What Is the Best Podcast App? 15 Great Options in 2024

With so many to choose from, have you ever wondered what is the best podcast app? We’ve rounded up 15 options across iOS, Android, & desktop to help you decide.

21 days ago   •   12 min read

By Yvonne Ivanescu

If you’ve landed here, you’re probably curious as to what actually is the best podcast app? With so many to choose from, deciding on the one for you can be overwhelming.

Having said that, finding the perfect podcast app can transform your listening experience, making accessing your favorite shows easier and more enjoyable. So, doing your research before signing up to one is worthwhile.

But fear not - you're in the right place. This article dives into the top podcast apps currently on the market - comparing their features, user interfaces, and pricing.

So whether you need an app with advanced customization options or one that offers seamless cross-platform syncing, we've got the details you need. Ready to learn more about podcast apps and which is the best for your podcast audio journey? Let’s go...

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What Is a Podcast App?

First things first. A podcast app is software that allows users to discover, subscribe to, download, and listen to podcasts. Podcast apps streamline the management of audio files, providing features like automatic downloads of new episodes, playlist creation, and offline listening capabilities.

Podcast apps often offer additional functionalities such as personalized recommendations 

based on listening history, the ability to search within the audio for specific topics, and integration with other media services like music streaming platforms. Some apps also support podcast creation and recording, enabling users to produce and publish their own content directly from the app​.

What to Look for in a Podcast App?

Before choosing a podcast app, you should consider a few things to ensure the best listening experience.

Compatibility

First, compatibility with your devices is essential. Look for apps that work seamlessly on your preferred operating system - whether iOS, Android, or desktop. Integration with services like CarPlay and Android Auto can also enhance usability during commutes​.

Ease of Use & a Simple Interface

The next things you should look for are ease of use and interface design. A good podcast app should have an intuitive layout that makes navigating and managing your subscriptions (and playlists) easy. Features like customizable playlists, sleep timers, and playback speed controls can greatly enhance your listening experience​.

Price

Lastly, consider the cost. While many podcast apps are free, some offer premium versions with additional features like ad-free listening, enhanced customer support, and exclusive content. Evaluate whether these premium features align with your needs and budget​.

Now we’ve covered the basics like why you should have a podcast app and what to look for, let’s look at some of the best options.

15 of the Best Podcast Apps to Choose From in 2024

When looking for the best podcast apps for iOS and Android, it's important to consider the variety of features each app offers. These apps should provide a great listening experience and offer functionalities like offline listening, personalized recommendations, and seamless cross-device syncing.

1. Spotify

Spotify's homepage

Price: Free, or Spotify Premium for $9.99/month  

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Spotify, primarily known as a music streaming service, has become a major player in the podcasting world. It offers many popular and exclusive podcasts, including well-known shows and original content.

One of Spotify's standout features is its ability to switch effortlessly between music and podcasts, making it a great app for audio content. The app also provides curated podcast collections and personalized recommendations based on your listening history.

Some of Spotify's best features include the Daily Drive playlist, which combines music and news updates, and the ability to interact with podcast creators through polls and Q&A sessions. Additionally, Spotify offers previews of podcasts, allowing users to sample episodes before committing to listening to the full show.

However, Spotify has its drawbacks. While it offers a free version, this comes with ads, and offline listening is only available with the Premium subscription, which costs $9.99 monthly.

2. Player FM

Player FM's homepage

Price: Free, or Premium Subscription for $9.99

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Known for its user-friendly interface and a broad selection of podcasts, Player FM is perfect regardless of what you’re interested in listening to. With over 500 sub-topics, it ensures users can easily find content that matches their preferences. The app also supports video podcasts, adding a visual element to the listening experience.

One of Player FM's standout features is its ability to import favorite podcasts using public RSS feeds, making it convenient for users to access all their desired content in one place. The app offers cross-device syncing, ensuring a seamless listening experience across multiple devices. Additionally, Player FM provides curated collections and personalized recommendations to help users discover new podcasts.

PlayerFM offers a free version, but a premium subscription is required to access advanced features like ad-free listening and cross-device syncing.

3. Castro

Castro's homepage

Price: Free, or Castro Plus for $24.99/year

Best for: iOS

Castro is designed specifically for podcast enthusiasts and provides a stylish, full-featured listening experience. One of its key features is the Queue, which allows users to easily manage and prioritize podcast episodes. This app is particularly useful for anyone who wants to subscribe to numerous podcasts, as it helps keep the listening experience organized and streamlined.

Castro offers advanced features with its Plus subscription - including Trim Silence (which accelerates playback by skipping silent parts) and Voice Boost (which enhances audio quality).

The app also supports Apple Watch sync, allowing users to manage and listen to podcasts directly from their watch, making it convenient for those on the go.

While Castro is praised for its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it is only available on iOS, which limits its accessibility for Android users. Additionally, some of its best features require a subscription, which might be a drawback for users seeking a completely free experience.

4. Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts' homepage

Price: Free, or Pocket Casts Plus for $3.99/month

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Pocket Casts is known for its highly customizable listening experience and user-friendly interface. It provides features like Trim Silence (which removes pauses in podcast episodes) and Volume Boost (which enhances audio quality), making it an excellent choice for serious podcast listeners. The app also offers cross-device syncing, ensuring users can continue listening across different devices seamlessly.

One of Pocket Casts' strengths is its robust search and filtering options, allowing users to quickly find specific episodes or podcasts. The app also includes a sleep timer - perfect for those who like to fall asleep while listening to podcasts.

5. Luminary

Luminary's homepage

Price: $4.99/month

Best for: iOS and Android

Luminary is a premium podcast network known for its exclusive content. It offers a variety of original shows only available on its platform, making it a unique choice for podcast enthusiasts looking for high-quality, exclusive programming.

One of Luminary's main selling points is its clean, ad-free listening experience. The app's interface is designed to be straightforward and easy to navigate, helping users discover and enjoy new content without distractions.

Some of Luminary's standout features include its curated recommendations and focus on high-quality content. The app also allows offline listening, making it convenient for users to enjoy their favorite podcasts anywhere.

However, Luminary's exclusivity comes at a price, and some users might find the $4.99 monthly subscription fee a bit steep, especially compared to other free podcast apps.

6. Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts' homepage

Price: Free

Best for: iOS

Apple Podcasts is a top choice for iOS users. It provides a huge library of podcasts across multiple genres. Pre-installed on Apple devices, it offers seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, allowing users to sync their listening experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The app features a user-friendly interface that simplifies finding and subscribing to new podcasts. It supports automatic downloads of new episodes, custom playlists, and personalized recommendations based on listening history. Apple Podcasts is well-known for its curated collections and top charts, helping users discover popular and trending shows.

With features like follow notifications for new episodes and the ability to manage subscriptions easily, Apple Podcasts ensures a streamlined and enjoyable listening experience. The app remains free, offering a robust set of functionalities without the need for additional subscriptions​.

7. Overcast

Overcast's homepage

Price: Free, or Premium for $9.99/year

Best for: iOS

Overcast is a popular podcast app for iOS, celebrated for its simplicity and powerful features. It provides a clean, intuitive interface, making it easy to manage podcast subscriptions and navigate the app. One of Overcast's standout features is Smart Speed, which shortens silences in the audio, saving listeners time without distorting the sound. Another valuable feature is Voice Boost, which enhances and normalizes audio levels for a better listening experience.

The app supports custom playlists, allowing users to organize episodes and prioritize their listening. It also offers offline listening, automatic downloads, and background playback, ensuring a seamless experience. Detailed show notes and episode descriptions help users quickly find content that interests them.

8. Spreaker Podcasts App

Spreaker Podcast App's homepage

Price: Free

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Spreaker, primarily known as a podcast hosting platform, also offers a listening experience through its Spreaker Podcasts App. This app is designed to help users discover, organize, and enjoy various podcasts. With a clean and intuitive interface, Spreaker makes it easy to explore new shows through curated lists and personalized recommendations based on user preferences.

The Spreaker Podcasts App includes powerful community engagement tools. It allows listeners to comment on episodes, connect with fellow listeners, and share their favorite shows effortlessly. This interactive aspect enhances the podcast experience, making it more than just a listening activity. Additionally, the app supports playlist creation and episode saving, enabling users to organize their favorite content efficiently.

A notable feature of the Spreaker Podcasts App is its live streaming capability, which allows users to listen to live podcasts and participate in real-time discussions. The app also provides detailed analytics, giving listeners insights into their listening habits and helping them discover new content that aligns with their interests.

9. SiriusXM

SiriusXM's homepage

Price: Free, or premium plans start at $9.99/month

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

SiriusXM is known for its extensive range of content - including music, sports, talk shows, and podcasts. The new SiriusXM app, which rolled out in late 2023, enhances the user experience with a redesigned interface emphasizing discoverability and personalization. The app provides access to over 400 channels and tens of thousands of hours of on-demand content and podcasts, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

The SiriusXM app is particularly notable for its curated music channels, exclusive talk shows, and comprehensive sports coverage. The app includes live human-curated music channels, in-studio performances, and interviews with top celebrities, providing a premium audio experience. Users can also enjoy a seamless experience across mobile, in-car, and at-home platforms, reflecting listener preferences and interests.

The SiriusXM app offers podcast enthusiasts a library of original and popular podcasts from top providers like Marvel, ESPN, NPR, and HBO. The app supports transcription, playback speed adjustment, key moment markers, and auto downloads, making it a powerful tool for podcast listening​.

10. Audible

Audible's homepage

Price: Free with Amazon Prime, Audible Plus for $7.95/month, or Audible Premium Plus for $14.95/month

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Audible, a well-known platform owned by Amazon, offers an extensive library of audiobooks and podcasts. The app is designed to provide a high-quality listening experience with features catering to audiobook and podcast enthusiasts. Audible’s integration with Amazon’s ecosystem allows seamless usage across devices, including Echo devices for hands-free listening.

