Best Podcast Listening Apps
Podcast Basics

Best Podcast Listening Apps : iOS and Android

Podcasts can offer hours of entertainment and education typically for free. Well, there is plenty of ways to listen to a podcast but using a dedicated podcast app is the best way to find and listen to your favorite podcasts.

Let’s take a look at best podcast listening apps which are available on both the leading platforms that is iOS and Android. These are mostly free apps, and some offer paid versions with some additional features.

If you are an iOS only user then you can read our post : Best Podcast Listening Apps on iOS.

Best Podcast Listening Apps available on both iOS and Android

Pocket Casts: Our top pic.

Pocket casts is one of the best podcasts listening apps for both Android and iOS. The best part is it has become free now on both platforms. They have added a new app called Pocket Casts Plus which has a subscription model. Most of the listeners however will not need to pay anything for their favourite app. This is certainly on of the best podcast apps on IOS and Android.

Best Podcast Listening Apps : iOS and Android

Pocket Casts has a rich set of features. Here are some of them.

  • Cross Device Sync: You can sync across Android and iOS devises.
  • Discovery
  • Episode Search
  • Android Auto and CarPlay
  • Trim Silence
  • Airplay and Chromecast
  • Chapter Support
  • Apple Watch dedicated features
  • Themes: Dark or light themes.
  • Play Without Subscribing
  • Variable Speed Playback

Pocket casts has a lot of devices and platforms supported

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web Player
  • Alexa
  • Apple Watch
  • Car Play
  • Android Auto
  • Chromecast
  • Siri
  • Sonos
  • macOS
  • Windows

Castbox

Free on iOS • Free on Android

Castbox also has a lot of important features which helps it users to get the best out of this podcasting app.  

CastBox

The free version comes with everything and has no ads. The in-app purchases are basically optional. Here are some of the features.

  • A powerful search engine that allows you to find your favourite podcasts effortlessly
  • Smooth streaming and downloading of podcasts, radio, FM, and audiobooks
  • Smart speakers supported, including Apple Home Pod, Amazon Alexa
  • Fully support cross-device syncing for iPhone/Apple Watch/Google Devices
  • Daily top podcasts list
  • One-click subscription and never miss an episode for every podcast
  • Sleep timer to fall asleep soundly
  • Adjust playback speed during the podcast to accommodate your listening habits
  • Volume Boost
  • Trim Silence
  • CarPlay Support
  • Podcast Community
  • Live cast: live audio streaming service
  • Import your favourite podcasts with OPML from Google podcast, Overcast, iHeartradio, Pocket Casts, Podbean, Podcast Addict, Spotify, Stitcher, the Podcast app, Tunein, and apple podcast app!

They have support for multiple devices and platforms, here is the list.

  • iOS,
  • Android,
  • Web,
  • Amazon Echo,
  • Apple CarPlay,
  • Android Auto,
  • Apple Watch

RadioPublic

Free on iOS • Free on Android

RadioPublic is a free podcast listening app for both android and iOS. RadioPublic’s free, easy to use podcast player for iOS and Android makes listening to podcasts simple, enjoyable, & fun.

RadioPublic has a large set of features for meeting the requirements of all kinds of podcast listeners starting from casual once in a while listener to an everyday user. Here are some of the features.

  • Download episodes while on WiFi & listen without using mobile data
  • Tap play & stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Create a continuous playlist by adding episodes to your queue
  • Share podcasts & episodes with friends
  • Follow your favorite shows & get notified when new episodes are published
  • Add a HearMark™ to any podcast episode to bookmark a moment you want to return to
  • Hop to a specific moment in a show selected by a podcaster with chapter support
  • Frequent app updates from nice people who love podcasts & podcasters.

Features for power users.

  • Smart Folders help organize & filter your shows/episodes
  • Auto-downloads for offline listening
  • Add any podcast, including private Patreon RSS feeds
  • Import/export your shows using OPML import

Spotify

Free on iOS • Free on Android

Spotify is known for its music services. It now has a podcast section as well. It is available for both paid and free users and can be a great way to listen to podcasts if you are looking to subscribe to a few shows at a time.

Here are some of the features offered by Spotify. It must be said though that, since it is not a dedicated podcasting app, it has certain limitations.

  • Get recommended and featured shows.
  • Save the podcasts you like. New episodes are then automatically saved for you.
  • Save podcasts offline for when you don’t have an internet connection.
  • Skip foreword or backword
  • Playback speed control
  • Share what you are listening on social media
  • Spotify Does not allow subscription to any RSS feed like some of the dedicated podcasting apps.
  • Customized playlists , charts , ratings are also some of the missing features currently.

