Kindle Unlimited VS Audible — Which is Better for Audiobooks? [2020]

kindle unlimited vs audible
kindle unlimited vs audible

Moment of honesty: When you purchase through links on my posts, I may earn a commission. Read more.

Kindle Unlimited audiobooks and Audible are two of the most known and most helpful services for audiobooks, but you got to pick which one suits you better.

Here are some comparison notes I’ve collated to help you decide which one is better to get for your needs.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
kindle button
kindle button
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Read my detailed comparison of Kindle Unlimited VS Audible below to help you improve your reading habits today.

Trial perks and subscription costs

If you have not used the service before, you can access a 30-day free (yes, free) trial period that lets you access the entire Kindle Unlimited books library.

That’s access to one million titles in the Kindle Store! After that, you will be charged a monthly fee of $9.99.

Try Kindle Unlimited’s 30-day FREE Trial »

Just like Kindle Unlimited, you are eligible for a 30-day free trial if you have not signed up for the Amazon Audible service before.

By the way, your membership sign-ups are done through your Amazon account. You will then get access to 2 audiobooks and 2 Audible Originals to build your collection.

Try Audible’s 30-day FREE Trial»

However, for Audible, the membership cost per month after the trial period is currently at $14.95 per month for the Gold membership and $22.95 per month for the Platinum membership, both of which are significantly more than the Kindle Unlimited option.

Image for post
Image for post
kindle button
kindle button

Library size

This Amazon service boasts of a wide library with as many as one million titles, and that includes access to ebooks, magazines and audiobooks.

So if you choose to read ebooks at any time, there’s no problem. However, the number of free Audibles are only 2,000. Not all items are free; there are supposedly 40,000 books that are compatible with Audible in total.

Titles that come with narrations need to be borrowed separately, but you’ll like that these are Whispersync-ready so you can shift from your ebook to your audiobook and then back seamlessly.

The number of titles you can access in Amazon Audible are far fewer than million titles at 200,000, but that is because it is focused on audiobook titles which outnumber Kindle Unlimited’s anyway.

Audiobooks are not the only ones available on the service though, as there are also radio programs, newspapers and even magazines that come in audio format.

So if you like those, Audible would be a good match. Audible claims to have the largest audio selection available anywhere.

One catch for both: The most popular and newest titles are not added immediately in the service and the titles could be removed without warning. The books you have can be gone in an instant should Amazon decide to remove it from its selection.

Image for post
Image for post
kindle button
kindle button

Kindle Unlimited VS Audible — Borrowing and purchasing

(this is where the difference matters!)

You can borrow 10 titles at once with Kindle Unlimited, and that is inclusive of all forms of unlimited Kindle media: audiobooks, ebooks, magazines.

There are no due dates here too, so have a longer time to read your ebooks. This gives it edge over other libraries that will charge you with late fees. At $9.99 per month, that’s a pretty good deal.

When it comes to Kindle Unlimited books that have Audible narration, you have to borrow these together, but they count as two checkouts. Once the title is returned, the audio part also comes with it unless it is not free.

You do not borrow Audible titles, you keep the audiobook as your own.

Every month, a subscriber is given credits to purchase one audiobook: one credit for Gold members ($14.95 per month), and two credits for Platinum members ($22.95 per month).

For both tiers, users are also given two Audible originals out of six to keep every month. In case of buyer’s regret, Audible promises that you can easily exchange it, and for free.

You may have unused credits for the month, but no worries. These will simply be rolled over to the following paid membership period but will expire after being unused for a year of subscription.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Compatible devices

You can maximize your Kindle subscription plan with your mobile phone, laptop or personal computer through its dedicated applications.

Audiobooks from Kindle Unlimited may be used on Kindle Fire, mobile devices operating on iOS and Android and through Audible’s listening applications.

Yes, you don’t even need a Kindle book reader to be eligible for a subscription.

You can listen to audiobooks on the go with the dedicated Audible app that is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

If you want, you can also enjoy your Audible audiobook with your Kindle Unlimited and any device that is Alexa-enabled.

Image for post
Image for post
kindle button
kindle button

Geographical availability

Kindle Unlimited is unfortunately only available to Amazon’s US customers.

There are dedicated local services for Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, India, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Spain, but the accessible titles may differ from that of the United States’.

Audible claims to be available to Amazon customers from most countries in the world.

However, due to licensing restrictions, the audiobook titles available in the United States are not necessarily accessible everywhere despite the same subscription cost.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Cancellation

You have the option to cancel the subscription whenever you want. Once you are decided to end the service, you will still have access to your notes, highlights and bookmarks.

You cannot keep free audiobooks, but you will still have the titles that were paid for.

You can end your subscription online anytime. All titles bought with your credits remain with you even if you have already canceled your membership.

Unused credits will be lost once you terminate the service, though.

Image for post
Image for post
kindle button
kindle button

Summary — Kindle Unlimited OR Audible?

While Kindle Unlimited is available only to US customers, it offers initial freebie of unlimited library access. Its subscription also allows you to only borrow 10 titles at once, while Audible lets you keep the titles — but it comes with a much heavier price tag.

Audible’s subscription of $14.95 and $22.95 for Gold and Platinum members is definitely more expensive than Kindle Unlimited’s $9.99, so this can be a deal-breaker for many.

Ultimately, both have some good selection of audiobooks and impressive services, so whichever you pick, you’ll be assured of a good reading experience.

Written by

I’m Daniella. I love to try different stuff and share my feedback and my thoughts about them. Hope you enjoy my blog. Thank you!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store