According to Stephen King, books are uniquely portable magic. Everyone is encouraged to read a book every day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.
Thanks to technology, we have audiobooks that you don’t have to read, you simply need to listen. With this, you can read a book while carrying out any other task.
Most ebooks written today include audio files that you can listen to. More preferably, you can make use of audiobook apps. These apps can read out books with or without audio files.
Listed below are the best free audiobook apps.
Audible is the most used audiobook app available. The app is owned by Amazon, so it has all compatible books available in the Amazon Kindle store.
This app features books of different categories including business, thriller, horror, romance, religion, fantasy, and science fiction amongst others. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for and notably, it features all Amazon best sellers.
With Audible, you can play and listen to books anywhere you are and from any device. It doesn’t matter if you download a book from your mobile phone or PC, your library is automatically synced on all your devices.
The audio being read on this app is professionally performed. It makes a story come alive like you’re watching it on TV. The app has speed up and slow down features and either can be adjusted to 3x the normal speed.
There’s the skip or back by 30 seconds feature which makes navigation a lot easier. Furthermore, the app has a sleep timer.
Audible has premium plans, but there’s a collection of free audiobooks that you can download and listen to. These free books include new releases, classics, and bestsellers.
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Hoopla is another free audiobook app on our list. Not only can you stream audiobooks with the app, but you can also stream music and videos. The app is completely free to use and signing up is hassle-free too.
This app features a public library with hundreds of thousands of audiobooks and other content. New content is added daily so there’s always more to stream. Plus, you can download audiobooks to play them later.
The Hoopla library works in the form of a lending platform. You’re borrowing the audiobooks you download or stream and once you’re done listening, the content will be automatically removed.
Nevertheless, with Hoopla, you’re not limited to just audiobooks on the app. You can also load your own content from your mobile phone, PC, or smart TV to play as well.
You can download the Hoopla app on your smartphones. It’s available on their respective app stores. It’s also available on Amazon and Chromecast.
A con of this free audiobook app is that most of the content in the library is licensed to Canada and the United States only.
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3. Loyal Books
Owned by Twist Idea LLC, this is a free audiobook app with a very simple user interface. It was developed to make reading fun for users and the developers believe books should be free.
The app allows you to create a local reading library on your device from thousands of free audiobooks. Loyal Books features fiction, mysteries, and kids books, amongst others.
Notably, there are over 7,000 free audiobooks available in this app. You have the option of streaming the audiobooks directly or downloading them to play offline.
Each book features reviews and ratings so you’ll know the quality ones. Featured books are displayed on your dashboard to show you the ideal content you should read. Similarly, the app features a top charts section where you can view the trending books globally or in individual categories.
For convenience, the Loyal Books app has an adjustable playback speed. Also, the book featured in the library can be translated into 25 different languages.
This app can be downloaded on iPhones, Android, iPads, and Tablets. The only con is that the app features ads, but you can pay to remove them.
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LibriVox is described as a platform with free domain audiobooks. These books were written by authors from different parts of the world and they are free for anyone, anywhere to listen to.
The app is a very interesting one. Authors can publish books for readers to help proofread/listen. Also, anyone can design the book covers or create audio m4b files for ebooks.
Generally, anyone can contribute which makes the app one of the best for engagement. There’s an online forum where readers and authors can communicate via posts and comments.
This free audiobook app has more than 15,000 audiobooks. Out of the lot, about 8,000 are novels, non-fiction stories, and poetry. Furthermore, the app has recorded over 11,000 readers since it was first launched.
LibriVox features close to 2,000 non-English content. Likewise, the majority of audiobooks in the library can be converted to 45 different languages.
As a reader, you can sort the audiobooks library by author, genre, language, or title. Also, you can simply search for any audiobook by entering a keyword. LibriVox is free but there’s also a pro version of the app.
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This app lets you read, listen, and enjoy audiobooks all for free. Apart from audiobooks, the app also features movies and TV shows.
OverDrive features best-selling books, classics, new releases, and more. The audio player has easy navigation features for easy use. This includes fast forward or rewind by 15 seconds, previous, next, etc.
Also, you can adjust the speed settings of the audiobooks. It can be adjusted to 2x or 5x of the normal playback speed. There’s a quick menu from which you can easily access all the app features like the bookshelf and bookmarks.
You can customize the app’s appearance including the font, contrast, and margins. Also, you can switch the app display between light and dark modes from the playing screen.
The mobile app can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices and all audiobooks you download sync across all your devices.
