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, there are still some people out there 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!
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.
Amazon Music is one of a few decent streaming services with Android Auto support. Hilariously, the Google Play version supports Android Auto and the Amazon App Store version does not. It is what it is. This is a halfway decent option for people who already have Amazon Prime. The regular version is similar to Pandora with radio stations, track skips, and ads. Those with Prime get unlimited skips and no advertising. There is an even more premium tier that includes on-demand content and some additional features. We only really recommend this to existing Prime members. Everybody else should be perfectly happy with Pandora, Spotify, or others.
BlackPlayer is one of the most popular local music players on Google Play. There’s a reason for it. The app features a slick, customizable UI, themes, and most of the desirable playback controls. That includes an equalizer, gapless playback, widgets, a sleep timer, and crossfading. The Android Auto support is there and it works about as well as can be expected. The Android Auto UI won’t blow your mind but it definitely works okay. This is recommended for people with really basic collections (MP3, mostly) rather than audiophile people. Still, there isn’t much about this that isn’t excellent. The free version has ads and a few locked features. The premium version unlocks everything and removes ads.
Google Play Music has the distinction of being the first music player with Android Auto support. It works with both local music as well as music streaming. That makes it a particularly powerful option for most people. The music service is pretty decent, although there are some weird limitations when scrolling through playlists. You can use Google Play Music as solely a local music player with an option in the settings of the app. YouTube Music is replacing Google Play Music eventually and it has a little bit of Android Auto support. We expect its support to improve over time, though.
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 are a boat load of other features that cater to various niches. It worked well during our testing on Android Auto and it performs admirably as a standalone music player as well. 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.
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 version. 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 and that makes 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.
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. There is a premium option for $9.99 per month that adds on-demand music selection, more powerful playlists, unlimited skips on the 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.
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 qualizer, 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.
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 of choice (PowerAmp, Neutron, etc) and then plug your phone in. 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!