PodBean

Free on iOS • Free on Android

PodBean is a podcast hosting company. They also have an app for listening to podcast free on Android and iOS.

Listening to over 50 million episodes of podcasts the Podbean podcast app enhance your podcast listening experience with intelligent speed, volume boost, customizable playlist and all the best features. Here are some of the best features it offers to the listeners.

  • Search by podcast name, episode name, or author name.
  • Browse new/trending/top podcasts by topics or categories.
  • Get customized recommendations based on your play history.
  • View your play history and favorite episodes.
  • Choose audiobooks from bestsellers and classics for free. Instantly stream or download podcasts to play offline.
  • Stay organized with customizable playlists.
  • Intelligent speed removes silences from an episode without distortion.
  • Volume boost normalize the volume and make shows easier to listen to.
  • Advanced playback features like auto-play next and Sleep timer.
  • CarPlay Support.
  • Integrates with Amazon Alexa.
  • Stay updated: Get new episode notification from followed podcasts
  • Automatic download and option to delete after being played.
  • Supports batch mode to download, delete, and add playlist.
  • Settings can be customized by podcast.

PodBean Podcast app now supports English, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Chinese, French, Spanish and Japanese.

PodBean podcast app & player is ad-supported. User can choose to purchase PodBean VIP Subscription to remove ads, and get advanced features including: customize homepage, unlimited playlist and priority support. Current price for PodBean VIP Subscription is $9.99 USD per year and may vary from country to country.

Stitcher

Free on iOS • Free on Android

One of the useful things with Stitcher is the ability to search for episodes, not just entire podcasts. You can create playlists, find new podcasts, listen to news, and more.

Stitcher is basically a free app but also has a paid version which removes adds and  provides access to exclusive original content.

KEY FEATURES

  • Listen on Demand download podcasts for later
  • Personalized Front Page: Use Stitcher as your news app and podcast hub to receive updates in real-time based your favourites and recommendations based on your listening
  • Custom Playlists: Create personal radio station type playlists of your favourite podcasts for long drives, commuting, or other hands-full activities
  • Smart Speaker Integrations: Now features an Amazon Alexa skill and connects to Sonos speaker systems.

Supports CarPlay and integrations with over 50 other car models from Ford, GM, Mazda, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and many more

Podcast Apps only on iOS

Downcast:

Downcast is among the best podcast listening apps for iPhones and Macs. It also works with Apple Watch and CarPlay. You pay once for the apps and own them forever with no subscription fees. It’s easy to subscribe to podcasts, whether you browse or search for them or add them via a URL feed.

Rich settings let you automatically start your favourite shows a set number of seconds in, or end them early, letting you bypass lengthy intros or closing ads.

There’s a great list view of shows that you’ve either subscribed to or downloaded that gives you details such as how many episodes are in your queue, when the most recent episode debuted, and an icon indicating if you are not subscribed to automatically download the next release.

If you’re an Apple-only user and don’t need a web app, Downcast is one of the best podcast apps for you.

Overcast: One of The Best Podcast Apps on iOS

So many people love Overcast, It’s so popular. It is not the most good-looking app for sure, it is a bit clunky and not so intuitive. However, it certainly covers all the functional aspects and is one of the best podcast listening apps on iOS.

You can import podcast from other apps which makes switching a little bit easier and searching for podcast is definitely quite a bit quicker here. It is one of the best podcasts listening apps on iOS from this point of view.

There’s also a bit of a social aspect here, you can connect your Twitter account to see recommendations by episode or by podcast and you will find that to be pretty useful.

You can also search within podcast for specific episodes and it’s great. Here is the list of main features for this app.

  • Download podcasts for playing anytime, even when offline.
  • Search and browse for new podcasts, plus get personalized recommendations.
  • Create custom Playlists with smart filters and per-podcast priorities and rearrange the list whenever you want.
  • Receive optional notifications when new episodes arrive.
  • Subscribe to a podcast, or just add an episode: try new shows without committing.
  • Download podcasts over cellular, set a sleep timer, or use Voice Boost to enhance and normalize speech volume.
  • Adjust playback speed and use Smart Speed to shrink silences and pick up extra speed without distorting the conversation.
  • Apple Watch app with standalone podcast playback
  • Carplay support

Overcast is ad-supported and if you want an ad free experience and some other pro features then you can upgrade to the pro version. Current price for Overcast Premium is $9.99 USD per year and may vary from country to country.

CASTRO

Castro is a beautiful, full-featured podcast player that makes it easy to track and manage lots of podcasts at the same time. Only listen to the episodes you want and easily skip the rest, queue up hours of podcasts at a time and enjoy a seamless listening experience with Carplay compatibility, chapter support, trim silence and much, much more! It is one of the best podcast listening apps on iOS.

