How to lis­ten to au­dio­books with An Ama­zon KIN­DLE

With our help, you’ll be lis­ten­ing to a good book in no time.

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Your Kin­dle pro­vides more than one way to de­vour a good book. If you own a set of Blue­tooth head­phones or a Blue­tooth-en­abled speaker, you’ve got ev­ery­thing you need to start en­joy­ing au­dio­books streamed from your Kin­dle e-reader (we re­view the best Kin­dles at go.pc­world.com/bskn). Let’s get started!

IN­TRO­DUC­ING AU­DI­BLE, AMA­ZON’S AU­DIO­BOOK BUSI­NESS

If you have even a pass­ing in­ter­est in au­dio­books, you’ll likely have heard of Au­di­ble. If not, here’s your chance to get ac­quainted.

Founded in the mid-1990s, Au­di­ble is, ar­guably, one of the largest pur­vey­ors of au­dio­books and other au­ral con­sum­ables in

the world. While there are a num­ber of ways to en­joy Au­di­ble con­tent, in­clud­ing smart­phone and tablet apps or on your com­puter via Au­di­ble’s web­site ( go.pc­world. com/audb), this guide fo­cuses on how to do so with your Ama­zon Kin­dle e-reader.

Ama­zon’s found a way to make switch­ing from read­ing an ebook to lis­ten­ing to an au­dio­book a nearly seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence. Thanks to Whis­per­sync for Voice ( go. pc­world.com/wh4v), many of the books avail­able to buy via the Ama­zon Kin­dle Store ( go.pc­world.com/kdst) can be synced with their au­dio it­er­a­tion, pur­chased from Au­di­ble. So, when you stop read­ing your Kin­dle to head to work, Ama­zon’s Whis­per­sync for Voice ser­vice will en­sure that the Au­di­ble ver­sion of what you were read­ing picks up where you left off. Of course, you’ll have to pay for this priv­i­lege by in­vest­ing in both the ebook and the au­dio­book from Ama­zon.

BUY­ING AU­DI­BLE BOOKS WITH YOUR AMA­ZON AC­COUNT

While it’s still pos­si­ble to buy nar­rated books and other nar­rated con­tent from Au­di­ble’s web­site, Kin­dle own­ers can use their Ama­zon

ac­count to buy Au­dio books via Ama­zon’s web store. There are a few ways to do this.

The first is to nav­i­gate to the Au­di­ble sec­tion of Ama­zon’s web­site. After sign­ing in to your Ama­zon ac­count, click the De­part­ments but­ton, lo­cated un­der­neath the search bar at the top of your Ama­zon home­page. A drop­down menu will ap­pear. Half­way down, you’ll see the Books And Au­di­ble op­tion. Scrolling over this op­tion will open up a sub­menu. At the bot­tom you’ll find two op­tions: Au­di­ble Mem­ber­ship and Au­di­ble Au­dio­books.

At the time that this guide was writ­ten, an Au­di­ble sub­scrip­tion cost $14.95 per month, with one free month up front. Dur­ing this trial pe­riod, Ama­zon will hook you up with two free au­dio­books. If you de­cide to can­cel your sub­scrip­tion at the end of the one-month trial, the au­dio­books are yours to keep.

An Au­di­ble sub­scrip­tion will net you one free au­dio­book per month, re­gard­less of its cost. In ad­di­tion, you’ll re­ceive a 30% dis­count on any au­dio con­tent you buy from Au­di­ble. Fi­nally—and this may be the best mem­ber­ship perk of all—ama­zon will let you swap out any Au­di­ble books you’re not en­joy­ing for free. If you lis­ten to books less fre­quently, it’s also pos­si­ble to buy Au­di­ble books and mag­a­zines à la carte.

No mat­ter which of these two op­tions you choose, you can ex­pect the price of the au­dio con­tent that Au­di­ble of­fers to vary widely in price.

If you like the idea of be­ing able to sync the books you read on your Kin­dle via Whis­per­sync For Voice with its Au­di­ble au­dio­book coun­ter­part, Ama­zon makes it easy to do so. You’ll be en­cour­aged to buy the au­dio­book ver­sion of ebooks you buy from Ama­zon’s Kin­dle Book­store (if one is avail­able) be­fore fi­nal­iz­ing your pur­chase. Once you own an Au­di­ble au­dio prod­uct, it’ll be wire­lessly de­liv­ered to your de­vice (pro­vid­ing you own a com­pat­i­ble Ama­zon Kin­dle), where you can load it up, use it, or ar­chive it, just as you would a Kin­dle ebook.

WHICH KIN­DLES ARE COM­PAT­I­BLE WITH AU­DIO­BOOKS?

If you’re an old-school ebook afi­cionado, you’ll be pleased to know that Au­di­ble con­tent can be used on first- and sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Kin­dles, the Kin­dle Key­board, and the Kin­dle DX. If you own one of these de­vices, you needn’t read any fur­ther. Sim­ply plug a set of head­phones into your de­vice’s 3.5mm jack and you’re in busi­ness. De­pend­ing on the op­er­at­ing sys­tem ver­sion these older de­vices are run­ning, you may also be able to lis­ten to side­loaded MP3 files or Au­di­ble .aa and .aax au­dio files. We’ve re­viewed all the avail­able mod­els and made our rec­om­men­da­tions in our roundup of the best Kin­dles ( go.pc­world.com/bskn).

