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How Can I Listen to Audiobooks in My Car?

Audiobooks are a great way to make your commute more exciting and entertaining, but listening in public is not always ideal.

Luckily, you can enjoy the audiobooks while driving, but how to listen to the audiobooks in the car? Let’s find out.

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In general, the best way to listen to the Audiobook in the car is to download the audio file on your smartphone with an installed audio player and play it through the car speakers. Another way is to buy a mobile device with an integrated audiobook player, such as Amazon Echo, and connect it with car stereo through Bluetooth or AUX cable.

As an Amazon Associate, ImproveCarAudio will receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made through the links in this article.

Tip: Listening to Audiobook via Bluetooth will require a radio that can support either Android or Apple CarPlay.

I am particularly happy with the quality of the Pioneer AVH-2400NEX that has a standard 7″ display. However, if you would instead enjoy a larger screen with more features but you have a room only for a single DIN stereo, you will not be disappointed with Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX, which has a 10.1″ 720p touch screen.

In this article, I will look at how to listen to audiobooks in the car from your smartphone or use other ways for the best effects.

What Is the Best Way to Listen to Audiobooks in the Car?

Although there are several ways to listen to audiobooks in your car, the best way is to download them onto your mobile phone and play it through the speakers.

This method has a huge advantage over any other because:

  • Firstly, it does not require purchasing any additional devices or having a live WI-FI connection.
  • Secondly, it is the best way that gives any control to listen to audiobooks in the car without any common issues with a weak data signal. You can play, stop and pause your Audiobook as you would with any other music file on your phone.

How Do I Get Audible to Play in My Car?

To start enjoying Audible, the first thing to do is launch the Audible app on your Android phone and connect your phone via USB to your Android Auto-compatible stereo.

If Audible is already activated, it will continue to play through your car stereo.

If not, launch the Audible app on your display and select an audiobook from your library to play. When you’re done, disconnect your phone from USB.

It is also possible to play Audible audiobooks through your car speakers without having to connect your phone with a USB cable. All you have to do is make sure that Bluetooth has been enabled on both devices and then sync them together.

The Bluetooth pairing may vary between devices, but it is usually found in Settings on most Android phones.

Once paired, you can start playing your Audiobook directly from the phone, and the audio will play through both your car speakers and your phone’s speaker.

If you don’t have an Android Auto compatible stereo, you can still listen to the audiobooks by installing an FM transmitter.

An FM transmitter is a wireless system that broadcasts your phone’s music to the car radio, so you can listen to the audiobooks through any stereo without bothering with Bluetooth pairing or syncing.

Why Is My Audiobook Not Playing in Car?

Although it is not happening often, you may experience an issue with the audio not playing when you try to listen to the Audiobook in the car.

Some of these reasons could be:

The Bluetooth Connection Is Not Stable

Bluetooth connection can be either weak or unstable, and any issues are usually due to the device you are using.

The Book File Has an Error

Faults in books are more common than you think. For example, file errors can often happen when you download it, and the file is not correctly compressed, or there is a glitch in the encoding.

The Device You Are Using Does Not Support the File Format

There could be compatibility issues between your car and the Audiobook, especially if it’s a nonstandard file that couldn’t work on any system.

In addition, some devices only support specific formats and cannot play others.

Although it is annoying, it should not be the case for most modern devices designed to play various file types. Still, it’s best to check whether your device supports popular formats like MP3, WMA, etc.

You Do Not Have Enough Memory Space on Your Phone or Device to Listen to the Audiobook

Another often overlooked problem. Although today’s phones have large data storage, it can still happen that you have limited disc space. It is, therefore, worth periodically cleaning the disc.

The USB Cable Is Not Correctly Connected

If the USB cable is not correctly connected with the radio, you will experience problems when it comes to reading the files.

An unstable connection can also cause breaks similar to the weak WI-FI connection.

The WI-FI Signal Is Weak

If the WI-FI signal is weak, it will cause problems with streaming data, or the signal may cut off completely.

How to Solve Bluetooth Syncing Problems in My Audiobook?

