Listen Up! Let’s Talk About… #Audiobook Playback Speed

Posted September 3, 2018 by Jen in Listen Up! Tags: ,

Happy Labor Day to my fellow U.S. readers. I hope you are enjoying a lovely long weekend. For all the others, and those who don’t have the day off, I hope your Monday is going smoothly.

Today I want to chat about listening speed and audiobooks. Recently, someone commented on a review, “I still can not do 1.25, so slooow ;)” This got me thinking about what speeds we each listen to audiobooks and why we pick those speeds.

For me, I typically start at 1.25x playback speed. I like it because it usually sounds like normal conversation speed, whereas 1.0x feels like I’m having a book read to me, and it’s too slow. If the dialogue feels off, a bit slow or has too-long pauses, I’ll up it to 1.5x. Of course, over time I’ve discovered I have set speeds for different narrators. Once and a while, I have conflicting speeds in books with two narrators, meaning I prefer one at 1.25x and the other at 1.5x. That can be frustrating.

The only time I up the speed to 2.0x is when I am trying to speed through (aka “skim”) a book. This typically happens either with a specific scene that I don’t care for (then I go back to my usual listening speed), or if I find the book dragging and just want to end it. Other than that, I feel like 2.0x is too fast – if feels sped up and faster than conversational speed, even though I can understand it.

So what about you? What speeds do you listen to your audiobooks? Why do you pick those speeds?

Thanks for stopping by!