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Kobo review

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This audiobook service by Rakuten packs an extensive library, free audiobooks and more.

Kobo is a pioneer in e-books, and audiobooks are no exception. With one of the largest catalogs among audiobook providers and an easy-to-use app, Kobo offers readers a seamless listening experience. But for those most avid readers consistently looking for the latest releases, and an app with extensive features you may want to shop around.

What is Kobo?

Rakuten Kobo — or more commonly, Kobo — is a popular Canadian online bookstore that sells e-books, audiobooks, e-readers and tablets plus accessories, and provides free apps for iOS and Android. Through Kobo audiobooks, you can access over 1.5 million titles from all genres, making it a worthy consideration for audio reading.

Pros and cons

Whether you’re an avid traditional hardcopy book lover looking to try audiobooks for the first time, or a seasoned listener looking to shop around, consider some of Kobo’s perks and drawbacks:

Pros

  • A huge selection of titles, including Kobo Originals
  • Download to carry your entire collection with you
  • Ability to buy additional credits

Cons

  • Can’t buy new titles in the iOS app itself
  • You can’t listen to audiobooks via a web browser or on Kobo devices
  • App is lacking in features
  • Kobo devices are on the pricier side

How much does Kobo cost?

Kobo membership is free. All you have to do is create an account by signing up, entering your personal details and payment information, and you’re good to buy e-books at your leisure.

But for audiobooks, you’ll pay a $9.99 monthly subscription fee. Choose an audiobook from the selection and you’ll receive one credit every month that you can use toward any audiobook of choice — regardless of the price. Also, your audiobooks are yours forever, even if you cancel your membership.

Does Kobo have a free trial?

Kobo has a free 30-day trial for audiobooks. You’ll also get your first audiobook for free to try it out. Once your $9.99 monthly subscription starts, you can cancel at any time.

Kobo reviews and complaints

Need more feedback before you decide? No need to read between the lines — these customer reviews may help.

PlatformReview (Last updated October 14, 2020)
Apple App Store4.6 out of 5 stars (12,176 reviews)
Google Play4.3 out of 5 stars (264,662 reviews)

Compare audiobook services

Be sure to research other audiobook service providers to best meet your needs.

Name Product Cost Subscription type Free trial Listen offline Library size
Audible
$14.95 per month
  • Credit
  • Rental
30 days
Yes
470,000
Google Play Audiobooks
Pay-per-book
  • Unlimited
No
Yes
5,000,000+
BorrowBox
Free
  • Rental
No
Yes
Depends on your local library
Downpour
$12.99 per month
  • Credit
  • Rental
No
Yes
80,000
Blinkist
$14.99 per month
  • Unlimited
7 days
Yes
3,500
Scribd
$8.99 per month
  • Unlimited
7 days
Yes
500,000
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Compare up to 4 providers

Expert review

Melanie Huddart

Review by


Melanie Huddart joined Finder’s editorial team in 2017, helping to polish up content across niches that include home loans, share trading, shopping and travel. Melanie earned a BA in Specialized Honors English and a BEd from York University in Toronto, Canada. When she isn’t focused on making articles shine, you can find her hanging with her son and her dog, practicing yoga or searching for the next greatest beach.

Expert review

Kobo is a fair competitor if you enjoy listening to audiobooks. You’ll find one of the most extensive libraries out there, and the credit for a free audiobook every month is a nice reward. But the inability to shop in-app can be problematic for some users.

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