The best podcast apps do more than play episodes of your favorite shows. They contain several features, automatic downloading and sorting of the last subscribed podcast episodes to help manage subscriptions.
Some even include various audio tools and features to give you the best possible listening experience. At the same time, some apps can even help you discover new podcasts – a nice feature if you eventually find yourself looking for more stuff to listen to at your leisure.
Some podcast apps even outperform management tools. We will also look at some great podcast recording apps that can turn your smartphone into a mobile studio for editing and recording.
No matter what you’re looking for in podcast apps, our article on the best podcast apps has something that will meet your standards.
Table of contents
1. Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is among our favorite mobile podcatchers, thanks to features like cross-device and platform syncing, automatic episode downloads, and cleanup.
However, as a paid app, there was a significant barrier to entry. However, Pocket Casts is now completely free on mobile devices without removing any free users’ functionality.
In addition to syncing across platforms, Pocket Casts allows you to discover podcasts based on categories or your listening habits. The app also has organizational tools for streaming and downloading episodes and even cleaning up the episodes you have listened to.
Adjustable controls include time intervals, sleep timers, and more. The Pocket Casts Plus tier adds web and desktop apps, 10GB of cloud storage, plus custom themes and icons.
Overcast offers an excellent combination of clean design, powerful sound management features, and a podcast. Overcast intelligently handles episode streams and downloads, sends notifications of new episodes, and can be played offline or streamed if you need to save space; it also has some cool audio features.
Voice Boost normalizes the sound level of speech, automatically increasing silence and decreasing loud voices. Smart Speed automatically reduces gaps and silence in the podcast, speeding up playback without sound distortion.
Updates have added interface improvements, iOS widgets, and an action tray that make it easier to manage episodes of your favorite podcasts over the years.
Download Overcast: iOS
3. Google Podcasts
Google has entered the podcast game with its podcasting app. Google podcasts are a must-have if you have a Google Home speaker with your Android phone. And now, a redesigned app is also available for the iPhone, along with an iOS version.
You can start a podcast on your phone when you walk to work and continue from where you stopped when you get home by listening to a smart speaker’s podcast. Other features include adjusting playback speed, integrating with Google Now, and adding podcasts to the app directly from Google searches.
Google also promises artificial intelligence capabilities, such as automatic captions, in the future. For now, the redesign focuses on discovering podcasts, and the Explore tab of the app has a For You section that suggests podcasts based on your interests.
Unlike most of the best podcast apps, Castro’s main virtue is simplicity and ease of use. The app combines a stylish visual design with a crisp sound. The app allows episodes to download in the background. The result is a sub-sensor that is not cluttered with complex functions.
That’s not to say Castro is basic, as it includes dynamic storage management, automatic episode downloads, and streaming episodes.
The app is free, although a Castro Plus subscription of $19 per year offers advanced features such as shortening silence to speed up playback, boosting voices to make it easier to listen to podcasts while listening in noisy environments, and the ability to import files directly.
Spotify might not come to mind when someone mentions podcasts. Still, the media streaming giant also includes support for audio and video podcasts, along with a notable section of spoken words in the app.
Spotify organizes podcasts into various categories, such as Storyteller, Sports and Recreation, and Comedy. The users can subscribe to manage downloads, individual podcasts, and share podcasts through social media.
Playback and management options are scarce compared to other podcast apps, but if you’re already using Spotify to stream music and don’t want to look for a dedicated podcatcher, give it a try.
Download Spotify: Android, iOS
We could all laugh these days, and that’s what Laughable promises with its comedy-focused podcast app. Laughable has the largest database of comedians – search for your favorite, and you’ll find not only the podcasts they run but also a list of performances on other shows.
You can subscribe to other podcasts in Laughable and take advantage of playback features like offline listening, adjustable playback speed, and countdowns.
Luminary wants to establish itself as a Netflix podcasting, with a buffet for everything you can listen to, and a library of exclusive shows like Fiasco, Hear to Slay, and Trevor Noah On Second Thought. Subscribers get access to exclusive Luminary ad-free titles, while free tier users can turn to the app to listen to various free podcasts.
Luminary includes a host of great features in the podcasting app, including search and discovery tools that learn from your playback controls, listening habits, and offline modes.
Download Luminary: Android, iOS
The Himalaya cover both ends of the spectrum, with a free podcast streaming app for listeners and authors’ platforms to publish and monetize their podcasts. The app has over 500,000 podcasters and 270,000 podcasts, with over 24 million individual episodes.
Listeners of existing podcasts can import their subscription services from Google Podcasts, Spotify, and TuneIn Radio. You can search for the latest podcasts based on their listening habits, popularity, featured shows, and other filters.
