Reading books improve one’s cognitive and imaginative abilities. But despite this fact, many people still have a hard time reading books cover to cover. Some people would love to read but they just don’t have the time. On the flip side, others are just lazy. But, whichever category you fall in, audiobooks are here to the rescue.
Listening to an audiobook is convenient as it allows you to multitask. I mean, you can listen to an audiobook while you fly, drive or relax at home. And here is the most interesting bit: neuroscientists maintain that listening to an audiobook has the same effects on your brain as reading a book.
Given the convenience and accessibility of audiobooks, they have experienced a rise in popularity over the past few years. This spike in demand has led to the creation of numerous audiobook services. And while it’s great to have choices, deciding the best platform to use can be frustrating especially since the services are so similar. To help you out, I’ve taken the liberty of piecing together a detailed comparison of Audiobooks.com vs Audible.
Audiobooks.com vs. Audible
Basically, the concept of listening to audiobooks resembles Netflix streaming in the sense that users download audiobooks to supported devices and listen to them when it’s convenient. All audiobook services use this concept. However, they have different features which set them apart from each other.
Audible and Audiobooks.com are the most popular audiobook companies. New entrants inevitably have to measure up to the standards these two have set over the years. But how do the two measure-up to each other? And which company is better? Well, honestly, they each have their fair share of pros and cons.
Audible is owned by Amazon. The company was started more than two decades ago. When it first opened shop, it presented the world with a portable audio player (the first of its kind) which was designed specifically for audiobooks. The device cost $200 and could only hold 2 hours of audio. Today, this capacity fades in comparison to the hundreds of audiobooks and cumulative hours Audible has in its library. The number of devices compatible with the audible app has also increased exponentially over the years.
- Audiobooks purchased are for keeps
- It has a large library
- Has WhisperSync for Kindle users
- Great refund policy
- Credits are lost once membership is canceled
- Credits can expire if left in the account for too long
- With the basic plan, you get only 1 audiobook a month
Audiobook.com was started by a team of tech and book nerds in 2012 as a subsidiary of ‘Simply audiobooks’. In 2017, it was bought by RB Media. When it first started, it offered its monthly users unlimited access to their audiobooks. However, in 2012, Audiobooks.com canceled the unlimited access plan and reduced it to one audiobook a month. Over the years, the company has attracted a strong following and the app has had more than 1 million downloads.
- Has a user-friendly app
- Mobile device compatibility
- Large audiobook selection
- Limited subscription options
- Slightly expensive
Audiobooks.com vs Audible – Price
Audible offers new members a free 30-day trial. During this trial, you have one free credit to spend on any book you like. In case you end up disliking the service, you can cancel the subscription at any time. And even after cancelling your subscription, you get to keep your audiobook. After the 30-day period elapses, Audible automatically enrolls you into its Gold plan. For $14.95 a month, you get one credit redeemable for one audiobook monthly. But for avid ‘readers’ 1 audiobook a month is not enough.
Think of it this way: an average audiobook is only 10 hours long. Most listeners go through these hours in about 5 days. So in addition to 1 credit, the Gold plan comes with a standard 30% discount on additional audiobook buys. If you decide to pay upfront and get the Gold Annual Membership, you pay $149.50. Essentially, you earn yourself 2 free months.
Other membership plans include Platinum and Silver. With the Platinum Membership, you get 2 credits every month for $22.95. This translates to 2 audiobooks of your choice every month. And if you ever need extra audiobooks, you can purchase audiobooks at a 30% discount. Like the Gold Plan, you can pay for Platinum Membership in advance for $229.50 and get two free months.
Audible keeps the Silver Plan ‘hidden’. They don’t advertise it. The Silver Plan costs $14.95 for two months. Users get one credit during the two months. To enroll in this plan, you have to request Audible for a downgrade.
