Best free music apps for Android and iPhone

November 8, 2021

Having access to any music, wherever you are, has become a standard. Thanks to free music apps, everyone can enjoy the privilege of listening to their favorite artists and discovering new music at work, at school, or on the go. Nowadays, getting free music is easier than ever. Most of the music apps like Spotify and others have free plans that allow users to listen to their favorite compositions, altough they sometimes come with ad interuptions or other minor incoveniences. Spotify, Deezer, YouTube Music, SoundCloud or other, with which application will you find your happiness? Here are the best free music apps for Android and iPhone.

1. SoundCloud

SoundCloud is one of the best free music apps for those who prefer lesser-known music. The app is popular with indie and unknown artists who put their tracks in it so that anyone can listen to them for free. In addition, there are many titles available for download as well.

Considered as the world's largest music and audio streaming platform, SoundCloud boasts over 200 million songs and offers a wide range of genres not found elsewhere, such as DJ sets, hand-picked playlists, remixes, and freestyles, not to mention hit-parade albums and mainstream releases. One of the most important facts about SoundCloud is that the application was made to discover artists who haven’t yet signed with a label. The online player allows you to see the song in the form of waves, and to comment on specific places in the song. So if you’re someone who enjoys indie music, SoundCloud is a solid option for you. The app is available both on Android, and iOS.

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SoundCloud - what does it offer for free?

The free version features mostly independent artists and is perfect for music lovers who want to discover new tracks or new artists or perhaps be part of an emerging genre. Also, unlike Spotify, the free version of SoundCloud offers unlimited skips (read our SoundCloud vs Spotify comparison here). Popular artists put their work on the platform but you have to pay to access the full catalogue, so don't be disappointed if your favorite artist does that! To listen to music offline, you will also have to invest in SoundCloud Go premium subscription.

2. Spotify

Spotify is one of the most famous and popular free music apps for Android. It offers its users access to millions of songs from popular artists around the world. It also provides tons of curated playlists and podcasts that you can enjoy on your smartphone.

Spotify was created in Sweden in 2006, and it’s currently a leader in music streaming apps. It offers more than 70 million titles to its subscribers. Music playlists are created by the expert teams of Spotify according to the genres, styles, and tastes of the users. These recommendations are personalized and allow users to discover new titles. If you're looking for a music app that lets you discover new songs and benefit from expert recommendations, go for Spotify.

The Spotify app can be downloaded on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, and it’s available on iOS and Android.

Spotify - what does it offer for free?

Several subscriptions are offered by the platform, but there is also a free version, which allows you to listen to your music unlimited, but with advertising breaks. This free package is accessible from a single device. You won’t have access to an offline mode or exclusive music. What’s more, the mobile version of Spotify allows only for 6 music skips per hour, while the desktop Spotify app doesn’t have such limits (you can select any song you like, with unlimited skips). If you want, dive deep into our comparison of free vs paid Spotify plan and find out if it’s worth paying for.

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3. Pandora

Pandora is one of the most popular free music apps in 2021, but it’s only available in the U.S (for both Android and iOS). In the app, you'll find access to the latest songs and music from artists around the world. Pandora categorizes songs according to the melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, lyrics, and arrangements; in short, it's based on absolutely everything that influences the song. All this information is used to offer you personalized stations where you can listen to other related songs. On top of that, Pandora also includes a collection of over 1,400 top podcasts from around the world, which you can use to further your knowledge. The company offers a free plan, but if you want an ad-free experience and extra perks, you can go for a premium plan that starts at $4.99. If you want to listen to music offline, you have to subscribe to Pandora Plus or Pandora Premium.

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Pandora: What does it offer for free?

Free Pandora offers the radio functionality, in which you can choose a song, an artist, or an album, or any combination of these. Once you have this you will only have to click the thumb up to tell Pandora to put music similar to this in the following songs and if instead, you don't like chosen music, press thumb down to tell the Pandora app that you don't want to listen to this song anymore.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the free version of Pandora offers access to a lower quality audio stream only, since it’s limited to 64k AAC +, at best. Mobile device or web version users have access to the same free functions, that is, they have the same number of songs that they can skip, the same stations available, and advertising similar to other applications such as Spotify. The current cost of Pandora premium is around 5$ or $10 per month (this includes ad-free radio and on-demand streaming where you can choose the music).

If you want to learn more about Pandora, this article will give you more insight.

4. YouTube Music

YouTube Music is Google's official music app and is also considered one of the best free music apps for Android and iPhone. It’s also available for iOS. The best thing about YouTube Music is that it comes with a great user interface which makes it easier to use. On top of that, its users have access to over 70 million songs with tons of live performances, covers, and other musical content from artists around the world. Besides, it contains thousands of playlists dedicated to various genres, moods, and occasions. You can use YouTube Music for free, but there’s also a premium version available that provides an ad-free listening experience.

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YouTube Music - what does it offer for free?

YouTube Music is free to use if you don't mind listening to ads every few songs. The service can be used via a mobile app or web player. Once you log in to your Google account, you can access the free service without the need for a subscription. It allows you to listen to the songs and watch the videos, with occasional advertisements. A YouTube Music Premium removes the ads, lets you listen to music in the background (so you can exit the app and continue listening), and lets you download songs for offline playback. If you don't have a subscription, you won't be able to play in the background either, that is, as soon as you turn off the screen, the music will stop. And yes, we have also written a review on YouTube Music vs Spotify!

5. Deezer

Deezer is one of the best free music apps for Android and iOS. With this app, you’ll have access to over 73 million songs from artists around the world. Also, it includes features like Shuffle Mode, which lets you find new music. In addition, you can also identify the music using the “SongCatcher” function. Deezer also includes a fair collection of radio stations and podcasts that you can enjoy on your smartphone. If you are looking for a music streaming platform with a simple and refined design, download the Deezer application!

