Can You Listen to an Audiobook on a Plane? Learn How!

Do you have a favorite audiobook that you want to listen to while flying or want to listen to a few new ones? Well audiobooks are certainly a great way to help pass the time on a long flight.

You can listen to an audiobook on a plane but it is better to download the audiobooks you wish to read beforehand and not chance there being reliable internet access on your flight, if there is any at all.

Let’s start with the basics

Some flight regulations across the world state that you cannot use any portable device when the plane is below 10000 feet while others say you just mustn’t use them during landing and take-off . Your phone should also be on airplane mode at all times. That is regardless of what you actually want to do with it.

The reason for this is to reduce the possibility of interference with the aircraft’s electrical and navigational systems. You can read more about these regulations in my article Can you use Whatsapp on a plane in airplane mode?

Here are a few options to consider

Download your audiobook

In most cases, you will need to download an app called Audible audiobooks. This app is available across all platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows. With this application, you will be free to select and download whichever audiobook you so wish. This way, you will be free to listen to it at your convenience.

For instance, if you are using your smartphone, you will need to go to your app store, download Audible, and launch it. Log into this app and click on the ‘Store’ icon. Here, you will be free to buy whichever audiobook you want, and comfortably so. The process is usually relatively straightforward.

After downloading, you click the ‘Library’ icon to find all the books you just bought. This allows you to download the book once you click on its cover. Once you download the book, you will have no trouble listening to it even when you are offline. That includes when you are on a flight.

You can try Audible free for 30 days with 1 free audiobook plus a selection of Audible Originals

Listening to an audiobook without internet

Listening to an audiobook without internet

Did you know that you can listen to your audiobook, whether you have internet or not? Well, with the Audible offline provision, this is no longer a mere thought. Unfortunately, you can only listen to these books, without the internet, if you are with the Audible ecosystem. Remember, this system is only accessible to specific devices. You should ensure that you confirm the compatibility of yours device before proceeding.

First, you will have to download a software called iTunes Audio Converter. This converter comes in handy in ensuring that you can listen to your audiobook across any device. Whether it is a phone, a PC, or an iPod, you will have nothing to worry about. Ideally, it allows you to export your content to the device of your choice.

Following the procedure mentioned above, ensure that you download the content you want to your current device. From there, you will import the audiobook to the iTunes Converter. It is from here that you will have the room to convert and customize the audiobook into a suitable format for yourself.

This conversion is essential in removing DRM protection, and will only take a few seconds. As soon as the conversion process is complete, you can transfer the audiobook to an external player, including a USB. Usually, with external storage, you will find it much easier to play the audiobook on either the PC or smartphone without necessarily connecting to the internet.

listen ot an audiobook on a plane

Accessing an audiobook through in-flight WiFi

As mentioned earlier, you will be unable to access the internet if the plane is yet to attain the 10000 feet height. However, once your trip starts, you will be free to access in-flight WiFi – if the aircraft you are on has it or it is not too ridiculously expensive to use. Fortunately, more and more flights come with internet access, albeit rather restricted

If you can access the internet, you will be free to surf online, go through social media, read your emails, and even access audiobooks. However, you should keep in mind that most airlines do not allow you to make calls through this WiFi.

So, select your favorite site, pick your book, and relax. You could consider downloading it or streaming it, depending on your preferences.

In future, hopefully, in-flight WiFi will come with enhanced reliability, speeds, as well as coverage. How long that will be remains to be seen. Then you will no longer need to worry about buffering while listening to your book. With enhanced coverage and speeds you will be able to stream the book in high quality or definition.

Using alternative audiobook apps

The Audible app has grown to be one of the most predominant audiobooks apps in the recent past. Given that amazon owns it, you are confident that it comes with a broader array of selection. You could rely on it whether you are using a smartphone or a PC. What is more, its affordability and the room to offer value for money and time are unmatched.

audiobook apps on a plane

However, Audible is not the only way for you to listen to audiobooks. Check out some of the other reliable apps that are available such as

  • Google Play Books
  • Kobo
  • Oddles
  • Librivox
  • Libby
  • and, of course, Kindle for Android.

