Kindle Unlimited vs Audible: An In-Depth Comparison

Over 1 million eBooks and thousands of audiobooks
Broad, but not all popular titles included
Unlimited access to eBooks and select audiobooks
No ownership, only access during the subscription
Balanced between eBooks and audiobooks, with a greater emphasis on eBooks
$7.95 – $14.95 per month (Audible Plus/Premium Plus)
Over 200,000 audiobooks (including Audible Originals)
Extensive, includes bestsellers and exclusive Audible Originals
One or two books per month with Premium Plus (depending on the plan) and unlimited listening to Audible Plus Catalog
Books bought with credits are yours to keep, even after ending subscription
Discounts on additional purchases, free access to select Audible Originals each month
Exclusively audiobooks

The never-ending duel between Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and Audible has left many readers quandary.

The two giants offer a plethora of digital reading and listening material, each boasts unique features and benefits. Today, I’ll delve into the specifics to help you decide which service better suits your needs.

And you know what?

These insights will be drawn from my personal experiences with both platforms. Let’s dive right in.

What is Kindle Unlimited?

To start with, Kindle Unlimited (Review here) is an Amazon service that offers access to over a million books, magazines, and audiobooks. It’s essentially a library at your fingertips for a monthly fee of $11.99.

With Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow up to ten titles and read or listen to them on any device with the Kindle app. It’s an excellent service for voracious readers and those exploring different genres.

What is Audible?

On the other side is Audible, Amazon’s audiobook platform. Audible offers an extensive selection of audiobooks, podcasts, and original content.

Audible – Extensive content library
While Audible operates on a subscription basis like Kindle Unlimited, the model differs slightly. Audible charges $14.95/month for its basic subscription, which grants you one credit (typically equivalent to one audiobook) and discounts on additional purchases.

Kindle Unlimited: The Pros

  • Unlimited Reading and Listening: Kindle Unlimited allows users to read or listen to as many books as they want from its catalog. This freedom can lead to many discoveries and expand your literary horizons.
  • eBooks and Audiobooks: This service isn’t exclusive to audiobooks, providing access to over 1 million eBooks. Kindle Unlimited is a great deal for individuals who enjoy reading and listening to books.
  • Value for Money: At just $9.99 per month, Kindle Unlimited offers a cost-effective solution for book lovers, particularly those who consume multiple books monthly.

Kindle Unlimited: The Cons

  • Limited Selection of Popular Titles: While Kindle Unlimited offers a vast library, not all the latest or most popular books are available. Some notable authors or publishing houses may not be included in the subscription.
  • Fewer Audiobook Choices: The service’s primary focus is eBooks, meaning the audiobook selection isn’t as extensive as Audible’s.
  • Regional Restrictions: The availability of some books may be region-specific, potentially limiting users in certain areas.

Audible: The Pros

  • Extensive Audiobook Library: Audible’s focus is purely on audiobooks. The platform boasts an impressive selection, including bestsellers, classics, and Audible Originals.
  • Book Ownership: With Audible, you own the books you purchase using your credits, even after your subscription ends. This feature provides a sense of permanence to your collection.
  • Exclusive Content: Audible Originals are exclusive productions you can’t find elsewhere. These offer unique narratives and performances from top-tier talent.

Audible: The Cons

  • Limited Monthly Credits: With the Premium Plus subscription, you only receive one or two monthly credits, which might not suffice for avid listeners.
  • Costly for Frequent Listeners: Given the subscription cost and additional purchases, Audible could become expensive for those who consume several monthly books.
  • Limited Listening: The ‘unlimited’ listening feature for the Plus catalog may not include all the books you wish to hear.

Comparing the Content

Now, let’s look at the content you get with both services.

Kindle Unlimited shines when it comes to diversity. Whether you’re into romance, sci-fi, mystery, or biographies, there’s something for everyone. However, don’t expect to find all of the latest bestsellers or popular titles. Most of the books are from indie authors or older titles from more recognized authors.

Kindle Unlimited – Content Diversity

On the other hand, Audible offers more current and popular titles in its catalog. With Audible, you can access the latest bestsellers or enjoy a classic you’ve always meant to read – or in this case, listen to.

Audible – Popular titles

So, in terms of content, it really depends on your preferences. If you want newer, more popular titles and don’t mind the format, Audible is the way to go. Kindle Unlimited might serve you better if you read voraciously and love exploring hidden gems.

Exploring the Cost Aspect

Now, let’s talk money. Kindle Unlimited’s $11.99/month subscription sounds like an unbeatable deal, especially when compared to Audible’s $14.95/month. But remember, with Audible, you’re essentially purchasing a title each month, which you can keep forever, even if you cancel the subscription.

Kindle Unlimited – Monthly subscription

With Kindle Unlimited, you’re borrowing the books. Once you cancel your subscription, you no longer have access to the books you’ve borrowed. So, the real question is whether you want to own the books, or are you okay with borrowing them?

The Audiobook Experience

If you’re primarily interested in audiobooks, there’s another point to consider. Audible is essentially an audiobook service, and the quality of the audiobooks, in terms of narration and production, is generally excellent.

Audible – Audiobook quality
Kindle Unlimited also offers audiobooks, but not all books come with an audio format, and the quality of those that do can be hit-or-miss.

Exploring the Flexibility

When it comes to flexibility, Kindle Unlimited holds the upper hand.

With its “borrow and return” model, you can explore a wider range of titles.

Kindle Unlimited – Flexibility
Audible’s credit system is more rigid. Once you use credit on a book, it’s yours, even if you didn’t particularly enjoy it. This might limit the risk-taking when choosing titles.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the choice between Kindle Unlimited and Audible depends on your specific reading and listening habits.

Kindle Unlimited will be a great fit if you’re a prolific reader who enjoys diving into diverse genres and doesn’t mind stumbling upon some indie gems.

However, if you’re a busy bee who relishes catching up on reading while on the go and appreciates high-quality audiobook production, Audible is your best bet.

As for the cost, if owning books is important to you, the price difference won’t make much difference. But, if you read a lot and don’t mind borrowing, Kindle Unlimited is undoubtedly the cheaper option.

Either way, both platforms offer a free trial, so why not give them a spin and see which one you prefer?

Remember, there is no right or wrong choice here, only what suits your lifestyle and reading preferences better.

Happy reading (or listening)!

About Author

I'm Shehraj Singh, I started the eReader.blog to help people learn more about eReader specifically Amazon Kindle, and help them fix any issues they may have.

I have a lot of experience with Kindle, and I want to share my knowledge with you so that you can make the most out of your device.

Leave a Comment