Also, OverDrive features a desktop app that you can use for free as well. Notably, you can use the desktop app to burn audiobooks to CDs or any other device.
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Sora is an audiobook app developed by the same developers as OverDrive. The app was mainly developed for students and it has some very interesting features.
With Sora, you can read audiobooks with just a tap. The app keeps track of your reading statistics. You can easily check how many books you’ve read and your reading time amongst others.
The app enables you to borrow books from different public libraries. You earn achievement badges the more you read audiobooks with the app and use its other features.
The audiobook player featured in this app is a very intuitive one. It features adjustable playback speeds and a timer. You can easily move forward or backward by swiping on the book covers.
As you read, you can add books you find interesting to your bookmarks and make notes and highlights from the texts/words. The app has professional narrations for novels and other select titles.
Sora can be used by schools to assign class books and other texts to readers. The app is not just available for mobile devices but also available for laptops, desktops, tablets, and chrome books.
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Here’s another free audiobook app from the OverDrive developers. Libby is a relatively renowned audiobook app. It’s used by top platforms including BuzzFeed, Lifehacker, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, and Popular Science amongst others. It was named the best free app of 2019 by PC Magazine.
This app is very easy to use and suitable for any reader. It supports offline reading/listening as you can download audiobooks. Also, you can read across different devices as your content is synced in a cloud platform.
Libby has a library with thousands of audiobooks ready to be played. You can browse the library to find an ideal book or use the featured and curated content lists. There’s also a catalog guide to assist you.
The audiobook player has intuitive features including the 3x adjustable playback speed and swipes to skip forward/backward. Additionally, you can set a sleep timer.
To use Libby, you just need a library card from your library. The app is one of the simplest ways of listening to audiobooks.
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8. Google Play
Apps, games, music, and movies are not the only things you can access on Google Play. You can also access audiobooks and you don’t pay to use the platform. However, Google Play can only be used by Android users.
Unfortunately, Google Play also features premium audiobooks. However, there are lots of free audiobooks on fiction and nonfiction and notably, Google Play features free audiobooks from Nightfire. Both online and offline playing modes are supported.
You can easily locate free audiobooks on the Google Play app as they are grouped exclusively. All you need to do is to navigate to the Audiobooks category. Furthermore, you can easily add an audiobook to your library and share it with others.
Google Play is a widely used platform so one advantage you get from using this app is the reviews. Hundreds of users drop reviews after listening and you can use these as insights to know if an audiobook is worth listening to or not.
Additionally, Google Play syncs content across all devices. That way, you can play audiobooks from any device; you can even listen via a web browser without installing the app.
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Apple Books is the default book and audiobook app on iOS devices. If you own an iPhone or iPad, this app comes along with your device for free and with it, you can play and listen to free audiobooks. Android users cannot install this app.
You can access audiobooks on the iBooks app by simply selecting the audiobooks section within the app. The books are grouped according to genre, you can explore or search to find a specific audiobook.
Notably, the Apple Books app has a Great Narrator feature that lets you sort audiobooks according to the voice-over artists. Hence, you can listen to audiobooks from your favorite celebrity narrators.
On iBooks, you’ll find both paid and free audiobooks. Also, some of the audiobooks feature digital booklets. You can stream the free audiobooks with your data/WiFi or simply download it and play offline.
The app lets you control the playback speed. You can rewind or fast forward the audio by 15 seconds with just one tap. Also, you can adjust the playback speed by 1x and set a sleep timer.
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Audiobooks.com is an app developed by RB Audiobooks USA LLC. It’s a fast and easy app to use, making reading more enjoyable. The app has been featured on top sites like Forbes and The New York Times.
There are over 250,000 ebooks on Audiobooks.com and the majority of them are premium. However, about 10,000 out of the lot are available for free. There are books on fiction, history, politics, health & wellness, and mystery, amongst others.
You can find an ideal book by sorting the library according to the genre. Also, the app lists out the trending audiobooks so you know what others are listening to. The smart recommendation feature will automatically pick an ideal book for you to read.
Like most free audiobook apps mentioned in this article, this one supports downloading content for offline listening. The app also features a sleep timer.
In addition to free audiobooks, the Audiobooks.com mobile app also features free podcasts. There are more than 100 million free podcast episodes available and you can set the app to notify you whenever there’s a new one.
This app is from Audiobooks.com developers. It’s ideal if you’re more interested in reading novels. The Audiobooks & Novels app is 100 percent free. None of the featured audiobooks are paid although the majority are premium quality.