If you’re unfamiliar with the app, Castro’s main feature is a GUI system involving an inbox and queue.

Considering that there are a large number of podcasters coming online and there are more great podcasts available more than ever before. If you subscribe to lots of shows, the standard episode management tools found in most other apps are just not sufficient.

With Castro, by default new episodes of shows land in your inbox and can then be sorted to the top or bottom of your queue and downloaded or archived if they’re not of interest to you.

It’s a great system that solves the problem of podcast overdose and makes your favourite episodes populate top or bottom of the queue as per your wish.

HOW IT WORKS

  • New episodes land in the NEW tab. Read their descriptions, add episodes you like to your queue, and clear the rest.
  • Press play to listen to episodes from your queue in order. Queued episodes are downloaded automatically.
  • Re-order your queue to plan your next few hours of listening at any time.
  • Browse your library to review the back catalogue, quickly access starred shows, and see your listening history.
  • Subscribing to a podcast is no longer a commitment to listen to every episode. You don’t have to manage a huge list of subscriptions or choose a few shows and miss the rest.

Playback Features:

  • Drag and drop podcasts to plan your listening with Castro’s unique queue
  • An elegant dark mode and thoughtfully designed sleep timer offer the best in night-time podcast listening.
  • CarPlay support makes it easy to pick up where you left off while driving.
  • Apple Watch app to control playback and select another episode from your queue.
  • Episode notifications include a summary of the episode to help you decide if it interests you. Play, queue or clear the episode directly from the notification without opening the app.

CASTRO PLUS

Castro Plus is an optional paid subscription available for $18.99/year (includes a one-week trial). Plus unlocks a range of advanced features:

  • Trim Silence — With this option on, the app will analyse audio as it plays to detect silent parts and accelerate those parts. Get through more episodes faster.
  • Enhance Voices improves the listening experience for many podcasts and makes it easier to hear in loud environments. Under the hood, Enhance Voices applies a dynamic compressor to increase volume just where it’s needed.
  • Sideloading: Import audio files directly, just by dropping them in iCloud Drive
  • Mono-Mix — Mixes a stereo podcast to mono, which makes it easier to hear podcasts that pan some guests on left/right channels.
  • Chapter Support: Artwork, Skipping & Pre-selection.
  • Custom settings per-podcast: Episode Limit, Trim Silence, Enhance Voices, Mono Mix, Skip Intros, Playback Speed.

Listen: Best Looking Podcasting app on iOS

There is a brand-new app called listen, which describes itself as the most beautiful podcast app. There are many podcast apps that do the job but don’t look great doing it. Listen is certainly a very good-looking app. It is one of the best podcast listening apps on iOS from looks point of view.

Listen : Podcast Player

The queue management is amazing. The new episode section lists new episodes by day instead of giving you just an endless list and you can swipe left on episode to add it to the top or bottom of your queue.

We really like the way one can change how shows are sorted in your library, there are many ways in which you can do it. Recently updated, most listened, alphabetical Etc.

Now playing screen is also very cool. It is different and certainly pretty. If you swipe up on it, you’ll see your queue which you can then drag and drop to rearrange. In terms of playback speeds, you can increase your speed up to three times faster.

You will really appreciate that there is an import feature to get your podcasts from Apple Podcast app. It did not get all the podcasts imported in our case.

Basically, the listen app just nailed the interface. It’s gorgeous. It’s simple, its intuitive, the developers have tried to ensure that you can use the app one handed.

So unlike other apps, the play button is within reach of your thumb and there are lot of gestures. If you tap on find something new at the top of your home page, then you also get a gorgeous and well-organized search and discover page.

It has some top picks, some new podcasts, a trending section and a list of topics. You can just browse this app very almost perfectly without any hustle, but there’s one major thing that’s kind of missing, and that’s cross-platform support.

Listen is only available on your iPhone right now, but if it ever expands to the Apple watch and to Apple car play and if it can add a few of those more advanced features than it would be just about perfect.

Android Only Podcast Apps

There are many great apps for listening to podcasts on an Android device. Below or some of the best podcast apps only available on Android.

Google Podcasts

The discussion about best podcast listening apps for Android cannot start without the mention of Google Podcasts. It is certainly on of the best podcast listening apps for Android.

Google podcasts is more of a podcast hosting platform, but the player has some nice features as well. With deep integration with google assistant and Googles algorithm it finds the right podcasts that you may want to listen.

Features of Google Podcasts

With Google Podcasts, you can find and listen to the world’s podcasts for free.

