Best Android music players in 2021
Google Play Music may be no more, but there’s still plenty of choice if you want the best Android music player for your smartphone. Just a quick tour of the play store reveals dozens of apps promising to bring your favorite music straight to your smartphone.
And we’re not just talking simple playback either. The best Android music apps go beyond the basics, adding greater customization, more elaborate audio controls and other features that represent the wide variety of music you prefer.
From nimble, cloud-based streaming apps to feature-packed offerings aimed squarely at audiophiles — and even an Android app from Apple of all places — we’ve found the best Android music players for your listening pleasure.
The best Android music player apps you can download
1. YouTube Music
Having shuttered Google Play Music, YouTube Music is where your ears need to head. And your eyes too in the free version, which demands you keep the screen on and not switch apps, in order to play tunes. You’ll also get ads and can’t play offline, but considering you’re getting access to millions of tracks for free, you can’t grumble too much.
If you fancy going premium, it’ll cost the usual $9.99 per month — or $11.99 per month if you opt for a subscription that rolls in ad-free access to YouTube as a whole. If you’re all in with Google, this is good value; and if you’ve access to a desktop computer, you can augment your music library by uploading DRM-free audio files from your existing collection.
2. Apple Music
Apple Music isn’t just for iOS these days. And even the most ardent Android fan would have to concede Apple’s streaming service is pretty good.
You get access to Beats One, your music playlists, and Apple’s catalogue of 70 million songs. This option is most likely going to appeal to those who generally stick close to Apple’s ecosystem, but it’s nice to have the ability to throw an Android phone into the mix.
Apple Music subscriptions cost $9.99 a month, but you can enjoy a three-month trial at the start. (And some of Verizon’s unlimited data plans include a free Apple Music subscription, if that’s your phone carrier of choice.)
The king of streaming music keeps getting better. Spotify now has plans that are comparable to other services — a premium account costs $9.99 a month, and a family account covering six people runs $14.99 a month.
The streaming music space is highly competitive, but Spotify distinguishes itself through the impressive amount of curated playlists and suggestions for helping you power through the work day or rock the late night party.
Tidal’s claim to fame is the ability to stream high-fidelity music (either at CD quality 320kbps AAC or lossless FLAC audio) to your mobile device. Translation, if you’re not an audiophile? It sounds fantastic.
Tidal features an extensive library of more than 70 million songs, and users can also watch any of more than 250,000 ad-free music videos. Other extras include curated lists and music identification and discovery tools.
The catch? There’s no free tier, with Tidal Premium (320kbps AAC) costing $9.99 monthly, and Tidal Hi-Fi (lossless FLAC) setting you back $19.99.
Poweramp is a feature-filled Android player available that you can try out for free for 15 days before upgrading to the full version for $4.99. And there’s a lot of features here to convince you that the upgrade to one of the best Android music players.
Poweramp includes support for a wide variety of audio formats, a 10-band graphic equalizer, lyrics for songs, numerous playlist formats and .cue file support. A tag editor, fast library searching, home and lock screen widgets and numerous visual and setting customizations make Poweramp a heck of a choice if you’re willing to shell out for a nice Android music player app.
Although streaming music services have big libraries of classical music, they don’t do a good job in helping you discover it. By contrast, Primephonic immediately draws you in with playlists it thinks you’ll like, adding context to what you’re listening to.
The app is smarter than its contemporaries when it comes to search and listings as well. You can browse by composer, conductor, orchestra and other criteria specific to classical, compare recordings and then listen to the streams in lossless audio.
Not keen on doing the hard work? The app’s radio will provide an endless stream, based on your choices of period, genre, instrument and ambience. In all, Primephonic is ideal as an introduction to the world of classical and aficionados alike.
7. n7player Music Player
n7player Music Player has a unique interface among the best Android music players that displays your music in a word cloud-style, sorted by artist or by genre. A pinch-to-zoom control scheme lets you then zoom in to a particular album or artist that you’re looking for, switching from the word cloud to a spread of album art tiles.
In n7player, you can also set the library view to filter folders or albums, or display things in an old-school folder view. Interface gimmicks aside, n7 gives you some solid playback options including a 10-band equalizer, smart playlists, device streaming, and more, though some of these are gated behind a premium unlock.
Musicolet is an ad-free music player that eschews syncing and fancy cloud features in favor of delivering offline functionality and a boatload of features for playing your local music files.
As you’d expect from a contender for best Android music player, Musicolet supports a variety of music formats, and includes a nice multi-queue manager for lining up multiple albums or playlists, a tag editor, embedded lyrics support, a sleep timer and widgets. You won’t find a ton of cosmetic customizations here, as Musicolet is all about functionality rather than style.
9. Pi Music Player
Pi Music Player comes with an interesting grab bag of unusual features, including support for YouTube videos (and a floating YouTube player while you navigate other apps), podcasts, a ringtone cutter, and Pi Powershare for sharing music directly to your friends and contacts.
The app also features a 5-band equalizer with 25 presets and 4 visual themes. In-app purchases add more visual customizations, as well as remove advertisements.
