A Huge Library & Low-Cost Subscription Model Make Audiobooks.com a Viable Alternative to Audible, Plus the New Book Club Gives You Unlimited Listening
Depth of Library
User Ratings - Click Stars to Vote( votes)
★ You Own the Book for Life
★ Large Library 200K+ Titles
★ All You Can Read Book Clubs
★ App Store Rating 4.3 ☆
★ Android & Apple Apps Available
✘ Book Returns Policy
✘ No Smart Speaker Support
Audiobooks Review Summary
Having tested and used Audiobooks.com since 2019, I confirm it has an excellent selection of over 200,000 audiobooks and competitive pricing. Also, their highly-rated easy-to-use apps make it worthy of being your audiobook service of choice. There are two drawbacks; the book returns policy needs improving, and there is no smart speaker support.
With access to over 200,000 audiobook titles, and new releases arriving quickly, you will not notice any real difference between the Audible service and Audiobooks.com.
Importantly, like Audible, you own the book, which means that even if you terminate your subscription, you should have access to your audiobooks; for me, this is vital.
Firstly, there is no easily discernible way to return a book you are unhappy with. In fact, looking into the user agreement, it says: “Audiobooks.com grants refunds at our sole discretion. We do not offer refunds on any subscription charges”.
Secondly, there is no support for smart speakers like Alexa, Apple, or Google Now.
Audiobooks.com offers a free 30-day trial during which you can access 3 free credits to exchange for 3 audiobooks, plus access to a VIP Book. This is an excellent free trial.
The monthly membership costs $14.95 per month, which gets you one credit for a book you own and access to an additional VIP book from a selection they have curated.
This means the average cost per book is $7.48.
The only issue I have with this is that you do not actually own the VIP book. It will always be in your library, but if you end your subscription, you will only have access to the books you purchased with a Credit.
This means all the VIP books will be removed as they were only loaned to you, not actually purchased by you.
This essentially means the real cost per book should you end your subscription is $14.95.
On the positive side, they are always running 2-for-1 deals, which means that if you buy books in the deal, you may bring your average cost per book back down to $7.50.
Audiobooks.com Book Club – New in 2021
Audiobooks have introduced a great new member benefit called book club. Instead of spending your book credit on a single book, you can spend it on 30 days of access to one of 8 book clubs. The book clubs are focused on the Romance, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Health, Business, and Religion genres.
This means when you join one of these book clubs, you get unlimited access to the featured books. I checked, and there are at least 200 books available in each book club. This is an innovative new offering. The only downside is that most of the books are over 2 years old, so do not expect the latest bestsellers to be included.
Finally, if you spend your credit on the book club, it means that you have not purchased a book that you keep forever; you have essentially rented access to unlimited books for 30 days.
Audiobook vs. Audible vs. Scribd
|Audiobooks vs. Scribd vs. Audible Results|
|Do You Own the Audiobook?||✔||✔||✘|
|Lifetime Access to Books||✔||✔||✘|
|Audiobooks Collection||200,000+||200,000+||40,000 est|
|# Audiobooks / month||1||1||Unlimited/Throttled|
|Audio Quality||Good (32 kbps)||Excellent (64kbps)||Good (32 kbps)|
|Visit Audiobooks||Visit Audible||Visit Scribd|
Online and on the mobile App, the Audiobooks library is the easiest to browse and find new books to listen to. The layout and curated recommendation engine are very good indeed. The selection of books and bestsellers is huge, equal to that of Audible and vastly superior to Scribd.
Customer Service & Returns Policy
As mentioned previously, for me, the ability to return a book at any time that you do not like is a critical feature.
Unlike Audible, with Audiobooks.com, there is no easily discernible way to return a book you are unhappy with.
In fact, looking into the user agreement, it says: “Audiobooks.com grants refunds at our sole discretion. We do not offer refunds on any subscription charges”.
This is an area where Audiobooks.com needs to improve and be clearer. With Audible, you have a guaranteed book return policy within 12 months of purchase. This means you can return a book for any reason, even if you have listened to it through to the end. That is a great returns policy.
App & Device Compatibility
App Store Rating: 4.3 ☆ Good
The Audiobooks.com App is very simple and easy to use. I particularly like the recommendation engine and how the browsing screen is very visual. It definitely has the best book browsing and shopping experience of any audiobook App.
However, viewing your own library could be improved in the App as the book thumbnails are large and difficult to navigate.
The App has all the important features like a sleep timer, notes, bookmarks, and playback speed control.
I really like the ability to easily follow an author and be notified of any future releases; this is something Audible does not have.
The only App functionality missing is car mode, which helps you easily navigate the interface while driving. Finally, if you own a smart speaker like Alexa, you will be disappointed because there is no Alexa or Google Now integration.
Audiobooks.com Review Summary
Audiobooks.com has an excellent selection of over 200,000 audiobooks. Competitive pricing combined with an easy to use App makes it worthy of being your audiobook service of choice. The only drawback is that the returns policy is opaque.
2 Reasons Why Audiobooks.com is Better Than Audible
- The Audiobooks.com App is better; browsing for new books to listen to on mobile is a slightly better and curated experience with Audiobooks.com.
- If you do not want to keep feeding the Jeff Bezos billionaire profit machine, go for Audiobooks.com; it is an excellent service and the best Amazon/Audible alternative.
Audiobooks.com Features, Benefits & Costs TableAudiobooks.com Service, Features, Benefits & Costs
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