Here are a few things you can do to solve pairing issues:

To listen to the Audiobook in the car, you first need a solid connection to the radio via either USB or Bluetooth. If this connection is not stable, you will experience a lot of syncing issues while listening to the book, or you even may not be able to use it at all.

If you use a wire connection, make sure that the car radio is set to “AUX” mode. This way, there will be no digital noise coming through your speakers.

I also recommend using a high-quality AUX cable to avoid possible problems with the connection.

In the case of an AUX / USB connection, the sound quality will be stronger, and there is less risk of disconnection, so you will definitely need a USB port in the car.

To achieve better sound quality, remember to use less compressed files. They will take more space, but the audio effect is significantly better.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can install a radio with a WI-FI receiver. In this case, the smartphone will turn into a WI-FI hotspot, and you can connect your phone to the radio. Just make sure that both of them support the same WI-FI band (2.4 or 5 GHz).

This method is mainly recommended in areas with a strong signal because it gives a smoother listening experience with no interruptions. The only downside of this option is that you need to be ready to keep an eye on your phone, as it may disconnect from the WI-FI connection.

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Which Devices Support Playing Audiobooks From USB on Car Stereos?

Not every radio can play all files types, and if your car’s stereo cannot play the file types you want, you need to try a different file type or, if you prefer, change the stereo.

The most commonly used formats for audiobooks are .m4b and .mp3, but some cars may not be able to play them. In this case, you will need a plugin to convert the files from one format into another, which may be a time-consuming process.

An example of a radio that supports a lot of different file types is the Pioneer AVH-2400NEX. It can play CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, USB MSC (mass storage class), WMA, WAV, and it allows you to connect iPod/iPhone via a USB.

However, if you do not want to replace your radio and still want to listen to the audiobooks, you can consider using an auxiliary input for playing them.

You can get an FM transmitter to play your audiobooks through your stereo via the radio and get one of the best experiences with all features your car’s stereo is equipped with.

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Why Is Audible Not Showing up on Android Auto?

Although this is not common, below are some reasons why Audible may not be visible on the Android Auto:

  • The most common is that the device is not compatible with the car stereo. You may use Bluetooth for phone calls in some cases, but the system will still not support other apps.
  • Also, the device and car system need to be nearby, or they may not see each other. That may be running OK while driving, but the signal may be weakened when you leave the car, and Audible may not show up on the screen.

To make sure your CarPlay and phone are compatible and actually allow you to listen to the audiobooks, try the following:

Plug your iPhone into the USB port of your car. The USB port may be labeled with a CarPlay or smartphone icon. In some vehicles, you may find that CarPlay is supported by Bluetooth.

If you see the Carplay icon on display, that is OK, but If the CarPlay Home screen does not appear, select CarPlay on display.

Next, tap or swipe right to see the Audible app. This will only work with the most recent version of the Audible app.

If you manually select apps, such as Music or Pandora, they must be on your CarPlay home screen before you plug in your iPhone for use with CarPlay.

After launching Audible, tap Get Started and agree to any terms and conditions that appear. In the end, tap titles and select a title you want to play.

Once you have selected your title and started playing, swipe up on the bottom menu bar to adjust volume and end enjoy the book.

Remember that CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later to use. The same when it comes to the iPod Touch, use the 5th generation or later. Some car models, especially the older ones, may not work with CarPlay, so check the manufacturer’s website.

How Do I Add Audible to Android Auto?

Adding Audible to the Android Auto is not complicated, but it requires some small setup.

The most important thing you have to check is if your stereo is compatible with Android Auto. If it is not, you probably won’t be able to add Audible to the radio.

You’ll also need Android 5.0 or later on your phone and a Bluetooth connection between the two (although it may work with USB as well).

Next, open Settings on your radio, and find the option that says “External media” or something similar.

Scroll down until you find a section labeled “Media applications,” then look for Audible. There may be an option to add it to your home screen, which is recommended because it makes the app stand out from your other apps.

If you do not see it automatically, you can install it through the Google Play Store. Then, download the Android Auto App and run it anytime you’re on the road, but not when using navigation.

