8 Best Music Players For Android

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With the current size that the Google Play Store has grown to in sheer number of apps available, it’s more than just a tough call to pick a definitive best in any category. Still, there are always contenders that outshine all others. This especially holds true for those app genres that are more sought after, and that have a higher user base. One classic example is music players, which, although by definition, should serve only one purpose, but have so much more to offer that one could easily get puzzled as to what would suit their needs best.

A few days back, I went on a crusade to hunt down the best music player alternatives that Google Play Store carries for Android devices. Without declaring a decisive winner (which is almost impossible, to be honest), the following is the list of the top contenders that might suffice for all your music playback and library management needs, while getting extra info/lyrics on your favorite artists, tracks and albums. Enjoy!

Best-Android-Music-Players_th

Poweramp

There would hardly ever be a list of top music players for Android without the mention of this beast. Of all the music players that I tested, Poweramp reproduces the best audio quality, thanks to the great rendering engine as well as massive equalizer, bass booster, reverb and effect settings. All of this is packaged in a decent looking interface that only adds to the class of the player.

PowerAMP (1) PowerAMP (2)

Pros

  • Massive file format support
  • Versatile equalizer with lots of presets and control over bass, treble, reverb etc.
  • Lyric display with support for musiXmatch
  • Cover art animation
  • Support for themes and skins
  • ID3 tag editing for tracks
  • Last.FM scrobbling

Cons

  • Free version is just a two-week trial, after which you have to buy the player
  • Huge number of features can become confusing for basic user

Poweramp for Android

Winamp

Nullsoft’s Winamp was a huge success for Windows before it found home on the Google Play Store as well, and since then, the player has gradually improved. It offers some great features like SHOUTcast online radio boasting over 45,000 stations, support for Android’s native voice commands and more. It’s also somewhat resource intensive and can prove to be challenging for older devices.

Winamp for Android (1) Winamp for Android (2)

Pros

  • Offers queuing of tracks similar to its Windows variant
  • SHOUTcast online radio service
  • Wi-Fi-based sync with desktop library
  • Attractive and catchy Now Playing interface with info overlay
  • Lock screen player

Cons

  • Unintuitive music management controls
  • Setting up playlists requires adding one song at a time
  • Large memory footprint of 30MB for background playback

Winamp for Android

Mixzing

This one has a very versatile feature offering set in a simplistic (read: not minimalist) interface. The app comes in a bright red color with music sorting/playback possible by Artist, Folder, Video and more. There’s an online radio offering as well that you can use, should you run out of choices in your local collection. Mixzing is also one of those few Android music players that offer music video playback. Also to be lauded is the app’s equalizer, which easily rivals Poweramp in sheer functionality.

Mixzing for Android (2) Mixzing for Android (1) Mixzing for Android (3)

Mixzing also takes pride in pulling information from the web regarding the playing track, including lyrics, artist info, YouTube videos and Wikipedia information, to name a few.

Pros

  • Song info with playback
  • Excellent and functional equalizer
  • Recommendations for similar songs from your local music library
  • ID3 tag editing
  • Extensive customization of interface
  • Sleep timer

Cons

  • Very intrusive in-app advertisement that can ruin the whole experience
  • Huge memory footprint of approximately 40 MB in background operation
  • A rather overly simplistic interface
  • Lack of a help section (it was recently removed from the app)

Mixzing for Android

n7player

The most distinguishing feature of n7player is the way it is designed to be extremely beautiful and well-laid-out in both portrait and landscape modes. Of course, that’s not the deciding criteria for a music player, which is most likely to run in the background for you most of the time, but this app doesn’t leave you wishing for more in the looks department. If offers a unique tag cloud approach to artists that you have in your local music library, with the possibility of pinch-to-zoom to pull in album art thumbnails for them. Complementing the beautiful design are its home and lock screen widgets, tag editing, online lyrics search etc.

n7Player for Android (2)

The major downside of n7player is that for free, you only get a trial version that gets annoying due to its nagging reminders of purchasing the full version. We really don’t appreciate that a lot – really!

