Listening to Audiobooks in the Car

Whether on a road trip or navigating metro area traffic, listening to an audiobook can help the miles fly by. 

Make sure to get your devices set up and reading before you begin driving! 

Audiobooks from the Library

The library offers thousands of audiobooks through LibbyOverDrive and hoopla. Watch a video on how to set up OverDrive or Libby, opens a new window or a video on getting started with hoopla, opens a new window.

For non-smartphone users, the library also offers audiobook CDs and Playaways, our preloaded audiobook devices. CDs are compatible with any standard CD player, and Playaways are able to be played through the car through the auxiliary (see below for instructions).

Using Bluetooth

To stream from your phone through the car, there are a few options. The first option is through Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless connection that allows sound to play from your device and amplify through the car’s speakers. The symbol for Bluetooth looks like this:   


  • First, go to the settings menu on your phone to look at your device’s connections.
  • Make sure your Bluetooth is turned on and scanning for new devices.
  • Next, you will want to go to your car’s settings menu and make sure the vehicle is in “discovery mode.”         
    • This will probably bring up something that looks like a loading screen.
  • Once your phone recognizes the car, it should show the name of your car (an example of this would be “Subaru BT”). 
  • Finally, make sure to select Bluetooth on your car’s radio options, and begin playing your audiobook on your phone. At this point, you should be hearing your audiobook through the car’s speakers!  

Other connections 

Some vehicles are not equipped with Bluetooth. Other options include a USB connection or an auxiliary (aux) cord.


A USB connection will work under two conditions: the USB plugs into the car (and not an adapter), and the cord is a two-way data cord.

With a USB connection between your car and the phone, the car should recognize your phone without too much hassle. It might light up or appear under an option labeled something like "iPod" or "USB," and once selected, you are able to play directly from your phone and hear it through the car. 


An auxiliary cord, or an AUX cord, is the most universal option. Even if your vehicle has other connections available, your phone and car may not be compatible.

An AUX cord looks like two ends of headphones, one of which goes into your vehicle's AUX plugin, and the other into the headphone jack on your phone or Playaway.

Once plugged in, any audio from your phone or a Playaway should be available through the car radio's AUX option. If your car is older and does not have a CD player or AUX connection, other options are available like a cassette to AUX adapter. 

Need Help?

The technology specialist are here to help! Contact us with questions about audiobooks or anything else tech related.

Recommended Audiobooks

Looking for recommendations for audiobooks? Explore lists and blogs of staff recommended audiobooks and great books for road trips.