Poweramp vs Playerpro vs Neutron: Best Android Music Player Apps

Music players are an essential part of everyone’s life. The most popular music player is probably iTunes, and we’re starting to see various subscription services such as Spotify so that folks can pretty much rent whatever music they want. The only problem I have with these subscription services is that you need internet in order to use them. It’s also worth noting that iTunes doesn’t have the features that the primary Android music listening apps have. We’ve taken a look at the best apps for free music, along with the best MP3 music download apps, but now it’s time to put the best music player apps against each other.

It’s the Poweramp vs Playerpro vs Neutron Android app battle, and hopefully this will help you understand exactly which music listening experience is best for you.

Just a quick note before we get started below: Each of these music player apps offers a free trial in order to get used to the apps and understand whether or not you want to buy it. I listed the links to the Free Trials, because I believe that no one should pay for these apps until you test them. This review is a great place to start your research, but they all offer different capabilities and features, so I would recommend trying out the trials, then locating the paid versions on the same page when you find the one you like.


Our Ratings:

Poweramp: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Playerpro: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Neutron: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Google Play Ratings and Links:

Poweramp: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Download on Google Play

Playerpro: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Download on Google Play

Neutron: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Download on Google Play


Poweramp – Smooth Player, But Cluttered

The Good

Starting off, the Poweramp interface is smooth for playing music. You can quickly skip to the next track, pause and fast forward without any problems. I enjoyed that it includes looping and shuffle buttons right on the main screen, so you don’t have to go searching for them. This interface also includes the name of your track right at the bottom of the screen.

Poweramp also features a strong support team, with a nice website and options to call or email the support team if you have any questions. The best part is that you can go onto their forum and chat with other users who are are having the same problems as you. From the looks of it their standard support teams aren’t the most realibile, so use these forums to your full advantage.

poweramp playing music

Poweramp is perfect for categorizing your songs. Once I downloaded a few songs on my tablet, it took just a few seconds for the Poweramp app to recognize that I had new media. This then dropped the music in the proper genres and artist categories. You’ll also notice that the Playlists are easy to create, and you can always reference the playlists from the settings tab on the primary track screen. You can always rate the songs as you play them and then click on the top rated area to listen to the stuff that you enjoy most.

The Poweramp mobile app also includes a Queue option, which makes it easy to place a bunch of songs in order for a party or other gathering. Sometimes your playlists won’t cut it so you need to create a queue within just a few minutes. Use this feature for last-minute adding. Another nice thing about Poweramp is the security. The app doesn’t take any of your information and use it for profit or for sharing with other companies. You don’t have to worry about your email or contact information being taken.

poweramp categories

The Bad

The primary reason Poweramp is not for everyone is because the extras are overwhelming. The initial interface is just fine, but once you start looking at the settings and mixing options you can see what I’m talking about. The app has buttons and knobs to adjust things like bass and tone. The only problem is that the average user would never touch this. They might even play around with it for fun and end up screwing up their sound quality. It’s best to leave these features to professionals who might use it for their jobs or as a hobby.

The second problem with Poweramp is the presentation of songs. I tried to import ten songs, and none of them included album art. Each time I just saw the boring Poweramp logo, making for a less pretty experience. Obviously this doesn’t have anything to do with the way the app plays music, but in my opinion the album art is part of the overall experience. And since another app on this list includes striking album art, Poweramp fails in this respect.

poweramp nobs

The Bottom Line

Poweramp is a suitable music player for anyone who wants to carry around their music collection. If you plan on storing your collection in the cloud, you might want to opt for another solution. The Poweramp app is great for listening to music, but you don’t always see the album art, which is a deal breaker for me. The app is also great for people who want to mess around with the equalizer and the many other setting modifications possible. It’s not my cup of tea, and I’m certain plenty of people will skip these features entirely, but it’s worth it if you really know things about sound.


Playerpro – Our Top Music Player

The Good

Playepro is the most intuitive music player app for the average user. It pulls all of your content on your phone and immediately categorizes it so you don’t have to worry about a thing. The app also offers support for videos, beating out some of the other high-profile music player apps on the market.

