The 10 Best Apps for Making & Listening to Music

Whether you're a music maker, a music lover, or both, you're probably on the lookout for the best apps to record songs or find new favorites. We've rounded up ten free and paid apps; some, like Pandora, YouTube, and Amazon Music are well known, others are more obscure. Whether you'd like to learn a new instrument or improve your skills, listen to favorites or discover new artists, we have the app for you.

Related: Apple TV Apps: How to Find & Download New Apps from the App Store

Apps for Song Recorders & Music Makers

Yousician (Free, Premium from $19.99/month)

Yousician teaches you how to play music à la Rock Band, but you scroll left to right, like how you read music. It also has the same tablature, which is useful for learning to sight-read music.

GarageBand (Free)

This app’s low price point and extensive feature set is the reason for its popularity. You can play with friends remotely, and it even includes virtual instruments for when you forget your own.

Notion ($14.99)

This app helps you to write your own music and play it back via the included orchestral samples performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. You can then share the file as a PDF or other file type.

Hokusai Audio Editor (Free)

This app offers great base tools, such as recording capabilities and the ability to add effects and filters to sound, and additional tools fora modest in-app purchase price point.

A Music App for Everyone

Apple Music ($9.99/month)

This impressive app offers a deep and thorough music catalog. It has personalized radio stations, live music broadcasts, and almost complete access to the iTunes library.

Pandora (Free with ads)

Routinely voted best at radio streaming, Pandora is a no-frills app that you turn to when you only have an idea of what to listen to. It has a simple interface, and the main features are free!

Tidal (Starting at $9.99/month)

Tidal is for the audiophiles. You can either pay $9.99 or $19.99 per month, but the top tier offers high-fidelity sound, so you hear music the way the artist intended.

Amazon Music ($10.99)

With Amazon Music, you have ad-free access to over two million songs, as well as Alexa integration, curated playlists, and radio stations. And if you’re a Prime subscriber, listening is free!

Spotify (Free with ads)

Spotify is Apple Music’s largest competitor. Intended mainly for building playlists, this app has a large community and a tremendous catalog of music to choose from.

YouTube (Free with ads)

YouTube has a thorough selection of music. Typically, if it’s not available on YouTube, it’s probably not available anywhere. Google is rolling out a music-focused section later in the year.

The Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker You Need

JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker ($99.95)

This portable speaker is great for picnics or days at the beach and sounds much larger than it actually is with its two forty mm full-range drivers and amplifier. The speaker has a premium feel and sound as well, and you can even dunk it underwater!

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Author Details

Kenneth Boshell's picture

Author Details

Kenneth Boshell

Kenneth Boshell is a freelance writer who lives in Florida.  He considers Doctor Who to be one of the best shows in creation, and Firefly a close second.  His favorite things are tacos, books, cats, and giving Starbucks baristas a false name when he orders hot chocolate during frosty winter mornings in Florida.  Sometimes they get down to sixty degrees, you know.