How Much Data Do Audiobooks Use? (Explained)

The answer depends on several factors.

The length of the audio book and the quality of the recording are important considerations, but so is your listening device.

For example, an iPhone with Siri enabled uses less data than an iPod Nano with a wired headset attached.

In this article we will look at how much data do audiobooks use, and the elements involved in this.

Here’s How Much Data Audio Books Use:

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), streaming audio uses about 1 MB per minute. If you listen to an hour of audio per day and download it at 128 kbps (kilobits per second) quality, you’ll use about 3 GB of data every 30 days for the average listener.

How Many Gigabytes Is an Audiobook?

Generally speaking, most audiobooks are between 2GB and 6GB in total size depending on their length and format.

There are several common formats for audiobook files: MP3, AAC, WAV and FLAC. Each format has its own bitrate or audio quality level, so some formats take up more space than others. Also, some formats are better at preserving the original quality of an audio recording than others.

Here are the two most important factors for determining the size:

  • Audiobooks are usually offered in two formats: MP3 and WAV (Waveform Audio Format). The majority of audiobooks are sold in MP3 format because it’s the most popular format for music, which means that you can easily play them on any device with a music player, including smartphones. However, some audiobooks are available only in WAV format.
    • MP3s are the most common format for downloading and listening to music online. They’re also widely used for storing audio books. MP3s can be encoded at different bitrates (the number of bits used per second), which means they will sound different depending on which bitrate you choose. The higher the bitrate, the better quality your file will be — but it will also take up more storage space on your device or computer.
  • The average audiobook is about 240 minutes long, but there are some that run for hours. For example, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin takes about 24 hours to listen to from start to finish! Audiobooks come in many different formats and lengths so it’s impossible to give an exact answer to the question “How many gigabytes is an audiobook?” without knowing how long it is, or whether it’s an MP3 or WAV file.

The amount of data that a single audiobook uses depends on many factors like:

  • The length of the audiobook (the longer it is, the more space it will take up).
  • Whether it’s being downloaded from your local library or from a paid subscription service like Audible or iTunes.
  • If it’s being streamed over Wi-Fi or cellular data.
  • If you’re trying to download an audiobook from your library over cellular data, be prepared for some hefty usage charges. That said, if you’re downloading it over Wi-Fi at home or at work and then listening later when there’s no Wi-Fi available, you’ll likely only use a few MBs per hour.

Can You Listen to Audiobooks on Older Smartphones?

Most cellphones sold today come with large screens and high-quality speakers.

This makes them ideal devices for listening to audiobooks.

However, older smartphones may not be able to play audiobooks because they don’t have the right hardware or software.

If your phone doesn’t support Audible, you can still use it to listen to books on other platforms, such as Google Play Books or Apple Books.

If your phone doesn’t support those services, you might be out of luck. You can also try listening to audiobooks on YouTube or Spotify if you want a free option.

Read our blog here about pause or cancel Audible?

Do Audiobook Apps Stream or Download?

Audiobooks are a fantastic way to enjoy your favorite books, but how do audiobook apps work?

There are two main ways that you can listen to audiobooks on your phone or tablet: streaming and downloading.

Audible for streaming:

  • Streaming services like Audible allow you to listen to any book in their library instantly, without needing to download it first. They can be a great option if you want access to a huge library of titles at any time. If you prefer to own the books you read, though, then there’s always the option of downloading audiobooks so that they’re stored on your device and ready whenever you need them.
  • Streaming services like Audible have been around for years now, so they have huge libraries and excellent support for different platforms. They also have some limitations — namely, they don’t let you keep audiobooks forever. After listening to an Audible book once, it will disappear from your library unless you decide to buy it outright (or sign up for a monthly subscription). This makes them less useful if you want to spend some time listening before deciding whether or not an audiobook is worth purchasing.
  • Audible is one of the most popular audiobook services, and it offers two main ways to listen: streaming and downloading. The first option is free with a monthly subscription, while the second costs $14.95 per month. Both options are accessible from any device, including phones, tablets and computers. You can also download your Audible audiobooks onto your devices for offline listening.