You’ll notice below that the app navigation is sleek and stylish, pulling all the album covers and placing them next to each other so you know exactly what is playing next. I like the app’s menu setup more than the other two music player apps, since it’s placed right at the top of the page, and you can jump from tab to tab without being navigated away from the menu.

Playlists and folders are supported in the Playerpro app, making it easy to place songs in different areas in case you need to create a road trip playlist for your ride out to California. Playerpro doesn’t have any privacy concerns, making it safe to store your personal information on your phone. Some apps reach into your contacts or access your email address, but this app doesn’t do any of that.

Playerpro has the nicest support website out of these three music player apps. You can go to the site and find an email address to send something directly to the support team. The company also has an FAQ and forum page so you can chat with other people and understand what the most common problems with the app are. It’s safe to say that this is one of the better support pages I have seen for any mobile app. It gives you everything you need, without trying to hide direct contact links. The support website even offers you direct links to free skin downloads. Change the look of your player with these skins.

playerpro categories

The Bad

In terms of the average user, I really couldn’t find anything to badmouth the Playerpro app. It’s sleek and effective, and the features are all present so that you don’t have to go searching for anything.

The one thing I noticed is that Playerpro offers heavy-duty features for modifying the audio and using things such as an equalizer. If you want to use these more powerful features it takes a while to figure out where they are. I think Powerpro really wants to be an app for the average user, and they just threw in the more advanced features in case others wanted them. The only problem is that they did a great job of hiding them from the interface.

playerpro playing music

 

The Bottom Line

Playerpro is by far the best option for the average music listener. The app presents album cover art flawlessly, presenting it throughout your experience to remind you what you are looking for. Along with various other features such as lock screen controls, headset modifications and an intuitive library, Playerpro tops this list as the best music player in the business.


Neutron – Just Fine, But Privacy is a Factor

The Good

The Neutron music player app provides lossless playback for those interested in the perfect listening environment. Unfortunately this playback depends on your hardware. You receive powerful features to set times, clocks and output methods. The equalizer and cross feed settings are easily accessible for those who want to find that perfect sound. The app is nice for audio nuts who enjoy playing around with sounds and settings.

neutron settings

In terms of categorization, the Neutron app puts all of your media within a few seconds. You don’t get video support, but the app supports just about any file type for songs and audio clips. Move around songs to your queue or build a playlist for your upcoming trip. You can also scan your device at any time with the quick scan button located at the top right corner. Background playing is supported, so you can jump around on your phone and do whatever you want while listening to your favorite tunes.

neutron categories

The Bad

Neutron plays music just fine, but that isn’t all that surprising in today’s day and age. Unfortunately the interface is not that intuitive, since the buttons on the top have no explanations and you simply have to click on them to discover what they do. This is often the case in many apps, but these buttons don’t even seem to correlate that well to the page that they lead you to. The main player interface also looks cluttered in my opinion. It’s actually quite similar to Poweramp, but this app has more buttons and the album and song title test is too big, so you can’t even see the whole thing when listening to music.

neutron playing music

The Neutron app randomly pulls album cover art, but I’d say 90 percent of the time it failed to do so. This makes for a bland looking interface since you can’t see what you are listening to or understand what the artists were thinking stylistically when making the song. Another reason Neutron is probably the worst player on this list is because it is the only one that has privacy concerns. The app can reach into your accounts and find your email. This means that your email might get sold to other companies so they can market to you in the future. There is no reason a music player needs to access your email address, so I would assume they are indeed making money on selling email addresses.

neutron playing music

The Bottom Line

Neutron is my least favorite of the music player apps for Android, but it offers plenty of features for those interested in a powerful player. The only reason I place it in last place is because the interface is cluttered. All the features are there, but it just doesn’t look all that great. The app includes two large arrow buttons that are obviously designed to help people quickly move from one page to the next, but it looks like the buttons are from the 90s. Not to mention, a tabbed menu at the top is always going to be easier than flicking through five pages to get where you want to go.


Conclusion

That’s it for the Poweramp vs Playerpro vs Neutron Android app battle. I hope you are starting to see why each of these apps are leaders in the music player app market. Playerpro is the best option for those who want a beautiful interface and acceptable playback. All of the players are just fine when it comes to playing music and skipping around to find your favorite tracks. Playerpro gives you the added benefit of playing videos, so if you enjoy this feature then go for that app.

Poweramp is filled with advanced features that make it a little too confusing and cluttered for my style. However, I would assume that most people who want these features would choose Poweramp over the other two options. Neutron is pretty similar to Poweramp, since it has trouble pulling album art and it just looks like a standard music player. I personally think the interface is less attractive in Neutron, so I would choose this music player after the other ones.

Let us know in the comment section if you have any questions about the Poweramp vs Playerpro vs Neutron Android app battle. We use music players all the time, so it’s essential that we review the best ones to see which are best for average and power users. Hopefully this review helps you out.

 

Comments (29)

  1. Donney Bibb on

    Based on your recommendation, I just installed Playerpro. I found that it doesn’t recognize any CD that I downloaded – except for digital downloads from my Amazon purchases. Both PowerAmp and Neutron recognize my CD files. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, otherwise Playerpro is only for those who don’t want to download their CD music. Again, if I’m not doing anything wrong, Playerpro would be pretty useless for those with lots of CD.

    Yesterday, I installed Neutron (trial version) and it plays all my music. Only problem is, I can’t find where I can shuffle my music – if it’s even possible.

      • Donney Bibb on

        Thanks for your reply, Dani. I tried Poweramp, the app works good, but I have an issue with it. When I pause the music for some reason, the music doesn’t necessarily stay paused. And, it may play music all day long, with no one listening. Otherwise, it works, and it shuffles! Like I said earlier, I have a shuffle issue with Neutron.

        Yesterday afternoon, I installed/disinstalled about 50 apps from the Playstore. No luck finding an app that recognized music downloaded from my computer to the mini-SD card…except digital downloads from Amazon.

        Fill me in on something. Why would someone care about viewing album art. Do they just sit on the couch staring at their phone while listening to music? I use my phone/MP3 to listen to music while exercising or am on a plane. The last thing I want to do is look at album art.

        • Dani on

          Are you plugging in your handsfree often? Poweramp starts playing music on its own when it detects handsfree or ear buds. Also really? I simply copy my music to the SD card and every app recognizes that. Maybe I exclusively listen to MP3s to save space. What format are you using? some apps might have trouble playing loss less music. Thirdly man I love album art 😀 I’m a collector/hoarder at heart and have a huge collection of video games and DVDs at home. I guess this also transferred to the digital realm.

          • Donney Bibb on

            Dani,

            I just copy my CDs to computer and then to the SD (or MP3 player). I don’t change the format. As you noted do so usually degrades the quality. I see all these “kids” in the gym with Beats headphones….and you’re suggesting that they’re probably listening to degraded music. Why spend all that money on expensive headphones to listen to degraded music? (OK, I know there are a lot more expensive headphones out there, but you should have lots of discretionary income before investing in audiophile stuff.)

            Do I leave my earphones plugged in? Hmmm, sometimes. For example, if someone starts talking to me at the gym, I’ll pause the player, and remove one earphone. When I get back to the music, it’s not where I left off. And, you’re saying that Poweramp recognizes that the earphone is still plugged in and starts playing music again. Kind of a bizarre program. But understanding what the program does, I can adjust.

            I understand playing games, but to watch album art? I’m too active to do that! Could be a generation thing, too.

            So, the bottom line on Poweramp, I’ll purchase it.

          • Dani on

            Donney,
            Have you tried long pressing the album and selecting the keep on device options? Sometimes the music plays from the cloud and is not actually on your device. Download the album/songs and scan again in Poweramp.

