Audiobook Speed Calculator

Calculate how long it will take to finish your audiobook based on speed!


How to Calculate Audiobook Speed:

Want to know how to calculate your audiobook speed? Here's the answer: to determine how long it will take you to finish an audiobook at a given speed, simply divide the total length of the audiobook by the listening speed. To prove that this math works, let's use a simple example first, then we'll move on to a more difficult problem.

Simple Example of How to Calculate Audiobook Speed:

Let's say you want to listen to an audiobook that is 7 hours long. To make the math easy on ourselves, let's say that you want to listen to the audiobook at 1x speed.

Remember our formula:

Audiobook length / listening speed

So 7 divided by 1 is 7. If you listen to this audiobook at 1x speed, it will take you 7 hours to finish the book. Pretty simple, right?

But no audiobook is exactly X hours long...there are always a few extra minutes more or less than an even number of hours.

So what do you do if you have hours AND minutes? Here's an example:

Let's say our audiobook (we'll call it, "How to Calculate Audiobook Speed" by J. Billy B.) is actually 7 hours and 14 minutes long.

Math stays the same, but our variables are a little more complicated now.

There are two ways to approach this:

Method #1

We can convert the hours to minutes (7 * 60 = 420) and add the 14 minutes to that converted number (420 + 14 = 434). Then we divide our total minutes by the listening speed (434 / 1 = 434), and separate total minutes into hours + minutes (434 / 60 = 7 with a remainder of 14) for a grand total of 7 hours and 14 minutes (surprise!).

Method #2

The second way to approach this is to just divide each number by the listening speed separately. For example:

7 hours divided by 1 is 7 hours, and 14 minutes divided by 1 is 14 minutes. This brings our calculated listening speed to 7 hours and 14 minutes...once again, this math is hitting us with a big, fat, juicy surprise.

Let's move on to a tougher example.

Difficult Example of How to Calculate Audiobook Speed:

New audiobook: "How to Calculate Audiobook Speed Like a Pro" (also by J. Billy B.). This one is 14 hours, 17 minutes. Since this audiobook is a lot longer, we want to take our listening speed up a couple notches to 1.50x

Once again, our formula stays the same, but our variables are a little tougher this go-round.


Audiobook length / listening speed

Let's just use method #2 here since we've walked through both methods pretty thoroughly.

To calculate the total number of hours it will take to listen to our new audiobook on 1.50 speed, we'll simply divide 14 by 1.50, which gives us 9.33333. What do we do with that?!

Don't worry.

The 9.33333 is just telling us that listening to 14 hours of audiobook on 1.5x speed will take us 9 hours plus .33333 of an hour. So multiply everything on the right side of the decimal point by 60 (since there are 60 minutes in an hour) which will tell us how many minutes .33333 of an hour is-it comes out to about 20 minutes (we'll just round up to the nearest minute).

So with that, we've got the hours done! 14 hours of audiobook on 1.5x speed will take approximately 9 hours and 20 minutes.

Now, let's not forget about the extra 17 minutes of audiobook that we haven't done any math on yet. 

How long will it take to get through 17 minutes of audiobook at 1.5x speed?

Divide 17 by 1.5 to get 11.33333 minutes. Since we don't care too much to figure out how many seconds .33333 of a minute is, let's just round down to 11 for this example.

So by adding 11 minutes to our calculations for the hours (11 minutes + 9 hours and 20 minutes), we get a grand total of 9 hours and 31 minutes.

Or, you could skip the headache and use our nifty calculator above :)

What's the Best Speed to Listen to Audiobooks?

This is an interesting question because it totally depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to get through books as fast as possible, then a high listening speed, such as 180-200 WPM, is necessary. If your goal is to absorb and understand as much as possible on the other hand, you would want to turn that speed dial way back in the other direction towards 100-120 WPM.

That being said, research has shown that listening to audiobooks at a speed of 150-160 words per minute (WPM) is ideal for most individuals. This speed strikes a balance between maintaining a natural rhythm and allowing for efficient absorption of information.

At this speed, listeners can easily follow the narrator's voice without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. It allows for a comfortable pace that enables the brain to process the words and their meaning effectively.


It's important to note that adjusting the speed of an audiobook should be done gradually to allow for adaptation. Start by increasing or decreasing the speed by small increments and assess your comfort level and comprehension. Experimenting with different speeds can help you find the sweet spot that suits your listening style and preferences!

What is the Average Speed of Audiobooks?

Audiobooks are typically recorded at a normal speaking pace, which is around 150-160 words per minute (wpm). This pace is comfortable for most listeners to follow along and comprehend the content without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

However, it's important to note that the actual speed at which audiobooks are recorded can vary depending on factors such as the narrator's natural speaking speed, the genre of the book, and the intended audience. And of course, as mentioned earlier, most audiobook platforms allow listeners to adjust the playback speed to their preference.