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Amazon Audible review: Is it really worth your time and money? An honest review

Amazon Audible review, is it worth it?

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Summary:

  • Audible is an audiobook and podcast platform owned by Amazon with tons of titles available to buy.
  • An Audible Plus subscription adds thousands of audiobooks and original series for $8 a month.

If you don’t have time to read your favorite books, then you are not alone.

No one would disagree with the fact that in modern life, free time has literally disappeared. Eventually, all those to-be-read piles one used to devour on the regular have got bigger and bigger, with no end in sight.

Between work, relationships, and the smartphone, finding time to sit down and unplug with a good book is like a chore in itself. You are seriously lukcy If you could make it through one book in a single month. This is where the Audio service like Audible comes to the rescue.

Audible – Amazon’s audiobook subscription service and marketplace that allows subscribers to listen to books anywhere they go, anytime. For a little under $15 a month, you could gain access to the world’s largest collection of audiobook content, plus get some other nifty extras that, at the time, seemed tempting too.

But that’s all is okay, is Amazon Audible actually worth your time and money or just another subscription service that you’d eventually forget to use and cancel? Here’s an honest review of it.

What is Audible and how does it work?

What is Audible and how it works?

Audible is an app and storefront that’s strictly dedicated to audiobooks and podcasts. Purchased titles are immediately available for streaming or download. Audible offers a selection of free books and podcasts too and allows for returns and exchanges on purchases. 

In addition to the free app, Audible also has subscription plans. Audible Plus subscribers get access to thousands of audiobooks and podcasts for a monthly or annual fee, while Audible Premium Plus adds store credits and discounts. Users with shared Amazon accounts will automatically share their Audible purchases, but remember that books featured in the Plus catalog are not included.

While listening, you can skip between chapters, change the playback speed, or bookmark and clip important moments from the book at your will. Progress and bookmarks are stored in your Audible account and will transfer between devices of your choice. Kindle readers can also use Amazon’s Whispersync feature to swap between the written and audio versions of more than 100,000 books.

Audible audiobook and podcast downloads are stored in a proprietary format, meaning you can’t add them to your personal MP3 collection; you’ll need to use the Audible app or a third-party converter to access the files.

How does Audible work – Membership and subsricptions

Audible gives you access to over 470,000 audiobook titles (and counting!). Although Audible is an Amazon company, it’s not included in a Prime membership and you have to pay separately for it. You also don’t get a discount for having both services and you have to pay full price for each of them. It’s a drag for sure, but considering all the stuff you get in an Audible membership, it just makes sense.

Amazon Audible Trial:

audible free trial

It’s all starts with a free trial.

When you start a free Audible 30-day trial, you get a credit, which is good for any title, regardless of price. After your trial ends, you’ll receive one credit per month, plus membership benefits including:

  • Access to exclusive sales and daily deals;
  • Up to 80% off selected audiobooks; and
  • Unlimited listening to documentaries, comedies, and more. (Also known as Audible Originals.)

Depending on your budget and personal listening preferences, there are four membership plans to choose from:

  1. Gold Monthly;
  2. Platinum Monthly;
  3. Gold Annual; and
  4. Platinum Annual

Note: If, after 30-days, you decided Audible is not for you, you need to cancel your membership asap; otherwise, Amazon will continue charging you from your wallet.   

If you run out of credits before your renewal, you can change your membership plan to one that includes more credits. Or, better yet, buy additional credits to save on expensive books like bestsellers and new releases. 

Let’s say, for example, you want to buy the following:

  • The Infinite Game: How Great Businesses Achieve Long-lasting Success by Simon Sinek
  • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday

All are currently on Amazon’s bestsellers list and have been for some time. If you were to buy all three, you would pay $80.11, based on the time of writing. 

If you were on the Gold Monthly membership, however, and bought three additional credits at $14.95 per credit, you would pay $44.95, saving you $35.16.

To paraphrase Amazon, saving money doesn’t mean you need to cut out the things you love. 

Bonus:

You can also get subscriptions to three leading national U.S. newspapers: The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. It’s one of the lesser-known benefits and it’s huge, especially since you can get access to all three papers through Audible’s app and there’s no additional charge for it.

How to use an Audible subscription?

Each Audible credit is like an audiobook in your pocket which is redeemable toward one title—it doesn’t matter the retail price or how long it is or whatever the length of books is—and you can carry that credit over for months and use it whenever you like it but remember that credits do expire after a year.

As soon as you redeem an Audible credit, that audiobook is immediately added to your account’s personal library with details like the name of author; audio length; date added to your account; and a rate-and-review section, where you can grade the overall audio recording, performance, and story using an in-built five-star system.

