Amazon brings audiobook playback with Audible to older Kindle ereaders

So many books, so many words. So few eyes, so little time. Looking to help you more efficiently take on your 2018 reading challenge, Amazon has just announced Audible audiobook playback is expanding to a wider variety of its Kindle ereaders.

The first generation Kindle Oasis, and the regular old Kindle, can now access Amazon's audiobook service direct from the devices themselves, and playback content. This includes the Audible storefront, and is facilitated by connecting up to Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones, as neither device has a headphone jack.

It's an interesting reveal, considering only the June 2016 Kindle device previously has had any mention of Bluetooth functionality. Audible support was a key unique selling point of the 2017 Kindle Oasis, it's worth noting.

250,000 spoken tales

The Audible store is now the go-to stop for digital audiobook content, offering 250,000 professional audiobooks for purchase. Amazon has continued to invest in the area too, commissioning its own new readings of stories – so you can see why it'd be keen to recoup the costs by making access to the service more widely available.

You may well feel a bit miffed if you've bought the new pricey Oasis specifically for this feature, only to find the older ones will support it too with their next software update.

Still, for existing Kindle owners, you can't knock a top feature upgrade like this. Though neither device has previously offered this kind of audio support, Amazon has confirmed that the Bluetooth functionality was already present in each device – it's just a matter of a software update being needed to flip its switch to "on".

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.