With all of this done, open your Audiobook app and start listening to your favorite titles!

If you have a newer car with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, then it is simple to listen to Audible audiobooks in the car. Both systems have an official Audible application that has full support if you have any issues on the road.

How Can I Listen to Audiobooks on My iPhone in My Car?

If you are using an Apple device, it is very straightforward. Just download apple’s free app named Podcasts and then connect.

You can do it with one tap, and your Audiobook should start playing within seconds.

If you have Bluetooth in your car, make sure it is turned on, and the connection with the phone will be created automatically.

How Do I Stop Audible From Automatically Playing in My Car on My iPhone?

Having Audible starting automatically as soon you turn the radio on is effortless, but it can sometimes be annoying.

If you want to stop Audible from playing automatically on the iPhone, you can block it by following the next few steps:

  • Go to Settings, then select General. Now pick Restrictions and enable it by using your passcode.
  • After enabling restriction, scroll down until you find the ‘play audible automatically’ option. Turn it off, and it will not run the next time until you will not activate it manually.

How Do I Get Audible on Apple CarPlay?

CarPlay is an iOS system that lets you listen to Audible through your car’s built-in display and stereo system. Connection is also straightforward, and it enables you to navigate the main features on your car dash.

First, verify if Apple CarPlay has been installed in your car. For this, go to the ‘CarPlay’ section under General settings or contact a local dealer about their services. Once you have access to CarPlay, open Audiobooks and select a book to play.

You can also use the controls on your vehicle’s steering wheel if it is equipped, buttons on the Now Playing screen, and CarPlay Dashboard to control audiobook playback.

If your car doesn’t have Apple CarPlay, you can install a radio that supports these applications.

A great example is the Pioneer AVH-2400NEX with a standard 7″ display, or if you need something in a single DIN size but with a large screen and from the top shelf, go for Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX with a 10.1″ 720p touch screen.

Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX 10.1" Multimedia Car Stereo Receiver/Apple CarPlay/Maestro

Apple CarPlay is, for me, the best way to listen to audiobooks in the car. I can use not only Audiobooks but can also find your favorite audiobook titles on iTunes. Note, however, that CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or newer.

Why Is My Apple CarPlay Screen Blank?

Everything looks great as long as your device works without a problem, but what to do when the screen becomes black, and you cannot see or adjust anything?

Most of us are struggling with this issue, but it is not a complicated problem. If you cannot see anything on your screen, the first thing you need to do is restart your device.

After restarting, the radio should be back to life. At this point, you should be able to see icons on the radio, and if not, I wrote a separate article about fixing problems with the radio screens, so if you want to know more, check it out.

How Do I Reset My CarPlay Screen?

Likely restarting is straightforward, and it should not take more than a few seconds.

Although the easiest way to restart Apple CarPlay is to search for the CarPlay logo on your car’s display, this method will, of course, not work without a screen, so let’s move on.

Because you do not have the screen, you have to reset the whole radio. The few steps below will drive you through the process:

  • Switch your car off and then press and hold the Vol (-) and Bluetooth (on top of vol (+) and phone symbol buttons at the same time.
  • Keep holding these three buttons for about 10 seconds, then release them and wait a few seconds.

The radio should restart to normal, and if not, the other way is to disconnect it from the car battery for about 20 minutes.

This will ensure that no settings are stored, which might mess up the restart of CarPlay on your screen. Unfortunately, you may lose all settings from memory by doing a hard reset, so you will have to set up your radio from scratch as it was brand new.

How to Turn off Apple Carplay?

If you no longer want to use CarPlay on your iPhone, you can adjust your CarPlay preferences in Settings.

When you connect your iPhone to a vehicle that supports CarPlay, CarPlay is automatically turned on for the current car ride.

If you want to turn off CarPlay for future car rides, you can turn it off in your Carplay settings on your iPhone or iPad or disconnect the device by turning off the app in the Restrictions tab in Settings.


Connecting your Audible app to your car stereo is a relatively straightforward process.

All you need is a phone and a radio that supports Bluetooth or USB connectivity, and it has to be compatible with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.