A good e-Reader announced a few weeks ago that the Kobo Elipsa is going to get audiobook functionality soon and it looks like it has arrived sooner than expected. Today, Kobo released firmware update 4.30.18838 which allows users to purchase audiobooks from the Kobo bookstore or download them with their Kobo Plus subscription program. Users will be able to listen to them with a wireless headset, an external speaker or in their automobile. You can also filter by audiobooks or eBooks from the My Books menu.
The Elipsa was the company’s first digital note-taking device ever released and was first released in June. It comes with the Kobo stylus, and it’s pretty easy to take notes, draw freehand, or edit ebooks and PDFs. It is a well-sold device with a giant 10.3-inch screen, which offers enough screen space just for reading e-books or borrowing them from the public library. It had Bluetooth from the very beginning, but it finally looks like Kobo is putting it to good use.
Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in digital publishing. In the first seven months of 2021, the format grew 16.4% and generated $ 440.3 million in revenue in the United States alone. The Elipsa, Libra 2, and Sage all have audiobook functionality and it’s very likely that most of their future e-readers will be able to read them as well. Bluetooth chips don’t cost a lot and now that Kobo has invested in developing an audiobook player on Linux and also to start selling digital audio, it would make sense for them to push hard.
The latest update should be sent to your Kobo automatically or by pressing the sync button. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for it to stream to all devices, all over the world. If you just can’t wait, you can load it sideways.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post, and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.