Best apps to listen to podcasts: Top 5 platforms for your Mac

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The golden era of podcasts is at its peak. You can binge on your favorite shows while you're jogging, making breakfast, or waiting for your dentist appointment. Thanks to a variety of categories, from therapy for black women to conspiracy theories, there's a match for everyone. 

But with such diversity comes a new challenge: how to choose the right podcast app? What features pay attention to and how to get the best listening experience?

If you're looking for the best podcast app for Mac, you've ended up in the right place.

As a tech journalist and podcast enthusiast, I've spent years testing multimedia software on my Mac. This article draws on my personal experience with these apps and offers insights to help you find the perfect podcasting platform for your needs.

How to choose the right app for podcasts on Mac?

Before searching the market, make sure to define your preferences. Without knowing your priorities, looking for the right app might be overwhelming. Even though your taste plays the main role, certain aspects are must-have. Here are some of them:

  • A variety of features. To make sure an app meets your listening needs, look for the one that offers a diverse functionality list. Pay attention to such moments as playback options, episode management, and integration with other platforms.
  • Device syncing. If you have more than one gadget, this is a must-have feature, allowing you to easily switch between your iPhone, Mac, or iPad. That's why the best podcast app should offer seamless syncing across various devices.
  • Customization options. Personalization is what makes the listening experience special. If you're looking for that, ensure the app you choose allows you to create custom playlists or organize your favorite shows the way you like. 
  • Podcast suggestions. Sometimes, searching the ocean of content might be tedious. To make sure you always have some top-notch shows in your listening pocket, check if the app you choose gives you personalized recommendations. 

With those features in mind, I've created a list of the five best apps to listen to podcasts on your Mac. Explore the details and choose your favorite to ensure having a top-notch listening experience.

Top 5 podcast apps for Mac

App nameBest forPlatformPricing
Apple PodcastsApple devices usersApple devices: iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, CarPlay; Windows and Alexa-powered devicesFree (with ads);
Apple Podcasts Subscriptions — the price is set by a podcast creator
MimirFans of a high-quality listening experiencemacOS, iOS Free for 7 days, then $9.99/mo with access to 240+ apps in various categories
SpotifyPodcasts and music listeners  iOS, macOS, Windows, Android  Free (with ads);
Premium plans starting from $2.49/mo (trial period for 3 months)
Pocket CastsThose who appreciate aesthetic design iOS, Android, web Free with some limited features;
Plus: $5.99/mo or $59.99/year,
Patron: $14.99/mo or $149.99/year
Google PodcastsFans of the Google ecosystem  iOS, Android, webFree


Apple Podcasts: Listen to podcasts on any iDevice

If you have a Mac, podcasts are already on your laptop, as this app comes preinstalled on your Apple devices, making it free. But you can still support your favorite content creators with paid subscriptions. This gives you access to an ad-free experience and perks like bonus episodes and early access to new series. 

Like most Apple products, Podcasts has a minimalistic design and intuitive interface. You can seamlessly find new favorite shows with its easy-to-use search bar. Plus, the platform provides a variety of recommendations tailored to your preferences and interests. 

You'll come across many gems, but my personal favorite is "Ahead of Its Time." It's a series that explores the technology and trends that are shaping our future. If you're curious about what tomorrow might bring, give it a listen.

Apple Podcasts


Main features:

  • Extensive library with 2.6+ million shows
  • Personalized recommendation lists
  • Downloading and offline listening 
  • Access on every Apple device 
  • Compatibility with Alexa
  • User reviews and ratings
  • Transcript feature 

Best for: Apple devices users

Platform: Apple devices: iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, CarPlay; Windows and Alexa-powered devices

Pricing: Free (with ads); Apple Podcasts Subscriptions — the price is set by a podcast creator.

Mimir: Improve your listening experience

If you listen to podcasts while jogging or cooking but still care about sound quality, Mimir might be your top pick. This podcast player offers a wide range of features to boost your listening experience, including silence skip, voice boost, high-quality audio, and more. 

Mimir ensures you always have something to dive into with daily curated lists and personalized recommendations. What's more, its continuous playback feature lets you focus on your main task with no need to tap the screen all the time. Simply set your podcast priority, custom source, or sorting, and enjoy your distraction-free listening experience. 

