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10 best music players for Android Auto
Music on Android Auto is a little bit finicky. There are some obvious music players that don’t work on Android Auto, and we can’t figure out why at this point. Thus, some people are still looking for a decent way to listen to music. You get better luck with music streaming apps such as Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music. However, support for local media is still a bit sparse and irregular. We can help! Here are the best music players for Android Auto. You can find more Android Auto apps here as well.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to BlackPlayer (Google Play). It’s an excellent music player and the developer is working on an overhaul. However, in the meantime, the app hasn’t been updated since 2021. We’ll keep an eye on it.
The best music players for Android Auto
AIMP is an above-average music player with Android Auto support. This one is a local music player for the files on your device. It supports most of the major and common file types, including MP3, APE, OGG, AAC, FLAC, MP4, M4A, MPC, and about a dozen others. The UI on Android Auto is fairly standard fair. The actual UI on your phone is functional with a decent layout. Some additional features include a 29-band equalizer, playback speed controls (for podcasts and audiobooks), and volume normalization. There’s a laundry list of other features as well. This one is completely free with no in-app purchases or ads.
Price: Free / $4.99
GoneMAD is an excellent local music player. It features a simple but effective UI, plenty of features, and, of course, Android Auto support. Some of the features include lyric support, crossfade, playlists, a custom audio engine, support for a ton of audio formats, and a 16-band EQ. It competes very well with Poweramp, which is good because the two have similar costs as well. I personally use this one, and it hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
Price: Free / Up to $2.99
jetAudio is another decent local music player with Android Auto support. The app comes with some fun tricks, like AM3D audio enhancement, some audio effects, and an equalizer with 32 presets. You also get above-average file support, a decent phone UI, and support for the usual stuff like playlists, crossfade, playback speed control, and more. There is a boatload of other features that cater to various niches.
It worked well during our testing on Android Auto and performs admirably as a standalone music player. You could definitely do worse. The free version contains ads and fewer features and the premium version has everything with no ads. Rocket Music Player is another app that gets a lot of recommendations for Android Auto users alongside jetAudio. Rocket Music Player is also quite good.
Price: Free / Up to $2.49
MediaMonkey is a local music player with some neat features. The developers also have a full desktop app for Windows. You can sync your music wirelessly (over WiFi) between the mobile and PC versions. The actual Android version is quite good. The UI is super basic, but functional. You also get an equalizer, playlists, crossfade, and other good, basic music playback features.
The Android Auto support is as good as the others on the list. We had no problems queuing up a playlist and jamming while on the road. The Android version has a premium version that unlocks all of the features via an in-app purchase. The desktop version is a tad more expensive, though.
Musicolet carved out quite a name for itself among the best music players on Android. It also has Android Auto support, making it a shoo-in for this list. The app features no ads, no Internet permissions, most of the usual music player functions, and a few decent extras. The UI is minimal, but simple and effective and you also get stuff like an equalizer, headphone control support, and home screen widgets. The Android Auto support was as good as we expected it to be, which is as good as every other app. This one rocks a 4.7 rating on Google Play for a reason. The app is also entirely free with no in-app purchases or advertising.
Price: Free / Up to $9.99 per month
Pandora is kind of a shoo-in for a list like this. It’s available on most infotainment centers in vehicles anyway and it would honestly feel wrong if it didn’t have Android Auto support. You all know how Pandora works. You start a radio station, listen to music, skip the occasional song, hear the occasional ad, and move on with life. A premium option for $9.99 per month adds on-demand music selection, more powerful playlists, unlimited skips on classic radio stations, and higher-quality audio. It’s a rock-solid option in the music streaming space, but we’re unsure if it usurps the best in the industry like Spotify.
Price: Free trial / $4.99
Poweramp is one of the most popular music player apps on Android and for good reason. It’s packed with features, a good UI, and plenty of customization. It does support Android Auto, although it was one of the later music players to do so. The Android Auto UI is pretty typical with quick access to the music player, playlists, and library. You can also ask Google Assistant to play songs from Poweramp, which works most of the time. It’s a great all-around player. The free version is a trial and the full version goes for $4.99
Price: Free / $2.99
Pulsar is another solid option for local media playback. The app is nothing too special. However, it has a simple UI, decent controls, and it just plays your music. Some of the features (aside from Android Auto support) include Chromecast support, an equalizer, ReplayGain, gapless playback, playback speed controls, and a home screen widget. There isn’t really much wrong with this one. It won’t blow your mind, but it definitely does the job without complaint. The free version has advertising and the premium version removes ads. The premium version is also a separate app and that’s a bit of a rarity these days. In any case, Pulsar is a good one.
Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service. In some cases, there’s a reason for it. One good example is that Spotify is usually among the first music streaming app to support new technologies such as Android Auto. You all know what Spotify does. You can stream millions of songs, listen to your playlists, listen to music on-demand, and check out Spotify’s second-to-none discovery features. The Android Auto support is good and we didn’t have any problems jamming out in the car. You can use it free (with ads) or for $9.99 per month for no ads and extra features.
Price: Free / $9.99-$12.99 per month
YouTube Music officially replaced Google Play Music in late 2020 so it replaces Google Play Music here as well. YouTube Music is a decent overall music streaming service. You can also upload your own songs to the service for playback and download songs in case you drive somewhere without great cell service. The UI on Android Auto is about the same as all the others and works with Google Assistant. We do wish the app was better organized, but for $12.99 per month you can get this along with no ads on regular YouTube and that’s a potent 1-2 punch, even if YouTube Music isn’t the best music streaming app.
Bonus: AnyAutoAudio (power users only)
AnyAutoAudio is a fun little solution for those who don’t like anything listed above. The app uses Android’s Notification Listener permission to access your music player and then pass it along to Android Auto. It’s a little funky to use. You open your music player (PowerAmp, Neutron, etc) and then plug in your phone.
In Android Auto, choose the AnyAutoAudio option after hitting the music icon on the bottom navigation bar. Now you can listen to music from your native music player without downloading an extra app. This requires a sideload and some tweaks. We only recommend this to people who want a specific music player without Android Auto support and don’t mind tinkering with it a bit.
If we missed any great Android Auto music players, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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