My Top 5 of the Best Audiobook Apps in 2024: Must-Haves for Audio Fans

If you have been to Lovely Audiobooks before, you might have seen my reviews and comparisons of the most popular audiobook services. Below is a round-up of my favorites, and we will find out which one is really the best audiobook app 2024!

Okay, I might have gotten too excited there. All of us book lovers are different in our reading preferences. Be it the number of audiobooks we go through in a month or the genres we enjoy. I may have to let you down before we even get into the details here, but I won’t give you the one and only best audiobook app.

I just don’t believe that can exist!

But I will try to help you find the best audiobook app FOR YOU! For the way you listen, with the books you enjoy, and that best matches your monthly book budget.

This post is meant to give you an at-a-glance overview of free audiobook apps and apps requiring a subscription. There are, however, more nuances between the services. If you want more in-depth info, e.g., on the catalog of audiobooks a service offers, you can read more in the blog posts I have linked below each app.

By the way, all of the audiobook apps I discuss here offer the must-have basic features like saving your current position, variable playback speed / narration speed, sleep timer, offline listening, and bookmarks.

This is stuff we just can’t do without, so I expect that from any audiobook player that wants to compete for the title of the best audiobook app.

**The marked links and book covers on this page are affiliate links. If you use them to purchase something, I earn a fee at no additional cost for you. Disclosure**

🎧 IF YOU ARE IN A HURRY, I recommend you grab a free trial for this popular audiobook subscription**!
It’s a great Audible alternative that offers a ton of listening for a flat monthly fee, and you can browse and listen to all audiobooks directly in the app on your phone.

How do Audiobook Apps work?

This is important, so I want to address this first before we look at the best audiobook apps. You will not find a dedicated mobile app that is an audiobook service all by itself!

This is mainly due to the terms of service of both the Apple app store and Google Play store. Both take a cut of each in-app purchase for all apps downloaded through their platforms.

So, audiobook services don’t like to sell audiobooks or their subscriptions through their apps because they would have to pay a percentage of their earnings.

An Audible subscription, for example, costs more in the app than in a browser to make up for this fee.

Audible for iPhone has never offered in-app purchases, and Audible for Android removed this feature in 2022 as well.

Audiobook services that sell audiobooks (as opposed to lending them) mainly do their business on their own websites, while you use their app only as an audiobook player.

So, what you can expect from audiobook apps is a system as you would find with Amazon Kindle ebooks. You buy items or a subscription in a browser on your mobile device or laptop, then get to the content through the audiobooks app.

Screenshot of the Audible app audiobook player
Audible app audiobook player

Audible

Audible** is the biggest and most well-known audiobook subscription. They have been around for a long time and are part of Amazon. So they can afford to offer member benefits that other audiobook apps can’t give us.

With a standard Audible membership plan, we can choose one premium audiobook a month from their entire catalog and get to keep it, even if we cancel.

In addition to that, we can also borrow as many audiobooks as we like from their limited Audible Plus catalog, which includes Audible Originals and Audible Studios productions.

I always have Audible on my phone and use it regularly, especially for the Audible Originals.

Pros:
  • Works with or without a membership
  • Premium membership offers one credit per month for any audiobook from their entire catalog
  • Can be used with free Kindle Unlimited audiobooks
  • Can be used as a free app with Audible audiobook review codes
  • Regular sales events (require active subscription)
  • Amazon Whispersync deals (audiobooks from $1.99, doesn’t require membership)
  • Unlimited access to Audible Originals through the Plus catalog (included for free in a Premium membership)
  • Easy returns/exchange (but see Cons below)
  • 🎧 30 Day Free Trial** (Keep the Premium audiobook)
Screenshot of the Audible app Home screen
Audible app Home screen
Cons:
  • Amazon company has a lot of leverage over audiobook creators, royalty payments are low
  • Audible returns policy has drawbacks that aren’t always clear to us customers
  • App unstable on Amazon Fire tablet
  • Audible Plus catalog doesn’t include traditionally published books

Free app
Subscription not necessary to use the app. Membership plans start at $7.95/month (cancel anytime)
🎧 30 Day Free Trial**

Read more: How to get more out of your Audible membership

Screenshot of the LibroFM app audiobook player
LibroFM app audiobook player

LibroFM

LibroFM** is an audiobook storefront for indie bookshops. You can even choose your local bookstore and support them directly with your audiobook purchases!