  • How to search for new audiobooks in Audible? Just start by either typing the title you want into the search bar or you can navigate to the “Browse” section and segment your search via category. If you’re on Amazon, you can also search audiobook titles and still pay via credit, since Audible links up to your existing Amazon account automatically. Once you complete the purchase on Amazon, it automatically gets added to your existing Audible account library.
  • How to add to your cart or wish list in Amazon Audible? When you find a title on Audible that you’re interested about, but don’t want to buy yet or don’t have the credits for it, you can simply add it to your cart or wish list—both of which do not expire—just by hitting the “Add to Cart” or “Add to Wish List” buttons.
  • How to give audiobooks as gifts in Amazon Audible? You can gift Audible at any time and purchase monthly memberships for other people up to 12 months. Another great feature is that you can actually gift book titles, either directly from your own audible library or by buying new ones, and send them to your friends and family non-Audible members via email or print.
  • How to exchange audiobooks in Amazon Audible? This is one of the coolest feauture of Amazon Audible is – Yes, you can exchange books at any time. I mean any time. It’s like L.L.Bean’s old return policy for audiobooks. I’ve listened to multiple titles all the way through and then exchanged them after I was finished listening for a brand new credit. You can do this if you’re unhappy with the recording, with the production, with the story itself—you name it, the “reasons” are pretty endless.

How to listen to Amazon Audible?

One of the single biggest feature of Audible is its sheer convenience. I mean, the ability to listen along anywhere is a major benefit and especially good for folks, who always feel perpetually short on free time to read.

To be honest, a 50-hour audiobook—which translates to roughly 1,000 pages—in a couple weeks is very much doable during time and space of commuting and slow periods at the office, and other Audible users I know who spend a lot of time in their cars have managed to get through multiple bestsellers in a month at ease at their own place and time of choosing.

  • Where to listen Amazon Audible? You can listen to Audible anywhere on iOS, Android, Sonos, Kindle, and any Alexa-enabled devices. To do that, you just have to download the app directly to your phone. If you’re working on something and glued to a laptop, you can even pull up Audible on your desktop screen via the Audible Cloud Player, which allows you to stream audio through a little pop-up on Chrome and Safari. It really is that easy to use it everywhere, anytime!
  • How to use the Amazon Audible app? You can access the Audible app directly on your phone, and once you link it to your amazon audible account, you can do everything you would normally do via desktop, including browsing new titles, accessing news, reviewing account details and billing information, and more. Furthermore, you can also pause, play, fast forward, or rewind audio on a book, and change narration speeds based on your asthetics.

Bonus function:

If a certain line really resonates with you, you can also use the “Clip” functionality on the app to save it, and you have the option to listen to titles offline, anytime, anywhere.

  • Amazon Audible saves your places: It doesn’t matter what you’re listening to Audible on, whenever you switch a device, you can pick up right where you left off the last time. Why? Because audible will automatically save your last place, so you never lose it. The best yet: you also have the option of setting a sleep timer—in increments up to 60 minutes or until the end of a chapter—in case you’re listening in bed. Cheers!
  • Sharing with your friends & family: You might wonder when you can share Netflix, Hulu, and Prime accounts with other friends and family so they can stream shows, so why not Audible too? Turns out, you can share your Audible account across multiple devices, so they can listen along with the books in your personal library. So long as they’re not listening to the same book as you are. It’s as easy as sharing passwords for streaming services.

Audible Plus catalog and Audible exclusives

Audible bookwall graphic

Audible is simply the largest available collections of audiobooks, and subscribing to Audible Plus will give you thousands of audiobooks and Audible originals to choose from as per your taste. Audible hosts original podcasts and audiobooks that are only available to Audible Plus subscribers (nowhere else) ranging from kids content like “The Sesame Street Podcast” to series with full casts like “Hit Job” starring KeKe Palmer and Pete Davidson.

However, keep in mind that many of the most popular Audible exclusives, like “The Four Agreements” and “Shadow and Bone,” aren’t featured in the Audible Plus collection you have to purchase them directly. Therefore, It makes sens to browse the store first to see how many books you want are actually included in the Plus catalog before subscribing with the money in your wallet.

Now something about the quality of audio services: The overall quality of the Audible Plus library will ultimately depend on the listener, but there’s certainly no shortage of new content to enjoy for the monthly fee. If you’re curious, We recommend using the 30-day trial of Audible Premium Plus, since you’ll get at least one free store credit to use on a specific favorite audiobook you want and you can keep it forever to listen to it again and again.

What happens if you cancel Audible?

In the roughly four years or so since I started using Audible, I’ve actually canceled this audible services and placed my account on hold a number of times. While some other services make it feel like pulling teeth to end or pause a service, Audible’s whole process is intuitive and easy to handle.

