There are a virtually endless number of ways to listen to music these days. You can stream them, listen to the radio, watch music videos, and the old methods (like vinyl) are still humming along as they ever were. Sometimes, though, people like to just hit play and let it go without having to manage every little thing like playlists, play order, or anything like that. For those people, we’d like to present the best radio apps for Android!
No, Apple didn’t pay us to be on this list. However, they did create one of the better radio experiences with Beats One. For those who don’t know, Beats One is a 24/7 radio station that has live DJs, live hosts, various types of music, and sometimes even live music. It’s difficult to justify $9.99/month for just a radio experience, but if you’re in the market for a music streaming service and a radio experience, Apple Music does both competently.
[Price: Free / $9.99 per month]
Google Play Music is another excellent option for people looking for music streaming and radio apps capabilities. On top of the streaming, Google maintains a metric ton of playlists covering every genre, almost every decade, and even most moods. So if you’re looking for 90s hits, music to play at BBQs, or just a good rock and roll station, Google Play has you covered. People using the free version can get the radio stuff, while the music streaming and additional features come with the $9.99/month price.
iHeartRadio is one of the go-to solutions for radio apps. It has a large selection of stations to listen to, including FM stations and iHeartRadio’s own stations mixed in. You can find playlists for almost any mood, in almost any genre, and there are seasonal stations mixed in for holidays like Christmas. It’s completely free to use (supported by in-streaming ads) which is another good bonus. For those who want it, iHeartRadio also comes with Chromecast and Android Wear support.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Internet Radio is, as the name suggests, an app that plays radio over the Internet. The app features hundreds of radio stations that cover all kinds of content that are ready for streaming when you want them. It includes both Internet-hosted radio as well as some FM stations that support online streaming. If you go pro, you can get some additional features, including live radio recording, a sleep timer, and more. It’s an efficient solution that does what it says it does.
The venerable Pandora Radio is an obvious selection for a list like this. The app made streaming random music mainstream and has enjoyed quite a bit of success over the years. Instead of focusing on specific stations, Pandora lets users create their own station based on their interests, artists they like, or genres they’re interested in. Pandora does offer playlists to stream, but most people just create their own. You can also get a premium subscription to remove ads or you can buy one-day passes to do the same thing on those days where you really just don’t want to hear it.
[Price: Free app, $15.99 per month, $19.99 per month, $10.99 per month]
SiriusXM satellite radio was one of the first really big pushes away from the standard AM and FM radio services. It features over 150 channels, including music channels, sports channels, and the venerable Howard Stern show. There are also three subscription models to choose from based on what kind of content you want to listen to. The app is slowly getting better and seems to be stable enough now to be enjoyable. It also helps that it’s cross-platform with many car radios as well.
[Price: Free / $9.99 per month]
Spotify is another music streaming app that has put a larger focus on radio-style streaming over the last couple of years. On top of having genre, mood, and artist-specific stations, Spotify also curates unique lists like “Worldwide top 50” and playlists with new music you specifically haven’t heard yet. The free version gets you pretty much all of the radio features with the $9.99 subscription cost removing advertising and giving you additional features. It’s one of the best out there.
[Price: Free / $7.99 per month]
TuneIn Radio contains a more varied supply of radio stations that includes music of all kinds, sports, comedy, talk radio, news, and many other types of media. The free version comes with over 100,000 stations in total along with several million podcasts. If you go for the premium version, you can also get live NFL, MLB, and Barclays Premiere League games, audiobooks, and the removal of advertising. The price changes based on what region you live in, but it’s an overall fantastic radio service.
[Price: Free / $3.99]
XiiaLive Internet Radio is a lesser-known service that includes a bunch of features. On its own, it contains 50,000 live radio stations which should be more than enough for most people. There are also organizational features that let you save your favorite stations. It also includes themes, data management features, and some more power user features like adding your own radio station URL link, an equalizer, and Bluetooth options. The app comes free or paid, but the service is free to use overall.
A lot of AM and FM radio stations have gone to the Internet and broadcast both over the radio waves and over the Internet waves. Many of those radio stations have dedicated apps where you can stream their stuff 24/7 and also engage with the radio station in other ways, including social media, giveaway info, podcasts, and whatever other promotions that station may be running. To be perfectly honest, most individual station apps aren’t overly great, but they can be good enough if you just want one radio station without all of the additional stuff added in.