Best iOS Radio Apps

Bring Your Favorite Talk Shows and Music With You

Overview

Like they've done for so many other forms of media, apps have transformed radio. Whether it's traditional radio stations, or those made for Internet only, apps have become a popular way to access these audio streams. Radio has traditionally differed from on-demand music services, in that it delivered an endless feed without allowing the listener much control (other than changing the station). Lines are blurring, however, as personal radio services now offer customized playlists and a greater amount of user input. This AppGuide features the best radio apps available, which includes apps with traditional radio stations, Internet radio stations, and also personal radio playlists. It does not cover subscription-based on-demand music services, such as Spotify, Mog, or Rdio.

Essential Apps

  • Free

    iHeartRadio – Free Music & Internet Radio Stations

    by Clear Channel Management Services, LP

    Owned by Clear Channel Communications, iHeartRadio features more than 800 live broadcast and digital-only radio stations. While this number may seem small compared to the thousands of stations offered by other apps, the stations offered here are among the country's best and most popular. In addition to its catalog of live radio stations, iHeartRadio also allows the listener to create custom radio stations, based on a song or artist. Aside from audio considerations, the app is also well designed, in that it's organized and easy to navigate. Because of its selection, program quality, and combination of both live and custom radio, iHeartRadio earns the top spot in this AppGuide.

  • $0.99

    RadiON HD - The world's best music radio stations are here!

    by EnSight Media

    Out of all the apps on this list, Radio Alarm may be the best looking, in terms of design. While most radio apps simply list their station offerings, Radio Alarm takes the look, feel, and function of an old-school radio alarm clock. It also throws in charming little touches, such as the mock station tuner that pops up when loading your station. This app is powered by SHOUTcast radio, which gives it access to more than 45,000 radio stations, including some fantastic international stations. It has a few issues, which kept it from beating out iHeartRadio. For example, the app doesn't naturally fade out when another music app is opened. You can't listen to some top American stations, such as New York's Z100. It also doesn't have as many features as some of the below apps. Still, in terms of overall package, this was one of my favorites.

  • $3.99

    TuneIn Radio Pro

    by TuneIn

    TuneIn Radio Pro is not a sexy app, but it does what it does, and it does it well. With over 50,000 stations and 120,000 shows to select from, this universal app is an essential one for those looking for radio on their iOS. There is also a free version of the app, but the paid version offers the killer feature of being able to record the station you're listening to, in addition to pausing or rewinding it (which are available in the free version). The app also offers a built-in alarm clock, the ability to view station schedules, and a number of other simple features that one would expect from a top radio application.

  • $4.99

    ooTunes Radio - Recording and Alarm Clock!

    by Oogli LLC

    The best way to describe this app is "feature rich." It has a lot of things that users will appreciate in a radio app. Recording? Check. Song Lyrics? Yes. Link to related YouTube videos? You guessed it. Perhaps the best feature of the app is its "Radio RooLette," which lets the listener get a bird's eye view of what songs are playing at any given time; it's a great way to find something you want to listen to without looking very hard. Because the app crams in so many features, its user interface can sometimes feel a bit clunky and complicated. However, its many positives outweigh its negatives, making ooTunes Radio a recommended radio app.

Notable Apps

  • Free

    Turntable.fm ~ play music together

    by stickybits, inc.

    Turntable.fm distinguishes itself in that it's not so much a radio app, as it is a virtual club. You start by choosing a room, where different DJs take turns playing songs for the whole room to hear. You can join the crowd in voting for whether the song is awesome or not; too many negative votes will skip the song. This app is interesting in how it incorporates social elements. You can chat with people in the room and become a fan of your favorite DJ. You can even try to become a DJ yourself. Perhaps the coolest part of the app is all the cute avatars. Turntable.fm doesn't just offer you music. It invites you into a music community.

  • Free

    Slacker Radio

    by Slacker, Inc.

    Slacker Radio is similar to Pandora in that it allows users to generate personal playlists, based on an artist, song, or album. Like Pandora, it also offers genre-based stations. What sets Slacker apart is its personal touch. Instead of relying on a computer algorithm, it hires respected DJs to program its radio stations. It also offers more than just music with customizable news, sports, and comedy stations. With a paid subscription, it also offers on-demand music streaming.

  • Free

    Pandora Radio

    by Pandora Media, Inc.

    Speaking of Pandora, it is a great app for music discovery, but it's not unique in what it does. As mentioned, other services, such as iHeartRadio and Slacker provide a similar service and more. Fans of Pandora will likely stick with Pandora, and there's no real shame in that. Pandora's a good app. In this writer's opinion, however, there are better ones available.

  • Free

    Stitcher Radio for Podcasts

    by Stitcher, Inc.

    Not everyone listens to the radio for music. Stitcher is great for news and talk radio. You can also listen to some of your favorite podcasts. In addition, Stitcher allows you to "stitch" together your programs into personal customized stations. Most importantly, Stitcher is free and offers on-demand streaming without forcing you to sync your shows in advance.

Decent Apps

  • $0.99

    Xtend Fm Radio

    by Andy Martinez

    Xtend Fm has fairly poor App Store ratings, but I sorta like it. The key to appreciating this app is understanding what it is and what it isn't. It's not an app to access all your favorite local radio stations. It's not an app to access many stations, period. What it offers is a small handful of good internet channels with popular content, packaged together in a classic radio interface. You can assign channels to one of six presets for convenient switching. The programs load quickly and come out clear. This app will not be for everyone and will not be worth the cost for some, but it's better than its low ratings indicate.

  • Free

    SiriusXM Internet Radio

    by SIRIUS XM Radio Inc

    If you are a SiriusXM subscriber, then you'll want this app. It offers some nice functions, such as TuneStart, which can play a song from the beginning, even if you switched to the station mid-song. You can also go back in time up to five hours to listen to previously broadcast programming, or pause what you're listening to and pick up where you left off. If SiriusXM was not a subscription service, this app would be rated a lot higher. Still, it's a pretty decent app.

Other Apps To Keep On Radar

Free Versions of Paid Apps

Other Apps