How Much Data Do Audiobooks Use? (We Checked)

Auido book apps use up a lot of phone data – which can be expensive if you have limited data on your cell phone plan. If you listen to audiobooks often, it’s worth knowing how much data they use!

Here’s everything you need to know about audiobooks and data usage:

How Much Data Do Audiobooks Use? 

Audiobooks typically have around out 280 MB of data (for around 10 hours of listening). This means that in 1 hour, you can use 28 MB of data. Most phone plans offer 2-5 Gigs per month, so 28 MB in an hour isn’t that bad. Using Wi-Fi will prevent you from using too much data while you listen to audiobooks.

How Much Data Does Audible Use? 

If you’re planning on downloading an audiobook, you must understand how much data you will use.

Depending on the length, downloading a book can require 280 MB on average, so the impact on your data plan is during the download. 

How Many Gigabytes Is an Audiobook? 

The average audiobook is about 280MB, meaning an hour-long book will take up around 28MB of space on your device.  

This makes a little more sense when considering that the audio file is compressed to make it easy to download quickly and without using too much data. 

As with any other game or app, the size of an audiobook will vary depending on its length and recording quality. 

Audiobooks can be as small as 250MB or as large as 350MB for a single hour’s worth of recordings.

Can You Listen to Audiobooks on Older Smartphones? 

You can if you have an older smartphone and want to listen to audiobooks. The Audible mobile app is available for download through the app store.  

You can stream or download your favorite books from on your iPhone or iPad (iOS4. 0 or higher), or Android smartphone (running version 2.3 or higher), via their native apps.

If you have an older phone that doesn’t support Bluetooth or USB, you might still be able to listen to audiobooks by connecting it to a computer. 

You can’t download audiobooks from Audible and transfer them to older phones. (But you can use a PC to download audiobooks, then transfer them to your phone.) 

Do Audiobook Apps Stream or Download? 

When you buy an audiobook, it’s downloaded to your device, or you can stream it.

If you’re listening to a book on an app that only streams, it won’t be downloaded—the app will stream it instead. 

This can be a good thing for two reasons:

  • First, streaming is more efficient than downloading (which means you’ll use less data).
  • Second, you can listen to audiobooks without using data by downloading them first and storing them locally on your device, so there’s no need for streaming at all. 

Does AUDIBLE App Stream or Download? 

Audible uses a streaming service to deliver audiobooks, and you can also download the books you have purchased. It’s up to you whether you want to download or stream the content.

Does HOOPLA App Stream or Download? 

With HOOPLA you can either download content or stream it. You can also download audiobooks from Hoopla and then listen to them offline without using data.

Does LIBIVOX App Stream or Download? 

LibriVox audiobooks can be streamed, which means they’re played directly from the internet to your computer as you listen.

Or they can be downloaded later, allowing you to listen at your leisure without an internet connection. 

Some audiobooks are available as both streamed and downloaded versions.  

Does SPOTIFY App Stream or Download? 

Spotify is a streaming app, so it streams content from Spotify’s servers.

You can download an audiobook to your phone for offline listening, but only if you have a Spotify Premium subscription.  

This means you don’t have to worry about using up your data when streaming audiobooks on Spotify. 

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

It depends on the length of the book.

As we mentioned above, audiobooks can be as small as 250MB or as large as 350MB for a single hour’s worth of recordings.

Plus, according to Audible, a typical audiobook is about 13 hours long, which means it’s about 1GB in size. Most users will consume about 2-5GB per month worth of data.

That means that a single audiobook that equates to 1 gigabyte could cost almost half of a 2GB phone plan.

If your phone plan is expensive, you could be paying quite a bit to download your audiobook on data alone. That’s why it is important to download without using data.

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

You can download audiobooks on Wi-Fi and listen offline on your iPhone or iPad. 

The Audible app has a setting that allows you to download audiobooks on Wi-Fi only. 

If you don’t want to use your data plan, this is a great option for downloading books without using your mobile data. 

Does Audible Automatically Download the Books? 

If you’re an Audible subscriber, the answer is no.

Audible will not download a book to your device unless you tell it. This is good because it prevents unnecessary data usage on your part. 

To make sure that your whole library is available at all times and fully accessible from any location, download the books manually whenever there’s Wi-Fi available.  

Your books will be stored on your phone, which you can then use at any time without data. Including on an airplane or during long car rides where you might lose signal!

Can You Listen to Audiobooks Without Using Data? 

You can listen to audiobooks on your phone without using data.

The only way is to download them and listen to them later.  

Please note that on a PC, you’ll need an app that allows you to download audiobooks in your preferred format and then transfer the files over from your computer or device onto an SD card, which will help you save space on your phone’s hard drive.  

Where Are My Audible Books Stored on a Phone? 

On Android, all of your Audible books are stored in a folder called “Audible” under the “Storage” section of the file manager app.  

This location can vary depending on what type of device you have and how much space is available.  

Suppose there isn’t enough room for all of your titles. In that case, they’ll be automatically moved over to internal storage once it becomes available again.

Any content added after this happens won’t be found unless an update has been made, in which case it will appear again shortly afterward. 

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

You don’t need to worry about how much space audiobooks take up on your device.  

Only a few megabytes will be used in cache storage to stream them.  

If you want to download the audiobook to your device for offline listening, it takes about 280MB of space. 

If you’re worried about not having enough space for all your audiobooks, there are many ways to store them: 

  • You can store them on your smartphone or tablet’s hard drive or flash drive.
    • This is a good option if those devices have enough storage capacity and if they are compatible with whatever apps you want to use while listening (like Google Play Music). 
  • You can also use external hard drives that connect directly via USB cable or wirelessly through Wi-Fi connections such as AirPlay and Chromecast Audio dongles. 

What Factors Determine The Size Of An Audiobook File? 

The number of kilobits per second will determine the constant bit rate (CBR).

This is the amount of data needed to send sound to each person listening to it at any given time. A higher CBR means more bandwidth is needed for all listeners to have high-quality listening experiences.

A lower CBR allows listeners with slower internet connections or less powerful devices to enjoy audiobooks without buffering out or stalling during playback. 

The sample rate determines how many times per second an audio sample will be taken from your book. Sample rates can range anywhere from 8 kHz up to 192 kHz.

44 kHz is generally used when encoding into MP3 files because it offers both good quality and small file sizes without causing any noticeable degradation in audio quality compared with higher-resolution formats. 


Audiobooks may be different than streaming music, but there’s still a fair amount of data usage that users should be aware of.

Audible is one option for audiobook listening, but the success of apps like Libby and Overdrive suggests that audiobooks are about more than just one service. 

The popularity of audiobooks continues to grow with the increasing number of smartphones and tablets. Not only are they a highly convenient way to consume a book, but they’re also free from distractions that can appear while reading on a computer or tablet. 


Mythography Studios: Use an Older Phone to listen to audiobooks. 

Droid Riot: Where are Audible Files Stored on my Android? 

1 Minute Book: Do Audiobooks Take Up Data? 

Skill Growth Pro: Does Audible Use Data? 

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