Audible provides access to exclusive podcasts and original content produced specifically for its platform. Users can enjoy personalized recommendations, offline listening, and high-quality audio. The app also supports customizable sleep timers, bookmarks, and variable playback speeds, enhancing the listening experience.

While Audible is primarily known for its audiobooks, its growing podcast library makes it a strong contender in the podcast app space. The app’s various subscription tiers offer flexibility and value, catering to different user needs​.

11. Castbox

Castbox's homepage

Price: Free, Premium is available

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Castbox is a podcast app with a comprehensive listening experience and a user-friendly interface. The app supports features like in-audio search, which allows users to find specific content within episodes and personalized recommendations based on listening habits.

One of Castbox’s standout features is its cross-device syncing, which ensures a seamless listening experience across different platforms. The app also supports offline listening, automatic downloads, and customizable playlists, allowing users to manage their content efficiently.

Additionally, Castbox offers a unique feature called Zen Mode, which provides ambient sounds for meditation and relaxation.

While Castbox offers a robust free version, a premium subscription is available for users who want an ad-free experience and additional features.

12. Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict's homepage

Price: Free, Premium is available

Best for: Android

Podcast Addict is a popular podcast app designed specifically for Android users, offering a comprehensive and customizable listening experience.

It provides access to millions of podcasts, audiobooks, live radio, and even YouTube channels. The app features a powerful podcast player with customizable playback options, including playback speed control, skip silence, volume boost, and sleep timer. One of Podcast Addict's standout features is its advanced search functionality, allowing users to find podcasts by keywords, categories, or specific episodes.

The app supports automatic downloads and cloud backup via Google Drive, ensuring users never miss an episode and can keep their data safe. Additionally, users can create custom playlists, set download rules, and receive personalized notifications.

Podcast Addict also integrates well with Android Auto and Chromecast, enabling users to enjoy their podcasts in the car or on other devices. The app's community features allow listeners to engage with fellow podcast enthusiasts, leave reviews, and share episodes.

While the app is free (supported by ads), a premium version is available for those who prefer an ad-free experience and additional features.

13. TuneIn

TuneIn's homepage

Price: Free, or premium plans start at $9.99/month

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

TuneIn is a widely used app that offers diverse audio content including podcasts, live radio, news, sports, and music. The app caters to various listening preferences, providing access to over 100,000 radio stations and millions of podcasts.

TuneIn's user-friendly interface makes it easy for users to discover new content through curated lists and personalized recommendations. The app supports offline listening, automatic downloads, and playback speed adjustments, enhancing the user experience.

A key feature of TuneIn is its live radio streaming, which includes local and international stations. The app also offers live sports coverage, making it a go-to choice for sports fans. 

TuneIn's premium version includes additional benefits such as ad-free listening, exclusive access to live sports, and on-demand news content from networks like CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

14. Amazon Music

Amazon Music's homepage

Price: Free with Amazon Prime, or Amazon Music Unlimited is $9.99/month

Best for: iOS, Android, and Desktop

Amazon Music, primarily known for its extensive music library, also offers a growing selection of podcasts. The app integrates seamlessly with Amazon’s ecosystem, providing a convenient listening experience for Prime members and Amazon Music subscribers. Users can explore a variety of podcasts, including exclusive shows and popular series across various genres.

Amazon Music's intuitive user interface makes discovering and managing podcasts easy. The app supports offline listening, allowing users to download episodes and listen without an internet connection. Personalized recommendations and curated lists help users find new content based on their listening habits.

One key benefit of using Amazon Music for podcasts is its integration with Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant. This feature allows users to control playback and find podcasts hands-free.

15. ListenApp

ListenApp's homepage

Price: Free

Best for: iOS

ListenApp stands out as a unique platform for podcast listening and live social audio events. The app allows users to follow friends, see what they’re listening to, and engage with podcast communities through comments and interactions. Its sleek, user-friendly interface is crafted by world-class designers, ensuring a seamless user experience.

One of ListenApp's key features is the ability to create and share podcast snippets and audio stories, making it easy for users to highlight and share their favorite moments. The app also supports custom playlists and lets users access previously listened-to episodes.

Data management options allow users to choose what to download and what to stream, helping manage storage and data usage efficiently.

ListenApp also excels in community engagement, offering live social-audio events where listeners can interact with hosts and other listeners in real time. This feature makes it more than just a podcast player; it’s a platform for building relationships and engaging with the podcast community.

So, What Is the Best Podcast App?

When it comes to finding the best podcast app, the options can be overwhelming. This article has covered some of the top contenders for both iOS and Android users. From Spotify's seamless integration of music and podcasts to Player FM's user-friendly interface and versatile features, there’s an app for every type of listener.

Whether you're looking for exclusive content on Luminary or live radio streaming on TuneIn, each app offers unique features tailored to enhance your podcast experience. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.

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