3 iPhone Music Players That Boost Audio Quality

Improve The Sound of Your iTunes Songs With These Free Apps

Girl listening and working on phone.

The default music player that comes with the iPhone is fine for general listening. However, it doesn't come with many features to enhance sound quality. The only real option to improve audio is to use the equalizer. But, this tool is limited to just a few presets​ and is also hard to find if you don't know where to look. It is actually in the Settings menu rather than in the music app where you'd expect it to be.

If you want to unlock the true potential of your songs and the iPhone's hardware, then use an alternative player from the App Store.

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Headquake Music Player for iOS

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What We Like

  • Offers a lot of freedom for customizing playback.

  • Disable button makes it easy to compare enhanced effects with the default settings.

What We Don't Like

  • Some parts of the UI are too cluttered.

  • No integration with other apps.

If you're looking to instantly boost the quality of your iTunes library, then Headquake is one of best free options currently available in the App Store. The free version is surprisingly functional and doesn't have a time limit like some apps.

Headquake uses Absolute 3D technology to enhance audio. This feature provides better quality sound that goes beyond simple EQ settings. The interface is easy to use. And, you can select the type of ear gear you've got to optimize audio enhancement. Depending on what you select, you'll either get a set of virtual speakers on the screen or slider bars. Both interfaces are easy to use and can be adjusted while songs are playing, to alter 3D audio in real-time.

Compared to Apple's built-in music player you can certainly hear the difference. The free version doesn't remember any settings, but for a small upgrade fee you can save settings for each of your songs and get rid of the ads too.

The app was last updated in mid-2014.

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What We Like

  • Doesn't consume a lot system resources.

  • Sounds great on a variety of devices including Android tablets.

What We Don't Like

  • No way to pause or change tracks outside of the app.

  • Doesn't automatically organize music by album or artist.

If you are looking for a simple interface but powerful audio enhancement features, then ConcertPlay is worth a look. As the name would suggest, you can use it to create realistic-sounding environments.

For example, the Pure Surround setting aims to emulate virtual surround sound speakers. It helps to improve detail in the stereo image. There's also a Concert Surround setting that gives the feeling of being at a live venue. This tweak adds more echo to the sound and is quite realistic.

ConcertPlay also offers a set of EQ presets to further shape the sound. The presets you can choose cover various genres such as acoustic, jazz, pop, ​rock, etc. You can't create your own custom EQ presets, but if you want a simple interface, then you probably wouldn't want this feature anyway.

Overall, ConcertPlay provides an uncomplicated way of listening to your iTunes songs in all their glory.

The app was last updated in early 2013. 

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What We Like

  • Frequently updated with improvements.

  • Premium version lets you play FLAC, DSD, and WAV files on your iOS device.

What We Don't Like

  • Free version includes a big, distracting banner ad.

  • You need an external digital-to-audio converter to play high resolution files.

ONKYO HF Player is a great app to choose if you like tweaking. This app sports an excellent high-precision equalizer, and also comes with an upsampler and crossfader.

The equalizer is particularly good. It ranges from 32 Hz to 32,000 Hz, which is a lot more frequency bands than most apps. You can either choose presets that have been created by professional musicians, or make your own customized ones. The multi-band equalizer screen makes it easy to shape the sound by allowing you to drag points up and down on the screen. Your custom EQ profile can then be saved.

This app also has an upsampling feature which will improve audio quality by converting your songs to a higher sampling rate. The crossfading mode is also a nice addition to the app which adds a smooth transition between songs instead of a sudden silent gap.

If you like more EQ control in how you shape audio, then ONKYO HF Player is a great free app to use.

The app is actively maintained as of mid-2018.