Thank you NIV 2011 Bible Properties LLC for sending us a review sample!
NIV Live - A Bible Experience is a cinematic performance of the Bible that brings Genesis through Revelation to life. It's more than someone reading the text here; the Bible is being acted out and even sung in some cases. This rendition features Oscar winning actors, background music and sound effects to make it an immersive experience. My kids, who normally ask to play music instead of talk radio while driving, did not mind listening to the book of Acts. They enjoyed hearing the story of Paul being shipwrecked while trying to seek an audience with Caesar. There was the sound of ocean waves, seagulls in the air, the ship's crew in the background along with the narrator and Paul, Felix, and Agrippa being voiced by different voice actors. The audio quality is really good and has 3D theatrical sound. It includes deep bass that you can hear through a subwoofer.
The gospels are all extremely well done and the voices for the apostles, God, Jesus, Roman soldiers, and Pharisees are all top notch. I enjoyed listening to Isaiah, Proverbs, and Psalms as well. Some of the Old Testament sections like Jesus' lineage and the temple specifications are still a little yawn worthy, but are well voice acted regardless. :)
There are three ways to enjoy this audio Bible experience. For $19.99 you can gain access to the app on a single (Apple, Android, or Amazon) device. This includes both text and audio versions. You can create custom playlists and synchronize them. The app is really easy to use and sounded great on my Samsung Galaxy S4.
For $49.99 you can have up to six devices using the mobile app. You'll also have access to the online web Bible and mp3 downloads. Make sure you download and backup the mp3's right away since you only gain access to them for thirty days after registration.
The ultimate package is $124.99 and includes everything from the $49.99 tier and adds seventy-nine CD's and a bonus DVD. The CD's and DVD are enclosed in a high quality carrying case. The DVD shows behind the scenes footage and has some trailers and samples. The CD's are not in chronological order, but are labeled clearly and numbered accordingly.
There has been some controversy regarding the most recent NIV translation and this audio Bible does use the gender neutral verses. So if you look at the verse John 15:6 “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers...” The new NIV changes it to, “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers...” The classic Proverb 27:17 is changed from “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” to “…so one person sharpens another” .
If you don't like the scriptural changes, there are other audio bibles out there. Faith Comes by Hearing offers multiple translations for free. If these kind of changes don't bother you, then I recommend checking out the NIV Live - A Bible Experience. Their prices are comparable to other Audio Bibles available and the six device limit is pretty generous. Just make sure you download and back up the mp3's since the access is limited to only thirty days. If you want to check out an audio sample, go here.