I listen to audiobooks all the time. In my case, due to lost vision. Most of the library system downloads for audiobooks are set up for Mp3 players or Ipods. They were not designed for tablets or ereaders, hence the problems you ran into. I can only get an audiobook to download onto my tablet by using Overdrive. I just wanted to know how to do it, but I mostly use Ipods, so it's a non-issue. In general, Mp3s can be returned early, but wma's don't want to return early, at least for my library system. I've tried it. Doesn't work.
It takes longer to listen to an audiobook than to read it yourself, for most people. My suggestion is to simply use audiobooks when you are doing something else, such as knitting, cleaning, doing the dishes, exercising, etc. etc. You will discover that a simpler plot works better for multitasking. Otherwise, you keep having to stop, reverse, relisten. In my case, I stick with mystery cozies or fantasies such as Dresden Files. If you have a thriller or complex plot, you miss a lot, so better to read then.
I really like having a bluetooth speaker that is portable. Then I'm not tethered to a certain room. However, if your primary craft is knitting, then it probably doesn't matter because you likely will be listening in your 'knitting' chair/couch. If you want to use earbuds, I recommend the JVC Sport around-the-ear ones. They provide some sound cancelling, and are gentle to the ears. You can still hear the telephone, but it blocks out your partner's TV pretty well.