TuneIn vs iHeartRadio

Remember when Pandora was the only music streaming service available? Well, that was quite a long time ago. Today, there are tons of choices available, and almost every on-demand streaming service has a radio feature. Right now, if you want to enjoy more traditional radio broadcasts rather than ‘personalized’ music choices, there are two popular options: TuneIn and iHeartRadio.

Both TuneIn and iHeartRadio are Internet radio services. They provide you with various radio stations over the Internet. So, what are the differences between TuneIn and iHeartRadio? Which is the one that you better use? See the comparisons between the two Internet radio services to find your answer.

About TuneIn

TuneIn is a privately held Internet radio company that was founded in 2002 in Dallas, Texas by Bill Moore. Today, TuneIn is headquartered in San Fransisco, California, and already has more than 100,000 broadcast radio stations and at least 4 million on-demand programs and podcasts from around the world. Its service is available globally, and you can access it from any part of the world with an Internet connection. By May 2014, TuneIn has been used by over than 50 million monthly active users.

About iHeartRadio

On the other hand, iHeartRadio is quite a bigger service. It was founded in April 2008, and is now headquartered in New York. iHeartRadio is a radio network, an Internet radio platform, and also a music recommender system. It provides content from over 800 radio stations across the United States and hundreds other stations from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. Since 2011, the company regularly holds the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Since 2014, they also hold an awards show named iHeartRadio Music Awards. They also regularly produce concerts in New York and Los Angeles through the iHeartRadio Theater locations. (See also : Slacker Radio vs iheartradio)

TuneIn vs. iHeartRadio: Internet Radio Types

As explained above, TuneIn and iHeartRadio are quite different from each other. TuneIn is ‘just’ an Internet radio service. It broadcasts live radio stations from various countries all over the world. In addition, there are also various on-demand programs and podcasts. The content are from major labels and independent labels. You can search radio stations, programs, and podcasts based on artist, decade, song, or mood. You can also create playlists and like/dislike songs, but the likes and dislikes are not really used to personalize your music selections.

On the other hand, iHeartRadio is a more comprehensive service. It provides both live radio stations and personalized radio stations. When you want to listen to something new or hear the latest trending songs, you can switch to the live radio stations. If you want to listen to your favorite artists, just switch to the personalized radio stations. It provides content from major and independent labels, but there are also songs from amateur musicians, making it a great platform to find and support indie artists. You can search based on song, artist, genre, decade, mood, or activity. You can also like/dislike songs; your likes and dislikes will be calculated to personalize your musical selections. Take a note, however, that the playlists are created by the system. You can’t make your own playlists.

TuneIn vs. iHeartRadio: Audio Quality and Other Features

TuneIn offers outstanding audio quality. Seriously, it streams 320 kbps audio! The sound quality is awesome. You will enjoy highly detailed music with crystal-clear clarity. You can share playlists and radio stations via your email account, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can rewind the live radio, which is an awesome feature in the case that you missed something, and it can stream in the background so that you won’t have to open the app all the time on your mobile phone. You can simply minimize the app into the background to do other tasks, such as replying emails or writing your to-do list.

of Coldplay performs onstage during their iHeartRadio Album Release Party at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on May 16, 2014 in Burbank, California. Streaming Live on Yahoo Screen and Clear Channel stations across the country.

On the other hand, iHeartRadio streams 192 kbps audio, but the audio quality is also great. Chances are, you will not even notice much of a difference. The sound is also crisp and clear and well defined. Just like TuneIn, iHeartRadio allows you to share playlists and radio stations via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. However, the iHeartRadio client apps do not always play in the background. Some versions can stream in the background, allowing you to accomplish other tasks, but some others can’t – if you press the Home button, it closes and stops streaming.

Both TuneIn and iHeartRadio are free. However, they do provide paid subscriptions. TuneIn’s paid subscription will remove ads and provide live NFL, MLB, and NBA broadcasts, more music stations, audiobooks, and language learning programs. Meanwhile, iHeartRadio’s paid subscription will allow you to play any song on-demand, save songs from the radio stations to your playlists, and skip songs without limitations.

TuneIn vs. iHeartRadio: Platform Compatibility

Both TuneIn and iHeartRadio are available via their respective websites and also mobile apps. However, other than those options, iHeartRadio seems to be available in more other platforms than TuneIn.

TuneIn is available via the website (tunein.com), but it also provides client apps for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and iOS devices. There are also apps for Amazon Kindle, Xbox One, Roku, Sonos, Samsung Smart TV, and Panasonic Viera TV. If you are lucky, you may even get a built-in TuneIn app in your smart TV.

iHeartRadio is also available via their websites. There are four official websites, which are iheartradio.com, iheartradio.com.au, iheartradio.net.nz, and iheartradio.ca. In addition, there are client apps for various mobile and wearable devices. It is available for Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, iOS, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Samsung Gear 2, Pebble, Amazon Kindle, and even various smart TVs and automotive apps.

- Live radio stations- Live radio stations and personalized playlists
- Live NFL, MLB, and NBA broadcasts- Play any song on-demand
- Great sound quality- Decent sound quality
- Available for mobile platforms and smart TVs- Available for mobile platforms, smart TVs, wearables, and automotive apps


TuneIn and iHeartRadio offer different services and advantages. If you prefer live radio stations and perhaps getting live broadcasts of NFL, MLB, or NBA games, TuneIn is a great choice. Besides, the audio quality is stellar. However, if you prefer a more comprehensive service, you can choose iHeartRadio. It offers both live radio stations and personalized playlists. The sound quality is decent. It is available for various platforms, making it an awesome choice for integrating music into your daily activities.

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