Okay, before we start… Amazon owns both Kinde and Audible, so regardless, they’re the real winner here.
Well played, Bezos. Well played.
Anyway, long gone are the days where you need to carry around a massive hardcover book with you all day. And thank god for that!
Now, we are in the golden age of ebooks and audiobooks.
In this post, we’ll look review both Audible and Kindle Unlimited, and then compare the two. We’ve and boiled it down to the main points that matter so that you can get a better understanding of the differences between Kindle Unlimited vs Audible.
I’m a paying member of both services and use them both for different things.
TL;DR: Don’t want to read the whole thing? That’s fine.
Because they’re so different, there’s no ‘one winner.’ If you’re into audiobooks (like me), then Audible is easily the best choice. But if you’re an avid e-reader, then Kindle Unlimited is an excellent choice.
In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, Audible is one of the world’s most popular sellers of audiobooks, if not the largest.
With the financing and backing of its production arm, Audible Studios, Audible has also managed to claim the number one spot as the largest producer of downloadable audiobooks worldwide.
In 2008, Audible was bought by Amazon for an estimated cost of $300 million to become one of Amazon’s subsidiaries.
Audible is available on multiple platforms such as Android, iOS, Kindle, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Windows Phone.
Audible’s products are available in AA format (.aa) and AAX format (.aax).
How Does Audible Work?
- Grab a phone or laptop computer with internet access
- Use this free trial link to sign up to Audible
- Go to Audible.com or install the app on your smartphone
- Look up the book title you’d like to read and purchase it
- Enjoy listening to your purchased audiobook
Tip: Before buying a product from Audible, you need to make sure that you’re signed in with an Amazon account.
Once you’ve pinpointed the book you’d like to buy, you can use credit you receive from Audible, your credit card, or a combination of both.
Please note that if you’re an IOS user, you can only purchase audiobooks via the Audible desktop or mobile website, not the app.
Once you’ve completed your purchase, you can now head to the Audible app and search for the purchased titles in your Audible Library or under Cloud. Found your purchased title? Good, now tap on it and wait until the download initiated and completed. After that, you can begin listening to the downloaded audiobook.
What Makes Audible Unique?
Audible boasts some unique features that help set it entirely apart from the rest of the competition.
These features are designed to elevate the user’s experience. To further understand what these features have to offer, let’s briefly breakdown a few of them.
Out of all the audiobook sites out there, Audible is the one that has the largest platform of books.
In all the years of listening to Audible, I have never seen a title that is elsewhere and not on Audible.
Your downloaded titles can be listened to at any time and any place without the need for internet access. Moreover, this feature doesn’t come at an added cost to your membership. And the best part about this feature is that you’ll be receiving no ads whatsoever while listening, which allows you to enjoy a smooth listening experience.
Whispersync for Voice
Whispersync is a cool feature that allows the user to switch back and forth between reading on your Kindle and listening to it on the audio format with a tap of a button.
This is a vastly convenient feature for when your mind is ready to consume additional information, but your eyes are just too occupied to read.
All you have to do is simply grab a pair of headphones, tap the button, and enjoy the audiobook version playing in your ears.
This feature is ideal for when you’re in your car, in the gym, or at work.
Please note that to sync between the Kindle ebook and the audiobook version, you have to own both the Kindle eBook and the corresponding Audible version. This is known as owning a paired edition. And not to state the obvious, but this feature is only available for voice-enabled devices.
Customizable Listening Speed
There are times when you need to adjust the narration speed of the audio.
You do this so that you digest the information that’s being spoken entirely or to speed things up a notch so that you can finish listening to the book in a short time.
Well, you can do that with Audible’s customizable listening speed function.
Audible allows you to choose the pace at which the audiobook is to be played. Simply tap the ‘Narrator Speed’ icon on your phone, and a window will pop up with a bunch of different speed variations that include 0.5x, 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x, and 3x. You can also use an Audible converter to convert your audiobooks with a customized speed.
Over time, you’ll find that you can increase the listening speed. I have been using Audible for a while and listen at double speed without any issue.
It’s astonishing the number of people that find it almost impossible to fall asleep without having a voice in their ears.
If you’re one of those people, then you must be familiar with waking up in the morning to find that your phone’s battery is completely drained.
The sleep timer function grants you the ability to set the time at which you’d like your device to stop playing the audiobook.
Alternatively, you can this function to stop pause the narration at the end of a chapter, so that you don’t lose track of your progress.
How Easy Is It to Use Audible?
After setting up your account, you’ll notice that the Audible design doesn’t come with a learning curve at all. It’s relatively straightforward and effortless to use on all platforms. Following a few minutes of use, you’ll be able to access your audiobooks easily.