The lesser-known BlackPlayer is a slick, minimalist app with a clean, configurable interface that packs decent features under the hood.
Swipe controls let you easily navigate the library’s various views (track, album, artist, genre) as well as playback. Vertical swipes to bring you to next or previous tracks. On the audio end, BlackPlayer includes a 5 band equalizer, as well as a variety of audio effects such as a bass booster and virtualizer, and gapless playback and crossfade on devices that support it.
BlackPlayer also comes with three widgets, an ID3 tag editor, and support for FLAC and embedded lyrics. You can pay $3.49 to upgrade to a Pro version of the app.
Phonograph is a sleek-looking Android music player that hews closely to the flat and bright look of Material design and provides users with a clean-looking user experience that hides features like tag editing and playlist management behind contextual menus.
The result is a very clutter-free interface (complete with colors that can automatically change to match the album art), though you might need to make an extra tap or two to get to features like the sleep timer or equalizer.
12. Pixel Music Player
Pixel Music Player combines local music playback as well as online radio and podcasts into a single convenient package that counts as on of the best Android music players.
The free app gives you the option to navigate your music files through a library format, or by a more traditional folder explorer view. (A pro version is available for a $2.49 upgrade.) Pixel Music Player comes with a five-band graphic equalizer, video player, and Material Design themes that keep things bright (with Black and Grey options).
On the organizational front, you can have the app download album art and lyrics, as well as manually edit your music’s metadata from within Pixel Music Player. You’ll also find a control widget as well as lockscreen and notification playback controls.
13. Rocket Player
Rocket Player offers some solid features, even in its free tier. The app features a clean and bright design that never gets in the way of doing its job — playing good music. Basic player functionality, a built-in equalizer, library search and management tools, podcast support, and home and lock screen widgets are among the free features.
Allowing the app to display adverts gives you more features like expanded file format support, a 10-band equalizer, and gapless playback. Or you can make an in-app purchase to unlock all features without the advertisements for $3.49. You can also subscribe to cloud backup and sync features, as well as iSyncr for syncing your iTunes library and metadata to Rocket Player.
14. JetAudio HD Player Plus
Another solid choice for an Android music player is JetAudio HD Player Plus, a premium music player that plays a variety of file formats stored locally or in your network folders over Wi-Fi.
The pro version of the player costs $3.99 and comes with a 20-band graphical equalizer, lock screen widgets, and a lot of neat playback controls for things like cross-fading, gapless playback and automatic gain control to avoid volume fluctuations. You can also find tag-editing and search tools to keep your library organized. Support for a number of audio plugins such as AM3D audio and Bongiovi DPS are available as in-app purchases.
The free version of JetAudio, which is ad-supported, has downgraded features like a 10-band equalizer.
Shuttle is a free, lightweight, yet feature-packed music player that also offers some neat extras for paid users of this best Android music player.
Shuttle’s interface is reminiscent of the old Google Play Music’s card UI, and the player comes with an equalizer, gapless playback, album and artist downloads, and Last.FM scrobbling to name a few of its features. It also takes full advantage of Android UI features, with lock screen and notification controls and widgets.
Users who upgrade to Shuttle+ ($1.49) gain additional interface customizations, as well as tag editing and Chromecast support.
16. Amazon Music
Amazon Music allows you to play locally stored music, create and edit playlists, and stream music to your car or home stereo via Bluetooth. The real selling points, though, are the market integration and cloud locker streaming.
You can search for and purchase new music, and then stream or download tracks and album straight into your device to enjoy at your leisure.
With a standard annual Amazon Prime subscription, users gain access to 2 million selected tracks they can stream and download, ad-free — along with the other perks of available to Prime members. A full Amazon Music Unlimited subscription unlocks more than 70 million tracks.
Musixmatch covers your basics with playback controls and a 5-band equalizer, but the app shines by automatically displaying synced lyrics for each song as the track plays.
Musixmatch also plays well with other music player apps such as Spotify, using a feature called FloatingLyrics to display synced song lyrics as a track plays.
Additional top features include Chromecast and Android Wear support, as well as the ability to pull up artist or band Twitter accounts, albums, and top tracks.
18. GoneMAD Music Player
GoneMAD Music Player is a nifty feature-rich contender for best Android music player, as it supports a wide variety of file formats and sports a nicely configurable interface.
Covering the ubiquitous MP3 to more esoteric formats like FLAC, OGG, and MPC, GoneMAD should play most music file formats you throw at it, while its wealth of configurable audio effects such as a 10-band equalizer, auto volume adjustment, crossfading and bass boost let you configure playback to your liking. The interface also comes with a wealth of themes based on Holo and Material design.
You can download GoneMAD for free and enjoy it for 14 days before you have to pay $3.99 to unlock the app.
19. Neutron Music Player
Neutron Music Player’s interface may be clunky, but it pitches itself as a professional music player for discerning audiophiles. It backs that assertion up with a ton of audio tweaks, settings and functions.
Besides support for a wide variety of audio formats, the app packs numerous DSP settings for things such as surround sound, crossfeed and rumble filtering, as well as normalization, pitch control and other audio tweaks.
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