Audible vs. Apple Books audiobooks: What you need to know

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Audible on June 27, 2022
Audible vs. Apple Books audiobooks: What you need to know about the two audiobook apps and how to choose the best audiobook service or generator.

    People use audiobooks for different reasons. Disabled readers or those with reading difficulties like dyslexia use audiobooks to learn or improve their reading skills. Other people lead busy lives and don’t have time to read books. That’s why audiobooks offer an efficient workaround for boosting productivity and digesting content faster.

    Audible and Apple Books are two of the main sources of audiobooks on the planet. This article will compare features from both competitors to see how their services stack up against each other. Perhaps you may need an alternative to enjoy your favorite audiobook content.

    What is Audible?

    Audible was one of the first audiobook streaming services. Founded in 1995 and bought by Amazon in 2008, Audible is a leading audiobook subscription producer with many titles in its vast library. The Amazon subscription service offers book rentals and audiobook content for sale to any non-member, like a traditional digital retailer.

    What is Apple Books?

    Initially a part of iTunes, Apple Books is home to one of the largest eBook and audiobook collections in the digital space. The Apple Book Store and Audiobook Store contain popular titles from different genres and authors and offer a good balance between fiction and non-fiction content.

    Best of all, Apple Books has an app optimized for Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, iPods, and MacBooks.

    Apple Books vs. Audible – The comparison

    There are significant differences between Apple Books and Audible.

    Platform compatibility

    When it comes to platform compatibility, Audible has the clear edge. Audible members can listen to audiobooks on almost any device and platform. You can find the Audible app for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Windows Phones.

    In contrast, Apple Books or iBooks is an Apple-exclusive service, unavailable on Google Play and outside iOS and macOS devices. In addition, Apple Books still lacks some features and content on the Mac version of the app.

    Library size

    The Apple Books audiobook library has over two million titles. Naturally, not all titles have an audiobook version, but there are plenty to choose from for audiobook lovers.

    Audible has over 200,000 titles. But despite the large discrepancy in total numbers, Audible may have slightly more audiobooks than Apple Books.

    Ease of use

    Both audiobook players are easy to use regardless of the device. Audible and Apple Books have user-friendly interfaces, controllable playback, sleep timers, and a simple buying process. You can download both from the App Store when using Apple products.

    Free book availability

    Audible members get a free monthly book with the Audible Premium Plus subscription. Interestingly, Apple Books offers free books occasionally, even if the platform doesn’t use a subscription model.

    However, some users and Apple Books reviews mention that free audiobook availability is scarce. You won’t always find new books or bestsellers.

    Audio quality

    Anyone familiar with Apple devices knows their impressive audio capabilities. Pairing Apple Books audiobooks with Apple devices is a match made in Heaven. The M4B format has fantastic audio quality making all stories come alive.

    Audible audiobooks stream at 64kbsp, which is a high industry standard. But not even Audible audiobooks may sound as good as Apple Books audiobooks on Apple devices.

    Special features

    The Apple Books app seamlessly integrates with all Apple devices and services, including CarPlay and Apple watches. Audible integrates with Alexa, Kindle and similar audiobook services, and other audiobook apps.

    In addition, an Audible subscription entitles members to one of the best return policies in the industry.

    Furthermore, Audible has radio shows and podcasts while Apple Books has an extensive collection of eBooks.


    Are Apple audiobooks the same as Audible?

    Apple Audiobooks differ from Audible audiobooks in terms of their digital format and platform compatibility. But you can find some audiobooks listed on both platforms.

    Is Apple Books compatible with Audible?

    Apple Books products are only compatible with Apple devices and services.

    Does Audible work on Android?

    The Audible app works on Android devices.

    How many different formats are there for Audible?

    Audible lets users download audiobooks in Format 4 and Enhanced formats.

    What is an audiobook?

    Audiobooks are narrations of a book’s text. Some use real voice actors to record narrations, while others use computer-generated and AI-generated high-quality voices. The goal is to help people go through stories word-for-word without reading.

    What are the benefits of using Audible?

    Using Audible enables audiobook listeners to create large libraries with free monthly books. It also helps members listen to their favorite audiobooks, Audible Originals podcasts, and radio content on any device.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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