Is Audible Worth It? [Pros & Cons of Audible]

It is no secret that I love Audible and always recommend it. It does not mean that Audible is a perfect service without any cons.

I have discussed the pros and cons of audiobooks earlier, this article focuses on the pros and cons of Audible and its membership plans and answers a common question of audiobook fans ‘is Audible membership worth it?’.

13 Pros of Audible

This section covers the benefits and highlights of an Audible membership.

  1. Extensive Audiobooks Library
  2. Free Content
  3. Plus Catalog
  4. Free Trial
  5. Credits System
  6. Members Exclusive Deals
  7. Pre-Order Price Guarantee
  8. Pause/Cancel Audible Membership Anytime
  9. Use Audible Without Membership
  10. User-Friendly App
  11. Good Return Policy
  12. Whispersync for Voice
  13. Family Library Sharing

1: Extensive Audiobooks Library

Audible is the world’s largest audiobook service with 63.4% of the US audiobook market share, according to Wordsrated.

The latest statistics show that Audible has over 470,000 audiobooks across different genres including best sellers, new releases, Audible originals, and more.

infographic: Audible statistics

Whether you are looking for a classic title or an upcoming book in audio format, Audible is your best bet. Audible Originals are exclusive audio titles created by celebrated storytellers that you won’t get anywhere else.

Related Article: How many books does Audible have

2: Free Content

Audible’s Free Listens section features hundreds of free audiobooks, podcasts, and more. You can access content in this section for absolutely free, without any membership plan or trial signup.

This section gives you a taste of the quality of Audible content.

3: Plus Catalog

Plus Catalog contains over 70,000 audiobooks, podcasts, and Audible originals. All membership plans come with unlimited access to the Plus Catalog which allows members to download and stream as many books as they want.

The catalog is updated every week with fresh content. You can consider the Plus Catalog as the Netflix of audiobooks with unlimited streaming. It features books from different genres and is frequently updated with new content.

4: Free Trial

Audible offers a 30-day free trial that allows you to enjoy all membership benefits. You get 1 credit to get any title from the premium selection (best sellers and new releases). Amazon Prime members are invited to start the free trials with 2 credits.

There are no commitments or cancellation fee and you can cancel any time before your trial ends. You get to keep the audiobook that you got as part of the trial benefits. Audible sends you a reminder email before your trial ends.

You get unlimited access to the Plus Catalog and member-exclusive sales and offers for 30 days. The free trial gives you enough time to decide if Audible membership is right for you.

Join Audible’s free 30-day trial and get 1 credit to buy any audiobook. You can keep the book forever and cancel the trial if you do not like Audible, no questions asked.

5: Credits System

As part of the Audible Premium Plus membership, members get monthly credits. You can redeem one credit for one title, irrespective of the audiobook’s price. This includes the premium titles including NYT and Amazon bestsellers, and new releases.

Members can buy Extra Credits when they are running low on them. Audiobooks can be expensive, depending on the length and other factors. The credits system allows you to purchase any audiobook for much less than the listed price

buy extra credits

Here are some of the tips to get the most out of your Audible credits.

  • Use credits to only get the titles that cost more than a credit’s price. The average price of an extra credit works out to be $10 – $13 (depending on your membership plan). You do not want to waste your credit on a book that is available for $7 with cash.
  • Save some credits for offers and deals. Audible runs regular sales including 2-for-1 deals where you can get two books using one credit. You can use credits on these deals, getting an extra book for free.
  • Take advantage of the fact that you do not need to spend your credit immediately. Monthly credits roll over and you can wait until your favorite audiobook is released or you are ready to listen to a new title.

If used wisely, Audible credits can help you get audiobooks for much less than the listed price, including the most expensive books.

Tip: If you cancel your Audible membership, you lose the unused credits. It is important to use the Audible credits before cancelling the membership

With credits, no Audible book should cost you more than $11 to 15$ (depending on how much you paid for credits).

6: Members Exclusive Deals

Audible is always running sales and deals including Daily Deals, Monthly Deals, Under $5 Deals, 2-for-1 Deals, and other sales and offers several times a month.

Members are offered an even bigger selection of books in the sales. You can get hundreds of titles at up to 85% discount through Audible sales and deals.

Audible sales and offers

Audible Deals page lists all sales and offers in one place. The best way to never miss a deal is to sign up for sales and offers emails from the notification page.

Related Article: 5 Tips to get the most out of Audible sales

Pro Tip: Audible’s Wish List is one of my favorite features. When you add an audiobook to the Wish List, you get notified when it goes on a sale.