The difference between streaming and downloading is how your phone stores the audio files:

  • Streaming: Your phone doesn’t store any of the audiobook files on its own storage. Instead, it streams them from another source, like a cloud server or the internet. You can’t listen to a streamed audiobook without an internet connection or some other form of data connection (like 4G).
  • Downloading: Your phone stores the audiobook files itself so that you can listen to them without an internet connection or other data connection.

How Much Does It Cost to Download Audiobooks on Cellphone Data?

You can find audiobooks in a variety of sizes. If you are looking for a specific title, it’s best to check the size before you buy.

You may be able to find the book in several different formats. A standard audio file is usually around 100 MB, but some books are much larger — especially if they’re abridged versions. For example,

The Stand by Stephen King is over 50 hours long, which is equal to over 1 GB of data.

Can You Download Audiobooks on Wi-Fi and Listen Offline?

You can listen to an audiobook anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

The Kindle app syncs your progress between devices and will resume playing where you left off.

If you don’t have access to Wi-Fi or cellular data, you’ll need to download a section of the book in advance so it will be available once you’re offline.

You can also listen to audiobooks on the go by downloading them ahead of time and listening when you’re out of range of Wi-Fi.

This means that if you have a long train journey or car ride ahead of you, then it makes sense to fill up your device with audiobooks before heading out so that you don’t have to worry about paying extra for data.

Does Audible Automatically Download the Books?

If you are an Audible subscriber, you can download audiobooks to your computer and mobile devices.

If a book is not yet downloaded, it will automatically download when you open the Audible app or visit

If you have already downloaded a book, it will not automatically download again.

You can access your library at any time by clicking on “My Library” in the top navigation bar, then clicking on “My Books.” You can also view all of your audiobooks and eBooks by clicking on “My Library” and selecting “All Items.”

Can You Listen to Audiobooks Without Using Data?

You can download audiobooks in one of two ways: direct download or streaming.

Direct downloading allows you to save your audiobook for offline use, but it requires a Wi-Fi connection and can take some time depending on the file size and your internet connection speed. Streaming allows you to listen to your audiobook as soon as it begins downloading, but it requires an active internet connection.

If you aren’t sure whether your audiobook is available streaming or not, check out our guide on how to find out if an Audible audiobook is streaming or direct download.

If you’re planning a long trip, it’s easy to download several audiobooks and listen without using any data at all. This is especially true if you use an unlimited plan with your wireless carrier.

Audiobooks are great for long trips or commutes because they can help pass the time. Y

ou might not want to spend money on books that are only meant for reading, so audiobooks offer a cheap alternative for those who want something more interesting than podcasts or music.

Read our blog here about can you share Audible membership?

Where Are My Audible Books Stored on a Phone?

Audible books are stored in the Cloud and can be downloaded to your phone. To find your Audible audiobooks, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Play Store.
  • Tap on the arrow in the top-left corner of the screen.
  • Tap My Apps & Games.
  • Scroll down and tap Audible to open the app’s menu.
  • Tap Library.
  • Scroll down to see all of your titles, including purchased and free titles.

Let’s take a look at how to navigate the Audible app on your iPhone or iPad:

  • If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, finding your audiobooks is actually quite simple — as long as you know where they’re located in the first place.
  • The first thing you’ll want to do is open up the Audible app itself (not iTunes) and select “My Library” from the navigation bar along the bottom of the screen.
  • This will open up a list of all of the titles you’ve purchased or downloaded through Audible.

How Much Available Space Do You Need to Listen to Audiobooks?

You’ll need to set aside a certain amount of space to listen to audiobooks, just as you do when you use your phone or tablet for music or video.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, you can check the available storage using your device’s settings menu.

The exact process varies depending on what type of device and software version you’re running, but it should be easy enough to figure out even if you’re not very tech-savvy.

If you’re using iOS on an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage.

Note that this will only tell you how much space we leave on your device’s internal storage; if you have other cloud-based accounts like Dropbox installed on your mobile device (and many people do), the total amount of free space may be lower than what’s shown here.


Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy a story while you’re multitasking. The only problem is that they can be pretty big files, which makes them hard to store on your phone or tablet.

If you want to listen to audiobooks, you’ll need a device that can play them.

Most smartphones and tablets are capable of playing audiobooks, but not all of them can handle the large file sizes associated with them. Be sure to check your devices capabilities before downloading audiobooks.


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