These are the best music player apps for Android in May 2021!

These are the best music player apps for Android in May 2021!

It seems like we have been able to listen to music with pocketable devices since forever. Now granted, it hasn’t always been from our smartphones and we used to have dedicated MP3 devices for listening to our music on the go. But nowadays, pretty much any phone allows you to install your music streaming service of choice and can even fit some songs on its internal storage as well. But you probably want something that is a little bit better than what comes with your current smartphone (if it even comes with one at all). Well then, don’t despair: I’m here to help you again, with a curated list that picks up from the best Android apps list to give you something that focuses only on music playback and streaming! Here are some of our top picks for the best music player apps available for Android.

From normal music streaming services to apps that allow you to play your locally downloaded music, and even apps that do both, this is going to be a good one. Dive in to learn more!

Spotify

Spotify is always at the top of our list, and for good reason, as Spotify is one of the best music streaming apps currently available, period. There are so many good things I have to say about Spotify that it really gets pretty hard doing it over and over again. It’s my streaming service of choice for a reason. Not only can you stream music from around the world, but you can also use the app to play locally stored music too, making it just the one app that most users would need on their phone.

Spotify is available on both free and paid flavors and comes with a plethora of features as well as nifty things such as an amazingly big library, amazing recommendations based on what you listen to and what’s popular in your area, and support for podcasts, which is something very few music streaming apps have built-in.

Deezer

If Spotify is not your cup of tea, then Deezer might fit the bill a little bit better than Spotify does, as it’s one of the most well-known alternatives to bigger apps like Apple Music and YouTube Music. Deezer actually provides a very similar feature set to Spotify, down to the number of features the Premium version offers, and it also has an ad-supported free version. Both are pretty good, though, as we have features such as downloads, recommendations, and a vast library of both music tracks and podcasts for you to choose from.

If you’re on the lookout for one of the best music player apps out there, this might be pretty close.

iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio is way different from what you might think as conventional streaming app, and instead focuses on streaming something a little bit different: radio stations! And in this sense, it is a lot more similar to tuning into AM or FM radio than it is to actually streaming music. So if you like doing things the old school way, this is as good as it gets. As the name implies, it is a radio streaming application where people can listen to a variety of stations according to their personal tastes.

It contains radio shows, podcasts, news, and sports content. It also includes AM and FM radio stations. And best of all, it’s completely free!

Tidal

Tidal has a big thing going for them that not many other streaming services have: it features lossless audio. It’s set to face competition from none other than Spotify as the company recently announced that Spotify HiFi is a thing. Tidal pioneered the concept of streaming lossless music, and having CD-quality music without having to own CDs or without having to download FLAC files is pretty darn great. Once we get past the lossless aspect of things, Tidal still remains a pretty compelling package with access to a claimed library of 70 million songs.

We think it’s one of the best music player apps in the market because of the lossless quality it offers, though, which is a boon for audiophiles.

YouTube Music

YouTube, the digital video platform, is considered “the king of free apps” par excellence because it gives you access to an enormous library of media, which also includes music. But YouTube Music, while using the same platform like YouTube, is a different thing entirely. It mixes YouTube’s name and brand as well as its enormous popularity and joins that with a library of over 40 million songs (and that’s without counting in videos), and a free tier that packs pretty much the same limitations as the YouTube app for videos. The best part about the YouTube identity is that all your liked music from over the years is also carried along, so you can dip into nostalgia with ease.

The paid tier removes ads and gives you access to features such as background playback. The free version does leave a few things to be desired though, so if you aren’t willing to shell something out, it’s best you go with a different option in this list.

YouTube Music
YouTube Music
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Apple Music

It’s been years and we’re still surprised Apple actually made Apple Music available on Android, but alas, they did. And for what it’s worth, it’s definitely on the upper tier of the best music player apps for Android. In order to have access to this service, you have the option to pay a $10/month subscription for a personal package; $5 if you are a student or you can pay a monthly $15 if you want to enjoy a family package, allowing you to share your subscription and Apple’s ginormous music library with up to 6 people.

I often recommend Spotify blindly to people, but I actually tried out Apple Music for some months and found it to be a pretty compelling package as well.

Apple Music
Apple Music
Developer: Apple Inc.
Price: Free

Musixmatch

Musixmatch has actually been one of my favorite apps for years, not only because it works as a standalone music player for you to playback your locally downloaded tracks, but because it also adds extra functionality to other apps. It is focused on live lyrics and does a pretty good job at it. It allows you to play locally downloaded music and gives you, first and at the forefront, the lyrics to whatever you’re listening to. Don’t have locally downloaded music? Then you can also use it for displaying live lyrics on apps like Spotify using something called FloatingLyrics.

It’s one of the most versatile and overall best music player app on this list.

Musixmatch - Lyrics for your music
Musixmatch - Lyrics for your music

Shuttle Music Player

I might hear you say now by this point of the list “But Arol, I don’t like streaming my music through the internet and I don’t want any fancy features that will make my phone slow or take up valuable space or resources, I just want something that will play my MP3 files!”. And I have options for you too, starting with Shuttle. If you have locally downloaded music, Shuttle will pick it up and allow you to play it. It really doesn’t get any simpler (and luckily, not more complicated either) than that. It features folder browsing, tag editing so you can edit your MP3 tags, and most importantly, it features Material Design.

It keeps it simple and precise, which is why it earns a spot as one of the best music player apps on Android.

Shuttle Music Player
Shuttle Music Player
Developer: SimpleCity
Price: Free+

Phonograph

Phonograph is actually one of my favorite apps for playing back locally downloaded music. Phonograph’s Material Design-based design manages to keep a classic, yet fresh look that doesn’t look dated even though Google has moved on to newer Material guidelines. It’s open-source, and it allows you to play music, edit your music tags and sort your music by album, artist, or song name, and it also comes with Last.fm integration and it will download automatically information about your favorite artists, such as their pictures or biographies, when you look up an artist inside of the app.

It does the job and goes to show that the principle “less is more” is actually accurate, which is why it’s one of the best music player apps we’re showcasing on our list.

Phonograph Music Player
Phonograph Music Player
Developer: Karim Abou Zeid
Price: Free+

Poweramp

Finally, there’s no way we can make a music app roundup without giving Poweramp a shoutout. Poweramp is, well, kind of an ugly duckling compared to the rest of the apps in this list. But looks are not the point of it. This app’s whole point is purely being function over form, and the function more than makes up for the lack of form. It supports a bunch of formats, it supports hi-res audio whenever the device supports it, has internal 64-bit processing, and that’s just to mention a handful of the features Poweramp comes with. It’s really that great.

If you can look past the app’s utilitarian UI and pay a one-time license for the full version, you got yourself one of the best music player apps available on Android.

Poweramp Music Player (Trial)
Poweramp Music Player (Trial)
Developer: Max MP
Price: Free

This is pretty much it for our list of the best music player apps available. If you’re into streaming, then you really can’t go wrong with any of the big players: Spotify and Apple Music offer a relatively comparable set of features and relatively comparable pricing as well. Deezer and Tidal are also compelling options in this space, while iHeartRadio keeps things old school by allowing you to tune into actual radio stations.

Don’t want to stream your music? Then Musixmatch and Shuttle are both amazing options. Check these out and let us know your favorite!

About author

Arol Wright
Arol Wright

Diehard technology enthusiast, and an Android purist by nature. While I have a soft spot for smartphones, I'm deeply interested in everything techy, be it PCs, gaming consoles, gadgets, you name it. Please direct all inquiries/tips to [email protected]