Downpour vs. Audible vs. Audiobooks: Which Audiobook Site Is Best?
Audiobook sites allow you to get books to listen to sometimes for individual purchases, and sometimes in a subscription plan. Here are some of the best audiobook sites around, including which is the best in different categories.
Downpour gets thousands of new audiobooks per month. This includes historical, mystery, thriller, suspense, Sci Fi, and Romance for fiction. You can call Downpour at 1-855-369-6768.
- Get 1 Credit Per Month for Free-Each purchase is just 1 “credit,” meaning that they each cost about $12.99.
- Members Get 70% Off-If you buy a monthly membership, you get 70% off of books since many of them cost more than $12.99 normally. So this is a combination of membership fees and individual purchases.
- DRM-free-Downpour doesn’t add DRM to anything which means there’s no restriction on how you listen to them. You can use any player and copy the audio files however you like.
- Mobile App Bookmark Features-When you pause, the mobile app will bookmark your position so you can close the app and resume it later at the same point. The mobile app works for iOS, Android, and soon Windows Phone.
Audible is easily one of the most recognizable companies in the audiobook business. They are owned by Amazon, and they claim that more than 500 million hours were listened to by Audible customers in 2013. You can call them any time at 888-283-5051 for questions.
- Free Trial and Free Book-You can get a free trial of Audible for 30 days which will net you a free Audiobook.
- Over 150,000 Titles-This is an amount of selection that is larger than most other audiobook catalogues on the market, due to the power of Amazon.
- 24 Hour Phone Service- Audible has around the clock phone service which puts them ahead the support of many other companies.
- Content Producer-Beyond just selling audiobooks, audible as produces them.
- Become a Voiceover Actor-Audible is also taking applications for voice actors on their site, although they prefer if you already have MP3 narration clips and a website.
- Great Listen Guarantee-If you don’t like a book, you can exchange it for another book for free.
- Membership Deals-Audible sometimes offers their memberships for even cheaper, including their occasional $8 per month deal.
- Kindle WhisperSync-For some books you can buy a special version of it where you can go back and forth between listening and reading. In the Kindle app, with a single tap you can have the book start reading out loud from where you left off. This can sometimes cost a little extra, but it’s often free. Currently there are 45,000 titles that have this feature.
Audiobooks.com has been described as “Netflix for audiobooks.” They’ve received over 1 million downloads, and that doesn’t even count the books people have streamed, which is the main draw of the site. You can contact the site at 1-855-876-6195.
- Stream Books on Mobile App-Unlike some services; you can stream audiobooks right to your device so you can listen to it without having to download the whole thing first. This is ideal for those who don’t have great download speeds, such as if you’re trying to use airport WiFi for example.
- Search Function-The search function on the site makes it way easier to find the book that you want.
- Download 2 Books at Once-If you have Android or iPhone, the app will let you download 2 books at once if you want to listen to them while you’re offline.
- 3 Minute Preview and Play-You can listen to a preview of a book for 3 minutes without committing to making this your purchase for the month.
Head to Head
Membership at Downpour costs $12.99 per month and gives you 1 credit. Each audio book you buy beyond that is one more credit, so $12.99. This is true for 90% of the titles they have. Non-members will pay more.
Audible costs $14.95 per month and has a 1 credit per month deal as well.
Audibooks has a $14.95 monthly fee that gives you one book per month. If you want any extra book, it costs $12. Presumably this is only for one extra book.
Downpour is the cheapest site, and probably the best site for those who just want popular titles and basic features. That is, if you only want a single book per month that will very likely be available, the low fee at Downpour will put you ahead of everyone else for cost.
Downpour does support mostly through phone calls, but you can also submit an email ticket as well. There doesn’t seem to be any live chat support at all. You can cancel membership at any time without penalty as well. The site is ideal for those who need to download new audiobooks on a regular basis due to the way the site is set up. If you want to do a lot of copying, Downpour is also a good choice since it has no DRM at all.
Audible has the largest library in the world for audiobooks period. If you can’t find it anywhere else, chances are good you’ll be able to find it at Audiobooks. They also have top of the line support with 24 hour phone and live chat customer service. Again, the company benefits from being part of Amazon. Extra features include Whispersync and the Great Listen Guarantee where you can exchange any book that you don’t want for one that you do want.
Audiobooks is only available 9 AM to 8 PM EST for support features. They also don’t have a live chat option.
Overall, Audible is far and away the best audiobook site when it comes to premium features. They definitely cost more than some other sites, but also have way better support for customer service with the 24 hour phone and live chat coverage. They also have more features than the other sites with being able to go back and forth between audio and a regular book, and a much wider selection by a factor of 3 or more.