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Best audiobook apps in 2021

With the best audiobook apps on your iPhone or Android device, you’ll never be at loss for a good book. These apps let you listen to everything from best-sellers to old classics no matter where you are — all you need is a mobile device and a good set of headphones or wireless earbuds.

Audiobooks apps come in as many forms as books themselves. Our list of the best audiobook apps includes slick, full-featured players that also integrate online marketplaces to more humble affairs that still bring you the classics of world literature in audiobook form. 

So get ready to relax with a good book right after you’ve taken one of these best audiobooks apps out for a spin.

1. Audible

Audible remains the powerhouse among the best audiobooks apps, with more than 470,000 titles in its library — especially now that it’s owned by Amazon. Audible’s audiobook player offers solid playback features, with chapter navigation, bookmarks, a sleep mode, variable playback speed and multitasking support for background playback and downloading. 

Audible’s integration with Amazon has added many benefits. Amazon Prime members who sign up at Audible.com get two free credits when they start an Audible Premium Plus trial. Amazon’s Whispersync feature allows users to switch between audiobook and text near-seamlessly. You can even have Amazon’s Alexa pull up your audiobooks from Audible to be read through an Echo, Tap or Echo Dot.

2. Audiobooks.com

RB Audiobooks’ cloud-based Audiobooks.com platform also is a solid choice among the best audiobook apps for Android and iOS listeners, allowing subscribers to choose from a library of more than 200,000 audiobooks from every genre that they can stream or download for offline listening. 

The Audio Books app includes variable playback speed, automatic bookmarking and a sleep timer, among other features. Additionally, this app includes cross-device syncing, allowing listeners to easily transition from their smartphone, tablet or computer without losing their place in the audiobook.

3. Realm

The best audiobook app formerly known as Serial Box has a new name — Realm — but the same appeal to anyone who likes listening to a good story. Listeners can enjoy shorter, episodic content through Realm, which offers bite-sized chunks of novels that are perfect for your commute or breaktime. 

Realm features a range of genres from drama to fantasy and sci-fi. You can listen to a lot of shows for free, but paying for an unlimited membership removes ads, enables the ability to listen or read and unlocks exclusive deals. An annual membership breaks down to $2.49 per month.

With a strong library of offerings such as “The Witch Who Came In From The Cold”, “Bookburners” and “Tremontaine” and a highly configurable reader and audiobook player mode, Real is an interesting new option for readers and audiobook listeners alike, especially now that there’s an Android version of the app available.

4. Google Play Books

Google Play Books also builds in audiobook features, allowing you to listen to your purchased audiobooks across platforms and devices. That enables listeners to pick up where they left off on their Android device, iPhone, or desktop PC. Audiobook controls allow you to skip ahead or scroll along the timeline, jump to chapters, and configure playback speed and a snooze timer. 

Unlike others in our list of best audiobook apps, Google Play Books doesn’t run on a monthly subscription, instead allowing users to preview audiobooks and then buy what they want over the Google Play Books marketplace.

5. Kobo Books

While Kobo may not have the same big name recall of Amazon in the US ebooks and audiobooks market, it offers a rich library of ebooks and audiobooks in its online marketplace and reader apps. Kobo’s audiobook player covers your basics, with a timeline scrubber bar, timeskip buttons, chapter navigation, playback speed configuration and a snooze timer. 

The Kobo app provides cross-platform syncing and a customizable ebook reader in addition to the audiobook player. New users can sign up for a $5 discount on their first ebook purchase.

6. Bookmobile

Bookmobile is a well-regarded iOS Audiobook player for those looking to play DRM-free audiobooks. Bookmobile supports DRM-locked content from iTunes and Audible, as well as DRM-free content ripped from CDs or downloaded, including M4B and MP3 audiobooks. The app features a thoughtful control scheme designed to keep you from easily losing your place and includes drive and sleep modes, as well as supporting background playback. 

Extra features include a custom bookmarking feature that can automatically remember where you last stopped, playback speed controls, and AirPlay support. The free trial lasts for 60 days and allows you to import three audiobooks. After that, it’s $.399 to unlock the whole library.

7. Smart AudioBook Player

If you’re looking to listen to DRM-free audiobooks already in your collection, Smart AudioBook Player is a popular choice for Android devices that comes with a good selection of features, such as variable playback speed, bookmarking, an audio equalizer, some basic collection management features, a sleep timer and control widgets for the notification tray and your home screen. The app provides users with a generous 30-day free trial before asking for a $1.99 unlock.