How to Listen to Audiobooks on Android

Have books read to you from your Android while you commute or relax

What to Know

  • For a large selection of audiobooks, download the Audible app and listen to audiobooks on your device.
  • If you like the option of audiobooks and ebooks, Amazon Whispersync provides access to both.
  • Download the Libby app to borrow audiobooks from your local library and listen to them on your device.

This article explains several ways to listen to audiobooks on your Android device.

Audible and Other Audio Book Clubs

Amazon-owned Audible is a popular commercial option that lists an innumerable amount of professionally voiced audiobooks. You can transfer your books from device to device, including non-Android devices. The books are protected by DRM, and you're restricted from using non-Audible apps or downloading the file to too many devices at once.

Audible app on Android

If you're an audiobook buff, the quality is good, and the selection is fantastic. To find out if you like the service, sign up for the 30-day trial (your first book is free) and then pay after that. The pricing is similar for other audiobook clubs, but Audible has the largest selection.

Amazon Whispersync

If you like to read e-books and listen to audiobooks, check out the Amazon Whispersync program. When you buy the audiobook version of an e-book for a discount, Whispersync syncs your bookmark between the two formats. For example, if you're in chapter 2 of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" e-book, you're in chapter 2 in the audiobook. This is fantastic if you like to listen to books in the car and then read them over lunch.

Whispersync books in Kindle app for Android

Audiobooks purchased through Whispersync and Audible play in the Audible app. 

Buy Individually

Other bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble, offer direct sales of audiobooks. If you want to read popular titles, you're probably better off going with the book club pricing. However, you can shop around and find books cheaper than the monthly fee you'd pay at Audible.

Most of these audiobooks are sold as MP3 files. MP3 is a standard audio file format that plays in any MP3-playing app. Other independent book publishers and stores have started selling audiobooks in MP3 format.

Use the Library

Many libraries around the country use a system such as Overdrive or Hoopla to loan books to cardholders (for free!). There's an easy-to-use companion app called Libby that searches for audiobooks (and e-books, too) at your local library.

Libby by Overdrive app on Android

While your local library may not have this service, many do, so it's worth looking at. Limited numbers of audiobooks are available to check out through this fantastic app.

Get Them for Free

Legitimate and free audiobooks are available for public domain works. These books are old, but it's a great chance to review the classics. There are many legitimate sources for free audiobooks. Volunteers read these books to make the books accessible to everyone, including those with visual impairments.

LibriVox website

There are many players for audiobooks, and a favorite is the LibriVox Audio Book Player. The ability to browse for and download titles is integrated into the app. You don't have to download MP3 files from another source and then sideload them to your device.

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