relax into a running pace and stay there for extended periods of time, whereas with music, I find myself relying too much on the beat for motivation. With an audiobook, this isn’t a problem.
#3) Audible Originals Have Replaced Pointless Netflix Bingeing
Audible produces a TON of original programming. These are audiobooks, just done in the style of an actual show with real voice actors and sound effects.
I recently finished the “other” version of Alien 3, which takes place immediately after Aliens and features both Ripley, Hicks, and Newt. It was an awesome listen, and it’s actually nice to relax on the sofa with one of these instead of watching TV.
#4) Listen To Books That I Read And Loved
I don’t do this very often, but there a couple of books I truly adore, so I really wanted to check them out on Audible. What were they? The Terror by Dan Simmons and The Stand by Stephen King. Both were brilliant, though The Stand took an eternity to finish, as you’d expect.
#5) Amazon’s Whispersync is Scarily Amazing
If you own both the Audible and Kindle version of a book (you can get discounts on Audible titles you own the Kindle version of), you can listen to the book on Audible and then, when you want to read from your Kindle later, it’ll pick up exactly where Audible left off.
How it works? I have no idea. But it is a really cool feature. The only caveat is that you need to own the title on both Audible and Kindle. If you do, Whispersync works brilliantly.
#6) Easy To Get Refunds on Audible Titles
This is perhaps one of the coolest things about Audible. If you purchase an Audible title, but end up not liking it, Audible will give you a full refund – either credit or money back. The fact that this actually exists and isn’t abused royally shows just how good Audible actually is!
#7) You Get To Actually Listen To Top Authors Read Their Actual Work…
Every now and then you’ll come across an audiobook that is actually narrated by the author themselves. I recently experienced this when I read Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life, and it added a whole other dimension to the experience of listening to the book.
Peterson is an excellent speaker, but it was his genuine emotion – which borders on tearful in some sections – that really elevates the title to a higher level. Another good example of this? Stephen King narrates his non-fiction kinda-biography/writing help guide, On Writing.
Both are brilliant.
#8) Audible Does Sales ALL THE TIME
Audible titles, without credits, are pricey – they can range from $15 to $30 depending on the title. However, once you’re an Audible member, you get access to a never-ending stream of sales and discounts. In the last week alone, I’ve had several emails from Audible about discounts and special offers.
In fact, during my many years using Audible, I don’t think I have ever paid full whack for a title. I either use my credits or a get them when they’re on sale. In this context, you can use Audible without bankrupting yourself.
Wrapping Up – Is Audible Worth It Then?
I think Audible is well worth the asking price. For a small outlay every month, you can download and listen to one audiobook which, if you bought outright, would have cost you anywhere from $25 to $40.
Of course, you do have free alternatives to Audible in the form of the Libby app which is powered by America’s public libraries but even with apps like this around Audible still have the most choice, the newest titles, and, of course, plenty of exclusives.
I get it, Audible is kind of expensive. But if you’re serious about getting more information and books in your head, Audible is one of the best ways to do it. Audible is also cross-platform too, so you can listen on your phone, PC, laptop, tablet, and even things like SONOS and Google Home.
My only regret is that Audible wasn’t around when I was student. Back then, something like Audible would have been a true game-changer for me! So, now that we’re at the end of this Audible review, do I recommend the service?
Yes, 100%! I love Audible, I use it every day, and I couldn’t really imagine live without it, so if you take anything away from this rather long Audible review, I hope it is that you’ll give the service a trial for 30 days – what have you got to lose? It’s completely free to preview for 30 days!
If you’re interested in checking it out, you can sign up for a free 30-day trail right now (just remember to cancel it before the 30 days is up!) if you don’t want to continue paying $14.95 a month.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.