With the multitude of online radio stations available, sifting through them all to find the right ones for you can be a challenge. If you are looking for new music and artists or podcasts, you can find them in this list of the best free radio stations for music and some podcast listening.
Also Helpful: If you want to know the best music streaming platform, we've got a head-to-head comparison of Spotify and Apple Music.
SomaFM is a listener-supported, internet-only radio station. This free radio station offers commercial-free, ambient underground, and alternative music hand-picked by SomaFM's DJs and music directors. Their available playlists are sorted into categories: groove, metal, pop, dubstep, and more.
It also lets you listen to its top channels with different tracks ranked based on spin count and listener count. This is an excellent feature if you're exploring new artists producing the type of music you like listening to. Additionally, they have a small selection of podcasts you can listen to for free.
2. NTS Radio
NTS Radio offers listeners in-house DJ picks, an extensive library of tracks sorted by genre, and other tracks compiled by contributors from all around the globe. They have playlists dedicated to current seasons, such as spring, and playlists that simulate the vibe and showcase the musical talent of artists from Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, and more.
If you want to check out music from your favorite genres, you can explore new age, house, disco, new wave, afrobeat, and other genres on NTS Radio. Moreover, you're also free to explore playlists and mixes curated by their in-house DJs from New York, Tokyo, London, and other places. Who knows? You might find your next favorite DJ from their roster.
However, NTS Radio isn't 100% commercial-free. You get a few advertisements from NTS here and there, but the music you can discover and enjoy while listening to their channels is worth it.
Tip: You can also create a radio station on Spotify to experience new music.
3. Radio Paradise
Radio Paradise, or RP, is a non-commercial, listener-supported radio station based in the US. It offers listeners music ranging from adult-oriented rock, pop, electronic, world, classic hits, country, and oldies. On the Radio Paradise website, you can listen to the RP main, mellow, rock, and global mix.
We highly recommend tuning into their global mix to explore music from RP's primary genre from international artists. Interface-wise, you can view brief biographies of the artist currently playing. You can also see what listeners say about specific songs, including listener ratings per song.
As part of the NPR radio family, KNKX is a US-based public radio broadcasting jazz, blues, and news. KNKX plays different mixes daily based on their daily schedule, which you can view on their website. If you're looking for a specific mix to listen to, you can tune in according to their schedule and find the type of jazz tracks you're interested in.
KNKX also has a small selection of podcasts on investigative storytelling, inspirational talk, and jazz, which are perfect alternatives if you want to take a break from listening to music.
Good to Know: If your headphones stop working, these headphone fixes for Windows may help.
KUVO is a public radio station broadcasting mainly jazz, Latin jazz, and blues music. They have seventeen locally produced and culturally diverse programs that'll give you insight into new jazz and blues music worldwide. They have two stations available, which are KUVO Jazz and KUVO Drop.
If you want to explore the hip-hop and R&B genres, the KUVO Drop station is perfect for discovering new songs and artists. Aside from tuning in using their web player, you can also get the KUVO app and join a community of like-minded music fans.
iHeartRadio is a streaming platform offering listeners podcasts, music, and other broadcasts. It's been around since 2008 and is one of the biggest radio stations in the US. You can find almost any type of music from iHeart's selection, from new music released by famous US-based musicians like Taylor Swift to K-pop acts breaking into international music charts.
Aside from being the best free radio station to discover new music from big-name acts, you can also tune in to iHeartRadio's podcast selections. They have podcasts for true-crime enthusiasts, news, neuroscience, and more.
Also Helpful: If you have Amazon Prime, you can also.
WFMU is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station broadcasting various music genres. You'll find rock and roll, experimental music, jazz, psychedelic rock, hip-hop, electronica, gospel, classical music, and many more by tuning in to their variations of radio programs.
You can view their program schedule on their website if you're after a specific genre or type of music. They have three main stations: the WFMU Live Stream, Rock 'n' Soul Radio, Give The Drummer Radio and Sheena's Jungle Room. All these stations have live DJs.
KALX is a community and student-run FM radio station broadcast from the University of California, Berkeley. This station offers listeners underground music, news, sports, and alternative informational programming.
It's a great place to find popular music among college-age listeners, which can open you up to new genres, artists, and more. If you're also a student looking for a community similar to what KALX offers, tuning in to their radio is a good start. You can engage with other listeners via KALX's social profiles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I listen to these stations using a radio?
If you're within these radio stations' broadcasting areas, you can tune in to them using an AM/FM radio device: KNKX, KUVO, WFMU, and KALX. You can also listen to these stations via the Internet.
For Internet radio stations such as SomaFM, NTS Radio, and Radio Paradise, you can only listen to their programs when visiting their websites.
What is an internet radio station?
An internet radio station doesn't transmit radio signals via AM or FM - instead, this type of radio station streams via the internet. You don't need a radio to listen to an Internet radio station because they can't detect Internet radio signals. You'll only need a device that can connect to the internet and use web browsers.
Can I listen to these stations if I'm located outside the US?
You can listen to all seven radio stations above, even outside the US. As long as you have an internet connection and a compatible web browser, you can tune in to their programs anytime and anywhere worldwide.
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