The CastBox podcasting app combines a clean and navigable interface, a good selection of podcasts, and a powerful podcast sound search to provide a great mobile podcatcher.
Users can sign in through Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter, then find and subscribe to podcasts, episodes for offline listening, download, and sync their subscriptions across multiple devices.
You can stream the podcast through Chromecast or Amazon Echo, and the premium tier removes subscription restrictions, lets you customize your homepage, and prioritizes customer support and new features.
RadioPublic is relatively new among the best podcast apps. Still, it’s dedicated to delivering a fair deal to listeners and authors, with an ad-supported model that pays creators the more you listen to.
The app offers different podcasts in various categories, with options to automatically download and stream playback, tools to organize and play songs, and audiobook support.
Downcast is a vast online search for podcast subscriptions, automatic downloads, and the ability to import and export OMPL podcast feeds to ensure your podcasts stay up to date.
The highly customizable playlist creator allows you to edit and create a playlist on the go selectively. Several playback options such as streaming episodes, variable speed playback, playback load video podcasts, etc. let you play your content the way you want.
Downcast continues to add its features, and new additions include support for CarPlay, Apple Watch, and Google Cast.
Download Downcast: iOS
12. Podcast Republic
Podcast Republic is a free podcatcher app that supports ads and gives you a ton of features.
Podcast Republic covers everything from automatic podcast detection and download, customizable storage management, streaming support, idle time countdown, and car mode for easy handling.
Chromecast and Android Wear compatibility lets you cast or manage an app from your wrist.
Download Podcast Republic: Android
13. Podcast Addict
Podcast Addict is robust and equipped with an Android podcatcher that comes with great add-ons. It covers automatic episodes and download updates and space-saving automatic deletion features, variable speed playback, sleep time countdowns.
Podcast Search enables you to quickly find individual episodes or search for different databases for new podcasts and hot shows. The app also supports YouTube channels, video podcasts, audiobooks, radio streaming, and other media sources.
Download Podcast Addict: Android
Podcast fans who love to talk and share shows and moments from their favorite episodes can find Procast down their aisle. The app lets you take short audio parts that can be shared from a podcast episode, store them on your phone, and then easily share them with friends and contacts on social media.
Additionally, Procast has consolidated the inbox for quick access to all the latest episodes of subscribed podcasts. Simple sliders, similar to Tinder, allow you to categorize libraries of episodes and podcasts.
15. Stitcher Radio
Stitcher allows you to merge your podcasts into a custom playlist, making it easy to access the latest episodes when they go out without downloading or syncing.
You can also download episodes to listen to them offline. Audio news alerts sent to your phone help you stay up to date with the latest news.
Stitcher enables you to find new shows by recommending what fans like and personalized show recommendations based on your story.
16. TuneIn Radio
TuneIn Radio makes it easy to discover and broadcast sports, news, music, and conversations with over 100,000 radio stations and over 4 million podcasts worldwide.
Upgrade to TuneIn Premium to play live NFL, MLB, and Barclays Premier League games, non-commercial music stations, and an audiobook library. The app is Apple Watch compatible and offers multiple levels of premium in-app purchases for both platforms.
Podbean’s streamlined interface provides an easy way to access your favorite podcasts for streaming or offline listening. Browse categories and get suggestions based on your history, or take advantage of options like setting playback speed, timer, and sleep function.
The app automatically downloads the latest episodes and can automatically delete episodes that you have already listened to.
RSSRadio is an advanced audio/video podcast player app that offers an excellent repository from which you can stream podcasts over Wi-Fi or mobile network. Search shows by keyword and category, watch top podcasts manually, or enter a URL.
RSSRadio recommends shows based on your current subscriptions and includes a squelch, equalizer, compressor/limiter, and DSP volume-boosting effects. Use iCloud to sync multiple devices.
Download RSSRadio: iOS
19. Spreaker Podcast Radio
Suppose you are looking for popular and original podcasts on specific topics besides your favorites. Spreaker Podcast Radio updates custom shows, channels, and playlists.
The search section offers selected channels and listings based on tech, travel, and pop culture. The app offers a social icon where you can like, comment, and share on episodes, and even contact hosts and other listeners.
20. Spreaker Studio
Of course, Spreaker isn’t all about listening to podcasts. It also offers programs that help users record and publish their podcasts. The Spreaker Studio app joins our list of the best podcast apps by turning your mobile phone into a portable podcasting studio.
This allows you to record audio clips and add sound effects and music, which you can play while recording. The in-app editing tools can manage volume and channel settings.
Moreover, you can live broadcast and the chat function allows you to interact with listeners. The episode management tools will enable you to categorize episodes into shows and automatically post them to Facebook and Twitter when you’re done editing.