best free music apps
Updated March 13, 2020

15 Best Free Music Apps for Android and iOS

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Gone are the days of MP3 players and physical music downloads. Nowadays, smartphone users have a plethora of free music apps to stream the music they want no matter where they are.

Today we’re going to review the best free music apps for Android and iOS in 2019.

Spotify

Chances are you’ve heard of Spotify, and for good reason. They’re one of the biggest music-streaming services out there with one of the biggest libraries of free tracks. Spotify has access to over 40 million tracks. Users can browse for music by filtering for artist or genre.

Good to Know: Users can also curate their own custom music playlists, browse playlists by other users and even collaborate on open playlists. Spotify is free to use, and you can create a free account without a credit card or banking information. The Spotify free version is ad-supported, meaning you’ll have to listen to a few ads between songs.

Pro Tip: For those who wish to go ad-free and enjoy a number of other features, a Spotify premium account starts at only $9.99 per month. Spotify is one of the best free music apps out there and it’s available on both Android and iOS.

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Pandora

Pandora is another one of the most popular ways to stream music and podcasts on your phone. Pandora boasts around 70 million users and has millions of tracks available for streaming. Pandora is a playlist-style service, meaning once you select a track or artist, Pandora will automatically generate a personalized playlist of similar artists. It’s like a radio station made just for your tastes.

Good to Know: Pandora is powered by a feature called the Music Genome Project, an algorithmic software which analyses your musical tastes to recommend artists and tracks which will appeal to you, making it an excellent way to discover new music. Pandora has a free, ad-supported version, and two tiers of paid service: Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium. Plus gives you ad-free streaming, higher quality music and the ability to download playlists.

Pro Tip: Pandora Premium has all these same features, and it lets users listen to individual tracks and create their own playlists. Pandora is one of the best free music apps for Android and iOS.

iHeartRadio

If you love traditional radio stations, iHeartRadio is one of the best free music apps for listening to the radio. iHeartRadio allows users to stream real radio stations from all over America. You can filter your search for local radio stations in your area or seek out radio stations from anywhere in the US and even globally.

Pro Tip: In addition to their radio streaming service, iHeartRadio supports podcast streaming, letting you keep up with your favorite podcasts. You can also create your own personalized stations based on artists and genres using the library of millions of tracks on iHeartRadio.

  • iHeartRadio is available for free, with the typical catches including ads and limited track skips.
  • There are two tiers of paid membership: Plus and All Access. With Plus, users can stream without ads, save songs from the radio to their playlist and instantly replay songs they hear on the radio.

Good to Know: All Access has the same features, plus the ability to download tracks to listen offline, and the ability to create unlimited playlists. Pandora is available for every device under the sun, and yes that includes both Android and iOS.

YouTube Music

A relative newcomer to the music streaming scene, YouTube music offers a diverse range of streaming services for both Android and iOS users. Don’t be confused, YouTube Music is a totally separate app from the YouTube video streaming app.

  • YouTube Music is a dedicated music streaming app with the functionality you’d expect, plus a few additional features which set is apart.
  • Being part of the Google family, YouTube Music is powered by a powerful search function. In addition to artist and track name searches, YouTube Music can find songs based on lyrics or even descriptions of the artist or song.
  • YouTube Music can recommend tracks based on your taste, your location, and even the time of day, so you’ll always have the right music for the occasion.

Good to Know: You can try YouTube music for free, which lets you listen to any track they provide and watch music videos, and this free service is ad-supported. However, one thing to keep in mind is that YouTube Music will only play while your phone is unlocked. That means if you turn lock the screen, playback will end. You can get around this by signing up for YouTube Music premium which starts at $9.99. This lets you play with your screen locked, and lets you download tracks for offline play, among other features.

YouTube Music is available for Android and iOS.

Deezer

Deezer has long been considered one of the best music free music apps for iOS and Android in Europe, and it’s slowly gaining been popularity here in the US. We’re glad it’s here, as Deezer is an excellent music streaming app. As you’d expect, Deezer lets you stream songs from their library of over 53 million tracks. With Deezer you can discover user-generated playlists or create your own to share with friends.