Pros

  • Excellent interface design with well-thought elements
  • Suitable for both portrait and landscape mode of operations
  • Artist/Genre tag clouds with multitouch controls
  • Home screen and Lock screen widgets
  • Tag editor
  • Online lyrics lookup

Cons

  • Free version is a nagging trial
  • Intrusive in-app advertising
  • Equalizer not very useful

n7player for Android

Cloudskipper

Cloudskipper is one that leaves us with mixed feelings. It’s pretty decent, no doubt, but it’s not being actively developed anymore, which is a huge turn off for quite a few users. On the other hand, the interface is rather neat, and comes with all the usual sorting and playback options. There’s an equalizer as well, although its working is something of a hit or miss. Sealing the deal are lock screen player controls, with the option to even set Cloudskipper itself as your lock screen!

Cloudskipper (1) Cloudskipper (2) Cloudskipper (3)

Pros

  • Neat interface with pleasant design elements
  • Decent equalizer (when it works)
  • Social sharing of the currently playing track
  • Online album art and info lookup
  • Low memory consumption in background operation (around 12MB)
  • Lock screen widget and player controls

Cons

  • Not being actively developed anymore
  • Lags on older devices (due to equalizer)
  • Equalizer functionality is fiddly

Cloudskipper for Android

Meridian Player Transcend

Before anything else, just the name of this music player is a mouthful. It is one of those apps that you use just for the sheer number of features that they offer, and decide to tolerate their ugly interface for that reason. I’ll be honest; the interface is hardly acceptable, but Meridian is one of those few players that allow you to play audio and music videos from within the same interface. You can rate songs and build playlists based on these ratings automatically, and can even pull existing playlists from certain other music players as well. In my testing, for instance, Meridian imported playlists from Mixzing, Cloudskipper and Sony’s Walkman music player. Furthermore, Meridian’s ID3 tag editor is most powerful that we’ve seen so far on Android, as it lets you edit album art as well, based on images in your device’s storage.

Meridian Player Transcend (1) Meridian Player Transcend (2)

Pros

  • Offers features that are rarely found in a free package
  • Most comprehensive tag editor with album art editing support
  • Supports the standard 5-star rating system
  • Playback of videos alongside audio within same interface
  • Quick playlists

Cons

  • Unpleasant interface at best
  • Intrusive in-app advertisement
  • Useless equalizer
  • Largest memory footprint (60MB in background operation)

Meridian Player Transcend for Android

musiXmatch

To classify musiXmatch as a music player would be injustice, as the app is so much more than that. It primarily started off as a lyrics discovery service and then incorporated music playback along the way. Its main strength, however, remains in lyrics. musiXmatch doesn’t offer a lot when it comes to playback options, but makes up for it in pulling the right music information from online sources to complement your music library. Nothing gets stored locally, so you’ll need internet connectivity all the time in order to view that information. A slight turn off for me was the fact that most of the modules (like fixing album art, for instance) require you to make in-app purchases, making musiXmatch more of a freemium app.

MusixMatch Android (1) MusixMatch Android (2)

Pros

  • Powerful app with largest lyrics search engine
  • Lyrics sync with song playback and display accordingly
  • Beautiful interface & design
  • MusicID service to identify playing songs
  • Lots of information available from online sources regarding artist, album, track etc.
  • Several purchasable modules to improve experience
  • Can pull lyrics for songs playing in other apps as well
  • Decent memory footprint at 20MB

Cons

  • Interface navigation could have been better
  • Almost everything other than simple playback requires purchase
  • Limited feature set
  • Requires constant data connection to display the song info & lyrics

musiXmatch for Android

beat

Unlike the rather uninspiring name that this one carries, beat packs quite a punch in a small space. It’s the freshest candidate to embrace Google Play Store, and is undergoing continuous development to improve further. Key highlights include the ability to play both local music as well as from Google Drive and Dropbox. There is an upcoming Webradio as well, but as of now, it’s only a placeholder on the main interface. To complete the package, you get intuitive floating controls, in addition to everything else that you’d expect from a quality music player. You may want to check out our full review of beat for Android for more details.

beat_Main beat_Cloud

Pros

  • Streaming support from the cloud via Dropbox and Google Drive
  • In-app ads can be turned off free of cost!
  • Floating controls for music playback
  • Tag cloud support for stored music
  • Capable equalizer
  • Open-source libraries used

Cons

  • Less polished compared to other seasoned apps
  • Poor equalizer presets
  • Webradio still to be developed
  • Tracks usage data (although you can opt out)

beat for Android

This pretty much concludes our list of best Android Music Players for now. We’ll be updating this article with more contenders in the days to come, as and when they surface. I know I have left out some apps that people would definitely miss, like RealPlayer, Cubed, Double Twist Player & Holo Music Player just to name a few, so let them be honorable mentions in this roundup. The objective was to identify the best music players that you can load on your device without much detriment, and hence, this list is based on my personal experience. Should you agree or disagree, leave us a comment and let your voice be heard.