          • Dani on

            I also listen to loss less music sir. I have Yamaha speaker system attached to my work PC and I also use sennheiser headphones. Beats Audio is a worthless pile of junk if you ask me. I have played ripped audio CDs on Poweramp with no problems…Now I wonder what might be your problem. I will ask around for you.
            I meant in the phone jack not your ear sire 🙂 Anyways this is odd, I workout with power amp and my Note III and never encountered any such problem. May I ask what device are you using? does it remain in your pocket during the workout? do you shut down the display before putting the phone away? Most importantly have you used another hands free with your device? Get simple earphones without inline controls (they are fairly cheap). Phew that’s a lot of work for you lol.

  2. Gary Allhiser on

    I have used Poweramp for years. I recently bought some Shure SE535s IEMs and immediately found just how bad the sound quality of Poweramp was. Any use of the equalizer produces immediate audible distortion. In loud rock music the distortion is not so noticeable, but in classical music it is downright offensive and just destroys the listening experience. Neutron, on the other hand, with or without the equalizer adjustments, produces a perfect listening experience. I would suggest the a player app should be evaluated first and foremost on sound quality. Every other issue is secondary.

    • joe on

      u r absolutely right. i guess the author is not an audiophile.. the other players sound quality is too bad. only neutron is the best. i m using shure se215

    • Michael Mooney on

      Absolutely right Gary Allhiser. People wind up spending hundreds trying to get headphones with the right “sound signature”, later tiring of them, only to plunk down hundreds more. All the while listening to music that has been degraded by some player that focuses on album cover art. Audio engineers know that there is something known as “listener fatigue” caused by distortions in sound. That is why a high end audiophile sound system can be enjoyed for hours on end, while one quickly tires of the sound of a lower spec one. The same is true for for these apps. They are based on algorithms instead of the wiring of old. The higher the grade of algorithm, the more it can take maximum advantage of your device and other hardware, the more and longer you can enjoy the music.
      I have tried many music players, including these and I always end up using my Neutron. I not only listen to mp3s, but 16/44 ripped from CD, 24/96 direct studio master recordings and just a smattering of 24 bit 192k stuff. The amazing paragraphic EQ has probably saved me hundreds in headphones alone, being able to dial in and save the perfect settings for each device & media. 64 bit processing, resampling, gain and normalization control, even control over hardware parameters. For those not familiar, they can be left at default.
      The only gripe that I have with Neutron is that it is ugly and utilitarian looking. That’s why I’ve tried so many others. It’s “ProTools” looking ui would be better if they offered skins or got an artist to redesign it. Other than that, Neutron is so much more advanced and capable that comparison to more pedestrian players doesn’t seem fair.
      One last thing. That neutron can access your email address shouldn’t be seen as too egregious. Many apps are such. After all, I had to cough up my email address to post this, didn’t I?

      • Judy on

        Hi Michael,
        Thanks for giving your opinion and for mentioned that you use Neutron. Hopefully in a future update, it it get a better design, and it will be perfect then, right? =-)

  3. Chris on

    This is a little old, but anyway… the latest version of PlayerPro (3) is pretty terrible. That simple design they had going was overwhelmed by clutter, it completely broke the theme support (none of the themes work on it anymore) and it has an annoying issue where the music keeps skipping all the time. If you are going to go with PP, get an older version somewhere because the new one is just no good.

  4. Alex Ruiz on

    I’m a music junky i listen to music all day long i had a hard time finding a replacement for my ipod, so i downloaded Player Pro + isynchr and I’ve had no problems these two apps even keep my iTunes updated with ratings and play count!

  5. Jerry on

    I’m playing around with a few music apps now. Thanks for the privacy info – I usually don’t install anything that looks for my email or contact list. Looking forward to the release of foobar2000 for mobile.

    • Judy on

      Hi Jerry,
      Don´t forget to let us know about your experience with the apps you are trying out. What is it about that app that makes you look forward to using it?

  6. rowck001 on

    I registered just to set the record straight about Playerpro. No vested interest or anything…just feel folks should know the truth about this appalling piece of ?? software ??