  • Deezer also boasts a proprietary feature called Flow. Flow is an endless playlist which is auto-generated based on your listening tastes. The more you use Deezer, the better the flow algorithm will work. Before long, you’ll have an endless radio station of your favorite music at your fingertips.
  • Deezer Free is ad-supported, online-only and only supports shuffle play. Upgrade to Deezer Premium for $9.99 per month to enjoy ad-free listening, offline downloading and the ability to listen on any device.

If you have a big family or group and want to share the same account, try Deezer Family for $14.99 and enjoy 6 different profiles on the same account.

Deezer is available on Android and iOS.

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SoundCloud

If you’re interested in indie tracks from unsigned artists, SoundCloud may be the best free music app for you. SoundCloud has been on the scene for a while as a community and platform for independent artists to get their music out there. You’re not going to find top 40 tracks here. However, you might find the next big star. A lot of today’s mega-stars such as Diplo and Post Malone got their start uploading music to SoundCloud.

Good to Know: SoundCloud has millions of tracks to listen to from just about every genre imaginable. In the past, SoundCloud catered largely to EDM producers, but lately the platform has seen a huge surge in indie hip-hop talent. The app offers an intuitive interface for finding tracks, leaving comments and interacting with users. Sharing and collaboration are at the heart of this service.

  • SoundCloud Free will give you access to over 150 million tracks, let you create playlists and take part in the robust community of music creators. This free version is ad-supported.
  • There is also a paid service, SoundCloud Go. For $4.99 a month, you can enjoy SoundCloud ad-free and download tracks to listen offline. What’s more, SoundCloud will pass that money onto their music creators, so you know you’re supporting the community.

SoundCloud is available on Android and iOS.

TuneIn

TuneIn is another radio-streaming service, with an added emphasis on live sports broadcasting. If you love to listen to your favorite sports broadcast while on the go, TuneIn is what you’re looking for. TuneIn offers live play-by-play broadcasts of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football at more. You’ll also be able to find a variety of sports talk and commentary programs. In addition, TuneIn offers curated musical playlists from a wide range of musical genres and styles, so you should be able to find something that suits your fancy.

  • TuneIn also has live news broadcasts. Keep updated on the latest developments in the US and around the world with news feeds from CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Fox and more.
  • Finally, TuneIn supports podcasts with a comprehensive selection of many of the most popular podcasts.
  • TuneIn free will give you access to over 120,000 radio stations and full access to podcasts. TuneIn Free is ad-supported.

Pro Tip: If you want live sports streaming and ad-free listening, you’ll need to upgrade to Premium for $9.99 per month.

TuneIn is available on both Android and iOS.

Google Play Music

Though Google technically owns YouTube music, they offer a separate music streaming service. Google Play Music is ideal for those who want to integrate a library of music files with an online streaming option. Google Play Music lets you upload up to 50,000 of your own songs from your computer and stream them to any Google connected device.

  • What’s more, you’ll have access to curated playlists that will be recommended according to your specific musical tastes.
  • You’ll be able to do all of this for free with ad-support, but if you want additional functionality, you’ll need to upgrade to Google Play Unlimited for $11.99 per month.

Good to Know: With this paid service you’ll have access to larger variety of radio stations, 40 million tracks available to stream on-demand, ad-free listening, and the ability to download tracks from the internet to listen offline.

Pro Tip: To make matters a bit more confusing, a subscription to Google Play Unlimited includes a subscription to YouTube Music Premium, so you’ll get all the features of that service which we discussed above. It’s possible that these two services may merge into one in the future, until then, you have several options for enjoying your music from Google’s services.

Google Play Music is available on Android and iOS.

Slacker Radio

Slacker Radio is another playlist-based streaming service which gives users curated playlists and radio stations. Search through their vast array of playlists which are separated by genre and mood. Fire up the playlist that looks good to you and enjoy.

