Quite like podcasts, audiobooks allow you to dip your toes into captivating stories and insightful knowledge, whether you’re commuting, exercising, or simply relaxing at home. However, audiobooks are not everyone’s cup of tea, plus they are expensive. So, we’ve compiled a list of top websites to download audiobooks for free, legally and without any copyright concerns.
In general, audiobooks are more expensive than their ebook or paperback counterparts, due to the complex production process involved. These platforms are either public domain or have the writer’s permission, so you are privy to a legal, hassle-free, and guilt-free listening experience.
1. OverDrive – Free Downloadable Audiobooks for Students
OverDrive is an especially curated digital library that allows you to borrow and listen to tons of audiobooks from their local libraries. And their no hidden fees or subscription, all you need to get full-length audiobooks for free is a library card or school ID.
It’s perfectly suitable for students as they can find everything from the latest releases to some old classics, across a wide breadth of genres and collections. Additionally, searching through the platform is pretty easy, all thanks to a list of handy filters that you can apply.
The platform also offers handy supporting apps, Libby for everyone and Sora for students. Although, remember the books are on loan and your access will be lifted as soon as the period ends. Furthermore, you might find a waiting list for certain audiobooks, especially the newer releases.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Access to a wide range of audiobooks through your local library.
- Borrow and return books at your convenience.
- Listen on a computer or mobile.
- Availability depends on your library’s collection.
- Waiting list and limited-time access.
Price: Free (requires a library card)
2. Librivox – Large Collection of Public Domain Audiobooks
Librivox is a unique platform. It does not offer the usual mix of free downloadable audiobooks. Instead, it hosts audiobooks of publicly available books read by volunteers. So, you might not find the latest releases, but rest assured that some classics and lesser-known works are waiting for you.
The platform relies on the dedication of volunteers who record and contribute their readings, resulting in a diverse and continuously growing collection of audiobooks. Moreover, to keep things organized and easily approachable Librivox segregates books under categories and sub-categories,
Although, if that’s not your style, you can search the platform using the advanced search tool. What’s more, you can either download the entire audiobook as ZIP or individual chapters. And since LibriVox is also available on iOS and Android, you can also download audiobooks on your iPhone or Android devices easily.
- A vast collection of audiobooks in multiple languages.
- Apps for iOS and Android.
- All audiobooks are well-organized.
- The quality of recordings may vary due to volunteer contributions.
3. Internet Archive – Great for Classic Books
Internet Archive is a free non-profit library that offers a vast collection of books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The audiobook collection spans multiple genres, such as fiction, non-fiction, classics, and educational content.
Moreover, the platform enables users to contribute their own audiobooks to the collection. So, rest assured the library is ever-expanding. Another neat feature is its search filters, you can narrow your search as per year, topic & subjects, language, creators, etc.
Although, the overall website interface is pretty bare-boned and confusing. The book covers and titles are not properly categorized, so finding the right one can become a task. And while the community contribution is great, the audio quality and accuracy might vary. So test a sample before you download the complete book.
Note: If you’re interested in short stories, check out MindWebs. Though a part of Internet Archive, it’s presented as half-hour podcast/audio novel episodes.
- Extensive collection of audiobooks from diverse genres.
- Also includes user-contributed content.
- Search filters to find your book quickly.
- The interface is quite rustic.
- You might not find new books
- Production quality varies.
4. Open Culture – Best for Cultural and Educational Audiobooks
As the name suggests, Open Culture is a free-to-use library intended for educational, cultural, university courses and more. In addition to 1,000 free audiobooks, the platform also sports a wide selection of movies, ebooks, podcasts, language courses, etc.
And while the audiobook collection is limited, it packs a diverse range of titles across various genres, ensuring there’s something for every listener. Moreover, the collection is alphabetically organized, so you can simply scroll down and check whether the audiobook you want is available or not.
Although, a search bar with some filters would be nice. Additionally, not every audiobook MP3 is available to download for free, some are just streaming or YouTube links, so you’ll have to adjust your listening experience accordingly.
- 1,000 free audiobooks to download.
- Well-organized collection.
- Also includes ebooks, online courses, and more.
- Can’t search or filter audiobooks.
- Not all books are available for download.
5. Storynory – Best Free Audiobooks for Kids
If you’re planning to get your kids hooked on audiobooks, this is probably the best free resource to download them. Dedicated to providing free audio stories for children, Storynory offers a collection of engaging and entertaining stories.
The vast collection includes original stories, fairy tales, and classic children’s literature. It not just fosters the love for storytelling and literacy in young listeners, but also helps improve their language skills.
Accordingly, you’ll find a variety of age-appropriate content and captivating narrations, making it an ideal platform for parents, teachers, and children to enjoy together.
- Audiobook platform exclusively for kids
- Regularly updated with new content.
- Includes text with the audiobook.
- Not much collection for young adults.
- Comparatively limited audiobook collection.
6. Hoopla – Audiobook Library for Old and New Books
Hoopla offers a similar concept to OverDrive. And just like its counterpart, it offers 100,000 full-length audiobooks for free, as long as you have a library card. Apart from its vast library, Hoopla will impress you with its intuitive and user-friendly interface.
Audiobooks are neatly stocked under categories and genres, including new & trending, riveting techno-thrillers, debut authors, celebrity memoirs, and more. You’ll also find the platform extremely inclusive as themes like Asian Pacific American Heritage Month or Jewish American Heritage Month are a common occurrence.
However, what makes Hoopla stands apart from OverDrive is that the audiobooks are not on loan. And neither is the collection limited according to your area or the library near you.
- An intuitive and user-friendly interface.
- It’s easy to find your book.
- Books are not geo-restricted.
- Requires a valid library card.
7. Digitalbook.io – Directory for Classic Audiobooks
Digitalbook.io has a comparatively smaller selection of downloadable audiobooks. However, what it lacks in numbers, it makes up for the quality of the audio. Additionally, the user interface is minimal and efficient.
And everything from exploring the selection to filtering your searches is a click or scroll away. Not just that, but the platform also brings some amazing classic literature to the table. So, you must check its selection out, especially if you want to explore old-school literature.
- Easy to browse and download audiobooks.
- Includes lots of classics.
- Limited audiobooks collection
Expand Your Horizon Free Talking Books
Now that we’ve introduced you to the treasure trove of free audiobooks, listen away! However, if you’ve really fallen in love with audiobooks, do try subscription services like Audible or Scribd. Here, you’ll find 100s of free downloadable audiobooks under a minimum subscription.
Do let us know your experience with audiobooks. And as usual, use the comments section if you have any questions or queries.
Last updated on 09 August, 2023
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.