And as mobile providers become more stingy with data plans and data caps, maybe it’s time we think about going back to local music files. No more streaming, at least when we aren’t on Wi-Fi.
But to do this, you’re going to need a good music player app — and for your convenience, we’ve done the research for you. Here are the best music player apps currently available, some which you may not have heard about.
Note: I know that many popular music streaming apps like Spotify and YouTube Music offer the ability to download music for offline playback, but we’re not going to include those here.
At first glance, AIMP looks a bit overly simplistic. Flat interface designs are currently in, but AIMP’s approach feels a bit empty. Maybe that’s the point. This app gets straight to the point: it plays your music and doesn’t muck around with distractions.
It handles nearly all audio file types — including lossy and lossless formats — and it comes with a 10-band equalizer, which is rare to see in free music players. It can also mix multi-channel files to stereo and/or mono. Overall, if you can get past the interface, it’s a solid choice that won’t let you down.
BlackPlayer is the best free music player I’ve ever used. It’s clean, it’s modern, it’s lovely on the eyes, it’s easy to navigate, and it’s packed with features: 5-band equalizer, gapless playback, scrobbling, sleep timer, and no ads!
A premium version does exist, called BlackPlayer EX, which has extra themes, fonts, more settings to tweak, more ways to customize your experience, a visualizer, better sorting, and a first taste of all future features. For just $2, it’s well worth it.
Phonograph is often considered to be the best-looking music player app, mainly because of the many built-in theme color sets and the fact that the interface colors dynamically change to match the content on the screen.
It’s pretty standard as far as features go, so don’t expect a lot of bells and whistles, but if you just want a simple listening experience that never gets in your way, Phonograph may be the app for you.
If you’re using an older device with outdated hardware, a lot of modern apps may frustrate you with lag and choppiness. Well, Pulsar strikes the perfect balance between a gorgeous appearance and lightweight performance.
It comes at a price — a lack of big advanced features — but that doesn’t mean Pulsar is barebones. You still get smart playlists, fast search, gapless playback, and a built-in tag editor that works quite well.
For the 5-band equalizer, bass booster, and reverb features, you’ll need to upgrade to Pulsar Pro for $3.
JetAudio comes in both free and premium versions, but you get so much in the free version that most users won’t even need the latter. The only downside is that the free version is supported by ads, but they aren’t intrusive, so they’re tolerable.
Here’s what you get: a 10-band equalizer with 32 presets, lossy and lossless support, effects like reverb and x-bass, playback speed control, automatic gain control, and more.
JetAudio Plus costs $4 and comes with a 20-band equalizer, built-in tag editor, over a dozen widgets, and a few other convenience features.
Other than that, it has gapless playback, supports lossy and lossless formats, crossfading, configurable widgets, a sleep timer, and is supported by ads. Get the Stellio Unlocker for $2 to kill the ads.
Simple but effective. Rocket Player has been around for a few years now, and it has come a long way since its inception. A lot of the bugs have been fixed, it performs much smoother now, and the feature set has expanded by a lot.
For free, you get a 5-band equalizer with several presets, over 30 themes, a built-in tag editor, Chromecast support, a sleep timer, a nifty playlist manager, and even support for podcasts.
Get Rocket Player Premium for $4 to unlock a 10-band equalizer, gapless playback, replay gain, crossfading, and expanded support for audio formats.
DoubleTwist has been around for a while (we reviewed it way back in 2012) and now that I’m revisiting it after all this time, it feels a bit outdated in terms of what it offers. Maybe it’s just me.
As a music player, it gets the job done — at least there aren’t any ads, even in the free version — and the interface is quite nice too, but there’s nothing too special about it anymore. It’s still good! It’s just not great anymore.
DoubleTwist Pro is available for $9, which grants AirSync (syncing your music to your PC over Wi-Fi), AirPlay (streaming to devices like Apple TV or Sonos), and a 4-band equalizer (which is junk compared to the other free offerings in this post).
Intuitive and lightweight. That’s what separates Shuttle from most other music players. It feels smooth and it runs well on older devices, and while there isn’t anything distinctive about the interface, it’s easy enough to use.
Free features include a 6-band equalizer with bass boost, gapless playback, several theme options, a sleep timer, and a few customizable widgets.
Shuttle+ costs just over $1 and grants a few extra features: built-in tag editor, folder browsing, Chromecast support, and a few more themes.
If you’ve come this far down the list and aren’t satified by the “lightweight” options further up, then we recommend giving Pixel Player a try. It’s lesser known, as evidenced by its number of reviews, but it’s pretty darn good.
It only supports basic file formats, but it has a 5-band equalizer with bass boost, gapless playback, a built-in tag editor, and a few options for customization, such as themes and colors.
Most notably, Pixel Player can analyze what you listen to and suggest more music that matches your tastes.
For us, the difference between a “free” and “paid” app is whether the free version can be used indefinitely. While some of the above apps do have paid features, these following apps only offer limited free trials.
Despite its outdated appearance, Neutron Player is one of the best music players out there — indeed, if you’re an audiophile, you’ll immediately recognize that the audio from this app is of utmost quality. It’s professional, one might say.
And that’s what distinguishes Neutron Player: it’s truly the music player for audiophiles. You’ll need to connect your device to a proper set of speakers to hear the difference, of course. It also comes with all the standard premium features you’d expect.
Poweramp is the only app on this list with over 1 million reviews, and that alone should speak volumes. The free trial lasts for 15 days, after which you’ll need to upgrade — but seeing as how it’s only $1, it’s nothing short of a steal.
Poweramp has everything you’d need in an advanced music player: 10-band equalizer, gapless playback, crossfade, replay gain, a built-in tag editor, fast library scan, along with some other niceties like dynamic queues.
It’s the Honda of music players: it may not be luxurious, but it’s reliable.
n7player has a beautifully sleek interface, and at this price point where all competing apps pretty much have the same feature set, the interface could be the one deciding factor. And for that, n7player makes a solid case.
The 10-band equalizer, volume normalization, gapless playback — these things are all great, but n7player’s real selling point is its nuanced approach to organizing your library. Nothing is ever more than a few taps away.
Again, PlayerPro has all of the standard premium music player features, so choosing it comes down to its interface. While most non-Material apps are ugly, PlayerPro’s unique design is both attractive and satisfying to use.
Special convenience features include importing music history and ratings from desktop music players, custom smart playlists, voice search and Google Now integration, and free complementary plugins.
GoneMAD Player is the perfect music app if you love tinkering and customizing every little detail to your heart’s content. Seriously, it has a built-in theme builder and over 250 options that you can tweak. Or choose from over 1,000 preset themes.
Other notable features, on top of the standard premium ones, include an optimized media library that supports 50,000+ songs, two shuffle modes, custom actions on queue completion, custom gestures, and multi-window support on some devices.
BlackPlayer is my music app of choice, but you honestly can’t go wrong with any of the ones on this list. And don’t be afraid to shell out a few dollars to get the premium version of an app if you really need it!
What about you? Which Android music app do you like best? Are there any that I missed? Share them in a comment down below! I’d love to hear from you.