The Best Free Music Apps for Android – April 2018

Posted by William Sattelberg on April 7, 2018

There’s no shortage of music applications available for your Android phone. Whether you’re looking for a streaming service that requires a monthly fee, or you want to listen to your full collection of local music, there’s plenty of options that allow you to listen to your entire collection of songs, albums, audiobooks, and more. The amount of options available on the Play Store might feel overwhelming to newcomers to Android, but we think most users will find the ability to select the perfect music application for their uses. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to figure out where to start in the Play Store, and with most of the top results inside of Google Play based on streaming or ad-supported music services and players, it might leave Android users confused about where to start.

When you’re trying to listen to your music or other audio files, constantly receiving advertisements or interruptions to your collection can be seriously annoying. So, we did the hard work here and narrowed the Play Store’s music listings down to the best of the best free music apps on Android. These are apps that don’t just lack a price tag, but they also contain no visible advertisements, and come with a feature set designed for playing back audio files of all type and size. Whether you’re looking for a basic player, something designed for podcasts and other spoken-word files, or even some streaming content, there’s an app that’s right for you, without an upfront purchase, in-app purchases, or gratuitous advertisements. These are the best free music players on Android.

Everyone else

Originally released for Windows in 2006, AIMP is a freeware app designed to compete with the likes of apps like VLC and Winamp. In fact, anyone familiar with Winamp might be reminded by the interface delivered by AIMP’s Android app, though that may not be a good thing. The design here is dated to say the least; it’s not bad but it’s lacking in any major modern visuals. Even worse, however, is the lack of ability to auto-populate your music library to the app; instead, you have to add folders of songs manually using the playlist feature. Still, not everything has aged here. There’s a light and dark mode option, which is nice for customizing your interface, and while the app’s interface isn’t our favorite, it’s not the worst on the Play Store. You’ll also find a 10-band EQ within the app, and there’s no ads or features to unlock in site. Ultimately, AIMP is a solid addition to your phone if you’re looking for a free music app, especially one that allows you the freedom to add the music you want to your library.

Don’t let it’s boring name fool you—Audio Video Player is a solid application in its own right. The app is a relatively basic player designed with local songs in mind, and it features everything you need in a music app and nothing more. The app has a basic tabbed interface that looks fine, and the color of the app can be changed easily. Music auto-populates within the app, and you can choose to browse your music through albums, artists, genres, songs, custom playlists, and more. The basic player interface also looks fine, though for whatever reason, the pause and play icon is incredibly small. The app also leaves a large amount (more than usual) of black space between the navigation buttons and the bottom of the app display, but minor display quibbles aside, it works well. Also included within the app: a video player, a basic five-band EQ with presets and bass options, and a sleep timer. The app is free without ads, and there’s no in-app purchases to speak of here.

Don’t take this lightly: if it wasn’t for the absolute breadth of listening options included in Google Play Music, this would be our top pick for local playback. Seriously, Eon is one of the best-looking music apps on the Play Store right now, free or paid, and it does it without ruining the experience for the end user with ads. Literally every music app on this, including Google’s own, could take notes from Eon Player on how to improve your visual design. Like most players, the app is tab based, with the ability to swipe through songs, albums, artists, and more. The now playing screen looks gorgeous, and you can customize most of the interface in options (including light and dark modes, color accents, and more, Even offering the ability to enable a fullscreen mode. However, it should be noted that Eon does have a pro mode available for $.99 on the Play Store, which unlocks some additional settings. There’s nothing we found in Eon Pro that made us feel like we were missing out, and considering the standard version of Eon lacks ads, we think it’s a fantastic option for anyone looking for a local music player.

Compared to Eon, Musicolet leaves something to be desired from its interface. It’s good, and doesn’t look quite as dated as something like AIMP, but it doesn’t quite have the visual polish of something like Eon. Still, Musicolet is great for local playback. It’s completely free from the get-go, with no ads and no in-app purchases, and has full support for playlists. The app allows you to browse for music through both traditional music player layouts (displaying albums, artists, etc.) and through an included file browser. An easy-to-use queue is made once you select which music you want to listen to, and the now-playing display looks clean with the exception of the tabs remaining at the top of the screen instead of offering a fullscreen player. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to like here, and if something like Eon doesn’t match your visual style, Musicolet is a great ad-free option.

Pulsar is another great-looking music application for Android, with a strong focus on material design options and minimal art style. The app doesn’t quite reach the highs we felt with Eon Player, but we think this comes down to personal preference, not one app being better than the other. Pulsar is what Android users have wish Google Play Music looked like for years, a modern take on a straight, dark-themed material music app, with a customizable tab interface, improve album lists, and full Chromecast support. Maybe the best part of Pulsar’s player, however, it is now-playing display, which shows the album artwork at the top of the screen in its full glory, instead of cutting off part of the art as we’ve seen in Play Music. If Google’s design language interests you but Google Play Music doesn’t quite do it for you in terms of design or features, definitely check out Pulsar. The app does have a paid $2.99 upgrade that adds EQ support and presets, along with some visual themes, but the base app is available for free without ads or usage limits.

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