Best iPhone Music App Alternatives and Music Manager For iOS

By | April 27, 2022

There are many iPhone music players that you can use to listen to your music. In fact, there are so many music apps for your phone that you shouldn’t feel stuck with Apple’s built-in Apple Music.

If you want an alternative way to transfer, store, or play your files from your iOS music library, there are many options available. The same goes for finding alternative ways of listening to music via streaming.

Here are the best music apps for iPhone that are currently on the market.

How Music Works on iOS

Apple encourages a specific and sometimes outdated approach to media management. Assuming you’re using your own files, you’ll need to import the music into your library. Then when your iPhone is paired with the computer that stores your music, you have to sync, either directly or via Wi-Fi.

The downside of this approach is that you can’t just point the browser at a file and download it. The upside to this centralized music library, however, is that the operating system handles media playback.

A Word on Apple Music

Apple Music launched a while back, so it’s definitely not the newest app on the market. However, most iOS music apps consider Apple Music.

Therefore, we will focus on music players that integrate with Apple Music, at least in terms of playback.

Free Music App for iPhone

If you don’t want to pay, let’s first take a look at the best free music apps for iPhone.


SoundShare is a collaborative app that connects many different services, including Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer. This is a music social network that you must register. Anyone who wants to collaborate with you on a playlist should do the same.

SoundShare is one of the best music apps for iPhone if you want to share your taste in music. You can like, comment and advertise your music recommendations, as well as create playlists by working with other people.

Unfortunately, SoundShare isn’t very fun to use if you’re going out alone. You should share it with other users to get the best out of it. Plus, you must have a paid subscription to Apple Music, Spotify, or Deezer to connect these services to SoundShare.

VLC for Mobile

VLC is an old school and trusted music player for iPhone. This is a good choice if you want to go it alone and plan to ditch Apple Music entirely. Not only does it play most music and video files (including unsupported formats like FLAC), it also supports multiple audio tracks.

Additional features available in VLC:

  • Transfer music through the browser over Wi-Fi, or use cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
  • The app supports file sharing via SMB, FTP, and UPnP.
  • VLC for Mobile doesn’t need to be open to play media. It lets you listen to music in the background while working in other apps.

VLC is a fairly extensive program that can handle a lot of stuff, so give it a try if you’re a fan of local media.

FLAC Player +

If VLC for Mobile doesn’t cut it, FLAC Player+ should do the trick.

FLAC Player+ is a great free music app for iPhone if you’re looking for something dedicated to local media playback. It supports FLAC, MP3, AAC, WMA, and RealMedia formats.

This app lets you group songs by playlist, album, and artist. Just like VLC, you can transfer music over Wi-Fi. However, FLAC Player+ is more of a “true” music player than VLC, so FLAC Player doesn’t work with videos.

The interface also requires a bit of work, but it’s easy to use and free. You can remove ads with a small in-app purchase.

Best Music Apps for iPhone With Subscription Option

Next, let’s take a look at the best music apps for iPhone that offer subscriptions for more features.

Note that because Apple takes a 30% discount on all in-app purchases from iOS apps, many services increase the price of their subscriptions to compensate for this. For example, Spotify on iOS costs $13 per month for Premium instead of $10 per month. As a result, you should avoid subscribing to any service via its iPhone app whenever possible.


Listen is a great music app for iPhone if you want to navigate your music collection. The app uses gesture-based controls, and its basic function as a music player is completely free. If you want to access local and online radio stations, you’ll need to upgrade with a subscription at $2.99 ​​per month.

Standout features:

  • Browse your music library by the aforementioned albums, artists, playlists, and radio stations.
  • Screen Now Playing allows you to drag musical artwork around your screen, so you can skip tracks or return them to your collection.

Download: Listen (Free, subscription available)


Musixmatch lyrics finder is a very popular music app for iPhone. This is because it lets you find song lyrics that have already been synced to your device. It also allows you to info your Apple Music and Spotify profiles.

The Musixmatch app displays lyrics in time with the music, so you can dive deeper into your favorite tracks.

Other Musixmatch features to know about:

  • Musixmatch can search for song lyrics even if they are not in your library.
  • If you can’t remember the song title, you can search for individual phrases.
  • Built-in support to find lyrics of songs playing around you. We have tested Musixmatch and other music ID apps, if you are curious.

Even though Musixmatch is free, it offers a subscription plan to remove ads and add some extra features.

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Apple Music | Spotify | Deezer

Subscription services like Spotify and Deezer plus Apple Music itself offer another way to listen to music on the go. Unfortunately, this comes with a drawback. Unless you download it offline, you have to stream your music. This will require a large data plan when you are not on Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, these three options are easy-to-use services that let you listen to music whenever you want. They are some of the best music music apps for iPhone that you will find. Apple Music even gives you a three-month free trial before asking for a subscription.

Be careful with the data usage mentioned above when you’re not on Wi-Fi, and this app will fulfill your music needs.

Download: Apple Music (Free trial, subscription required)
Download: Spotify (Free, subscription available)
Download: Deezer (Free, subscription available)


SoundCloud always marches to its own drum beat compared to other music services. As one of the best free music apps for iPhone, it offers a great place for anyone to upload music, remixes, podcasts or live sessions.

While SoundCloud has been hit by stiff competition in recent years, it still provides a place for regular users and emerging artists to share their work.

If you are willing to pay, SoundCloud Go is a premium plan that offers offline downloads and ad-free music for $5/month. Meanwhile, SoundCloud Go+ for $10/month adds an extended catalog that looks more like Spotify or Apple Music.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music allows you to sync 50,000 songs with your Google account for free. This convenience makes it one of the best music apps for iPhone.

As you’d expect, it also features a unique “Google” interface with some neat features. This includes suggestions for what to listen to and recommendations based on your previous tastes.

Notes about Google Play Music:

  • The free version of Google Play Music uses an ad-based model, so you won’t be distracted listening while streaming radio stations.
  • Like other services, if you are a paying subscriber, you can access a much larger catalog of music.
  • You can download your own music for offline listening, but you must subscribe to download other music.

Google Play Music has been on Android for some time, where it has earned a reputation as the go-to music app. That way you can choose other choices made for iOS.

Or Try Paid Music Apps for iPhone

If none of these free apps worked for you, we’ve also rounded up some paid music apps for iPhone.


Ecoute is a paid music app for iPhone that takes into account the number of playbacks and the last played data. It features an improved shuffle tool that allows you to sort music by album and last played date to better present songs.

Cs Music Player

Cs Music Player is another great paid music app for anyone who wants a classical music app experience. It provides a simple, easy-to-use interface that maintains compatibility with Apple Music and locally synced files.


Lastly, Stezza is a one-handed playback app that advertises itself as the best music player for iPhone if you’re a driver or very active.

Apple Music is the obvious choice for iPhone owners, but it’s far from your only option. Whether you prefer to sync your own music or stream it all, there’s a music app on iOS for you. Try a few and see which one works best for you.

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