Whether on a mobile phone or a desktop, you can use the Audible website to navigate your way through their audio entertainment lists and collections with ease.
You can also search for a specific audiobook you might want to get using the book’s title or by using the author’s name. Moreover, the website includes a help center that contains all the instructions and guidelines you need.
The Audible app features an interface that seems pretty similar to that of a music player, which makes it fairly intuitive to use and navigate through.
Even worse, if you’re an IOS user, you cannot make in-app purchases at all. This is something that we’re definitely looking forward to being improved upon.
Product Description Page
Each product available on Audible presents a description page once you click on it. That page is there to provide all the essential information regarding the book. You’ll also find a brief preview that encompasses the story plot or the objective of the paper that you’ve clicked on.
As an Amazon product, Audible provides a ratings and reviews section to all of its titles. The reviews are a great way to look at the book’s feedback.
This is especially helpful when you don’t really know what you’re getting or when you’re not familiar with a specific author.
What Membership Plans Are Available?
Note: The country you’re purchasing from may alter the audible offers and prices.
Signing up for an Audible membership plan allows you to purchase audiobooks in exchange for Audible credit, which they give out each month (1/month). Apart from the use of Audible credit in purchasing audiobooks, members also get to pick 2 Audible Originals each month. Let’s take a lot at the subscription plans that Audible has to offer. To start a membership plan, click here.
Audible Free Trial
The Audible free trial gives you 30 days of experiencing Audible’s features and everything it has to offer before you decide to jump on a membership plan. During the trial period, you’re given 2 credit points that you can use to purchase products with and 2 Audible Originals.
This monthly subscription grants you 1 credit point each month. You obtain more credit points by playing additional fees. With the Gold Monthly membership, you get to keep all your purchased books forever, and you can listen to them offline without advertisements. When this membership plan is active, you can store up to 5 credit points in your account.
This monthly subscription plan grants you twice the credit points that you receive from the Gold Monthly plan. You can get more credit points by paying extra fees. Note, the additional charges in a platinum plan is cheaper than the Gold Monthly plan.
As long as this membership plan remains active, you can store up to 12 credit points in your account. This plan seems to be very popular among users.
This yearly subscription plan grants you 12 credit points. For as long as this plan remains active, you get to store up to 18 credit points in your account.
You can get more credit by paying an additional fee per a single credit point.
This yearly subscription plan gives you 24 credit points. By using this annual subscription plan, you’ll be able to save up to a two-month worth of membership fees. The Platinum Annual plan is highly recommended for keen listeners who can’t seem to get enough of audiobooks.
Audible Escape Subscription
This subscription plan is excellent for binge-listeners who enjoy romance titles as it allows them to borrow up to 10 romance titles.
You can then return the borrowed books when you’re done listening to them and pick more to listen to afterward.
What Are the Membership Benefits?
Audible presents its members with a bunch of different benefits that are very convenient. We’ve already shed some light on a couple of them, but let’s go over each one briefly.
- Monthly/Yearly Audible Credit: can be exchanged for single-volume audiobooks
- Member Discount: 30% discount for all Audible members on regular purchases
- Audiobook Exchanges: members can exchange titles they’re unsatisfied with. No questions asked.
- Keep Unused Credits: issued credits on or after April 1st can be kept for a year
- Audible Originals: members get to choose 2 out of 6 Audible Originals each month
Additional Membership Details
The membership plan that you sign up to dictates the number of unused credit points that can be transferred to the next month. Five credit points for the Gold Monthly membership, ten credit points for the Platinum Monthly membership, six credit points for the Gold Annual membership, and twelve credit points for the Platinum Annual membership.
You can return or exchange a book that you’re unsatisfied with within 365 days from the time of the purchase.
Your refunds are received in the same way as your payment method. Audible credit refunds are accepted almost immediately, while money refunds can take around seven business days. Note that there’s a limit to the number of returns that you’re allowed to request.
You can put your monthly subscription plan on hold for a maximum period of 3 months and for any given reason. After the 3 months has expired, your account will then resume and can’t be put on hold again for another year.
Audible student memberships
The Audible for Students membership provides all of its verified student users with 1 audiobook and 2 Audible originals every month, along with audio-guided workouts. Students can exchange audiobooks that they don’t like for free. Sign up to Audible.
Audible for business
The Audible for Business membership allows you to provide your team with access to a sizable catalog of business titles. Your team can utilize these books to learn new skills, hone their existing ones, or obtain inspiration and creativity. Sign up to Audible.
Is Audible free with Prime?