They are the biggest audiobook service that offers DRM-free versions of new and bestselling audiobooks. I truly appreciate that I can download my audio files as MP3s and save them forever.

A LibroFM subscription costs as much as Audible’s standard plan. On the one hand, they offer fewer perks. On the other hand, you actually own the audiobook as an MP3, which is a big deal for many listeners.

DRM becomes an issue whenever something happens to your account or the company closes the service. Then you lose access to all the books you “bought”.

I always have LibroFM on my phone and make sure to browse their sales section regularly. A bestselling audiobook in MP3 format for less than $4? Of course, I want that!

Pros:
  • Supports indie bookstores
  • Membership with a monthly credit
  • Very cheap deals through LibroFM Audiobook Clubs from $3.99 (doesn’t require membership)
  • Returns possible
  • DRM-free audiobooks that you can download and save as MP3s to be played in any app or device of your choice
  • DRM-free also means you really own the audiobooks you have downloaded!
  • Well-designed, stable app
  • Great Library layout
  • The best audiobook app 2024 for people looking for an ethical alternative to Amazon
  • Available everywhere in the world
  • 🎧 Get 2 credits in your first month with code CHOOSEINDIE** (Keep both audiobooks you pick)
Screenshot of the LibroFM app audiobook library
LibroFM app library
Cons:
  • No additional membership perks

Free app
Subscription not necessary. Membership plan is $14.95/month (cancel anytime)
🎧 Get 2 credits in your first month with code CHOOSEINDIE**

Read more: LibroFM vs Audible

Screenshot of the Scribd audiobook player
Everand / Scribd app audiobook player

Everand

Everand** (formerly Scribd for books and audiobooks) is a monthly subscription with a flat fee. It lets you borrow audio and ebooks, similar to Kindle Unlimited, and they even have sheet music and comic books. Unlike Amazon’s subscription, it is not entirely unlimited, though.

It does, however, include access to many of the newest bestsellers, traditionally published audiobooks, and BookTok / TikTok favorites that we can’t find in Kindle Unlimited or Audible Plus!

Members might be throttled after downloading a certain number of popular audiobooks, and their choices will be limited for the rest of the billing period. In my experience, I always have access to some audiobooks for the entire month, though.

Despite this drawback, it’s one of my favorite and most used subscriptions (I listen to a total of around 250 audiobooks every year).

Everand is, for me, the best of the currently available audiobook streaming services. I find it the best audiobook app for anyone who is happy to borrow audiobooks since their catalog is great, and you get a lot of listening for your money.

Everand is also a favorite of many Lovely Audiobooks readers because you can find so many fantastic audiobooks here that you would have to spend a credit on elsewhere.

This app requires a subscription, but it is one of the cheaper ones, especially considering the high number of books you can read and listen to.

Pros:
  • Great alternative to Hoopla if you don’t have a library card or run out of Hoopla downloads
  • Includes bestsellers and traditionally published audiobooks
  • Everand Originals with exclusive audiobooks from popular authors
  • One of the best audiobook apps for anyone who wants to borrow (and not buy) books
  • 🎧 30 Day Free Trial**
Screenshot of the Scribd app Saved tab
Everand app Saved tab with your books and audiobooks
Cons:
  • App is not always stable
  • Not transparent how many or which titles can be borrowed per billing period
  • The catalog can’t be easily browsed and filtered

Free app
Subscription necessary, price: $11.99/month (cancel anytime)
🎧 30 Day Free Trial**

Read more: What is Everand?

Screenshot of the Hoopla audiobook player
Hoopla app

Hoopla

Hoopla is the best audiobook app for libraries and I simply love everything about it! If you have a library card from a participating library, you can download free audiobooks through this app.

Or you might even pay for an out-of-state library card like I do to be able to use Hoopla.

I have used this audiobook app a lot over the past years and it is truly one of my all-time favorites. I pay $50 for my library card with 10 Hoopla borrows a month and it is so, so worth it. If, like me, you listen to a lot of audiobooks, Hoopla and Everand make such a great team, as you can get 10 bestselling new releases through Hoopla and then get backlist titles on Everand.