7: Pre-Order Price Guarantee

An audiobook’s price sometimes changes between the time it is listed for sale (pre-order) and when it is released. If you pre-order a title on Audible, you will be charged the lowest of both prices.

If you have pre-ordered a title using a debit or credit card, you will only be charged when the title is released and is available for download. Know more about Audible’s Price Guarantee.

Related Article: How to find pre-orders on Audible

8: Pause/Cancel Audible Membership Anytime

If you want to take a break or want to catch up with pending audiobooks, you can pause your Audible membership for up to 90 days. This allows you to catch up with unfinished books while your account is on hold, without paying the monthly membership charges.

You do not have access to some membership benefits during the pause period including getting membership credits and access to the Plus Catalog.

The existing credits can be used to buy audiobooks during the pause period and you can also enjoy sales, deals, and offers during the pause period.

pros and cons of pausing Audible membership

This is one of the major benefits of Audible which allows users to take a break from membership payments without cancelling the membership.

The paused membership can be resumed anytime during the pause period.

Tip: To pause the Audible membership, go to Audible’s website and sign in to your account. Click on Account Name > Account Details and select Pause Membership.

Sometimes it makes more sense to cancel your Audible subscription for sometime. You can cancel and rejoin Audible membership anytime you want.

There is no limit on number of times you can cancel/reactivate your subscription.

Related: Pause Audible membership

9: Use Audible Without Membership

Although an Audible subscription has several benefits, you have the option to use Audible without the membership.

If you are not into audiobooks and want to purchase a single title, Audible enables you to purchase audiobooks without a membership. But they will cost you more as Audible offers a 30% discount to its members on all cash purchases.

30% discount for Audible members

10: User-Friendly App

Audible’s app is a perfect mix of simplicity and functionality. It is available for free in the App Store (for iOS devices) and Google Play Store (for Android devices).

It has the same simple design whether you are listening to audiobooks on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) or Android devices (phones and tablets).

The app is divided into 4 sections, accessible from the bottom navigation bar.

Audible app

  • Home: This section offers recommendations based on your past listening and highlights new releases and best titles from different categories.
  • Library: This section contains all of your audiobooks/podcasts and other content. Any audiobook that you purchase on Amazon or Audible goes to the Library section where you can download and listen to it with a single tap.
  • Discover: This section helps you find your next listen. You can discover content from different genres and categories including Plus Catalog titles, Editor’s Picks, and top titles.
  • Profile: This section contains your account details, listening history record and levels, account and app settings, notifications, badge collection, and more

The Library section is where all your audiobooks and other content are located. There are different ways to manage your library and keep it decluttered.

Audible app's library section

Once you purchase an audiobook, it is shown in your library. You can tap on the book cover to download it to your device and tap again to start playing.

The Audible player has a user-friendly interface with all the options to help you with the best listening experience.

Audible player's controls

Overall, I consider the Audible app as one of the best audiobook apps that combines simplicity and functionality to bring the best listening experience.

Note: Audible synchs your listening position across devices. If you are listening to a book on your iPhone and then decide to continue listening on your computer, iPad, or Android phone, the audiobook will start from where you last left off on other device.

11: Good Return Policy

 Audible has one of the best return policies that allows you to experiment with new narrators and genres. If you do not like a book, simply return it for a full refund. This makes trying new books risk-free.

To return a title, here are some basic requirements.

  • You have to have an active Audible membership
  • Return a title within 365 days of purchase
  • The title is purchased through Audible credit

You can return a title from Audible’s website.

  • Go to Audible’s website and sign in to your account
  • Click on Account Name > Account Details
Audible's Account Details option

  • Click Purchase History from the options
  • Find the title that you want to return and click on Return the title
Return a title on Audible website

Select the reason for the return and click Return to confirm. It is important to not abuse the return feature as Audible is known to limit the number of returns or revoke the return privileges of abusers. 

Related: Return a title on Audible

12: Whispersync for Voice

Whispersync for Voice is a unique Audible feature that allows a seamless transition between listening to an Audible audiobook and reading the eBook version on Kindle.

If you purchase a ‘Whispersync for Voice’ ready book on Amazon, you get an option to add its Audible version (audiobook) for a hugely discounted price.

add audible narration

You can also read and listen at the same time to enjoy the benefits of immersion reading. You can listen to the audiobook when it is convenient, for example when working in the kitchen, and switch to eBook format on your Kindle when it makes sense.