Mimir

Main features:

  • Continuous playback feature
  • Drag & drop functionality
  • Automatic silence skip
  • Daily curated lists
  • Voice boost option
  • iCloud support

Best for: Fans of a high-quality listening experience 

Platform: macOS, iOS, iPadOS

Pricing: Free for 7 days, then $9.99/month with access to 240+ apps in various categories 

Spotify: Find podcasts and music in one app

Even though Spotify is mostly known as a music streaming platform, it's also one of the best apps to listen to podcasts. On its platform, you can find 5+ millions of podcast titles, some of which are exclusive. On top of that, it's free — well, sort of. Expect ads unless you're willing to pay for a subscription.   

Every day, users get a curated mix full of music, podcasts, and news tailored to their tastes. With such a variety, finding the perfect choice might be overwhelming. That's where Spotify's podcast ratings feature comes in handy, making it easy to find hidden gems in the content sea.  

Spotify: All podcast categories

Main features:

  • Vast library with 6+ million shows 
  • Personalized recommendations 
  • Downloading and offline listening
  • Continuous playback feature
  • User reviews and ratings
  • Exclusive content 

Best for: Podcasts and music listeners 

Platform: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android 

Pricing: Free (with ads); Premium plans starting from $2.49/month (trial period for 3 months)

Pocket Casts: Discover new shows to binge on

If you're wondering how to search podcasts effectively, this app has you covered. With a library of 3+ million shows and hand-picked recommendations tailored to your tastes, Pocket Casts ensures you always have engaging content to binge on. 

One more thing you might fall in love with is its design, which is not only easy to navigate but also colorful and aesthetic. But there's a catch. Even though Pocket Casts offers a free account, it's only available on phones. If you'd like to dive into your favorite show on your Mac, be ready to pay a hefty sum for access to the full range of features.

Pocket Casts

Main features:

  • Extensive library with 3+ million shows
  • Hand-picked recommendation lists
  • Downloading and offline listening
  • Synchronization across devices
  • Playback speed variations 
  • Episode transcripts feature

Best for: Those who appreciate aesthetic design 

Platform: iOS, Android, web

Pricing: Free with some limited features; Plus: $5.99/month or $59.99/ year, Patron: $14.99/month or $149.99/year

Google Podcasts: Enjoy a subscription- and ad-free experience

If you're a fan of Google products who wonders how to listen to podcasts on Mac for free, this variant might be your top choice. Firstly, Google Podcasts has a clean and easy-to-navigate interface. Secondly, as it's integrated with the Google ecosystem, it syncs across all your devices. Thirdly, its library offers 3+ million shows.

Most importantly, it's completely free. But big changes are on the horizon. After 24 June, 2024, Google Podcasts will be discontinued, prompting users to migrate to YouTube Music. You can either enjoy the free listening experience by the end of June 2024 or start using other platforms.  

Google Podcasts

Main features:

  • Vast library with 2+ million shows
  • Personalized playlists and recommendations
  • Synchronization across devices with a Google account
  • Automatic episode downloads
  • Voice assistant integration

Best for: Fans of the Google ecosystem 

Platform: iOS, Android, web

Pricing: Free

Listen to podcasts with ease and joy

Choosing the right app for podcast listening can be a breeze once you know which preferences it should align with. But if you still feel overwhelmed, just get back to this article and use it as your go-to guide.   

And for those seeking more than just a podcast platform, consider exploring Setapp. With a single subscription, you get access to 240+ apps in various categories, from Lo-Fi music to productivity tools. Take advantage of the seven-day trial period to discover all the apps you need. 

FAQs:

Does Mac have a podcast app?

Yes, Podcasts comes preinstalled on Mac, making it a free app with easy access to podcasts on every Apple device.

What is the most popular platform to listen to podcasts on Mac and iOS devices?

Apple Podcasts is the top choice for Mac and iOS device users because of its free access, seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, and extensive library of shows. 

What is replacing Apple Podcasts?

There are a variety of alternative apps for Mac and iOS users, depending on your preferences and listening habits. Some of the most popular options are Mimir, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast, and many others.


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