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Audible vs Kindle: Everything you need to know

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Do you like reading books, or do you prefer audiobooks? Check out our comparison of Audible vs Kindle Unlimited, as well as a text to speech alternative.

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Audible vs Kindle Unlimited: Everything you need to know

People who audiobooks are also aware of Audible. Likewise, readers who enjoy their books in digital format will know about Kindle.

Until recently, each service had its defined audience. But with the launch of Kindle Unlimited, the two terms have become synonymous with each other. Now it’s time to take a detailed look at Audible and Kindle Unlimited and figure out what each service does.

Let’s dive into how Kindle Unlimited and Audible work, what they have to offer, and what alternatives you could use.

What’s the difference between Kindle Unlimited and Audible?

If you haven’t tried Audible and Kindle Unlimited, the two services might seem the same. After all, both come from Amazon and feature audiobooks. However, the two services are quite different in many regards.

Even though it’s possible to listen to audiobooks on either service, Kindle Unlimited and Audible differ in terms of:

  • Library selection

  • Available books for subscribers

  • Credit use

  • Owning the content

  • Buying options

  • Geographic availability

  • Return policies

  • Cancellation

Kindle Unlimited features

Kindle Unlimited functions much like a subscription for Kindle books. When publishers list their books on Amazon, they can also include them on Kindle Unlimited. Users can then borrow the books without keeping them once their membership ends.

Borrowed books don’t have due dates. Instead, they stay with you throughout your Kindle Unlimited subscription. You can access Kindle Unlimited through the Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet as well as with your Kindle device.

Pros

  • Free trial

  • Massive library

  • Free audiobooks

  • Access via various devices

  • Affordable audiobooks

Cons

  • No credits for buying audiobooks

  • Borrowed content is lost upon cancellation

  • Limited geographic availability

Audible features

Audible functions as a subscription service and an online book shop for audiobooks. In other words, you can buy audiobooks from the store even without joining. However, an Audible membership will open up 30% book discounts.

Users can choose between full-length books and summarized versions of either one hour or 28 minutes. In addition, Audible books can be adjusted for different reading speeds. You can also access Audible with the app or on your desktop computer.

Pros

  • Free trial period

  • Large selection of audiobooks

  • Extra credits available for purchase

  • Users keep the books they bought after cancellation

  • Multi-platform support

  • Available worldwide

  • Sleep timer option

Cons

  • Pricier subscription plans

  • Limited return policy

Cost comparison

As mentioned, Kindle Unlimited and Audible both have promotional periods. Each service features a 30-day trial during which users get different levels of access.

The complete Kindle Unlimited library is open during the trial with 10 titles that can be added to the user’s account. On the other hand, Audible offers two audiobooks or free Audible Originals.

After the free trials, users can choose to continue their subscription.

Kindle Unlimited membership is priced monthly and costs $10. For the price, users get access to the entire library and free Kindle Unlimited audiobooks. Books on Kindle Unlimited usually cost between $1 and $5.

Audible Premium Plus has two monthly membership plans: Gold, priced at $15, and Platinum which costs $23. With the Gold plan, members receive one audiobook and two Originals monthly, while Platinum members get two audiobooks plus two Originals.

It’s worth mentioning that people with Amazon Prime membership won’t automatically get Audible as a part of the package. Still, anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription will receive a discount when signing up for Audible. Plus, Amazon subscribers will have access to Prime Reading, another book service from the company.

With an Audible subscription, you can buy more books using Audible credits. Be aware that members can purchase them, but unused credits will be forfeited in the case of cancellation.

Catalog comparison

The Kindle Unlimited and Audible catalogs are huge. There are well over one million Kindle Unlimited books. Yet, while a million books sounds impressive, not all of them have an audio version.

About 20,000 Kindle Unlimited ebooks come as audiobooks as well. The interesting part is that these audiobooks are provided by Audible through the Audible Narration service. In addition, through the Whispersync for Voice service, you can listen and read books at the same time. This feature allows you to pause one medium and pick up on the other one, right where you stopped.

Most of those titles are by new or self-published authors. There are far fewer bestsellers on that list, so readers will be less likely to find their favorite works in audiobook versions.

On the other hand, the Audible Plus catalog is much larger, with nearly 200,000 Audible audiobooks. Every purchased book is available for reading offline as users can download and own what they bought.

Besides novels and practically unlimited access to new releases, the service features other content, such as podcasts.

Which is better: Kindle Unlimited or Audible?

While both services have great offers, avid readers might prefer Kindle Unlimited for its vast book selection. You can grab any ebook and read it on your Amazon Kindle device.

But if you’re interested mostly in audiobooks, a monthly subscription to Audible will be the better choice. With the Audible app for Android and iOS, you’ll be able to take your listening experience everywhere you go.

Audible also uses bookmarks to help you continue listening where you stopped previously.

Another option: Speechify

If you don’t want to open an Amazon account or sign up with an existing audiobook service, there’s a great alternative: Speechify. It’s one of the most popular text to speech (TTS) apps that has changed the listening experience for users around the world.

Speechify is a text to speech program that uses AI to turn any text into an audiobook. With Speechify, you can choose what to listen to and how to listen to it. You won’t find yourself buying a book only to find you don’t like the narrator.

Simply pick the voice you like the most in the language of your choosing, and customize the voice to your heart’s content. Another bonus is that you won’t need an e-reader to use the service.

How to get started with Speechify

Getting started with Speechify is easy. You can visit the website and try out the service for free. There is a completely free version as well as a premium version. With the free trial of the premium version, you’ll get 1,000 words of text read with premium options.

This way, you can check out all of the features like custom narrators, different languages, and greater speed adjustment. With Speechify, you can turn any book into an audiobook—along with all your documents, files, web pages, emails, and any other text you would like to hear instead of read. You can use Speechify on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and in web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

If you like what you hear, you can set up your account and start using the full power of Speechify to listen to your favorite books as audiobooks today.

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