We have all been there, a catchy song is playing somewhere and you totally love it but there is no way to know its name. Thankfully, there are some great apps to identify songs playing near you without the need to ask the bartender or the DJ.
The best apps to identify songs playing near you are a great tool for music lovers who love to discover new music. However, the apps are far from perfect and there are some conditions that you need to meet before they can even start detecting the music. I’ll be honest here, none of the apps will work when there is an exceptional level of noise around you, this means they will have a hard time detecting music in a party where everyone is being loud (I’m told that’s what parties are like).
Writer’s Note: Frankly speaking, the best apps to identify songs playing near you can work if the moons align. This means you’ll have to meet several conditions before they can do their work. That doesn’t mean that they are completely useless, they are pretty awesome when they work.
Another point to be noted here is that they won’t be able to identify instrumental songs and some really obscure tracks. Sometimes one of the apps will simply refuse to recognize a mainstream song as well, so we highly recommend that you keep at least 2 of them on your phone.
Now that we have essentially ruined all the hype around song identifying apps for Android, let’s start talking about the best ones around.
Shazam was the first kid on the block that was able to tell you any song that was playing. It is the best one around because of how long it has been identifying songs for us. On the main interface you’ll find a huge button that you need to press in order to start the detection process. The app will take a few seconds to listen to the song and will correctly identify it without any hitches most of the time. After that you’ll be given access to video clips, related tracks and song lyrics, so you can actually listen to the song yourself. Another good thing about the app is that you’ll be able to purchase a song if you really dig it or stream it on your preferred service.
SoundHound is among the best apps to identify songs on Android simply because of its clean looking interface, reliable detection and fast results. It is right on par with Shazam when it comes to music detection. On the main screen you’ll find the huge detection button that you need to press in order to start the process. However, SoundHound is not just a music detection app for Android, it is also a fully loaded voice controlled music player. It also helps you discover new bands and songs that are otherwise really hard to come by organically. We really love the feature that allows you to connect Spotify with SoundHound and get real time lyrics for the song that’s playing.
If you’re looking for a simple app that listens to the song and tells you its name then Musixmatch is a perfect match for you. However, just like any other great Android app, it does offer a lot of features that are just as easily accessible. There are some advanced lyrics based features in the app that are absolutely worth checking out. We really like the smart seek feature to find our personal favorite part of the song. Of course there is one huge button to identify songs that are playing in the background but you can also enjoy song lyrics with the music you’re playing. The app supports almost every music streaming service there is, from Spotify to Pandora and from Google Play Music to Soundcloud, everything is supported.
The first thing you’ll notice about Genius is its speed, it is able to catch the song in a few seconds. During my testing it was recognizing popular music extremely fast. Sure it struggled a bit with obscure tracks but every app on the list had the same hiccups. Overall, the app has a cool looking material design. The yellow and white color scheme is quite unique and looks great. Press the recognize button on the bottom right of the screen and the app will start listening. The main interface houses some good information as well, I really dig the top songs chart on Genius, and it is a genius addition to an already great package.
Google Assistant is almost on every Android phone these days and has been a great addition to the operating system. It is capable of so much stuff that it’s hard to keep up with it. Now you can easily ask Google Assistant to listen in and tell you what song is playing. That’s right, Google Assistant is now your musical assistant as well. All you need to do is to press the Google bar mic button thingy, or press and hold the home button on your device to access Google Assistant. Then you can ask it to identify a song for you. The best thing is, you can phrase the question any way you want. Google will give a short listen to the song playing and give you the name of the song. As Google Assistant is available on most modern Android phones, the link is for Google search app. You probably already have Google Assistant installed and ready to roll on your device.
These were some of the best music recognition apps for Android and we know, they are not a lot and there is a good reason behind it. And that good reason is that no one wants to make a music recognition app apparently. Sure, there are some other apps in the same genre but some of them have really weird permission problems, for example one app want camera access. We get if you need the microphone to listen to the song but why do you need the camera to recognize music on Android?
We would also like to tell you that not all of these apps will work hundred percent all the time. And sometimes they’ll goof up with the recognition as well. What I’m trying to say is that these apps are not scientifically accurate and it would be good if you download all 3 of them, so you have backup in case one app doesn’t recognize the song.