Pros:
  • Free with a library card
  • Includes bestsellers and traditionally published audiobooks as well as many indies
  • No wait time
  • Very stable, intuitive app
  • You can browse and borrow books directly in the app
Screenshot of the Hoopla audiobook app homescreen
Hoopla audiobooks app home screen
Cons:
  • Limited number of downloads (usually 5-10, depending on the library)
  • Requires a library card from a participating library (out-of-state or international library cards might be quite costly)

Free app
Library card required

Read more: The Best Audiobooks on Hoopla

Smart Audiobook Player

Smart Audiobook Player is the only app on this list that doesn’t offer content. This is purely an audiobook player for audiobooks you own as MP3s. But it is fantastic at it!

I love their sleep timer function. It’s a unique feature I have never seen in any other audiobook app. You set a time after which the player turns off, but if your device notices movement, the timer resets.

So, if you are still awake and want to continue listening, just give your phone a little shake. No need to look at the screen and reset the sleep timer manually!

Smart Audiobook Player is a great choice and, for me, the best audiobook app to play audiobooks you converted from CDs (if that is legal in your country), or LibroFM, DownPour, or LibriVox audio files.

Pros:
  • Stable app to play MP3 audiobooks
  • Unique sleep timer that resets when your device detects movement
  • A pure audiobook player app
  • The best audiobook app reddit users recommend
Cons:
  • The only paid app on this list
  • Setting up the library can be confusing

App price: $1.99 (after 30 day free trial)

So, what is the Best Audiobook App?

Okay, if you put me on the spot, I would say that Audible is probably the best audiobook app for iPhone and Android devices alike because it is so versatile. If you are a beginning audiobook listener, Audible would probably be the first app I’d recommend you get.

Most audiobook fans will be able to find something here. You can use it with or without a subscription, to borrow audiobooks, or for cheap deals without a subscription. The app is very stable and reliable, and the audiobook catalog is fantastic.

They simply have a whole lot to offer. And that’s why I always have Audible installed on my phone and tablet.

That being said, it isn’t the only option, and you might find that you use another audiobook app just as much, if not more!

I use LibroFM, Hoopla, Everand, and Smart Audiobook Player a lot, and I probably listen to more audiobooks on each of these than on Audible.

A lot of audiobook fans I have talked to use Hoopla and Everand exclusively! Those two apps make a really strong team if you want a lot of listening on a limited budget. Check out Library Extension to get even more out of them.

I hope I could help you find the best app for audiobooks for you. Or you just do it like me and use them all 😉

Before you leave, make sure you take a look at the best audiobooks of 2023 so you don’t miss out on any of the hits and hidden gems of the year.

Happy listening!

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Audiobook Subscriptions / , , / 15 Comments

15 thoughts on “My Top 5 of the Best Audiobook Apps in 2024: Must-Haves for Audio Fans”

  1. Patti Hughes

    Are there apps that will store all of your audiobooks in one place? I have 3 apps and I would like to have the books in one place . I can then check there when I purchase a book from one of my apps, to make sure I am not duplicating books (I have done that several times)

    1. Since most audiobook stores have DRM in place so you can only listen in their own app, the answer to your question is sadly no. If you want to track all of your audiobooks, it would be best to use an app like GoodReads or The Storygraph where you can fill in every audiobook you listen to. You can then check back there if you already listened to a specific title before buying something new. It’s a bit of work to get started if you want to fill in everything you already own, but after that, it quickly becomes a habit to track every book when you start it. I hope that helps 🙂

  2. I have a lot of mp3 books on a removable disk. How do I get them into an app? I have Libby from my library and don’t want to pay fees. I need an app that will access my own files. what do you suggest?

    1. The last app on this list is the one you need, Smart Audiobook Player. It has a free trial and a very low one-time fee if you want to keep using it. It’s the app you want to play your own mp3 books!
      What I do with my mp3s is that I choose the audiobooks I want to listen to next, copy them onto my phone into my audiobook folder either through a cloud app or USB, and then play them with Smart Audiobook Player.
      If you absolutely don’t want to pay anything, you can play mp3s with the built-in mp3 player on any phone. But then you don’t have options like bookmarks, narration speed, or sleep timer.
      I hope that helps 🙂

      1. Thanks. From your info that’s what I figured. your analysis was great. it seems strange that with all those options, you can’t get to another mp3 file from the app.

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