Like Audible, Audiobooks.com uses a subscription business model. However, instead of 3 membership plans, audiobooks.com has one. With its membership plans, you get 1 credit for $14.95 every month. The price is similar to Audible's Gold Plan. If you wish to read more, you'll have to purchase extra credit. But here’s the thing: with Audiobooks.com, you already know how much it will cost - $14.95. This means that for expensive audiobooks, you save more with Audiobooks.com than with Audible. Lastly, for users who've enabled Instacredit on their audiobook.com app, you don't have to buy credits. Your purchase will be directly charged to the registered card.
As a new member, you get a 30-day free trial membership. The membership comes with a free credit to use on any audiobook you fancy. And while we are on it, I should mention that audiobook.com has a gift center which features 4 present packages ranging from 1-12 months.
Note: The person you wish to surprise has to be in the same country as you.
The gift plans are as follows:
- 1 month subscription - $14.95
- 3 months subscription - $44.85
- 6 month subscription - $79.70
- 12 month subscription - $149.40
Audiobooks.com vs Audible – Compatibility
You can listen to Audible audiobooks on lots of devices including smartphones, PCs MP3 players, tablets, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Alexa enabled devices, and Amazon Fire TV. And with the Car Mode feature, you can listen to your audiobooks in your car as you drive around.
Audiobooks.com has a desktop and a mobile app version. With these apps, you can listen to audiobooks on virtually any device that supports the app including PCs, Smart TVs, and Smartphones.
When listening to your audiobooks, you can switch from your PC to your smartphone without losing your place. Your progress is always synced across all devices.
Audiobooks.com vs Audible – Library
Audible.com is more like an 800 lbs gorilla in this area. It features more than 180,000 audiobooks categorized into different genres. The genres include:
- Health and Fitness
- Thrillers and Mysteries
- Drama and Poetry
- Arts and Entertainment
- Sci-Fi and Fantasy
And many more. Basically, if you cannot find an audiobook on audible, chances are it doesn’t exist.
Though Audiobooks.com doesn’t have a library as big as Audible, it’s still pretty impressive. It features over 100,000 audiobook titles organized into genre categories similar to Audible. However, Audiobooks.com goes an extra mile and compiles book lists for its listeners. The book lists include:
- Perfect First Listens
- Essential Summer Listens
- Great British Reads
- Top New Releases
- Sunday Times Non-Fiction
- The Art of Adulting
And many more.
Audiobooks vs Audible – Refund Policy
If you happen to purchase an audiobook and realize it’s faulty, or for some reason you don’t like it, you return the book. Here’s how the refund policy works:
First, Audible calls it a 'Great Listen Guarantee'. This guarantee affords users the luxury of returning audiobooks they purchased in the last 12 months and did not like. If you purchased the book with credits, you’ll get a credit refund and if you used cash, your cash will be refunded. But don’t get excited yet. To keep people from taking advantage of this guarantee, the refunds are limited to 1 audiobook a month. Additionally, instead of a refund, you could get an audiobook exchange.
Well, Audiobooks.com does not have such an elaborate refund policy. For the most part, purchases are final. However, if your case is genuine, you can always get in touch with the customer service via Live Chat or Email.
Note that Audiobooks.com grants refunds at their discretion. But if the audiobook is faulty, you'll get a replacement.
Audible vs Audiobook– Conclusion
So which of these two industry giants should you subscribe to? I recommend Audiobooks.com. Sure, Audible tramps Audiobooks.com with regards to library size. But then there is the cost of purchasing extra credits. Audiobook.com offers a fixed price for additional credit. This simplifies shopping as you can anticipate the costs. So if you to listen to more than 3 audiobooks a month, then Audiobooks.com is the best choice.
Also, I found the Audiobook.com app better compared to Audible. This is mainly because Audiobook.com has Instacredit, a feature that allows direct audiobook purchases. Audible is yet to include this feature.
Sign-up for a free account with Audiobooks.com today and give it a try - you will be mind-blown.