Top 9 iPhone Radio Apps

Despite not having an antenna, you can still listen to great radio thanks to the internet

Thanks to playlists and streaming music, it's easy to forget the world of radio still exists (especially since your iPhone doesn't have an antenna). But, come on! There's more to music than your playlists from 10 years ago. It's time to take advantage of the internet and some great apps so that the world of radio is just a tap or two away.

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Triode app playing a stream of Irish folk music

Triode starts off with suggested stations, but can help you find thousands of additional stations with just a few taps. One of our favorite features is if a song is playing and is also available in Apple Music, a simple tap lets you add it to a playlist).

This app is from the folks at Iconfactory which means you can expect it to not only behave as expected, but the attention to detail is quite satisfying. Oh, not only do you not need an account, you don't need to give the company any information. The app also works on the Mac and Apple TV.

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Screens of the Broadcasts app playing a station from Antarctica.

Broadcasts can not only play internet radio stations, but it can also play nearly any audio on the web. If you have a favorite radio station you can add it to your favorites (called Collections in the app) so you don't have to search for it. While this app works without any purchase, a one-time fee unlocks the ability to add more favorite stations so they're always at your fingertips.

This app works on every Apple platform from the iPhone to the Mac to the Apple Watch.

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The Pandora app playing a song sung by John Prine.

Pandora allows you to create your own customized radio stations and fine-tune them to be just what you want. Start with an artist you like and branch out into similar music from there, based on your feedback and Pandora's massive database of likes and dislikes from users like you. Add other artists and your rating for songs to improve your stations and discover new music.

Pandora also offers a library of popular podcasts and attempts to apply its music-recommendation smarts to help you find podcasts.

The paid Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium tiers let you create custom playlists, download music for offline listening, provide unlimited skips, improve audio quality, remove ads, and more.

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This American Life

The This American Life app from single episode page all the way to a selection of shows based around one topic.

The app from long-running hit public radio show and podcast This American Life lets you stream every previous episode of the series (over 700!) for free. You can download songs for offline listening, mark episodes as having been listened to, and bookmark episodes for future listening. The full archive can be browsed and the search feature lets you find episodes by topic, contributor, and year.

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iHeart radio app showing its homescreen, Taylor Swift song playing, and a bio of Taylor Swift.

iHeart gives you free access to thousands of live AM and FM radio stations from across the country and the world. With so many stations to choose from, you'll be able to find almost any kind of music or other content, from rock to Christian, from news to sports to weather.

Beyond radio, iHeart offers up curated playlists, podcasts, and the ability to create your own Pandora-style station based around an artist.

In-app purchases unlock additional features which let you pick the songs you want to hear, save and replay radio, skip songs, and listen offline.

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The LiveOne app by Slacker showing its Home screen all the way to a specific station.

LiveOne, formerly named Slacker, offers a Pandora-style create-your-own station feature but goes well beyond that, too. Besides those custom stations, it offers pre-made stations, a regular schedule of programs with lively hosts, news and sports content, and the ability to pick the songs you listen to.

The paid tiers unlock features including increased audio quality, unlimited song skips, the removal of apps, and the ability to download songs to listen to offline.

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Jazz Radio!

JazzRadio app playing some cool Coffee Jazz.

Looking for a strong selection of jazz radio stations? Look no further than Jazz Radio! This app delivers 35 channels of different styles of jazz, including Smooth Jazz, Bebop, Vocals, Swing, and Big Band. Each channel is programmed by an aficionado of that style. You can also save favorite channels for easy access and set a sleep timer so that the app goes to sleep after you do.

The paid Premium tier removes ads, improves sound quality, unlocks the ability to play Jazz Radio on other hardware, and even grants access to sister apps for Classical and Rock music.

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NPR app on iOS playing WFUV radio station.

In addition to being able to read news stories, the NPR app offers live streams of shows like All Things Considered and Fresh Air, previous segments from the shows, and live streams from member stations across the country.

Additional features include the ability to listen to your local member station no matter where you are in the world and to get breaking news alerts.

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TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio and a sample of the various stations available to stream.

TuneIn delivers over 10,000 live AM and FM radio streams from stations around the world, but it does more than that. It's packed with talk radio, podcasts, news, and sports, including Major League Baseball, college sports, NBA and NHL playoffs, and the Super Bowl.

The paid TuneIn Premium service adds every game from major sports leagues, curated and commercial-free radio stations, and the removal of ads from news channels, and podcasts.

  • Are radio stations free?

    Generally speaking, yes. Some apps have subscriptions (SiriusXM for example) and some apps have in-app purchases, but not all.

  • Do these apps also work on Macs?

    If you are using a Mac that has the Apple designed M1 (or newer) processor, you can run iPhone apps. But some of these apps to have Mac counterparts, so look around the Mac App Store to see if it's available.

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