Are e-Readers the best for listening to audiobooks?

E-Readers have emerged over the years as the best device for reading eBooks. Now, with audiobooks too becoming popular, most of the e-readers launched in recent times come with audiobook support. While that is fine, the thing to ponder is whether e-readers are best for listening to audiobooks?

Now, there are several reasons e-readers have come to be preferred by book lovers. Take for instance the e ink display which offers the same visual feel as looking at the printed paper. E-Readers also last several weeks on a single charge, besides being light and handy as well. Plus, the device can have hundreds of titles stored, with more to be added when needed, which means you will perhaps never run out of books to read.

However, all of these qualities matter when reading an e-book or other digital stuff but not while listening to an audiobook. Rather, things can be a bit tricky when listening to audiobooks via an e-reader. Take for instance the new generation Kindles that boasts of audiobook support though that is via Audible, which is understandable considering that Audible is owned by Amazon.

Further, the Kindles lack a speaker of their own, or even a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Instead, one has to connect to a Bluetooth compatible speaker or headphones to listen to audiobooks. The same applies to the new Kobo Sage and the PocketBook Color as well, or for that matter, most e-reader devices out there. eReaders running Android which includes those from Dasung or Onyx also support audiobooks.

However, the thing to note here is that dedicated e-reader devices miss out on a key feature that is considered among its biggest USPs when playing audiobooks. It is battery life, and it will cease to be counted in weeks when streaming audiobooks. Rather, it becomes a matter of hours and days before requiring a recharge.

Meanwhile, even something as ubiquitous as the smartphone can be perfect for listening to audiobooks. Just subscribe to the audiobook service of your choice and install their app on your smartphone and that is all. The other advantage of smartphones is that they are handy and pocketable. Above all, it’s something that we all have and hence won’t necessitate investing in another device just for listening to audiobooks. Even tablet devices have been found to fare better when playing audiobooks so far as the battery life is concerned.

So it can boil down to personal preferences. For those who have got smitten by the audiobook bug can dive right into it simply via their smartphones itself. You do not need to acquire any specialized device for the same. For those who’d like to keep their audiobook reading separate and not burdensome their smartphones can opt for devices such as the Sony Walkman NW-E394 or the Mibao MP3 Player that are equally compact as the smartphone but offer a good listening experience.

Those who already do their reading vie e-readers can always use the same to continue listening to audiobooks as well. The thing to note here is that e-readers have primarily been designed for reading e-books and hence lack the physical volume buttons and such. However, given how popular audiobooks have become, perhaps manufacturers will consider making future e-reader devices more friendly for listening to audiobooks as well. Otherwise, just about any smart device which can host an audiobook streaming app and has audio output can be used to listen to audiobooks.

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