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  • DGittins

    Mediamonkey?

  • Eshkin Kat

    Thanks for post. Need more posts like this.

  • Binaya

    PlayerPro???

  • John

    Poweramp is by far the best, IMO. I’ve never been so impressed with the continued development & feature filled “ness” of any Android app.

  • E.Cayazzo

    I would like to add noozy and PlayerPro. Both are very good music players. PlayerPro has a very Poweramp interface like, and noozy has a very powerful equalizer 🙂

  • Ed

    Good article, I liked the pros and cons part. However, like other members I think PlayePro should make an entry for this list. I highly recommed GoneMAD Music Player as well. Feature rich and very configurable. You won’t regret checking it.

  • dNj

    Nuetron Media Player. Makes your .flac files sound great even over Bluetooth. The apps UI is jacked up.

  • Lucas

    Yeah, forgot to mention PlayerPro and Media Monkey Beta

  • Robert Ra’ Crawford

    There are so many missing good Media Players out there. Included a few that I have used in the past.
    DoubleTwist
    HTC Music – Not sure if it can be flashed to other devices.
    Jams Music Player
    ZPlayer
    Google Music Player.
    ProPlayer

  • robogo

    PlayerPro is a great player, too. Also, it has a million times better interface than any of these apps.

  • Interesting piece. It’s important, I think, not to be inordinately impressed with the sheer looks of a given player. And even features can be overdone.

    As much as I like PowerAmp, for example, it’s a bit overkill in both features and appearance for most users. Plus, I’ve had a few technical problems with it which, while the dev was responsive, nevertheless never really got fixed. Of course, that was, for me, two Android OS versions ago, so I’m guessing it would work fine on my phone, now.

    Back when PowerAmp wasn’t working properly for me, though, I was kinda’ forced to look elsewhere; and I found, in PlayerPro, pretty much everything I needed… and more. Moreover, PlayerPro was curiously similar in appearance and behavior (except, of course, it had more features) to the stock music player that came with my Samsung Galaxy family smartphone at the time. And I notice that it’s still kinda’ that way, two Android OS versions later. That, in fact, is sorta’ kinda’ the way to think of PlayerPro: The stock music player, but with all the features that were left out. PlayerPro is potent, indeed — even if not as pretty as, say, PowerAmp — and so I’m a little surprised it was left out of this article. Yes, it’s been around for a while, but it’s still a serious contender… every bit as potent as PowerAmp, even if not as “pretty.”

    All that said, the truth is that the stock music player in my Samsung Galaxy Note II is pretty much all anyone really needs: it’s just a phone, after all. Even if it’s one’s primary music player, most people don’t really need much more than what now comes with at least the Samsung Galaxy Note II stock music player. For that reason, I’ve uninstalled PlayerPro and am just using said stock player. I even like its homescreen widget better. And it even has frequency equalization. Yes, such as PowerAmp and PlayerPro have cooler frequency equalization sliders, but one of the stock player’s 16 SoundAlive presets is “Custom” which allows access to an excellent slider set. Why, the darned thing will even sync-up with other devices. All for free, built right into the phone. I’m no kid (almost 60 years old) and am an audiophile with a high-end home system with more ways of shaping the sound than even a professional recording studio needs, and, honestly, I can’t see what my phone’s stock player doesn’t have that I actually need. But, hey… that’s just me.

    And the truth is that I don’t even make that player the default for playing .MP3 and other files if I click on them, because for quick listening like that, or maybe something streaming, the Google Play music player, with its pop-over capability, is just excellent. But, again, hey… that’s just me.

    Heck, the quick-and-dirty little music/audio player that’s built-in to my file manager (x-plore) ain’t half bad, for that matter… but, of course, it has virtually no features other than play and pause, so it’s not really in the running, here, with any of these.

