With the rising popularity of celebrity books, anxiety apps and, even, children’s TV shows inviting recognisable voices to help soothe households before bed, we wanted to find out what power lies behind a celebrity narrator.
To help you decide whose voice you should choose for your next audiobook, we’ve scraped Audible reviews for 17 celebrities who have previously narrated to reveal who is the best celebrity audiobook narrator to listen to before bed.
What is an audiobook?
Audiobooks, like the Kindle, are another way of accessing literature. Rather than having to carry around the latest paperback or read in an old-school way, audiobooks have a narrator who reads the story aloud. Many simply just read the words, while others reenact the scenes putting on voices and accents and tapping into their acting skills.
This may not be a new concept, however, these days the stories are accessible via apps, to download online and to listen to digitally rather than needing a cassette player.
The best celebrity audiobook narrators
According to our analysis the star of The Notebook and resident Mean Girl, Rachel McAdams was the best narrator and was found to have the ‘warmest’ voice - with the description featuring in 10% of her reviews.
|Celebrity Narrator||% of Positive Comments on their voice*|
*as a % of total reviews
Second best, Cowboy Woody, Tom Hanks was found to have the most ‘gentle’ voice - with the term featuring in 4% of his reviews. Whilst, looking at individual terms only, Benedict Cumberbatch had the most ‘soothing’ voice out of our narrators - with this comment featuring in 5% of his reviews.
Other top contenders to consider for your next listen included Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Top audiobooks to listen to from these narrators
Don’t just take other people’s word for it, take a listen to these soothing voices for yourself on the following audiobooks:
- Rachel McAdams narrating Anne of Green Gables
- Tom Hanks narrating The Dutch House
- Benedict Cumberbatch narrating The Order of Time
- Oprah Winfrey narrating What I Know For Sure
- Michelle Obama narrating Becoming
Listening to audiobooks before bed
TikTok trends have re-romanticised the bedtime routine many of which now include putting down the smartphone and listening to the likes of the audiobook, with #audiobook reaching 22 million UK TikTok views in the last year.
Brand Manager, Rachel Marshall commented, “We wanted to take a deep dive into the features of celebrity voices that soothe listeners, to see why audiobooks are replacing the paperback as a wind-down activity as well as find out who it is exactly we should all be choosing for our next listen. Shockingly, Stephen Fry came bottom of the list, one we suspected would be a favourite ahead of the analysis.”
Overall, many of us are switching the paperback or the podcast for an audiobook to settle down before bed, unwind and help us drift off to sleep and now we know exactly which narrators we should be looking out for.
Not sure if audiobooks should be part of your bedtime rituals? Get some more inspiration from the rest of the UK public.
We scraped Audible reviews for 17 celebrities and used Excel’s COUNTIF function to find comments such as ‘relaxing’, ‘soothing’, ‘calm’ etc. We combined these terms, and divided totals by the no. of reviews to calculate our percentages (i.e. % of positive comments on [their] voice).