There are plenty of music player apps for Android, but which ones are actually worth using? This article takes a look at some of the best options you should consider if you’re dissatisfied with your phone’s default music player. Most – but not quite all – music player apps will give you a similar acoustic quality, so the main things we’re focusing on in this feature are design, interesting features, and a lack of annoying advertising.
Let the music roll! Here are the best music player apps for Android.
1. Neutron Music Player
It’s not the cheapest music player app out there at $6, but a five-day evaluation version means you can give Neutron a good go before committing to the purchase. It has a unique audio engine which can play back almost all audio formats – including FLAC – in its bespoke 32-bit/64-bit engine.
There’s not too much flexibility in the no-nonsense dark interface, yet there’s a ton of tweaking when it comes to actual audio playback with a robust mixer-like equalizer with 21 presets and a whole bunch of DSPs, including surround sound, dithering, pitch, and tempo correction and crossfeed (optimized for headphones).
Expected features like gapless playback, custom playlists and search options by genre, artist and so on are all accounted for.
2. GoneMAD Music Player
One of the overlooked aspects of some of the best Android music player apps is the quality of their audio engine. While many apps use a stock engine, GoneMAD is one of the few apps that has its own, and it sounds great.
The player has a ton of themes to play around with and support for endless audio formats as well as Chromecast support. The app has recently gone through a sleek UI overhaul, but if you prefer to keep things traditional, you can revert back to the old UI (or just tweak things to your liking thanks to the solid array of customization options).
GoneMAD is a premium music player that comes with a 14-day free trial version. But for the low price of $5 you get the kind of features and quality you’ll struggle to find for free.
3. Musicolet Music Player
With no ads or sneaky in-app purchases and no requirement to connect to the Internet, Musicolet is one of the most honest music player apps for Android.
It’s very good, too, with the usual smattering of features, including equalizers, a sleep timer, embedded lyrics and full granular folder browsing. Its UI is nice and simple, and instead of dabbling with silly things like themes, it gives you widgets and (*drum roll*) multiple listening queues!
Even paid music apps struggle to keep up with this excellent feature-set.
The vintage music player made its way to Android quite a few years ago and has unapologetically maintained the simplicity and ease of use that made it such a hit on PCs. It supports a wide spectrum of audio formats, and as a nice perk, it also streams music to your Android device from UPnP servers, ensuring that you’re always connected to your music on your home network.
Foobar2000 isn’t flashy with its Android 4.0 interface and folder-based design and lacks many of the more advanced features you’ll find in other apps here, but if you just want to listen to your collection (with gapless playback, no less), then it may well be all you need.
PowerAmp has been the go-to music app for many Android users over the years. With over 50 million downloads, it’s certainly one you should consider if you’re looking for a great music player for your phone. It’s not free, but you can try it for two weeks before deciding whether to pay for the Pro version.
PowerAmp has a more complicated interface than most music players, but that’s because it packs a ton of features including gapless playback, crossfade, themes, lyrics support, widgets, and support for several types of playlists. You’ll also find a graphic equalizer, headset support, and several customization options in the settings.
Shuttle is another beautiful music player that offers a material design UI along with plenty of options. You get pretty much all the standard features that’s expected of any music player including playlist support, a sleep timer, gapless playback, and many theme options (including light and dark mode).
If you want Chromecast support, ID3 tag editing, folder browsing, and extra themes, you’ll need to purchase the Pro version for $1.50.
Still, you get an ad-free interface that’s easy on the eyes and is packed with useful features such as crossfading, embedded lyrics support, equalizer with bassboost and 3D surround virtualizer, scrobbling and more. It also supports all the standard music file formats such as mp3, wav and ogg. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Pulsar is one of the most highly-rated music players. It offers a clean, minimal interface that’s easy to navigate and use. It doesn’t have many advanced features like Poweramp, but you get all the standard stuff such as playlists, homescreen widgets, lockscreen controls, gapless playback, crossfading and a sleep timer.
On top of that you get the option to reorder the way your library is arranged on the main screen. You can also change the playback speed (up to three times faster), download missing album art automatically and ignore certain folders from your library.
9. Retro Music
Retro Music sports a unique interface that combines design elements from iOS and material design which makes it one of the best-looking music players out there. You can customize the interface with different color themes and even change certain aspects of how the app looks, such as the Now Playing screen which can be styled in ten different ways.
Your library is sorted into songs, albums, artists, and playlists. Browsing through folders is also available. Furthermore, the app offers all the regular features you might expect, like widgets, lockscreen controls, tag editing, Last.fm integration, gapless playback and more. It’s definitely one you should check out.
10. Google Play Music
In addition to being a music streaming service, Google Play Music offers a free app that can play local songs on your device, and you don’t need to sign up for anything to use it.
It offers even less customization options than the other options on this list (you can’t even change the theme), but it gets all the basics right and integrates well with your Android devices by providing convenient widgets for your homescreen and a cool lockscreen album art, which you can disable if you prefer to see something else on your lockscreen.
You can also upload up to 50,000 of your own songs to Play Music’s cloud platform and to stream or download them on your mobile device, computer, or Android TV.
There are plenty of music players available for Android, but these are our picks for the best ones. Do you have a suggestion that should have made this list? Tell us about it in the comments section below.