  • One unique feature of Slacker Radio is that you can adjust songs in the playlist your listening to as ones you prefer or ones you wish to avoid. The playlist will dynamically adapt to match your preferences.
  • Slacker Radio Free gives you access to their entire library of playlists and lets you create your own, albeit supported by ads and you’ll be restricted to how many times you can skip tracks.
  • Slacker Plus costs a very affordable $3.99 per month and comes ad-free, at higher streaming quality and allows unlimited skips.

Good to Know: Slacker Premium is $9.99 per month and has all the aforementioned features in addition to offline listening and on-demand listening of specific tracks.

It’s available on Android and iOS.

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Musi

Musi is a simple app which lets users add tracks from YouTube and SoundCloud for streaming on their device. This is one of the best free music apps for iPhone if you’re interested in playing YouTube content but don’t want to pay for a YouTube Music or Google Play Music account. With Musi you can add videos manually from YouTube or import YouTube playlists from yourself or others.

Good to Know: Musi will play YouTube videos even if the app is minimized! It also features a useful sleeper timer if you like to play music when you fall asleep and want the app to shut off after a specified period. It’s important to note that Musi streams YouTube videos, so be careful when using this app on mobile data.

At the moment, Musi is only available on iOS.

8tracks

8tracks adds an interesting spin to the playlist-based music streaming app market. 8tracks allows users to create custom playlists that contain only 8 tracks.

Good to Know: There are staff-made and user-generated playlists to choose from, and these playlists are tagged with keywords describing their mood and genre, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.

  • Try searching for a keyword like “joyful” or “pensive” and see what comes up.
  • The app also lets you select playlists as “favorite” and will generate YouTube and SoundCloud playlists with these songs.

All the music on 8tracks is 100% free, though it is ad-supported and the number of playlists you can listen to is limited. There is also a paid service called 8tracks Plus, which costs $4.99 per month.

8tracks Plus is ad-free and allows unlimited streaming. 8tracks is one of the best free music apps for iPhone and Android.

Jango Radio

Jango Radio is a simple playlist-based streaming app that is 100% free and has no ads. This makes it one of the best free music apps out there. Though the selection is a bit limited compared with the competition, you cannot argue with 100% free and no ads.

Good to Know: With Jango Radio you can enjoy their large variety of curated playlists or create your own. Adjust playlist settings to your taste by adding your favorite artist or changing the variety settings.

Jango Radio is available on both Android and iOS.

Shazam

Shazam is a music recognition and streaming app and it is one of the best free music apps for Android and iOS. It has a feature which sets it apart from the competition: it can listen to and recognize music using the microphone on your phone.

Good to Know: If you’re listening to the radio or in a restaurant and hear a song you like, fire up Shazam and within seconds it will identify the song. Shazam will also link to streaming versions of the song for you to listen to. For example, if you have a Spotify Premium or Apple Music account, it will give you a direct link to listen to the song in-app.

Pro Tip: Shazam also keeps a playlist of songs you’ve looked up that you can easily refer to later, as well as browse playlists from other users.

Shazam is 100% free, and it’s available for both iOS and Android.

Qello

If live music is your jam, Qello is what you’re looking for.  Qello specializes in streaming live concerts and music documentaries. You’ll find concerts from hundreds of artists across dozens of genres.

Good to Know: The app has special features which include artist setlists and behind-the-scenes documentary footage. The app even supports live-streaming of certain events through their app.

Qello isn’t strictly free, a regular subscription will cost you $7.99 per month, but you can have a 7-day free all-access pass to try the service before you buy a subscription.

Is available on Android and iOS.

AccuRadio

AccuRadio is another radio and playlist-based streaming app. Like Jango, its 100% free and has unlimited skips, though it is ad-supported. With AccuRadio users can select from their substantial library of stations and curated playlists, featuring artists across multiple genres and decades.

Good to Know: Save your favorite playlists, rate songs or ban artists from a specific channel according to your tastes. If you don’t mind listening to a few ads, AccuRadio is without a doubt one of the best free music apps for iPhone and Android.

Our Bonus Tip: Make money in your spare time with these smartphone apps and side hustles.

 

 

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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