How to Filter out Audible Virtual Voice Audiobooks (2024)

This post will not be a discussion of the pros and cons of AI-narrated audiobooks in general, or the new Audible virtual voice productions in particular. Instead, I will simply show you how to browse Audible’s catalog for human-narrated audiobooks with a simple-to-use filter!

How to Filter out Audible Virtual Voice Audiobooks

In the last 30 days, Audible has added over 2000 virtual voice audiobooks to the Plus catalog in the Romance category alone. That can make it really difficult to find new audiobooks that are read by real human voice actors.

Below, I’ll explain to you step-by-step how to filter out all these generated narrations in a desktop browser or the phone app. If you are a screen reader user, please make sure to read both parts.

Audible search results, sorted by newest release dates, showing only virtual voice audiobooks.

How to filter on a Desktop:

First, you go to my absolute favorite Audible landing page in a desktop browser:

In the upper right corner, you see a search bar. Type in -virtual_voice (there’s a hyphen in front of virtual and an underscore between virtual and voice, make it Hyphen Virtual Underscore Voice with the correct signs and without any spaces).

Screenshot showing the Audible search screen, with Hyphen Virtual Underscore Voice (-virtual_voice) typed into the search bar

You need to type it in exactly like this as the hyphen indicates to the search to NOT show any virtual voice audiobooks, while the underscore pulls the two words together so it doesn’t only filter out the word virtual.

You can also copy the following line and paste it into the Audible search bar:


I hope I could explain this sufficiently for those of you using screen readers. I was told that screen readers don’t always correctly give back hyphens. Please leave a comment below if it is still unclear so I can correct any mistakes. I would appreciate your help!

Now, Audible populates the visible catalog exclusively with human-read audiobooks (or, to be more precise, only with audiobooks that are not marked as being AI-narrated).

The Audible search results show no virtual voice audiobooks anymore.

From here, you can continue to use the available filters to browse through any audiobooks you want.

With the drop-down menu in the upper right corner, you can, for example, sort by newest releases as I did, or by most popular.

And with the filters on the left side, you can look through genres and subgenres or pick a specific duration. And you can set the search to only show you audiobooks included in Audible Plus or available with a reduced Amazon Whispersync price.

Here’s a short video showing you these steps in action:

How to filter in the Audible app:

The app doesn’t have as nice a search function as the website. But it offers basically the same functions.

You start by clicking on the search icon (the little magnifying glass) in the upper right corner. Then you type in -virtual_voice as discussed in the section above.

Screenshot of the Audible app with an arrow pointing to the magnifying glass in the upper right corner which opens the search bar

Now you can sort the results by release date, popularity, and so on. And you can filter them for categories, duration, and Whispersync. You can also see a toggle for “Included in your membership” above the search results if you only want to browse Audible Plus books that don’t cost a credit.

SCreenshot of the Audible search results highlighting the different filter functions above the search results.

Where do all these Virtual Voice audiobooks come from?

Until recently, Audible was the last bastion against AI-narrated audiobooks. Publishers were only allowed to offer human-read productions on the platform.

But Amazon Kindle Publishing changed the rules when they recently started a program that allowed authors to convert their ebooks into AI-read audiobooks with basically just a click.

A Kindle author shared here on the blog how easy this feature is to use. That would explain why it is used so extensively and Audible seems entirely flooded with synthesized voice.

Unfortunately, human-read titles like Mia Sosa’s new Audible Plus book get lost in the search results amid all the AI-generated audiobooks.

I hope that Audible itself will add a toggle or clickable filter soon that allows listeners – especially those who don’t know about the manual filter I discussed here – to easily filter out Audible virtual voice books. It cannot be in their interest that their own high-quality Audible Originals are buried by this AI-narration flood!

Until then, I hope this blog post will help you find human-read audiobooks in Audible Plus.

Please don’t hesitate to share it with your fellow audiobook fans and Audible buddies 🙂

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