Service Review: Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com Subscription Service

**This is in no way affiliated with Audiobooks.com! It is simply my take on using the service!**

This is my third service review on an audiobook subscription service so I think I’ve gotten the hand of writing these things. (I hope!) And in the time since I wrote my first audiobook service review on Audible, audiobooks have become a daily part of my reading life and habits so I know what I want and need from a service.

The vast majority of my audiobooks come from my local library but sometimes, they just don’t have all the audiobooks I’m looking for. So I’ve started to turn to other services to see what is out there and if they would be worth my money when I might need to make the switch to a pay-for-use service.

>>Service Review: Kobo Audiobook Subscription

As I always do with these reviews, I’m going to go over the basics of the Audiobooks.com service and give my take on it independently. At the end, I will do a comparison to my Audible and Kobo Audiobook experience just to give some context.

How Does it Work?

Like other audiobook subscription services, Audiobooks.com has both a single transaction audiobook purchase option AND has its own monthly subscription service. In this review, I’m focusing on the monthly subscription service.

For $14.95 a month (USD), you purchase a single credit to redeem for the audiobook of your choice. The credit can be applied to any audiobook in their library and of any price range. If you want your next credit a little early, you can purchase an instant credit through their app to read immediately. They also have 2 or 3 credit per month packages but they aren’t really upfront about those until you do the free trial.

It is an international service, however, not all books may be available for purchase in your region due to copy and publishing rights. But you can browse their selection without logging in to get a feel for the titles they have.

My Experience:

–Signing-Up–

I tried really hard to find a promotion to see if I could get an additional book during the trial but no luck. I know that they float around so keep an eye out!

One of the more notable options for signing up is that you can use PayPal to provide your credit card info which is super great.

–Listening Experience–

I would describe my listening experience as the perfect hybrid between the Audible app and the Kobo App for audiobooks. Like Audible, you can change the speed, set a sleep timer and create bookmarks with notes. But it has the sleek and simple look of the Kobo app where you aren’t overwhelmed by all the nifty features of Audible. You can also listen to the book over the internet or download the book to listen offline.

One thing I noticed is that the app has a quick play/pause and forward/rewind 30s toolbar that runs in the background so you can easily control your book without unlocking your phone or while using other apps. However, I did find that at times that the app would “crash” my phone. I wouldn’t be able to unlock it or access the play/pause buttons when I tried to do so–instead I would get a blank screen despite my attempts to access the controls. So that was a little annoying but I found a way to get around it by using the hotkeys to bring up my camera and then accessing my home screen.

–Book Selection–

I live in Canada so I have access to nearly all the same books as a reader from the USA. So I found the selection to be really good. Genres are broken down into a straightforward, easy to understand manner and they also have various lists you can browse to find your next title. They also have some deals (like 3 books for 1 credit from a select list) and the option of using a promotional code when purchasing new books which is always great. You can usually find a few promo codes floating around the web.

What I really loved though is that they have free audiobooks of classics–something I haven’t come across with the other subscription services I’ve used. So I grabbed a few of those to read at a later date.

How does it Compare to Audible and/or Kobo?

I’m going to break it down a little by some of the notable Audible and Kobo features:

  • Audible: 30% Discount on Individual Buys for Subscription Members
    • Kobo has other options to get deals like promotions and promo codes
    • Audiobooks.com doesn’t have this perk but has promo codes and promotions
  • Audible: can listen to books on your computer, phone or tablet
    • Kobo only lets you listen on your phone or tablet.
    • Audiobooks.com lets you listen on your computer, phone or tablet
  • Audible: has exclusive audio titles only available through their company
    • Kobo lacks exclusives
    • Audibooks.com also lacks exclusives
  • Audible: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Kobo: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Audiobooks.com: has multiple credits per month OR single insta-credits

So, Am I Keeping It?

No, I’m not. Well, I’m keeping the app to keep the free classics I picked up to read at a later date (and some titles I won through a giveaway) but I won’t be subscribing to the service. Because it is in USD (despite it being a Canadian company), it’s quite pricey for me when compared to the other services that allow me to pay in Canadian dollars without conversion fees, etc. For me personally, as an active Kobo eReader user and a member of their Super Points Program, I’m much more likely to choose that service over this one given its perks.

I think this is a good alternative for listeners who want a service similar to Audible but don’t want to necessarily use Audible.

Do you use Audiobooks.com? Do you have a favourite Audiobook Service? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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