If you have an iOS phone, you could use iBooks. This app is not only elegant but also relatively more accessible and user-friendly. One of the things that make it outstanding is its iCloud function, which is essential in keeping your information and library safe and accessible. While at it, you will be free to scroll without too much struggle, and continuously. However, some users tend to complain about how less responsive it could be at times.

Kobo Books is among the most reliable audiobook apps for android users. This app allows you to download both regular books and audiobooks at a relatively small cost. Interestingly, its user-friendliness and affordability have drawn much attention in the recent past.

On top of that, you can hardly ignore the role of amazon Kindle. This app will often cost you around $9.99 every month, which is pretty good value for money. It prides itself on have a selection of millions of audiobooks that you can download within a few seconds.

Some of the other common apps to consider at this point include OverDrive, MediaMonkey, and LibriVox. It is your choice to get whichever app suits your preference and needs. But how do you choose the right one?

How to choose the right offline audiobooks app

Various things go into the selection of a reliable audiobook to use when on a flight. Unless you are careful, you could end up with a compromised experience. Always observe the following elements in this pursuit.

  • Consider the variety of books that the app features. Most often, you need a full library, one that assures you of easier access to information. With a broad selection, you will be confident in finding the right audiobook without too much hassle.
  • Take the time to understand how much you will pay for the app. Quite often, apps will charge you about $9.99 every month. Make sure there are no hidden charges in addition to that.
  • You will also need to be sure of how user-friendly the app is. Is it easy to download whichever audiobook you need? Will you be comfortable listening to it? You need an app that allows you to have the ultimate experience. Its sound quality needs to be topnotch too.

Don’t forget to buy some noise cancelling headphones

The only way to listen to a quiet audiobook is using a pair of noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. You can use them with the inflight entertainment system too. To find out more read my article Can you use bluetooth headphones on a plane?

Noise cancelling headphones

Can You Listen to an Audiobook on a Plane? Learn How! 1

They can range in price from as little as $35 to almost $1000 so there is quite a range. You get what you pay for to some extent but only up to a certain level I think.

The ones I currently use are the Paww WaveSound 3 Bluetooth Headphones. I am really impressed with them as they work really well yet cost less than $100. They are designed for air travel with a carry case and an aircraft in flight entertainment adapter.

If you feel like treating yourself then you can check out one of the best – Sony Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Noise cancelling earbuds

As well as noise cancelling headphones you can also buy noise cancelling earbuds. Personally I don’t like having things sticking in my ears. I am not sure why, I just don’t.

If you are ok with it then these TOZO NC9 Plus Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds are very popular on Amazon.

TOZO NC9 Plus Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds, ANC in Ear Headphones IPX6 Waterproof Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Earphones, Immersive Sound Premium Deep Bass Headset,Black

Or if you are an Apple fan (so you like paying stupid prices for things) then treat yourself to a pair of Apple Earbuds Pro.

Apple AirPods Pro


I hope this article has been helpful. I am sure you will find that getting yourself a few audiobooks will help pass the time and is a great way to make a long flight more enjoyable.

Have a great flight!


Can you listen to Audible on a plane?

You can certainly listen to an Audible book on a plane if you have downloaded it onto your device when you had an internet connection and can be listened too while in airplane mode.. If the flight you are on has inflight wifi then it may be possible to stream a book.

Can you listen to audiobooks on kindle?

You can listen to audiobooks using a Kindle. Audiobooks can be downloaded onto a Kindle device from a number of different audiobook libararies.

Can you listen to audiobooks on airplane mode?

Most audiobook apps, including Audible, allow you to download the book to your device to listen to when you do not have an internet connection and then your device is in airplane mode.