Chirp Audiobooks Review: Does Chirp Change the Audiobook Game?

Heard about Chirp, but don’t know if it’s for you? With this Chirp Audiobooks review, I’m here to answer your burning questions about this audiobook service. What exactly is Chirp, and how does it work? Is it a good deal? With more and more audiobook providers coming out and giving Audible a run for their money, how does Chirp compare to some of these other big audiobook options? We’ll get to the bottom of all these questions and more.

woman holding smartphone on focus photography
Photo by Tore F on Unsplash

What is Chirp and How Does It Work?

Chirp is an audiobook service run by the same people who created BookBub, a website dedicated to helping you discover new books. Like BookBub, Chirp’s goal is similar: they want to help you find good audiobooks at affordable prices. Chirp doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee. You simply buy your books and get access to them through the Chirp audiobooks app.

The main draw for Chirp is the limited-time deals on select audiobooks. When you sign up for Chirp, you fill out a brief survey in which you let the service know what kind of books you’re most interested in reading. Then Chirp sends you a daily email, pointing out the best deals for you. For instance, this morning, I got an email that Trust Exercise by Susan Choi is currently (at the time of my writing this) only $3.99 over at Chirp audiobooks. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read for some time, so I snatched that bad boy up immediately. They’re not free audiobooks, but they’re close pretty often.

Beyond the emails, you can also just browse their website to find good deals on audiobooks. The website is divided into categories, such as Popular Deals, Trending Deals Under $2, Highly Rated Deals, Deals in specific genres (such as General Fiction, YA Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers, and so on), and more. If you’re not looking for the cheapest of the cheap book deals, Chirp also has featured shelves. For example, right now they have a shelf dedicated to Essential Anti-Racism Audiobooks. Of course, you can also just browse their audiobook selection by genre.

Are Chirp Audiobooks Really A Good Deal?

Yes. It really is a good deal. There’s no fee to sign up, so you can join and buy books from them as often as you want. They offer a lot of really low prices on popular books, and the deals are changing constantly. As for their regularly priced audiobook, they are priced similarly to other audiobook services, so you’re not usually paying more to buy your audiobooks from Chirp versus other providers. And often you’re paying less.

Of course, prices vary from title to title. For instance, I recently wanted to purchase Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, so I shopped around to see which audiobook service offered the best price. At Chirp, the audiobook was around $20. At Libro.fm, the same book was $14.69, so I ended up going with Libro.fm for this particular title.

What Does Chirp Offer That Other Audiobook Services Don’t?

Speaking of comparing prices and other audiobook services, you’re probably wondering how Chirp Audiobook compares. As far as the actual Chirp audiobooks app is concerned, it doesn’t differ in any notable way from the Libro.fm, Audible, or Scribd apps. You have a library of purchased books that you can access and download to your phone via the app.

One thing I wish all audiobook apps could do? Allow searching and purchasing of titles directly on the app. Scribd allows you to do this, and Audible has started allowing this as well (as long as you have purchased credits to spend on the app). But Libro.fm and Chirp require purchasing the books on their website before you can view them in the app. This isn’t a complete dealbreaker, and I still use both services, but it’s a minor inconvenience.

Compared to the other audiobook services, the main thing that sets Chirp apart is its collection of low-priced audiobooks (think $1.00–5.00 low) and the personalized emails they send you daily alerting you to new deals that might interest you.

The selection at Chirp isn’t going to be as wide as it is at other services, especially Audible, which boasts a lot of exclusive titles only available from them. But you’ll find most popular audiobook titles (about 175,000) available from Chirp.*

I think Chirp is the type of service that works best if you’re just browsing for good deals and don’t have a particular book in mind that you want to buy. When I went out in search for a specific book, I found a better deal elsewhere. But when I wanted to find a good book deal, I found a really nice selection of books that interested me. And they weren’t just random titles. These were popular books with a lot of buzz at incredibly low prices.

Chirp Audiobooks Review: Pros and Cons

So should you go for Chirp? Let’s cut the audiobook service down to its pros and cons.

Chirp Audiobooks Pros

Some of the lowest prices on some of the most buzz-worthy audiobooks. Personalized daily emails that might draw your attention to titles and deals you didn’t know about. The Chirp app is easy to use. There’s no monthly subscription. It’s also worth noting that, as with other audiobook service, if you purchase a book and don’t like it, you can return it for a refund.

Chirp Audiobooks Cons

Some people might not like the daily emails, but of course you can unsubscribe. If you’re looking for particular titles, Chirp might not have them or they might not necessarily have the best deal. Another con is that if you’re outside the U.S. and Canada, Chirp is not currently available to you. This is still a new company, so this may change in the future. But for right now, Chirp is U.S. and Canada only.*

So should you ditch your other audiobook services and switch to Chirp? Not necessarily. However, I’m a multi-audiobook app kind of person. I have found that Audible, Libro.fm, Scribd, and Chirp all offer me, the avid audiobook listener, different things. So if you’re like me and have room in your heart and on your phone for multiple apps, maybe add Chirp to your audiobooks rotation.

Editor’s Note: This post was revised to reflect Chirp’s availability in both the U.S. and Canada and to correct its number of available titles.

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