On BeachBoundBooks.com, we love free audiobooks. Firstly, audiobooks make you capable of closing your eyes and relax all day at the beach with a great book in your ears. Secondly, who doesn’t want something that’s free? With free audiobooks online you don’t have to pay anything to experience your favorite book anytime and anywhere. On the audiobook platforms that we’ll feature in this article, you will be available to browse hundreds of thousands of free audiobooks online. Just start listening!
Best places to listen to free audiobooks online
- Audible (30 days free)
- Audiobooks.com (3 audiobooks free)
- Open Culture
- Loyal Books
- Free Classic Audiobooks
- Project Gutenberg
- Mind Webs
And the best part? All free audiobook websites featured on this list are completely legal. Keep reading if you want to know more about each of the websites and find the best possible deals available for free audiobooks online.
1. Audible (30 days free)
Audible has the huge inventory you’d expect since it’s Amazon. It also has a 30-day free trial and two audiobook downloads for free. After the free trial, Audible is $14.95 a month for one book a month. Audible is the place for bestsellers and new releases. It also has podcasts and, if you’re already using Alexa, free content and audiobooks there. Our favorite audiobooks on Audible right now are 1984 and Dune.
2. Audiobooks.com (3 free audiobooks)
Audiobooks.com has a trial of three free audiobooks. If you stay a subscriber, $14.95 a month gives you two audiobooks a month, rewards and deals. Audiobooks.com has more than 250,000 premium book titles and more than 100 million podcast episodes. Its downloads and streams work on tablet, computer and phone and its app keeps your place in a book across all your devices.
You might already be on Spotify as a free or paid user. Either way, you have access to free audiobooks. Only public-domain works – so 95 years old or older – are available. 1001 Classic Short Stories and Tales is a neat podcast. To download books, you must be a premium member.
LibriVox is a free, nonprofit service making audiobooks more available and if you enjoy using it, you can help. All LibriVox audiobooks are voiced by volunteers, like you. The site has more than 10,000 books, short stories, poems and plays. All of the books are public domain – so, again, 95 years old or older.
Lit2Go is the University of South Florida’s free collection of public domain books, poetry, short stories and plays. It has a focus on children’s literature and timeless classics – so think Hamlet, Emily Dickinson collections, Peter Pan and Moby Dick. Some audiobooks have PDF files if a listener wants to read along while listening. If you appreciate Lit2Go, you’re able to donate to USF’s children’s literacy project.
OverDrive is the most like a library. In fact, you can sign up through a local library in many cases. It combines libraries, schools, major publishers and companies to have a catalog of more than 2,000,000 titles from more than 30,000 sources. You check out a book and borrow it for free. It works with it own app and the Libby app on iOS and Android. It also includes movies and music for borrowing.
Open Culture gathers and allows for easy finding of links to free audiobooks, online courses, movies, podcasts, language lessons, e-books and similar content. It’s sort of an aggregator resource. Open Culture’s motivation is sharing free educational media. It has links for more than 1,000 audiobooks for stream or download.
Digitalbook.io, from Amazon, and previously named Librophile, is a website and search engine which makes finding a specific book or file easy. Many audiobooks found here can be streamed right on Digitalbook or be treated as downloaded podcasts. This site is great for needing and finding one book or surfing what’s trending, highly-rated or related to what you’ve liked before. It has a volume of more than 100,000 titles.
Loyal Books has an easy-to-search interface for finding public-domain audiobooks, most of which are free. You can stream from the site, download the files and/or use the Loyal Books app. Users can find books by genre, language, a top-100 ranking and other sortable, searchable functions. Readers/listeners can read reviews from previous readers/listeners. Loyal Books used to be named Books Should Be Free.
This simple, free site has classic works such as Romeo and Juliet, Alice in Wonderland, Common Sense and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. You can download the free audiobooks. Some books have multiple recordings. Most are available in MP3 and M4B. Some books are available by individual chapter. They offer collections of audiobooks, i.e. 600 short stories for 9.95.