The only requirement to use this app is to download it and create an account. You can download the app on both Android and iOS devices.
Audiobooks & Novels features a sleek user interface that anyone will find easy to use. From your dashboard, you see all available free ebooks grouped according to their category. Furthermore, a book is featured at the top daily.
There are thousands of audiobooks available, so you can sort the library by title, author, or narrator. The app allows you to create a reading list with your favorite books so you can easily return to them later. As a user, you can rate the book’s content and narration after listening.
Most of the novels featured in this audiobook are epic romances and classics. Nevertheless, there are other themes on fiction, history, health & wellness, and kids. Notably, Audiobooks & Novels features titles in other languages and has many biographies.
Bookmate is a freemium audiobook application. The app features a stack of ebooks which are available in about 12 different languages. There’s a lot to pick from and with a free account, you can access more than 50,000 audiobooks.
A unique feature you enjoy with this app is the smart suggestion. You can access the audiobooks library created by other users. It’s like a social platform where you can follow users and get updates on what books they recommend. Likewise, you can share your own library.
The app also recommends audiobooks according to your taste. As you read, it checks the type of titles you’re interested in and presents you with prospective titles.
Managing a personal library with this app is easy because everything is featured in one place. You can save audiobooks, specific quotes from books, notes, and more.
The app is very customizable. You can adjust the fonts, colors, change narration speed, set timers, and more. If you have ePub and fb2 ebooks with compatible audio files, you can upload them to the Bookmate app and listen as well.
13. Audiobooks Now
The 13th app on this list of best free audiobook apps is Audiobooks Now. Audiobooks Now is a freemium app as it features both free and paid audiobooks. There are about 150,000 audiobooks in total and about 1,000 free audiobooks. Among these are bestselling and classic titles from top authors and narrators.
The Audiobooks Now app makes listening convenient for everyone. You can stream directly or download the audiobooks and listen offline. Also, the app has a sleep timer and you can adjust the playback doors.
You can download this free audiobook app from the Apple Store or Google PlayStore. It’s available for iOS and Android devices. All book titles you download are saved in a cloud platform that syncs across all your devices.
You can create bookmarks and store audiobooks you find most interesting. Notably, the Audiobooks Now app has native support for CarPlay. With this integration, you can conveniently play audiobooks from your car as you drive.
Audiobooks Now is a product of BookLender.com. If you’re a BookLender subscriber, you can access even more free audiobooks and if you want to purchase premium books, you’ll get discounts.
AudioMate is a free audiobook app for listening to both audiobooks and podcasts. It features exclusive classic book titles and you can access them all for free. However, iOS users can’t make use of this app; it’s only available for Android.
With this app, you get the two regular options of streaming online or downloading to play offline. Before downloading any book title, you can listen to a preview to know if it’s ideal or not.
There are thousands of free audiobooks available on AudioMate and some are available in multiple languages. The featured categories include Education, Technology, Business, and Music, to name a few.
You can share audiobooks you find interesting with other users and conversely, they can share theirs with you. Notably, you can make use of AudioMate if you’re an audiobook creator. The app features simplistic uploading tools for both text and audio.
Even if the book is not yours, you can still upload an audio narration file with the permission of the original authors. With this, the AudioMate content library is ever-growing. New audiobook titles are added every week.
This list of the best free audiobook apps closes with Bookamo. This is an app you can use on Android and iOS plus it’s available on the web too. Bookamo was developed to help people read without actually reading.
Using Bookamo, you can create a personalized library and search for your bests audiobooks. The app features thousands of free audiobooks which you can listen to on the go.
Notably, Bookamo has recorded more than 8,000 users since its launch with audiobooks from about 4,000 authors. In addition, there are books in about 140 different genres. You get a curated book list for Bookamo occasionally.
Bookamo is fully loaded with features to help any reader and yet, it’s easy to use. It allows you to listen at your own pace as you can slow down or speed up the audiobooks.
Furthermore, as you listen to the audiobooks, you can create bookmarks or save notes. The app features separate ratings for the narrator and author. It’s free to use but occasionally, you’ll be asked to watch an ad.
Any of the 15 best free audiobook apps listed above will help you read more conveniently. The ideal one to choose depends on the book you want to read. Each app comes with a different library.
Nevertheless, most authors today publish their books on Amazon Kindle. This makes Audible the most recommended audiobook app on the list.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.