Posted on Thursday, November 7th, 2013 by Will Hagle
If you’re a music lover and wish to listen to online radio on the go, this top 10 list will help you find all the best Android apps to do so; whether it’s local or global, talk shows or pure music, hardcore news or light entertainment, you’ll find it here!
If you have an Android phone, thousands of great radio stations are sitting in your pocket right now. Many of those radio stations are free, and offer streams of an unlimited amount of songs, stations and channels. Just like the old-fashioned AM/FM radio, but better. You can listen anywhere you want (or anywhere you have internet service). All you have to do is download one of the many great radio apps out there. Because you have so many choices for great radio content, we’ve made a list of the best apps. All of the apps listed here are free, because you shouldn’t have to pay for radio. Here is the list of the best free streaming radio apps for Android.
TuneIn allows you to listen to radio stations from all around the world. You may be in San Francisco, but that won’t stop you from listening to Barcelona’s local indie rock station or the one radio station based in Antarctica (the scientists on Antarctica have some good taste in music, and that station is highly recommended). If you’ve relocated to a new city and miss your hometown radio station, there’s a good chance it’s on TuneIn. TuneIn’s services are entirely free, but you may be subjected to the ads broadcasted from the stations it allows you to stream.
Earbits offers an expansive variety of unique radio stations, each curated from artist submissions. The app features genre-based stations as well as specialized channels built around events or activities. The app primarily highlights independent artists, showcasing the most talented musicians that otherwise might not receive radio play. The most attractive feature of Earbits’ Android app is that everything is entirely free. There are absolutely no ads, skip-limitations or fees. The app’s streaming services are also available worldwide.
Pandora is the most well-known and established online radio platform. The company’s Android app is free to download, and allows you to create up to 100 stations that play music based on your favorite artists. If you use Pandora online, the Android app links your content, so you don’t need to create new stations from your phone.
The downside of Pandora is that it comes with ads and the amount of times that you can “skip” a song that you don’t like is limited.
Jango’s Android app provides an easy-to-use way of listening to personalized radio stations. The app is laid out in a simple manner, and it builds stations based on your favorite artists like Pandora.
With Jango, however, you only have to sit through one ad per day, and the amount of songs you can stream is unlimited.
Stitcher differs from other radio apps in that it offers news and talk show content rather than music. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it’s actually quite useful.
The app includes channels that cover a wide variety of topics, from CNN News to Adam Corrolla’s comedy show. The app is excellent for long drives or commutes, and the sound quality definitely surpasses the annoying static of AM radio.
Slacker is a great Android app, but only a few of its features are available for free. If you don’t choose to pay any money, you’ll still have access to unlimited streaming of customized radio stations as well as Slacker- curated channels.
If you do choose to pay for Slacker, you’ll be allowed to listen commercial-free, listen to songs off-line and access songs and albums on-demand.
XiaaLive allows users to listen to over 50,000 live radio stations for free. The app’s most attractive feature is the ability to stream songs in your choice of audio format (aac, mp3, mp4, etc.).
The app makes it easy to sift through and organize your favorite radio stations.
XiaaLive exists entirely in app form, and the lack of a browser-based component can be a drawback.
Songza plays the right music at the right time. The app is free, and allows you to listen for as long as you’d like. The app differs from other radio streaming services in that it chooses songs based on mood or activity rather than similar artists. If you’re working out, for example, it’ll play songs to match that activity.
If you’re feeling tired, sad, happy, or some other emotion, it’ll play songs to match your mood.
iHeartRadio combines aspects of several other apps on the market. Like Pandora, iHeartRadio offers customized channels based on songs or artists that you like (unlike Pandora, iHeartRadio is commercial free). Like TuneIn, iHeartRadio offers access to a live streaming radio stations from around the world. All of iHeartRadio’s features are free. The app’s all-encompassing features make it attractive, but it can be confusing to navigate since it has so much going on.
The straightforwardly-titled app Internet Radio provides an often-overlooked service that primarily benefits users in areas that have lower internet or data speeds. The app includes hundreds of radio stations from around the world, and they can all be streamed at 24Kbp/s. The app also doesn’t sacrifice sound quality despite its slower speeds. If you find that your other Android apps are lagging behind because your internet’s too slow, this might be the app for you.
Will Hagle is a music journalist whose work appears frequently on the Earbits Radio Blog, as well as in other dark corners of the internet.