    Install playerpro and set it to find a largish music collection (120 albums).

    Fail #1: Even though it uses the android music scanner, it takes an age before it will do anything and loads the albums with sometimes dual and triple copies albums showing with all the same songs (all albums have perfect consistent id tags).
    Fail #2: Opening an album shows garbled song lengths (34567:87) for most songs. Again all my songs have impeccable id tags.
    Fail #3: Add new albums will more often than not result in all albums removed 1 by one till empty and then says to add some music to collection. Numerous reboots and rescans sometimes (but not always) reads all the albums but taking over an hour (or more) to do this, most albumart previously loaded will not redisplay.
    Fail #4: Playerpro has an online forum? However the developer(s) rarely respond to and query, question or bug report – and on the off chance they do respond – the issue is always an Android Issue and not a problem with Playerpro. Lets just hope this guy(s) are never in charge of writing mission-critical software where peoples lives depend on quality software!!

    There we have it – an unbiased review of Playerpro. Use anything else – use poweramp or the stock android player. Both are miles ahead of PlayerFail!

    4.8 out of 5.0 – I don’t think so!!

  7. Hans Gulo on

    Poweramp supports album art too. If none found embedded in audio file, long press the logo and it will search for appropriate album art online based on existing tags. It supports many loseless audio formats as well. I’ve been using it for playing FLAC and Monkey’s Audio files flawlessly. It also supports WavPack (wv) and TrueAudio (tta).
    I came to this page searching for audio quality comparison but unfortunately it wasn’t covered in this writing. Too bad, since IMHO, audio players comparisons should talk about sound quality in the first place.

    • Billa on

      Hans Gulo,

      This is a pretty great suggestion. Any idea how I can measure sound quality? My untrained ears may not be able to pick subtle differences. I believe the sound quality usually depends on your smartphone/tablet and the pair or earphones you are using. And to be honest sound quality may be truly subjective. Do share what you think, you are on to something here.

      • Michael Mooney on

        Right Mark Audio Analyzer and someone who knows how to use it. Sound accuracy is not subjective, it’s science. If the app isn’t passing on the sound accurately, it doesn’t matter what headphones, phone etc. device you may be using, it will mess up the sound. Better equipment could magnify the mess.

  8. Jeff on

    personally AIMP blows all them out of the water and it’s free no ads look for it on Google play

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      Have you tried uninstalling and then reinstalling the app? Sending some feedback to the developer is always a plus since it could be a problem most users may be experiencing. Hope this helps. =-)

  9. dan on

    I would like to contradict here, and i have reasons.
    in my experience each and every app and device and headphone combination gives out totally different listening experience.
    let say if I have a good quality head phones & i have many music apps on two smart phones and i have two laptops and a pc and same set of songs for testing sound quality.
    it also matters how the songs were produced and also encoded. so select in variety for testing.

    and what is a good sound? a good sound is the ability of the ears to experience all the audible frequencies perfectly without any unrelated noises and all sounds should have clarity and definitions. i mean it shouldn’t be base for base sake and treble for treble’s sake. The sound should be MUSIC in all frequency ranges, from LOW to highest.

    now if i play TEST SONG on a laptop A & B and PC and then on smart phones with any famous or good music app, the results are never the same.
    one laptop sounds great the other one poor. (different sound cards)

    on smart phones, one app sounds crappy and some just OK and some apps sound Great. and for me POWERAMP is the app that makes the most acceptable sound.

    Now what that really means is that the combination of smart phone circuitry and the app coding and the wiring on headphones gives the best sound & music for me.

    So, my advice is that you HAVE to try out all the settings and situations and find the BEST combination for you. other wise what ever you have heard is a compromise.
    regards

    Dan

    • Judy on

      Hi Dan,
      You made a really good point there and I agree. Each person has to find the best combination for them. Thanks for the feedback. =-)

  10. Philo Farnsworth on

    Yes, music players should primarily be judged on audio reproduction.
    If the player cannot accurately reproduce lossless digital files, it is not even worthy of consideration.

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