- Over the past decade, the music listening experience has undergone a massive change and evolved the way we consume music.
- Today, the most preferred mode of listening to music is our smartphone — made possible thanks to all the different music streaming services. not every individual seems happy with the quality offered on most streaming services.
- If you find yourself belonging to this (audiophile) camp, you very likely either use services that offer high-res -or- master-quality audio or you get music files in formats like FLAC, WAV, etc. — in which case, you need a high-res audio player to play them.
- Make sure you check out our Best Apps hub for more such curated lists.
Over the past decade, the music listening experience has undergone a massive change and evolved the way we consume music. What accompanied this change are two things. First, it paved the way to make music accessible. And second — as a consequence of first — it brought certain compromises to sound quality in the process.
With the introduction of music streaming services, today, the most preferred mode of listening to music is our smartphone — made possible thanks to all the different music streaming services. However, despite the variety, not every individual seems happy with the quality offered on most streaming services. If you find yourself belonging to this camp, you very likely either use services that offer high-res -or- master-quality audio, or you get music files in formats like FLAC, WAV, etc. — in which case, you need a high-res audio player to play them.
But before we proceed with our recommendation list for the same, it is important to note that using a high-res player is one of the steps you can take to experience high-fidelity music since there are other factors like the file format (and the bitrate), the DAC used on your Android smartphone, the medium of connection (wired or wireless), and obviously, your headphones, which play their part collectively of offering a rich music listening experience. So, considering you have other things sorted, let’s check out some of the best hi-res audio player apps for Android you can use to enjoy high-quality music.
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Best Hi-Res Audio Players for Android
Poweramp is one of the oldest and most powerful music player apps on Android. Being around for a long time, the app has managed to garner huge popularity among audiophiles and has gathered a user base that evangelizes other Android users into getting on board. You get a clean user interface on the app, and despite a host of features and customization options that it offers, it is still easy to navigate around and use.
Talking about features, Poweramp offers a slew of them, along with support for pretty much every (audio) file format out there. In fact, it is one of the most preferred apps for those who listen to hi-fi audio. The app got updated to v3 in 2018, which brought a new audio engine with support for hi-res outputs, a new DSP, a 10-band equalizer, and many more, along with visual changes to the interface. If you have hi-fi-compatible hardware (DAC), Poweramp can help you play up to 24bit/kHz audio files. Besides these additions, you also get support for custom skins, an advanced equalizer (one of the best ones out there), and, most importantly, regular updates.
Free (15-day free trial) | Paid ($4.99, Rs 119)
2. Onkyo HF Player
Onkyo HF Player is another high-quality offline music player that allows you to play FLAC files on your Android phone. It has a clean user interface, and you also get to see lyrics for your songs. There is support for a bunch of different audio file formats, such as FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, and many more.
You get a high-precision equalizer on the app that features a 16,384 discrete band, linear-phase FIR filter to give you more control over audio. What’s more, it also allows you to create your own EQ presets or select from the optimized ones. In terms of playback support, the free version of Onkyo downsamples audio above 88kHz. So, if you need to enjoy hi-fi 192Hz/24-bit FLAC or WAV audio, you need to use the paid version. Furthermore, if you have Onkyo’s hi-res audio equipment (amplifiers, headphones, etc.), you can get even more out of your listening experience on Android.
Free | Paid ($8.99, Rs 750)
Get Onkyo HF Player
3. Neutron Music Player
All the music players listed so far support most of the hi-res audio file formats and offer a range of customization options. However, despite those offerings, these apps ensure that the user experience and ease of use are not getting hampered and that users can easily navigate their way around the app. Not sure if the same can be said of the next app on our list, Neutron Music Player.
Unlike other apps, Neutron fails to make the app ideal for an average user who has a limited understanding of the know-how of music tweaking. It has a tricky UI that appeals more to audiophiles but takes time for someone less versed to get used to and use effectively. The app uses a 32/64-bit audio engine and promises to offer hi-res output over a (capable) DAC (internal or external). You get up to 768kHz (32-bit) hi-res audio support with compatible hardware and fully configurable equalizers to tweak the sound to your preference. Besides, Neutron also provides you the ability to import music over a network using FTP (and SFTP) protocol, along with your NAS and media server.
Free | Paid ( $4.99, Rs 420)
Get Neutron Music Player
Related Read: 7 Best Music Players for Mac
If you are new to the hi-res audio concept and want a first-hand experience of the audio quality offered on FLAC and WAV files, Foobar2000 is what you need. The app has a clean and easy-to-use interface that you can get accustomed to quickly, and it provides you support for most of the hi-res audio formats along with a slate of essential features.
However, that is not to say that it is barebone and falls short of tuning and customization options. For, you do get advanced options like equalizer (and other DSP options), custom skin support, and network import functionality, like some of the other apps, but the way these options are presented allows the app to cater to both beginners and advanced users. What further adds to Foobar’s value proposition for new users is that it is available for free, so you can experience hi-res audio without having to spend money on an audio player.
Related Read: 25 Best Music Downloader Apps for Android and iPhone
Other notable Hi-Res Audio Players for Android
5. AIMP – a free hi-res audio player with support for FLAC, OGG, WAV, and other audio formats, along with a 29-band equalizer to tweak the audio to your requirements. In addition, AIMP also offers HTTP live streaming and volume normalization, along with support for themes, lyrics, balance control, and other customization options.
6. USB Audio Player Pro – a simple yet powerful music player for Android that has a clean interface and is easy to use. It boasts of support for up to 32-bit (394kHz) audio with support for FLAC, DSD, and other codecs. Moreover, you also get UPnP support, a 10-band equalizer, and gapless playback, among other features.
Paid ($7.99, Rs 350)
Get USB Audio Player Pro
While there are services like Tidal and Quboz that give you access to hi-res audio online (via live streaming), if you are someone who has a collection of hi-res audio, be it CD-quality or in formats like FLAC, WAV, etc. you can use the audio players listed above to enjoy hi-fi music on your Android phone.