    As for MusiXmatch, I had issues with it, too, at first; but, again, on an older OS version, so I’m guessing it’s near perfect, now. And, don’t get me wrong, I like it; however, it’s no longer really even necessary for lyrics given that even SoundHound, now, provides them. Couple that with that SoundHound helps one identify songs and then listen to them either for free using Spotify and/or YouTube, or lets you purchase them on Amazon and Google Play, and SoundHound, for me, at least, sorta’ kinda’ replaces MusiXmatch… especially considering that the music player in MusiXmatch isn’t really good enough to use it just for that. Of course, Google’s also got a music identifier, but pales by comparison with SoundHound… again, just my opinion.

    Missing from the WinAmp part is that WinAmp said it was going out of business recently; and told people who wanted the last version to download it while they still could; but then, shortly thereafter, an alleged buyer surface, making it seem that WinAmp would survive after all. No matter how that ends-up working-out, it’s almost irresponsible to tout WinAmp here without ensuring that the users’ eye are wide-open about its future… or not.

    The bottom line, though, is that this is a good article. Thanks for it.

    __________________________________
    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
    Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.

  • My name is….

    I find the lack of shuttle+ disturbing….

  • Eshkin Kat

    GMMP.

  • Yousuf

    I was also searching for a good music player for several days. Can you suggest one good player that is completely free with all features. I will be really thankful to you.

  • Nice info, ZPlayer is one of the best player I have been using till now…

  • Mohammed Abdallah

    ROCKET PLAYER..
    It is simple…
    Most features are free. .
    Supports bluetooth headset controls. ..
    Use folder browsing besides all browsing categories. …
    Lots of skins….

    Definitely of top 10

  • Nikola

    You’re missing Shuffle.

    • Britney

      Are Shuttle and Shuffle differ?

  • Albert Ulmer

    ‘The objective was to identify the best music players that you can load on your device without much detriment’

    Where is the detriment caused by DoubleTwist Player loaded onto any device?

  • Analog33k

    The “best player” depends on the specific needs of each user.
    * I use GMMP for its numerous settings and customisation options.
    * I have PlayerPro because it seems to be the only one which effectively writes ID tags on the file (I sync the files with my library on the computer). The UI seems clunky but just download Metro skin and it turns amazing.
    * I use MediaMonkey because it seems the best in reading my music over the network (MediaMonkey server configured on the computer).

    None of these three players (especially PlayerPro) have been mentioned in this “top 8”, whereas other less-known are reviewed.
    I wish AddictiveTips’ posts remained balanced as usual.

  • Khắc Phục

    Thanks for sharing!
    They are very useful, but I prefer Zingmp3 than them (y)

  • Poweramp and Winamp are the ones I use. Would love give Mixzing a try.

  • Kivo

    what about RocketPlayer? Its ability to sinchronize with iTunes to and from your phone to your PC is really cool if you’re a heavy smart playlist user like me.

  • Jet Audio FTW!

    • Jasper

      I would like to second that. Not a better music player out there.
      Incredible sound quality, free version without really intrusive ads, and
      just the easiest.

  • Narangerel Erik

    Google Play Music ?

  • roberto

    Shuttle+, PlayerPro, MediaMonkey

  • Tamago Ed

    I vote playerpro

  • archnophobia

    Bullshit List after trying all of theme. “PlayerPro” is the best…

  • folkrav

    I like Shuttle a lot. Holo themed, fast and light on resources.

  • Marius

    Style Jukebox?

  • WeActOnImpulse

    Your cons for power amp aren’t cons. So you’re saying there should be less features and it needs to be free? Look, it’s okay to put “no cons”. It doesn’t mean you’ve declared a winner because a different app may have more to offer than power amp.

  • vamsi krishna paladugu

    what about maven player

  • ad

    NRG player, ArmAmp are some good player for connecting to your amp

  • Mathsiel

    Too late to say there is also cubed – which I used once, and Xenoamp, for those more adventurous.

  • Zach

    MAVEN Music Player?? Amazing 3D sound

  • theKenyan

    I know its a whole year later, but how can you not feature zplayer on this list?

  • Muzigrid

    If you have large number of songs on your mobile
    (like hundreds or thousands!), use Muzigrid . It places all of your music
    folders as well as playlists on a grid. You can give unique icons to them,
    create more playlists and play multiple playlists/folders at a time. Being able
    to access entire set of folders/playlists at once makes it very convenient to
    place songs in appropriate playlist, as opposed to building one playlist at a
    time. It is also loaded with features such as Tag Editor, Art Work, Equalizer,
    Crossfader and many more!