How to Listen to Audiobooks for Free

Audiobooks have grown in popularity over the years as a way to add a little extra flair to a story while also allowing you to multitask. There are many of websites and tools that allow you to listen to audiobooks for free, whether you’re a fan of them or just getting started with them. The nice part is that they are also legal. So, without further ado, let’s look at the best ways to listen to audiobooks without spending any money.

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Legal and Free Audiobooks Sources

1. Open Culture: Best One-Stop Shop

Open Culture features a large audiobook collection, with a focus on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Under its one long alphabetically ordered list, you’ll also find free-to-access audiobooks from various public domains including Project Gutenberg, LibriVox, and others. The audiobooks are in MP3 format, and while some are downloadable, others are only available for streaming.

Open Culture’s collection includes free movies, online courses, language classes, and e-books in addition to free audiobooks.

Pros

  • There are hundreds of free e-books, CDs, videos, and courses available.
  • There is no need to create an account.

Cons

  • There is no app version available.
  • No way to sort or filter the results.

Browse Open Culture

2. Learn Out Loud: Best for Education

Learn Out Loud is the place to go if you’re looking for instructional and self-development audiobooks. And Learn Out Loud provides over 4000+ free audiobook titles to pick from, whether you wish to learn a new language or read about philosophy. With its advanced search option, finding your favorite title is a lot easier. Learn Out Loud, like Open Culture, is exclusively available on the web and does not have a mobile app.

Pros

  • It’s simple to search for and filter results.
  • Audiobooks are divided into groups.

Cons

  • There is no app version available.

Browse Learn Out Loud

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3. Libby, by OverDrive: Best for New Releases

OverDrive has partnered with over 45,000 libraries throughout the country to provide access to some of the best audiobooks and e-books. Your library card and a library in your city that has partnered with OverDrive are all you need. With OverDrive, you may obtain free access to the most recent audiobook releases.

Overdrive is available on both Android and iOS, and its website is more appealing than the others on this list.

Pros

  • Many Android and iOS apps are available.
  • New releases are available to you.

Cons

  • It is necessary to have a library card.

Download Libby, by OverDrive

4. Digitalbook: Best Overall

Digitalbook (previously Librophile) features a large audiobook and e-book selection. It also displays the top-rated and most popular audiobooks to assist you in finding your next free audiobook. Users can select to download specific chapters or stream them immediately while setting their preferred playback pace. Additionally, the Apple Podcasts app can be used to open the audiobook directly on an iPhone.

Pros

  • Change the speed of the playback
  • Stream to the Apple Podcasts app directly.
  • Filter and sort options make it simple to find audiobooks.

Cons

  • There is no app available

Browse Digitalbook

5. Project Gutenberg: Best for Classics

Project Gutenberg, founded in 1971, is one of the first digital libraries, with the goal of ensuring that no book is ever lost. It relies primarily on a global army of volunteers to help it expand its database. It now has over 60,000 audiobooks available for download in MP3 format. Both volunteer and computer-generated voices are available for your favorite book. It also has an app version, however, it is only available for Android.

Pros

  • There is no need to create an account.
  • Audiobooks that are read by a computer

Cons

  • There is no app for iOS devices.

6. LibriVox: Best for Public Domain Titles

LibriVox, like Project Gutenberg, is a non-profit website that allows you to listen to audiobooks for free that aren’t available anywhere else. Many works were written before 1923 can be found on the site because they are no longer under copyright. War and Peace, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Anne of Green Gables, and other classics are among the titles available. You can also offer to read a chapter or two from the book as a volunteer. LibriVox is also accessible as an app for both Android and iOS smartphones.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of languages
  • There are several search possibilities available.
  • Android and iOS apps are available.

Cons

  • Only books in the public domain are allowed.
  • The sound quality varies.

Browse Librivox

7. Spotify/YouTube: Best for Streaming

‘Audiobooks’ is a playlist on Spotify, your favorite music streaming service. It includes well-known works like as The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, and others. The playlist is also available with a free Spotify account, albeit there are some adverts sprinkled throughout.

Similarly, YouTube is an excellent place to find audiobooks. While the search experience may not be as easy as those described above, specific channels such as Audio Books and Priceless Audiobooks, as well as Subreddits such as r/audiobooksonyoutube, are available.

Pros

  • Playlist/channel that is updated on a regular basis
  • Apps for Android and iOS are available.

Cons

  • Only a few pieces are available.
  • It can be tough to locate an audiobook.

Browse Spotify

Bonus: Free Trials (Audible, BookBet, Kobo)

Apart from the choices for downloading or streaming free audiobooks indicated above, some of the most popular paid audiobook services also have a free trial period. Users can use those free trials to find audiobooks that aren’t available for free on the sites mentioned above. Audible, for example, has one of the largest libraries of audiobooks and offers a 30-day free trial. Audible has lately released audiobooks like Harry Porter by Stephen Fry and other famous works free for kids, in addition to free trials.

Other prominent audiobook providers, such as Kobo and BookBeat, offer free trial periods where you can listen to your favorite audiobooks.

Have a look at the Best Sites to Find Free Online Books for Kids

Wrap Up: How to Listen to Audiobooks for Free

These free-to-use sites are a terrific way to listen to audiobooks while commuting, exercising, or doing domestic tasks. While looking for alternative resources not listed above, we recommend avoiding untrustworthy websites because they only give malware and unhappiness.

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