Discover podcasts you’ll love

  • Subscribe and listen to all your favourite podcasts.
  • Explore show and episode recommendations just for you.
  • Browse popular and trending shows in comedy, news, sports, and more.

Customize your listening experience

  • Listen at faster playback speeds or skip over silences.
  • Queue up episodes for a seamless listening experience.
  • Easily keep track of your listening history, downloads, and subscriptions.

Listen wherever you are

  • Listen on multiple devices – phone, laptop, smart speaker – without losing your place.
  • Auto-download shows to listen offline and on the go.
  • Discover podcasts using Google Search and Google Assistant

Podcast Addict

Podcast addict is a highly popular app on Android platform. With 9 million plus downloads and thousands of reviews , it is one of the best podcast listening apps on Android.

Subscription / discovery Related Features

  • Search by podcast name or keywords (950,000 podcasts / 20M+ episodes)
  • Browse popular podcasts by category
  • Browse podcast networks (NPR, Gimlet, BBC, Serial, Ted Talks, …)
  • Get custom recommendations based on your subscriptions
  • Find similar podcasts to the one you listen to
  • Paste the podcast RSS/ATOM feed url. Also works with iTunes / Apple Podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube & Twitch channels urls
  • Support private / premium podcasts via RSS feeds

Playback / audio effects related features.

  • Built-in audio effects such as playback speed, volume boost, skip silence, mono playback. Works while streaming or playing downloaded files
  • Variable playback speed for video podcasts (Android 6.0+)
  • Multiple playlists support
  • Advanced playback features like Shuffle mode, Loop mode and Sleep timer
  • Works as a standalone player (MP3, Audiobook, local files, streaming)
  • Full chapter support
  • Chromecast & SONOS support

BeyondPod

With nearly 3 million downloads, BeyondPod’s streamlined interface and powerful controls give you easy access to millions of audio and video episodes from small publishers like local radio stations to “big name” publishers like CNN, ESPN, BBC, CBC.

  • ACCESS hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from all over the world.
  • PLAY your content everywhere – online or offline.
  • CUSTOMIZE your playlist the way you like.

PlayerFM

PlayerFM is also  one of the best podcast listening apps on Android. The Google play store description reads as below ..

Enjoy a distraction-free audio+video podcast experience that is elegant, powerful, and has your back! Sync play position across devices, customize themes, and manage playlists! Auto volume boost and silence skip on podcasts & your MP3 files.

What podcasts will you find here? Education (TED Talks), Productivity (Tim Ferriss), Chat (Oprah podcast), Comedy (Joe Rogan podcast), Audio drama and Audio Books (Night Vale), Stories (Serial). Dive into 20+ million free episodes from indie audio to major networks like NPR & MSNBC!

There are further many podcast apps on Android and here is a list to that on Google Playstore.

Summary

With So many apps out there , finding the best podcast listening apps is very difficult. All apps have their own advantages and disadvantages.

We hope our list of best podcast listening apps on iOS and Android will help you to find what you need.

Pocket Casts , Castbox and Google podcasts are some of our top pics. While apps like listen , BeyondPod hold their own place as well.

Welcome to your podcasting journey with quickstartpodcast team.

Below paragraphs have links to all our posts in a logical manner starting from being a podcast listener to being a podcast creator.

The podcast Listener phase :

The podcasting journey generally begins with various questions such as what is a podcast , what a podcast is used for ? how to listen to a podcast , what are the best android and iOS apps to listen to podcast .

Depending upon the things that you like you will search for fiction podcasts , educational podcasts etc. Most of the people restrict their journey in podcasting to this level. They just end up being listeners to podcasts. Some of then take the next leap of faith and decide to start their own podcast.

Podcast creator Phase :

How to start your podcast ? is the main question they are faced with . Once that you have decided to start a podcast , what should be the name of the podcast , what should be the podcast format , which podcasting niche should you chose , what should be episode titles , what are popular podcast formats and what should be mine and so on ..

What is the right equipment for creating a podcast , what are the best XLR , USB , Condenser and dynamic microphones available. Can I record my podcast in an iPHONE , What should be the polar pattern , should I use an audio interface or a mixer , do I need a POP filter . There are so many question . How much podcasting will cost me , what are different setups based on my budget.

Once you in the journey of podcasting you will need to decide how should be a great podcast intro , how to record the podcast , how to record podcast online , how to test the mic , what should be length and frequency of my podcast , how to make great sounding podcasts and finally how to make money from podcasting ? ..

Whats is a podcast host and do I need one ?? , Uploading podcasts to google podcast and Apple podcasts are also crucial steps.

The journey starts from being a podcast listener going all the way to being a great podcast creator and quickstartpodcast is there with you in all this journey.

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