The 8 Best Podcast Apps for iPhone (2023)

A roundup of the best ways to listen to your favorite podcast

Whether you're listening to podcasts during your morning commute, during a long run, or to coach you as you cook in the kitchen, podcasts cover topics that can pique anyone's sense of wonder and interest.

Some of the best Apple podcast apps for iOS do more than play your podcasts but can help you organize and sort your playlists. Some allow you to manage your subscriptions and make the playback experience more efficient so that you won't miss a word.

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Best Sounding Podcast App: Overcast

Podcast app Overcast for iPhone
What We Like
  • Smart filters make it easy to organize your playlists.

  • Loud and clear audio.

What We Don't Like
  • The search feature is difficult to use.

  • No introductory tutorials.

Overcast from Overcast Radio, LLC is designed for the curious listener who wants to discover more podcasts. In addition to helping you manage playlists for the podcasts you already love, Overcast will help you discover new ones. Overcast also includes Smart Speed to cut through silent spots, and Voice Boost gives a consistent sound quality so that you can hear quieter voices.

Price: Free, Premium is a $9.99 per year subscription. 

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Best Premium Podcast App: Castro

Castro Podcast app for iOS


What We Like
  • Keeps track of dates and how much of an episode you've listened to.

  • Easy-to-navigate interface.

What We Don't Like
  • iPhone only.

  • Must subscribe to Castro Plus for some features.

Castro by Supertop puts all of your podcasts into an inbox so you can triage what you want to hear now or later (or maybe not at all).

In addition to trim silence, Castro also includes chapter support and a way to customize settings for each individual podcast.

Price: Free, Premium is $18.99 per year.

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Best Organized Podcast App: Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts

What We Like
  • Simple interface with a desktop version.

  • Make custom filters to organize your podcasts.

What We Don't Like
  • To listen to an episode, you must subscribe to a podcast.

  • Limited search feature.

With its unique tiled design, Pocket Casts is designed for the podcast listener who wants to maximize their time. Designed by ShiftyJelly PTY LTD, Pocket Casts includes a trim silence feature that cuts out silent breaks in the episode so that you can get through your playlist faster. Variable speeds let you adjust the playback speed from .5 to 3x. Volume boost eliminates the background noise while enhancing the sound of voices.

Price: Free, Premium is $.99 a month or $9.99 a year.

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Best Customized Podcast Playlists: Stitcher

Stitcher iPhone app showing the downloading of an episode of the Jill on Money podcast.
What We Like
  • Continuous updates with a newsroom feel.  

  • Developers make frequent improvements.

What We Don't Like
  • Finding favorite podcasts in the archive is difficult.

  • Barebones search function.

As the name suggests, Stitcher gives you the ability to stitch your favorite podcasts together to create a custom playlist. With a personalized front page that notifies you of new podcasts as soon as they are available. Stitcher uses your listening history to suggest other shows you may find interesting.

Price: Free, ad-free version is $4.99 a month, or $34.99 per year

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Breaker podcast app logo


What We Like
  • Get recommendations from friends.

  • Lots of options for sorting your favorites.

What We Don't Like
  • Random people sometimes follow you and also offer recommendations. 

  • Search tool could be better.

If you're driven by social media, you'll definitely want to try the Breaker podcast player app, which lets you follow your friends and see what they're listening to. Created by Breaker Inc., Breaker lets you add comments to episodes, share your listening history, and offers the ability to send messages and make suggestions to your Breaker social network.

Price: Free

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Best iCloud Integration: Downcast

Downcast iPhone podcast player app


What We Like
  • Mac and iPad versions.

  • Sync all of your playlists and settings across the iCloud.

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to read screens because of the small text.

  • No recommendations.

Downcast by Jamawkinaw Enterprises LLC is a no-frills old-school podcast player that provides powerful organization and customizing tools. In addition to supporting both audio and video podcasts, Downcast lets you decide which episodes to stream, and which to download, and includes play-back customization features such as starting the episode mid-stream to avoid ads.

Price: $2.99

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Best CarPlay Compatibility: Castbox

Castbox podcast player logo


What We Like
  • Compatible with CarPlay and Amazon Echo.

  • Thorough search feature.

What We Don't Like
  • No way to mark episodes as played.

  • Can't set the play order. 

With a clean, intuitive interface, Castbox, by Guru Network Limited, offers an efficient way to organize your podcasts. An in-audio search function uses keywords and phrases within audio files to help you discover more podcasts based on your likes.

Price: Free, Castbox Premium is $0.99 per month

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Best Playback Controls: iCatcher

iCatcher podcast app logo


What We Like
  • Includes VoiceOver support.

  • Controls let you jump ahead or back. 

What We Don't Like
  • Always sorts episodes from oldest to newest.

  • Interface can be hard to navigate.

iCatcher by Joeisaner has plenty of features to allow you to build custom playlists, suiting both casual and power listeners. With automatic refreshes, you'll always have the latest episode available. Also has the ability to support video and files, and syncs subscriptions and playback positions between devices through iCloud.

Price: $2.99

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