  • How to put your Audible account on hold? Like Audible but don’t necessarily feel like your money is worth spending right now? Not a big deal, because you can put your account on hold. A number of subscribers can do it once every 12 months, and can place a hold for anywhere from one to three months. You do that by contacting their customer service but, in the meantime, you can still access your library and use your available credits.
  • What is the Cancellation process of Amazon Audible? If you decide to cancel Audible, you just have to navigate to the site on desktop, head to the Account Details page, and click Cancel membership at the bottom of the View Membership details section which will be followed by an email confirmation.
  • What happens to your Audible library when you cancel? The good thing about Audible is that when you cancel your Audible account, you don’t lose access to your library. You are just free to listen to titles you have saved, and you’ll still get to enjoy the same membership-level listening experience before the cancellation.
  • What about your unused credits in Audible? With unused credits, it’s not simple and straightforward with audible. The actual rules around unused credits are a little more involved, but the short of it is, you’re probably are better off just saving yourself the hassle and redeeming them toward new audiobooks before you end your membership.
  • How to Restart you membership in Audible? Cancelled the membership or put the account on hold. No worries! All you have to do is simply log back into Audible and go to your Account Details page where you have to confirm and verify your billing informationand Audible will start charging you monthly from that renewal date. The super cool thing about Audible is that guys at audible will never judge you for canceling or putting your account on hold several times, you can just breeze right in like the whole thing never happened. Cheers!

How is Audible Customer Service (Reviews)?

Audible’s customer service page is though user-friendly with buttons to compare plans, switch or pause your subscription, and cancel memberships. Moreover, there is a detailed FAQ page or fill out a form if you have specific questions or problems with your account. To contact customer service, either use the above-mentioned form or call 1-888-283-5051. A number of users have termed their service team as “exemplary” and great for helping with refunds, billing, and cancellations, and other related services. 

When talking about Audible as a whole, one reviewer said,

“I initially signed up for Audible because of a one-month-free promotion, and I thought I would cancel after the month was over just for tasting it. But it’s four months and counting later and loving it. Whenever I’m waiting in line somewhere, going to a destination, or have time to kill, I just take out my phone and earbuds and start listening, which makes the time pass by more quickly and useful.”

Another satisfied user said,

“I thought the app was overall well done; the selection is fantastic… All in all, I would recommend this service to anyone who enjoys books on any device. They have lots of ‘read by the author or famous people’ type books.”

Similarly, A few customers also cited problems with canceling their membership, as he wrote,

“The service itself is fine. We didn’t really use it very much as we use the local library more. We had difficulty canceling on our own—however, every time we called, every representative was courteous and professional. They all did their best to assist us with canceling.”

Also, Price was also an issue for some gentlemen too:

“I would be an enthusiastic supporter for Audible if it looked like the newer model of Netflix or Spotify, and allowed users access to ALL of its content for a subscription fee rather than a monumentally high subscription fee for access to a single audio book,” one critic opined. 

As for its accessibility, a visually impaired reviewer wrote, “I and in love with Audible because I have glaucoma and I’m half blind, and I can basically hear the stories I’ve always wanted to hear. It’s like being read a bedtime story… my anxiety has calmed [ed] down considerably.”

Sign up now for a free trial of Audible Premium Plus at amazon.com.

Is Audible worth it?

The worth of Audible Plus lies in the fact that how much time you spend listening to audiobooks or podcasts. Audible will let you know the expected playtime for your books, which can help you get an idea of how much time you spend listening in a week or month. 

For instance, If you’re spending less than four hours a week listening to podcasts and audiobooks, your subscription money might be better spent on a single book that you’ll enjoy.

If you want a large array of audiobooks but don’t have a particular preference for which books you want to check out, Audible Plus has plenty of options to choose from. However, if you can multiple books a month, investing in Premium Plus is probably a better choice so you can pick up the specific books you’re interested in, as well as popular bestsellers.

Again, both Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus offer a 30-day trial, but the Premium Plus trial will let you keep at least one book of your choosing.

In short, If you’re on the fence about trying Audible, my advice is straightforward: get Audible free for 30-days, choose a book you wouldn’t usually listen to, and then decide if it’s for you later.

The best part is once you buy a book, it remains in your personal library forever and can be downloaded at any time, even if you cancel your membership. You have nothing to lose and a free book to gain.

My Rating of Audible

I gave Audible on Amazon an overall rating of 9.2 out of 10 after evaluating factors like accessibility, user experience, price, and size of inventory.

FactorsWhat it meansNumerical ranking (1-10)
User ExperienceThis service is user-friendly.9
Quality of AppThe app is functional and easy to navigate.10
CustomizationCustomers can customize the service or experience through various options within the membership.9
AccessibilityThis service provides an accessible experience for those with an impairment or disability.10
InventoryThe service has a large inventory of products available.10
PriceThe price is reasonable for the quality of service you receive.8
SubscriptionThe subscription/plan offers reasonable customization. You’re able to adjust or cancel your membership with ease.8
Customer ServiceHow quickly customer service responds to queries, the level of detail they provide, and how helpful the team is overall.9
SustainabilityThis service is good for the environment and has a low global impact.10

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