If you haven’t lis­tened to au­dio con­tent with your Kin­dle in the past, you should know that do­ing so will cause your de­vice’s bat­tery to drain faster than you may be ac­cus­tomed

to see­ing—es­pe­cially older de­vices, whose bat­ter­ies are start­ing to poop out.

If you own an eighth-gen­er­a­tion Kin­dle ( go.pc­world.com/kn16; aka 2016’s All-new Kin­dle,) or an eighth- or ninth-gen­er­a­tion Kin­dle Oa­sis (re­leased in 2016 [ go.pc­world. com/ko16] and 2017 [ go.pc­world.com/ ko17], re­spec­tively), you’ll be able to use your e-reader to lis­ten to au­dio­books pur­chased from Au­di­ble. Un­for­tu­nately, at the time that this guide was writ­ten, these more re­cent de­vices don’t al­low users to side­load au­dio con­tent. If you want to lis­ten to an au­dio­book us­ing any of these three de­vices, they’ll have to be bought from ei­ther the Ama­zon or Au­di­ble web­site and trans­ferred to your Kin­dle via Whis­per­sync.

You may have no­ticed that, un­like older Ama­zon Kin­dles, such as the DX or the Kin­dle Key­board, these lat­ter-day de­vices don’t come equipped with a head­phone jack. So, let’s talk Blue­tooth.

HOW TO PAIR A BLUE­TOOTH SPEAKER OR HEAD­PHONES WITH YOUR KIN­DLE

To pair Blue­tooth head­phones or a speaker with your 2016 Kin­dle, or your eighth- or ninth­gen­er­a­tion Kin­dle Oa­sis, start by plac­ing the au­dio de­vice you want to pair with your e-reader in pair­ing mode. Next, tap the top of your Kin­dle’s dis­play to open the e-reader’s tool bar. Then, tap the Quick Ac­tions icon: It’s the one that looks like a gear. Now, se­lect All Set­tings. One of the op­tions on your Kin­dle’s Set­tings page should be Wi-fi & Blue­tooth. Se­lect it.

After en­sur­ing that your Kin­dle isn’t set to Air­plane Mode, tap the on-screen tog­gle next to Blue­tooth. Be­low this op­tion, a new op­tion, la­beled Blue­tooth De­vices, will now be­come avail­able. Tap­ping Blue­tooth De­vices will al­low you to pair your Blue­tooth head­phones or speaker with your Kin­dle. When you see the name of your au­dio de­vice ap­pear on your Kin­dle’s dis­play, se­lect it to com­plete the pair­ing process. Your speak­ers or head­phones should be ready to use with your Kin­dle.

If your Kin­dle failed to pair with your au­dio de­vice, make sure that your speak­ers or head­phones are still in pair­ing mode and tap Res­can, lo­cated in the bot­tom right of your Kin­dle’s Blue­tooth pair­ing in­ter­face.

LIS­TEN­ING TO AU­DI­BLE CON­TENT

To lis­ten to the Au­di­ble con­tent that you’ve pur­chased, en­sure that your paired au­dio de­vice is pow­ered on and down­load the con­tent that you’d like to lis­ten to. Just like with your Kin­dle ebooks, any Au­di­ble con­tent you down­load to your Kin­dle will be ac­ces­si­ble via your de­vice’s home­screen.

Tap the au­dio­book to open it. You’ll have a num­ber of con­trol op­tions: play/pause; the abil­ity to ad­vance or re­verse the au­dio track by 30 sec­onds; speed, volume, and chap­ter con­trols;, and the abil­ity to cre­ate a book­mark. All that’s left to do now is press Play and en­joy.

KIN­DLE AU­DIO ADAPTER

If you own a Kin­dle Paper­white or the re­cently dis­con­tin­ued Kin­dle Voy­age, you won’t be able to use them to lis­ten to Au­di­ble con­tent. How­ever, it is still pos­si­ble to have your Kin­dle read to you. This $20 Au­dio Adapter ( go. pc­world.com/knad) was de­signed by Ama­zon to help the vis­ually im­paired use their line of Kin­dle e-read­ers. By plug­ging it into the mi­cro-usb charg­ing port of your Kin­dle, you’ll ac­ti­vate Voice­view, Ama­zon’s au­diobased user in­ter­face. Plug in a set of your fa­vorite head­phones, or a ca­ble at­tached to the Aux out­put of your stereo, and you’ll be ready to lis­ten to a text-to-speech con­ver­sion of mil­lions of com­pat­i­ble ti­tles from the

Kin­dle Store.

The au­dio you’ll hear won’t be of the same qual­ity as you’ll get with the tal­ented voice ac­tors that Au­di­ble em­ploys to nar­rate its au­dio con­tent, but it’s cer­tainly bet­ter than noth­ing.

The choice to in­vest in an Au­di­ble sub­scrip­tion or to buy your au­dio­books with­out one should be dic­tated by how much you read and how much you want to lis­ten to.

After pair­ing a set of Blue­tooth head­phones or a speaker with your Kin­dle, you’ll be ready to kick back and lis­ten to a good book.

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