An audiobook service where volunteers narrate, edit and post titles to the public domain — for free.
LibriVox is an audiobook service that gets its support from volunteers worldwide in all languages for narration and curation. It’s a great option for those who want to try out the audiobook scene, and are looking for a simple and straightforward provider. But some listeners who crave a more sophisticated digital experience might feel the platform lacks finesse.
What is LibriVox?
LibriVox is a service that focuses on public domain works, converting them into audiobooks primarily through the help of volunteer narrators.
LibriVox calls it the “acoustical liberation of books,” and entry to the site is free. But, as the saying goes: You get what you pay for — and you can expect no cutting-edge website or app design, or in-depth curation system here.
As basic as it all may seem, there’s plenty of classics to enjoy here, especially if you want free children’s audiobooks. But be aware that there are many third-party LibriVox apps on the App Store and Google Play and these do often have nominal fees attached, usually less than $5.
Pros and cons
Perks and drawbacks come with any service, and free ones are no exception. Here’s what you can weigh out:
- It’s free to access
- Some genuine literature classics that all ages can enjoy
- Quirky narration can bring some unexpected delight
- Quirky narration can also be grating
- Don’t expect anything new
- Design and curation leave something to be desired
How much does LibriVox cost?
Volunteers from all over the world read LibriVox audiobooks — so LibriVox audiobooks are available to listen to on any desktop or mobile device you wish, for free.
Does LibriVox have a free trial?
The free service means no free trial.
LibriVox reviews and complaints
What do other platforms have to say about LibriVox?
|Platform||Reviews (Last updated October 13, 2020)|
|Apple App Store||4.8 out of 5 stars (18,542 reviews)|
|Google Play||4.2 out of 5 stars (12,989 reviews)|
Compare audiobook services
If you love the audiobook experience, check out other providers and services to compare your options and best meet your preferences.
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.
LibriVox is a one-of-a-kind service in that it’s completely volunteer-driven on a global scale, and all recordings are posted in the public domain for free access. Listeners looking to explore using audiobooks for the first time might find it a great way to test the waters. Other testimonies object to the lack of digital sophistication and the narration quality — in which case they’re free to re-record it and post it themselves—.
Be sure to thoroughly compare all audiobook services before making a decision, so you can find the one that’s best for you.