I’ve been listening to audiobooks for as long as I can remember, and the never-ending pandemic has spurred me to change up my listening experience. Too much listening to them made me steer away from the conventional audiobook, and so I tried audiobooks with sound effects and some audio drama titles to see if they could improve my listening sessions. And lo and behold, I was awed by the dramatic and cinematic narration right away!
These two audio storytelling formats are not for everyone, though. They can be too distracting for some while they might help others appreciate the story even more. But if you want to see for yourself and maybe spice up your listening experience, here are the best places on the Internet to find them:
This publisher is one of the best ones out there for finding audiobooks with sound effects. They have everything a beginner would be interested in: full-cast audiobooks, short stories, and family-friendly stories for ages 13 and up. The experience that their audiobooks offer is like watching TV series or a film without the video.
Graphic Audio is great for readers of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comics, and other genre fiction. What I like about them is that they offer several audio formats: MP3, M4B, and FLAC. I love listening to audiobooks in FLAC because of the immersive listening experience they bring.
The only drawback is that Graphic Audio doesn’t have a lot of household names aside from a handful. If you feel like going on an adventure, Graphic Audio is a good place to look for underappreciated authors and narrators.
Audio drama, or radio drama, is a “dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media.” While audio dramas are slightly different from audiobooks, they are similar in terms of storytelling. One difference is that audio dramas heavily rely on music and sound effects.
One of the best places to find them is Reddit — a gold mine of bookish information. Aside from the main r/books subreddit, there are also a lot of other books- and audiobooks-related subreddits. One of the helpful few that I frequent is r/audiodrama where you can find discussions related to the subject, request recommendations if you want, or ask related questions. And since it’s basically an audiodrama hotspot, there are a lot of redditors sharing links to obscure, new titles that you won’t find on Audible or elsewhere. Their weekly discussion threads are very helpful in sharing audiodrama “feels” as well.
BBC has already dominated the media industry. Whether it’s television, radio, audiobook, podcast, or video, they have it all — and audio drama is not an exception.
Through BBC’s radio stations Radio 3 and Radio 4, they regularly publish episodes of audio dramas — they now even have a massive collection of them. Some titles are per episode basis or are released in parts. There are also audio dramas that work as a standalone. Their titles can last from 45 minutes up to almost an hour, perfect for short listening sessions.
Though it has, arguably, a massive collection of audiobooks, it is kind of difficult to find audiobooks with sound effects on Audible since there is no specific category that lists them. Unlike Graphic Audio, it’s also difficult to spot the titles that have cinematic narrations. There’s a trick in easily finding them, however. All you have to do is search for “full-cast” or “dramatized” audiobooks, and you’ll probably see some of Neil Gaiman’s works and, definitely, Star Wars books.
Audio dramas and/or audiobooks with sound effects can be a great way to diversify your listening platter or even enhance your listening sessions. Do you want to get started listening to them now? Here are “20 Must-Read New Full-Cast Audiobooks.”