Deezer - what does it offer for free?

Deezer Free gives unlimited access to the platform. However, there are advertisements between songs and the offline mode isn't available. Also, Deezer free offers six song skips per hour (so, it’s the same amount of skips as in the Spotify free). The free subscription can only be used by one user.

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6. Apple Music

Apple Music has a huge range of music and it’s designed attractively. But that’s something everyone probably expects from Apple. All top artists can be listened to via this music app. The offer covers over 75 million songs and you can also save your favorite titles to listen to them offline. In addition, Apple Music has exclusive videos, documentaries, and performances from your favorite artists. Apple Music offers a free 3-month trial, and after that time it costs at least 9.99 $ per month. In our opinion, three months is a very long time to enjoy some free music! Just like with Spotify, you can cancel this at any time.

Apple Music is available for Android and iOS.

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7. Amazon Music

Amazon Music is similar to Spotify and YouTube Music, where you can search and play your favorite songs, but with some main differences. A free version catalog is much smaller than the one offered by Spotify.

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Amazon Music - what does it offer for free?

Amazon Music Free is available for everyone, and with this version of the service, you get access to thousands of stations and top playlists. With Amazon Music Prime membership, users get 2 million songs and ad-free service. Amazon Music is available for web, Android, iOS, and of course for the Amazon echo series.

8. LiveXLive

LiveXLive lets you stream music for free online, but it’s popular for streaming live festivals and events. You can find custom radio stations around your music interests based on different genres, artists or songs and stations used by other users. LiveXLive is available for iOS and Android.

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LiveXLive - what does it offer for free?

The free version doesn't let you pick the songs you want to play. It's also ad-supported, lacks offline music playback and HD quality audio, and skips the boundaries of your track.

9. Shazam

Contrary to other apps on our list, Shazam doesn’t let you stream music, but we love it so much we had to mention it! Shazam is an application that allows you to find the title of a song, the name of an artist, or an album from a sample of music that you hear on the radio, television, or in a store.

Thus, it’s the essential application for all those who once asked themselves "what is this music again?" without finding an answer. It’s a technological miracle that recognizes most of all the songs in seconds. The application is well-known, but if you don’t know it yet, it’s a must-have! Especially if you are a real music fan. Shazam makes sure you discover your new favorite artist in seconds.

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Shazam: what does it offer for free?

This app is easy to use and can be downloaded for free on your mobile device or computer. It has some ads, but that doesn’t affect any other features. Shazam is available both for Android, and iOS.

To use Shazam, all you have to do is launch the app and touch the central record button. You can then move your device closer to the music source to better intercept the sound.

After a few seconds of processing, the service matches the recording with its music database and then displays the results in the main window. The accessible information is the title of the song, the main artist, those who collaborated, and all the covers of the song. However, Shazam goes far beyond that, because the app is also able to find the video clip as well as the lyrics of a song. It also allows you to follow the news regarding artists such as their next album releases, their future tour dates, or even the videos of their concerts.

Through the “Discover” feature, the platform's algorithm can identify your music taste and even recommend new tracks or artists to follow. Besides, the app can offer you a daily playlist from the artists you’ve followed. You can then listen to the songs you like by opening them via online platforms such as Deezer or Spotify.

With a Shazam account, you have access to your music search history. The TOP menu displays the list of the most popular songs in the world. You can then share your favorite songs with your friends, on social networks or use the application's search engine to find the titles, artists, and song lyrics that interest you.

What’s more, Shazam also features offline mode. The app allows its users to save song snippets while the device is offline. However, the song identification progresses only when your smartphone connects to the Internet again. Thus, you can use the app to discover new songs anywhere and anytime.

How to listen to free music online without downloading

Below we listed sites that allow you to listen to free music online without downloading any apps. Whether it's a single track or album, playlist, or radio station, you can play music from different genres and artists, and even share it with others. The majority of these services are ad-supported, but you can still enjoy your own music library, discover new or upcoming artists, and save money too.

1. Spotify web player

If you want to listen to music online via Spotify, but you don’t want to download an app, there is a way for it. Just use your web browser on your PC or laptop.

2. YouTube Music

Just like regular YouTube, YouTube Music can be used as a regular website. So, you don’t have to download and install the YouTube Music app to enjoy playlists or your favorite tracks. You can also search for specific genres, categories or subscribe to musicians' channels.

3. SoundCloud

SoundCloud provides its users access to songs from the website. With SoundCloud, you will surely discover some great music!

4. Online radio stations

iHeart

iHeart Radio is a free digital radio app that lets you listen to all your favorite live radio stations. You can also choose to create your own station, with songs from your favorite artists. The app is free to download for iOS, Android, and Windows. You can use iHeart for free, but there are advertisements. In the app, you will find tons of radio stations and podcasts from all over the world.

What is special about iHeart is that it also offers sports radio stations which you can use to follow the matches of your favorite teams or players and have fun. In addition, it comes with dedicated stations where experts discuss various sports including golf, soccer, and tennis.

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AccuRadio

AccuRadio is a free music streaming service, which offers its users unlimited access to hundreds of thematic stations they can listen to when and where they want. The channels look like playlists. You can access AccuRadio without an account directly via its website from your browser regardless of your system (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.).

Jango

Jango provides its users access to a vast collection of songs. You don’t have to register or download anything to use Jango. Stations can be browsed by decade or genre, and users can also create their own stations by picking their favorite songs or artists. Stations can then be shared with others.

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