It’s a great time to be a radio enthusiast. The airwaves have never been more accessible.
Thanks to the advent of the internet and new streaming channels, you can listen to your favorite broadcasts anytime, anywhere. It’s even easy to tune into programs from overseas.
Even if you don’t have a radio system tuned into your car, or your own stereo at home, you can still enjoy a variety of music genres, talk shows, and program options with your smartphone.
The best smartphone radio apps offer a quick and straightforward way to access virtually any genre, browse through streams, and even create your own playlists.
With so many available applications to choose from, how do you know you’re picking the right one?
We’ve browsed through some of the most popular smartphone radio apps in 2023 to bring you our list of the top options available for iPhone and Android users.
Let’s dive in.
1. TuneIn Radio
Easily one of the most popular smartphone radio apps, TuneIn is available for free or on a subscription basis on the Apple App Store and Google Play marketplace.
This handy tool provides direct access to more than 100,000 global stations, including AM and FM options.
You’ll find everything from world-renowned sports coverage to live news, podcasts, audiobooks, and music channels, all conveniently located in the same dashboard.
Plus, if you upgrade to the app’s premium version, you’ll benefit from non-stop ad-free music, unlimited audiobooks, and access to some fantastic exclusive content.
2. Simple Radio
Simple Radio is the product for you if you’re looking for a smartphone radio app without too many added bells and whistles.
Compatible with smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets, Simple Radio streams over 50,000 worldwide radio stations daily. AM and FM stations include popular options like BBC, MRN, NPR, KNBR, etc.
It has a handy tuner to browse local stations and discover new artists. Tools also help you sort through trending content, specific music genres, live sports events, breaking news, and talk radio.
The app’s premium version includes extra features like a sleep timer, the ability to turn off display apps, and other exclusive features.
3. NPR One
NPR One is a fantastic smartphone radio app if you’re more interested in news radio stations than music channels.
Produced by National Public Radio, NPR One keeps you up-to-date on all the latest headlines from worldwide regions.
The app gets to know your preferences over time, allowing you to pinpoint which stories you find most interesting to enhance content suggestions.
Alongside news channels, you can also access podcasts and recorded interviews on the NPR app. Local stories are covered daily; you can skip, pause, and rewind audio whenever needed.
From nationally syndicated shows to regional channels, there’s something for everyone.
Previously known as LiveXLive, LiveOne is a comprehensive smartphone radio app brimming with excellent content to explore.
The solution includes free access to various music options, podcasts, and events. You can also create your own music stations from scratch and browse through personalized recommendations at your leisure.
Users can save their favorite songs to playlists, share them with friends, and check out news reports, talk shows, and videos.
Plus, premium plans are available for a more advanced experience with offline listening, music skips, and improved audio quality.
Created by one of the best-known radio powerhouses in history, iHeartMedia, the iHeart smartphone radio app is a simple and effective way to stay up-to-date with all the stations owned by the iHeart brand.
The software includes access to thousands of live radio stations, unlimited music playlists, podcasts, and various other options.
You can stream sports stations like ESPN, hear news reports from NFL and ESPN, or tune into your local AM and FM stations.
The app comes with tools to create personalized music stations and playlists. Plus, premium features provide access to downloads, so you can listen to your tunes when not connected to the web.
Like the major iHeart brand, SiriusXM has a helpful app for smartphone users.
The app has ad-free music streams to discover, live sports, entertainment and talk shows, and news reports. You can listen to hundreds of different channels and podcasts from notable celebrities.
Plus, there are dedicated channels for artists like The Beatles or Drake.
Unlike many other contenders, SiriusXM hosts The Howard Stern Show on its app and two dedicated Howard Stern channels.
Like most of the top smartphone apps in the radio industry, the service is available free or on a subscription basis. The premium plans have more original content and unique features like turning off ads.
Most radio fans are familiar with the Pandora music company today.
Like the website, the Pandora mobile app offers access to a personalized music experience, where you can browse radio stations, genres, playlists, and podcasts.
Unlike most apps on this list, Pandora doesn’t provide direct access to local stations.
You can listen to some radio channels but need a premium subscription to access certain radio stations.
On the plus side, you can create and share your own playlists whenever you like. There are also several different listening modes, such as Discovery, if you want to find new artists in your favorite niche.
RadioLine is a popular music app designed to help customers listen to Internet, AM, and FM radio stations worldwide.
You can access more than 110,000 radio stations on the app, as well as 10 million podcast episodes, without paying anything. There’s even the option to browse content based on country or genre.
Some handy features of RadioLine are downloading a podcast and listening to it offline or exporting music to your Spotify or Deezer playlist.
Add your favorite local, national, and worldwide stations to your playlist. Plus, you can listen to the top stations from your country with the local search option.
A paid version of the app is also available if you want a premium experience with no ads.
9. Audials Play
An all-in-one music player and recorder, the Audials Play app streams over 250,000 podcasts and 100,000 radio stations from across the globe. You can select music based on what’s currently streaming in your area or even search for a station playing your favorite artist. Audials even allows you to record your radio shows to listen to them later.
Audials comes with 120 genre options to choose from, as well as both audio and video podcasts, for versatile entertainment.
There’s also a handy sleep mode, so you can set your app to automatically switch off when you’re snoozing.
With more than 50,000 radio stations from over 200 countries and territories, MyTuner is packed with variety.
Like most of the best smartphone radio apps on this list, the software includes tools for listening to your favorite podcasts alongside radio streams. There are also numerous genres and options to search for music by state or city.
The MyTuner smartphone radio app allows users to create and share playlists over social media. You can also listen to your tunes with airplay and stream directly to your car, smartwatch, or smart TV.
As a bonus, the product is simple to use, even for beginners.
Audacy is a convenient smartphone radio app with access to sports, music, news, and podcasts, making it easy for any radio lover to listen to the content they like best.
Unlike most radio apps, this one allows you to rewind shows to the beginning or save your spot in a stream if you need to take a break. Plus, you get to save your favorite stations to access later.
Whether you’re interested in live local music, or sports play-by-play commentaries, Audacy has it. The company even produces original content, so there’s more to discover if you want to branch out.
Choosing the Best Smartphone Radio App
These days, there are plenty of amazing smartphone radio apps to choose from, regardless of your device. The options above are just some of the top-rated and most feature-rich solutions on the market.
However, you’re sure to find plenty of other great choices just by browsing through your app store. Go forth and enjoy the radio!