Project Gutenberg made and distributed the first e-book 50 years ago. It is the oldest digital library. It is still a growing source of free media and literature, with a huge catalog of public-domain audiobooks and audiobooks in more than 50 languages. Project Gutenberg grows its audiobook library by teaming with LibriVox and recruiting reading volunteers itself. Everything here is free. It isn’t available, though, on iOS devices.
Scribl is part-free and part-purchase. It is unique compared to all the public-domain resources because newer books – straight from the author and often read by the author – are available here. This is a home for a number of indie authors. Scribl has e-books and podcasts. It has its own app and you can listen on the app. Another unique part of Scribl is its pricing system. Less popular titles are free or low-price. More popular books become more expensive as demand increases.
This is for the related niches of old-time radio entertainment and sci-fi works. Mind Webs has more than 150 broadcasts of classic, scary, thought-provoking radio shows hosted, or re-hosted by Michael Hanson. The readings are half-hour episodes. The legendary sci-fi classics of the American early-mid 20th century are from Wells, Vonnegut and more.
Podiobooks.com is now a part of Scribl and all the same content – including free, serialized audiobooks, is found at Scribl.
StoryNory is likely the best site for kids’ books. It has audiobooks of timeless children’s books for bedtime along with literature on up to older kids – or adults who still love Dickens, Wilde, Baum, Aesop and so on. Fairy tales, fables, mythology, poems, music and original stories are here, too. All audiobooks include text to read along. The reading here is fun, exciting, emotional – all meant for kids to come to love literature and stories. StoryNory runs via user donations through Patreon.
Can I listen to free audiobooks offline?
You don’t have to be online to experience your favorite audiobook. Audiobook apps like Audible and Audiobooks.com offer a listen-offline feature, allowing you to download audiobooks for free to your device. This means that even though you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or are in a place with a bad connection, your downloaded audiobooks are still available.
Listening to audiobooks offline though still requires you to think ahead. Let’s say you are already on a vacation with restricted internet access or already on an airplane requiring your airplane mode on your cell to be turned on. Then the listen-offline feature will be of no use unless you’ve already downloaded the audiobooks at a time, where you were able to connect to the internet.
How to download audiobooks for your iPhone or Android device
It is very easy to download audiobooks to either an iPhone or Android device. All you need to do is to open your audiobook app and find the audiobook that you wish to download. Then you’ll see some type of download button. Click the button, and if you are online, the book will start downloading to your device. Please note that if you are using 4G, the app will most likely ask permission to download, since it may consume large amounts of data. If you have restricted data, I’d recommend waiting with the download till you’re on a WI-FI connection.
After the download is complete, you will most likely be able to see a symbol in your audiobook library marking the books that are available offline. These audiobooks will now be available for listening, even though you are not online.
What is the best website for free audiobooks?
Our favorite websites for free audiobooks are Audible and Audiobooks.com. Even though the websites are not completely free, they offer a much larger library than any of the other audiobook websites featured in this article. If you want completely free audiobooks, you must accept a very restricted library often only including public-domain works (95+ years old).
Where can you download audiobooks for free?
In most audiobook apps, a listen-offline feature is available, allowing you to download audiobooks for free to your device. Among other services, Audible and Audiobooks.com offer this feature.
How much does an audiobook cost?
On Audible and Audiobooks.com, an audiobook will cost you USD 14.95 after your free trial has ended.
Are audiobooks available for free at your local library?
Most local libraries offer a limited variety of free audiobooks. On the website, OverDrive, you will in many cases be able to log in with your local library credentials and instantly be able to borrow audiobooks at no cost.
Are free audiobooks legal?
Free audiobooks can be either legal or illegal. The legal ways to listen to audiobooks for free are 1) Using free trials on websites such as Audible or Audiobooks.com and 2) Listening to royalty-free audiobooks available on for example Spotify. All websites featured in this article are legal. If you use any of these, you can be certain that you are not breaking any laws.