Related Articles

13: Family Library Sharing

Amazon Household feature allows you to share your Audible audiobooks, eBooks, apps, and games with your family members for free.

This means you can share your purchased titles with other family members who do not have an Audible membership or do not own these titles.

Infographic showing Amazon household sharing options and requirements

Amazon Household can have

  • Up to 2 adults (18 years and over)
  • Up to 4 teens (13 – 17 years of age)
  • Up to 4 children

Note: Adults and teens need their own basic Amazon account to use Audible and access the shared Audible books and other content. Children are not required to have their own Amazon account.

To know more about Amazon Household and Family Library Sharing, check the following articles.

5 Cons of Audible

Let us now have a look at some of the disadvantages of Audible service.

  1. Audible is Expensive
  2. Some Payment Methods are not Supported
  3. Missing Features in the Audible App
  4. Can’t Return Title Purchased by Cash
  5. No Special Discount

1: Audible is Expensive

Audible has a reputation for the highest quality content and built a trustworthy brand over the years. This allows Audible to charge a premium price for their product.

One of the disadvantages of audiobook format, as compared to eBooks and printed books, is that they are expensive.

It requires a professional team (including a narrator, sound engineer, proof listener, sound editor, and audiobook producer) and state of art audio equipment to deliver a flawless audiobook.

audiobooks production team

Being the market leader, Audible makes sure that its production quality is the best. They also regularly feature celebrity narrators. Famous faces do not come cheap and can exceptionally drive up the production costs.

If you look at the listed price of audiobooks, they seem expensive but you can use several methods to save money on Audible and get your favorite title for much less than the listed price, including.

  • Use credits for expensive titles
  • Ensure you have the right membership plan according to your needs
  • Avail sales and offers
  • Buy with cash when appropriate

You can check out the 12 Ways to save money on Audible for more tips

2: Some Payment Methods are not Supported

While Audible accepts all major bank cards including

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Prepaid Debit Cards
  • Amazon Store Card

it does not support some payment methods including PayPal, Stripe and Apple Pay.

Related Article: How to Change Audible’s Payment Method

3: Missing Features in the Audible App

I love the Audible app because of its simplicity and functionality but it lacks some important features.

Users can not download Audible books from the app in MP3 and other formats to play them on MP3 players and other devices.

This is where third-party apps like OpenAudible and Libation are required.

4: Can’t Return Title Purchased by Cash

Audible allows you to return any title that you do not like within 1 year of purchase. However, the return policy does not cover the audiobooks purchased through cash.

Users can only return audiobooks purchased through credits.

5: No Special Discount

Audible does not offer any special discount for for students, teachers or senior citizens. Amazon Prime Members also do not get any type of discount on their membership and audiobook purchases.

Note: Prime Members get 2 credits when they join the Audible trial instead of the usual one credit.

Is Audible Worth it?

It seems expensive if you look at the membership plans and compare Audible with cheaper alternatives.

In my opinion, an Audible Premium Plus subscription has never been as good as it is these days.

is Audible worth it?

Here are 6 reasons why I feel Audible is worth it.

  1. Extensive Collection of Audiobooks: Audible offers a huge collection of classics, new releases, and best sellers from an array of genres. If you are looking for any book in audio format, Audible is your best bet.
  2. Plus Catalog: Stream and listen to as many audiobooks as you can. Audible updates and adds titles in the Plus Catalog regularly.
  3. Return Policy: Audible makes it super easy to return an audiobook. This gives you chance to explore new authors and narrators as you can always return the titles you don’t like.
  4. Audible Credits: Members get monthly credits (and can purchase extra credits) to get premium titles. Extra credits cost you $11 to 13$ per credit. Credit is an excellent way to get expensive audiobooks for less.
  5. Family Sharing: You can use the Family Sharing option in Amazon Household to share your Audiobooks and other digital content with your family members without paying extra.
  6. Sales and Deals: Audible offers daily deal, monthly deals, 2-for-1 deals, and $5/titles sales for its members. You can get books at huge discounts and use the Wish List feature to get notified when your favorite title is on sale.

So, to answer the question is Audible worth it? I think Audible’s membership is worth the price with loads of sales and offers, unlimited streaming, and monthly credits to buy any book from Audible.

Audiobook lovers can easily save more than the monthly membership fee every month.

Sohail Ahmed

I love Audiobooks and this blog features my first-hand experience with all major audiobook apps and services … Know More

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