If you’re the type of person who likes to listen to music while you run or work out, you’re not alone. MP3 players are an essential piece of gym equipment for many people. This is unsurprising; several scientific studies have proved a positive correlation between listening to music and better performance.
But what’s the best running music app? Which workout music apps should you use? Keep reading to find out.
Spotify used to offer a feature called Running. It used your phone’s accelerometer to match tunes with your jogging pace. Sadly, Spotify decided to retire the feature in early 2018.
Nonetheless, Spotify is still a great running music app. It offers a vast selection of playlists to listen to while you’re jogging. Find them in the Workout playlist category. To access this, open the app on your phone and go to Search > Workout.
Thankfully, there are still some Spotify Running alternatives you can check out if you miss the deprecated feature.
RockMyRun is one of the most popular BPM music apps in the App Store. The big selling point of RockMyRun is its ability to automatically adjust the music to sync with your steps or heart rate. You can also set your preferred beats per minute, and the app will automatically find songs to match.
Keep in mind that research suggests our performance hits a cap at 145BPM; anything above that won’t provide extra gains.
Impressively, RockMyRun’s benefits have been independently verified by scientists at the Exercise and Physical Activity Resource Center. They found the app could increase motivation and enjoyment by up to 35 percent.
3. Fit Radio
Another service with some of the best running music is Fit Radio. The app has three distinct tabs, all of which combine to it make a leading running music app.
The first tab is Coaching. It provides access to recorded coaches who push you through your workout. Just set whether you want to do an outdoor run, treadmill run, elliptical session, spinning, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The coach will play music to match the workout while simultaneously providing motivational hints. 24 new coach playlists are available every week.
Secondly, there’s a Music tab. It provides specially curated DJs mixes. And unlike services such as Spotify and Google Music—which are very restricted in terms of the number of music filters on offer—Fit Radio allows you to sort music by BPM, DJ, and workout activity. You can even set your own customized intervals. 150 new mixes are available every month to keep your workout time fresh.
The final tab is called Running. Like RockMyRun, it can match music to your pace. Just hit the Play button, start jogging, and the app will take care of the rest.
Runtastic is a Spotify Running alternative with a difference. Rather than providing you with good running music, the app takes a different approach through the use of its “Running Stories.”
A Running Story is part-audiobook, part-music mix. The exclusive content is created by an international team of storytellers, musicians, and sound technicians. Stories are available across several different genres (such as Inspirational, Sci-Fi, Travel, and Coaching) and each is around 30 minutes in length. Check out the video above to get an idea of what to expect.
Of course, Runtastic also differs from the other apps we’ve looked at in that you can use it as a workout tracker. You can set goals, analyze your training patterns, perform challenges, join groups, and a whole lot more.
5. Hit Your Run
Hit Your Run isn’t quite as polished as the other apps on this list. However, it has one big advantage: the app is entirely free to download and use. There are no subscription requirements, and it’s not a freemium model. Of course, that inevitably means the app is ad-supported, but that’s a tradeoff you might be happy with.
There is no automatic matching between the music and your running pace. Instead, all the music is searchable by BPM, and you can create your own playlists.
The available music is also overwhelmingly weighted towards newer releases. If you’re looking for some older dance classics to help you through your workout, you’ll be out of luck. And sadly, Hit Your Run is not available on iOS.
Download: Hit Your Run for Android (Free)
6. Spring Running Music
Spring Running Music is an iOS-only running music app. You’ll find it to be a good fit regardless of whether you’re looking for a workout music app or a running music app.
Importantly for some people, Spring Running Music is an app that plays music to your running pace. It will automatically detect your running rhythm and play music that has a corresponding BPM. In total, it offers more than 100 different playlists packed with the best running music to listen to.
You can also use Spring to design your own interval-based workout music playlists. There’s even a built-in GPS tracker for monitoring distances and calories burned.
Download: Spring Running Music for iOS (Free trial, subscription required)
7. GYM Radio
We end with another one of the best workout music apps—GYM Radio.
The app is simple to use. At the top of the screen, there are three tabs: Cardio, Gym, and Hardcore. Each tab has dozens of radio “channels” built around specific workout themes. For example, there’s a CrossFit channel, a fight channel, a pre-workout channel, and even a rest day channel.
The app does provide some workout music for free, but you’re limited to 20 minutes of listening and miss out on features like track skipping and high-quality audio unless you subscribe.
The Best Running Music App
So which is the best running music app? It’s a difficult question to answer and depends a lot on the type of workouts you do.
If you’re not bothered about using an app that plays music to your running pace, Spotify is the obvious answer—especially as you might already subscribe to it. For people who want a BPM music app, we recommend RockMyRun.
Image Credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock