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Best Options for Listening to Radio Online

Free Radio Options

The major online radio sites like Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio have options to listen for free. If you don’t mind sitting through a few advertisements or working with less songs, then going the free route might be ideal. You'll get a lot of listening options, and you can still have control over your radio stations and playlists.

Some sites, like AccuRadio, are free and don't have upgrade options. Sites like this tend to be a bit more basic, and have less selection and features. So if you're not an avid online radio listener, and you just want a way to listen to music online a few times a week, then free radio is the way to go.

Paid Radio Options

As mentioned, you get a better listening experience when you upgrade. Paying a monthly fee for your online radio service can mean

Paying for the extras is something you'll want to consider if you’re really into online listening. You’ll definitely get your money’ worth. Most upgrades are only $5 to $10 per month. It’s quite affordable on any budget, and allows you access to lots of cool features.

If you’re into having a bigger music selection and better sound quality, then an upgrade is a smart move. Although sites like SHOUTcast are known for having a bigger niche music selection, you’ll still be enamored by the thousands of extra songs that come with a typical upgrade.

Who are the largest Internet Radio companies?


Pandora is one of the most popular streaming radio sites on the web. It creates a personalized radio station based on the music you like. Pandora has a music genome function that analyzes the harmony, lyrics, and rhythm of your favorite songs. It recommends other music you might like based on its analysis. It’s almost “ psychic “ in a technical kind of way.

Many Pandora users say that their song suggestions are spot on, and that Pandora gives them a more unique listening experience. Pandora can be used on smartphones and computers, plus you can stream it inside your car. Another great thing about Pandora is that it’s free. Keep in mind you can upgrade to Pandora Plus for $4.99 per month and enjoy it without the advertisements. You also get a very cool play music offline feature when you upgrade.


Spotify is another musical streaming service used by millions of people. It offers three different degrees of streaming quality —normal, high, and extremely high. Each uses different amounts of data. You can add songs to build a personal playlist with a click of the mouse. Spotify also has an “ offline mode “ that allows you to hear music even when you’re out of internet range, or just trying to save data.

You can use Spotify for free or you can upgrade to a premium membership for $9.99 per month. You can get a free 30 day premium trial. Like Pandora, Spotify has its own way of learning what kinds of music you like, and suggesting new tunes for your playlist by generating a radio station profile based on the songs you've been playing.


What sets iHeartRadio apart from the crowd is its thousands of real live radio stations. You can get loads of on-demand podcasts, making this live radio site a great choice if you like news, sports, comedy, and entertainment. The basics of iHeartRadio are free. But like the above mentioned internet radio sites, you can listen offline and create unlimited playlists when you upgrade.

iHeatRadio also offers custom artist stations you can manipulate. Like other big internet radio services, it allows you to create a personalized radio station based on your favorite music. It also lets you give a big “ thumbs up “ or “ thumbs down “ to certain stations, so it can get an idea of what should go in your arsenal of tunes.

Benefits of Listening to Radio Online

Online radio gives you access to a myriad of artists and songs, and the ability to build custom play lists rather than letting the broadcast station decide what they want you to hear. Listening to music online also means you can carry your tunes with you wherever you go. Your laptop or mobile device is your radio and you’re the DJ.

Listening online also saves you money. You don't have to pay for downloads or buy any CD’s. You can walk or drive around with a smorgasbord of music packed inside your phone or personal computer. With internet radio, you have access to radio stations across the country, not just in your local area -which means quick access and exposure to much more music.

How do I listen to Live Music and Radio Online?

Live Online Radio Stations

From 97.3 KISS-FM to Power 105.1 you can tune into a multitude of live radio stations around the US by using streaming internet radio stations. Live radio services like iHeartRadio and Tunein give you the ability to listen to your favorite songs, podcasts, music, and more.

Most live radio services are free, but also charge a low monthly fee to upgrade and enjoy more features. They can be used on your mobile device, computer, and sometimes streamed into your car via bluetooth. Many live online radio providers also offer thousands of internet-only radio stations, and have the ability to give you a personalized playlist.

If you’re having trouble finding your favorite live radio station through an online service, you can always visit the actual radio station’s website and see if they have an option to listen live. You may have to deal with some advertisements and brief interruptions, but you’ll be able to listen to a plethora of live broadcast stations around the world.

Internet Radio Stations

There are dozens and dozens of internet radio stations available online. Sites like Slacker Radio, SHOUTcast, and Pandora have loads of online radio stations from all music genres. You can find anything from grunge rock to salsa music all in one place.

Internet radio stations are usually free, with an option to upgrade. You can avoid ads, and get higher quality audio by making the upgrade. Just find an online radio site with the features and selection you like, make an account, and start listening. Then decide which option if right for you.

Using online radio station sites, you can find live radio plus lots of internet-only radio stations covering podcasts, news, sports, and comedy. Like many regular radio stations today, internet radio relies on stored and streaming data instead of a DJ queuing up songs live on the air. You can listen to your favorite genres, artists, and songs with a click of the mouse.

Live Streaming Radio

Live streaming sites like Twitch and LiveList allow you to experience famous bands and regular musicians playing in real time. You can watch and listen to famous musicians live in concert, or aspiring musicians playing in their own home. Live streaming music sites are also very cool because you can interact with some of the artists via chat.

Like live and internet radio, streaming music can easily be found on numerous music streaming services. Most are free, with the option to upgrade for a small fee. Live music streaming sites like LiveList are great for music fans looking for a live music experience from their phone or computer.

Live streaming radio can also be a general term for the process by which the data reaches your phone or computer. Instead of downloading the data in advance and watching, you’re literally pulling live data from the source in real time. It’s a constant stream of data, rather than a download then play way of listening. Live streaming radio can apply to both internet-only radio stations, and live radio stations. In both cases, the data is considered streaming.

Difference of Live Radio vs Streaming Internet Radio

Live radio is broadcasted over the web via live radio stations. Basically, whatever is being played on the actual radio station is being played online. It’s designed and picked by the broadcasting station. So if you want to tune in KISS FM in a certain state, you would literally hear what KISS FM is currently playing over the air. You have no choice of what songs they play, because it’s being broadcasted live.

But with streaming internet radio, you have the ability to customize your playlist and hear your favorites. You can select your stations by genre, musician, and specific song —so you have total control over what you hear. You can customize your stations to play the exact music you want. Also, some online radio providers give you the option of interacting with other listeners via chat rooms or forums. You can share music and get tips on the best ways to use their online radio service.

Another upside to streaming internet radio is that many of the top providers, like Pandora and Spotify, intelligently analyze the music you listen to and make suggestions for music you might like. In this way, streaming radio makes your listening experience feel more personal and enjoyable and introduces you to more music you might just love.

Listen to Free Music and Radio Online

Millions of people tune into online radio stations and streaming music sites everyday to hear the songs and shows they love. It’s all done through streaming media. It’s a way of listening to radio and music online without actually downloading and storing the data on your phone or computer.

There are numerous internet radio services, and thousands of online radio stations you can access from all over the world. You can stream live radio broadcasts, or tune into internet-only stations. Even if you’re in Florida, you can listen to an alternative rock station in New York by using internet radio.

Online radio allows millions of people to gain access to the music they love, in a very easy and personalized way. Sites like Pandora and Spotify are prime examples of internet radio companies that provide numerous stations. They also have an intuitive ability to analyze the music you listen to and create personalized radio stations for you.

Online radio stations deliver music through streaming media pulled from mp3, Ogg Vorbis, and other audio formats. Every artist and song under the sun be found in the world of internet radio. And unlike live broadcast radio, you can tweak your listening experience. Instead of a DJ or a pre-queued selection of tunes dictating what you hear, the power is in your hands with online radio.