Amazon Prime subscribers can download a selection of the Audible catalog with their membership.
Is an Audible membership worth it?
As someone who has been a loyal customer for years, yes, Audible memberships are worth it. With the free trial, it is hard not at least to try the service.
Why are audiobooks so expensive?
You’ve probably noticed the insane pricing of Audible books if you were to buy them outright. Or, even if you’ve seen an audiobook at a local gas station.
The inflated price of Audible comes from the production costs. There are regular prices related to publishing an ordinary book. However, an audiobook publisher has to do a lot more.
In fact, an audiobook can come out at well over $1000 in costs per hour of content.
Can you listen to unlimited books on audible?
If you purchase an eBook on Kindle Unlimited that has an Audible companion, you’ll have access to the audiobook. However, Audible doesn’t offer it’s own unlimited’ service as of yet.
Can I pause my Audible account?
You certainly can put a pause on your Audible account. However, you obviously won’t receive any more download credits over that time.
Can you listen to audible on two devices at the same time?
Yes, Audible allows you to listen to up to three mobile devices at the same time.
What is the best way to use Audible?
There are plenty of different tips and tricks that you can use to make the most of your Audible account.
Kindle Unlimited Review
If you’re an avid reader, then you’ve probably heard of Unlimited. In this Kindle Unlimited review, we’ll look at Amazon’s subscription platform for e-readers.
If you’d like to learn even more about the platform, you can visit the website and try it for free.
What is Kindle Unlimited?
In short terms, Kindle Unlimited is Amazon’s subscription service for its incredibly vast ebook and audiobook store.
For a monthly (or yearly) fee, you sign up to the service and can read any book registered to Kindle Unlimited without extra cost.
Due to it’s ‘unlimited books’ nature, Kindle Unlimited is a product that is designed for heavy readers.
Kindle Unlimited Cost
With all Amazon products and services, the prices change from country to country and can change at any given time.
However, if you’re in America, Australia, or other western countries, you’ll be looking at around $10 a month for the service.
One of the reasons for this fluctuation is Amazon constantly testing their services to create the best option for buyers.
Kindle Unlimited in Australia (pictured above) is slightly more expensive than the American version.
Does Kindle Unlimited have a free trial
Kindle Unlimited starts with a 30-day free trial that you can use to see if the program works for you. There is no lock-in, and you can cancel at any time you like.
Do you need a Kindle device to read Kindle books?
Amazon’s Kindle devices are some of the best e-readers in the world right now. They’re sturdy, reliable and connect straight to your account. A Kindle can make reading an eBook almost feel like you’re curling up with a real book.
If you want to see some of the Amazon Kindle devices, you can check out the Amazon store.
However, you don’t need a Kindle device to purchase the Unlimited subscription.
Personally, I use the free app on my phone to read my Kindle books, and I think it works fine.
What I like about Kindle Unlimited
There is a lot to like about Kindle Unlimited. Here are a few of my favorite things about the service.
No need to buy new books every time
The simple one payment solution of Kindle Unlimited is easy to get accustomed to.
Now, when there’s a new book I want to flick through, I can simply access the title on Unlimited and start reading instantly.
Lots of independent authors
Kindle Unlimited is perfect if you love to read indie authors. Now publishing is a book is as easy as ever, there are so many more great writers bypassing the traditional gatekeepers and publishing their own books.
A lot of these great titles end up registered to Kindle Unlimited.
Additional audio versions of books
While not every book will have this feature, over 20,000 titles on Kindle Unlimited have an accompanying audiobook that goes along with it.
When searching for your next eBook, you can filter ones with Audible narration, which helps a lot.
You can access your books anywhere
If you have a wifi connection, you can access your Unlimited library.
Access to magazines
There is also a great selection of popular magazines that are available on your Kindle Unlimited membership. Personally, I’m not much of a magazine reader these days (besides the old airport purchase), but if you like to read magazines like Entrepreneur, they’re included with your subscription.
What I don’t like about Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited is by no means a perfect choice, though. Here are some things which I feel could be improved.
The $10 a month isn’t as cheap as it sounds
The concept of paying around $10 a month for all-you-can-read sounds tempting, but before you get the credit card out, consider this.
As we saw earlier, Kindle Unlimited has a lot of books from independent authors on their list.
These books from indie authors usually cost under $5 a book, with many at $0.99. That means that you’ll have to read a lot of books every month just to make the cost work out in your favor.
So, unless you’re reading over a book every week, then you may think a Kindle is not worth the cash.
You can only hold 10 books at once
Your Kindle Unlimited plan can only hold ten titles at once. While it is unlikely that you’ll ever be reading more than ten books at a time, it does come up.
For example, I went on a holiday not long ago and knew I’d be away from an internet connection for quite a while. I could only bring ten books with me on the trip, which, while not being the end of the world, wasn’t super convenient.
There are a lot of books, but not all are amazing quality
While Kindle boasts that there are millions of books on Unlimited for subscribers to read, there isn’t the top-notch quality all around the board.
Getting your book published to Unlimited is incredibly easy. Therefore, there are a lot of books on the platform that are pretty crap.
Furthermore, all of the major publishing houses won’t touch Kindle Unlimited with a 10-foot pole.
How does Kindle Unlimited compare to Audible?
How are Kindle Unlimited and Audible similar?
Both Kindle and Audible have audiobooks available for streaming, and they both operate on a monthly subscription basis.
They both have very affordable subscriptions, especially if you are a bookworm and you intend to read lots of content.
What is the difference between audible and Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is a book reading subscription from Amazon, where you can read up to ten books at a time. It is excellent for eBooks and avid readers.
Audible is an audiobook subscription service where you can purchase audiobooks at discounted prices and even download some for free.
Are all Kindle books available on Audible?
Not really. Kindle has a vast selection of over 6 million titles. Some of which are even originals which can only be accessed on Kindle. However, Audible grants you access to virtually all audiobooks. So, if the book you want to read is available in audio, you’ll most likely find it on Audible.
Kindle Unlimited VS Audible
Is Audible or Kindle more cost-effective?
Kindle Unlimited is usually cheaper than Audible’s monthly subscription services. Though the exact prices depend on what country you’re buying from.
However, on Kindle, you can only borrow up to 10 titles with each checkout. And since most books cost about $0.99 on Kindle, you would have to read 10 books each month to make sense of your subscription.
You could always read more expensive books on Kindle to get the most value out of your subscription, but with Audible, it’s different.
With Audible, you own the books you purchase, rather than borrowing them. Each month, you get some credits as a subscriber, and you get to use these credits to buy audiobooks – which tend to be more expensive than ebooks anyway. Each month, you also get access to two Audible original audiobooks for free.
You could also access additional content by buying more credits. If at the end of the month you haven’t used all of your credits, you could always carry them over to the next month so that not a single credit goes to waste.
For me, Audible is still better bang-for-your-buck than Kindle Unlimited. The fact that you own the books you read makes it a no-brainer.
Which is the best for content?
Kindle Unlimited does grant you more complete access to various titles since Kindle is home for over 6 million books. This can be very rewarding if you want to read the ebooks instead of streaming them as audiobooks.
Submitting a book to Kindle is a lot easier than creating an audiobook. Therefore there are a lot more ebooks for sale than there are audiobooks.
However, that also means that the quality is more varied with ebooks.
If all you want out of your subscription, however, is to stream audiobooks simply, then Audible is a better fit for you. On Audible you’ll have access to basically any audiobook. If the book you want to read comes in audio form, it’s on Audible.
Kindle Unlimited has way more to offer than Audible in regards to the sheer number of titles available.
The main reason for this is that creating an Audiobook, while being more accessible than ever before, is still an extra step than just publishing an eBook.
Cancellation and exchange policies
You might change your mind about your subscription mid-month, and that’s understandable. With Kindle Unlimited, if you cancel your subscription, you lose all the content you borrowed; books, audiobooks, highlights, bookmarks, etc.
With Audible, however, if you cancel your subscription at any time, you get to keep your content. That’s because you actually buy audiobooks with your credits, you don’t just borrow them as with Kindle’s subscription.
Perhaps the best thing about Audible is that if you don’t like the audiobook you bought with your credits, you can very only exchange it for another. Audible has a very convenient exchange-policy.
Audible’s refund and exchange policies are world-class. There is no safer purchase than an Audible subscription as you can return any book you don’t like without question.
Kindle Unlimited and Audible: The verdict
When you compare the two on price, peace-of-mind, and content, Audible comes out on top.
Kindle Unlimited – 1
Audible – 2
Although the platform you choose really depends on your own personal preference.
For me personally, I see no point in paying for a Kindle Unlimited subscription if all you want is listen to audiobooks.
On the same page, if you’re an avid e-reader who can read multiple books every month, then Audible is unnecessary.
Audible’s subscription is a tad more expensive than that of Kindle’s, the value Audible offer is unbeatable in the audiobook space.
So, decide on if you’d rather listen to Audiobooks or read ebooks. The best part is that you can try them both for free.
Hell, you can even grab both for around $20 a month, which all in all, isn’t horrendously expensive if you’re a book nerd like I am.