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Top 10 Podcast Apps for Listening to Podcasts on a Mac (Updated)

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Dec 21, 22, updated Jan 17, 24

While you can always access your favorite podcast from the web, having a dedicated podcast app for Mac allows you to manage, organize, and curate your favorite stations efficiently. With that idea in mind and given the constant requests from our users, we have decided to shortlist the best podcast apps for Mac users.

This list, written for educational and informational purposes, will help you discover the best podcast services for macOS, which require minimal effort to engage with. But instead of just naming names, we have provided a brief-yet-informative description of each podcast service, the App Store ratings, and the prices (if any). After testing it personally, we have also included the ups, drawbacks, and primary features of individual podcast apps that make them stand out against any other podcast app for Mac on the internet.

In this article
  1. Top 3 Picks For Podcast Apps on Mac
  2. Take an Overview of the Best 10 Apps To Podcast for Mac
    1. Apple Podcasts
    2. Spotify
    3. Pocket Casts
    4. Podcast App
    5. Overcast
    6. Luminary Podcast
    7. Podbean
    8. Podurama
    9. Downcast
    10. Podcast Player — Castbox
  3. What To Look for in a Podcast App for Mac?

Part 1: Top 3 Picks For Podcast Apps on Mac

Thanks to the podcast's popularity, there are tons of apps in the market. However, it's simple to distinguish the good from the bad based on personalized playlists, offline listening, bonus content, and a range of other necessary feature-set. We will inform you about all our favorite podcast apps for Mac. But here's a quick introduction of the three giants in the podcast realm, given the availability of news, captivating stories, and educational content in these apps that resonate with all.

Overview

Apple Podcast

apple podcast

A proprietary of Apple, Apple Podcasts features one of the largest collections of podcast shows worldwide and covers all subjects. It's already installed on all your Apple devices. And it doesn't even demand an Apple ID to listen to the conversations on the platform.

App Store Rating: 4.9/5.

Price: Free with ads. Creators set pricing for each subscription.

Spotify

sSpotify

Although music-centered, Spotify features over 3.2 million podcasts, including several exclusive ones. Like Apple Podcasts, Spotify provides an audiophile-grade streaming experience. In addition, podcast ratings help beginners filter content and discover what resonates with other users sharing the same interests and passions.

App Store Rating: 4.8/5.

Price: Free to $14.99/month, depending on the plan.

Pocket Casts

pocket casts

Pocket Casts is a reasonably new podcast service with only a million downloads. Still, it is sure to take off, given it comes packed with all the necessary features one expects from a podcast app for Mac. Available for all major OS, Pocket Casts allows you to switch between devices seamlessly, has dedicated filters, and has an all-pleasing UI.

App Store Rating: 3.9/5 (3K ratings)

Price: Free / US$ 0.99 per month

Part 2. Take an Overview of the Best 10 Apps To Podcast for Mac

Another stopper before moving onto the full description, but this comparison table will help you quickly compare individual podcast apps for Mac mentioned in this list. Again, the idea is to help you quickly find the most suitable podcast app. So, once you like what an individual app offers, you can quickly navigate and read the full review before downloading the podcast app on your Mac.

Best Podcast App for Mac Compatibility Free Apple Store Ratings
Apple Podcast All iDevices. iTunes, Windows, and even an Alexa‑enabled speaker. Yes. In-app subscription options. 4.9 out of(1m Ratings).
Spotify Available just about everywhere. Free / US$ 9.99 per month. 4.8 out of 5(23.9m Ratings)
Pocket Casts Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. Free / US$ 0.99 per month 3.9 out of 5(3K  Ratings)
Podcast App Mac, iOS, Android. Free with visual ads / US$ 29.99/year 4.8 out of 5 (230.4K Ratings)
Overcast Mac and iOS. Free with ads / US$ 10/year 4.7 out of 5 (33.7K Ratings)
Podbean Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. Free / 9.99 per month (with in-app purchases). 4.8 out of 5 (37.7K Ratings)
Luminary Podcasts Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. Free / US$ 34.99 annually. 4.9 out of 5 (11.5K Ratings)
Podurama Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. Free 4.8 out of 5 (6 Ratings)
Downcast Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. US$ 2.99 per month. 4.3 out of 5(2.2K Ratings)
Podcast player Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. Free, in-app subscriptions 4.8 out of 5(98.4K Ratings)

Part 3. 10 Best Podcast Apps for Mac

It would be best if you had a clear idea of what an individual podcast app for Mac offers. So go through the full description and learn about the extensive suite of high-caliber features each podcast service for Mac offers. So you can analyze which podcast service best suits your needs.

1.    Apple Podcasts

Price: Free with ads, US$ 19.99 per year, and other in-app subscriptions.

Available OS: All iDevices, including Apple TV, Apple Watch, and CarPlay. iTunes, Windows, and even an Alexa‑enabled speaker.

App Store Rating: 4.9/5 (1 million ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Natural and convenient for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. Cluttered interface compared to other podcast apps for Mac.
Download and save for offline listening. No silence-trimming features.
Subscribe to content that is not available on iTunes. No user listening statistics.
Airplay. Not available for Android users.

A proprietary of Apple, Apple Podcasts features one of the largest collections of podcast shows worldwide and covers all subjects. Although there's a paywall to access some most talked-about content, Apple Podcasts offers millions of shows for entirely free. In addition, it's already installed on all your Apple devices. And it doesn't even demand an Apple ID to listen to the conversations on the platform.

apple podcasts interface

Apple Podcasts stand out in this list of best podcast apps for Macs because of its self-explanatory user interface, excellent search bar, and sheer intuitiveness. Thanks to the extensive library, you will always find something that interests, inspires, or educates you; the personalized recommendations ensure access to the most-relevant content even without searching. Not to forget, Apple Podcasts downloads the recent podcast episodes you follow and lets you listen to them offline. Also, you can seamlessly sign in on all your iDevices with the same Apple ID and listen to podcasts anywhere, anytime.

Key Features:

  • Convenient to use. It should be the go-to choice of any Apple user, given you can listen to podcast episodes across all devices seamlessly.
  • Create custom stations. Tie all your favorite podcast channels into "Stations." For context, you can create a Station for News and group all the preferred news channels together.
  • Millions of shows. You will always have something to binge on; it has a comprehensive library of streamable and downloadable content.

2.    Spotify

Price: Free / US$ 9.99 per month

Available OS: Available just about everywhere.

App Store Rating: 4.8/5 (23.9 million ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Available on all devices. The free version comes laden with ads, ads, and ads.
Music and Podcasts on the same platforms. More music-focused.
Great discovery and playlist features. Low bitrate (poor quality) for free users.
User ratings to get a quick pulse check about the content.

Although music-centered, Spotify features over 3.2 million podcasts, including several exclusive ones. Like Apple Podcasts, Spotify provides an audiophile-grade streaming experience. But it also has limited features compared to the most dedicated podcast players, allowing you to manage and organize your favorite shows efficiently. Also, features like Podcast ratings help beginners filter lousy content from good and discover what resonates with other users sharing the same interests and passions.

spotify podcasts interface

Its state-of-the-art search function allows you to search for episodes and conversations using Titles or Podcast names, and Smart recommendations help you discover content quickly. And there are exclusive podcasts like "The Michelle Obama Podcast" and "Living & Learning with Reba McEntire," which you will not find on any other platform. If it weren't for the 160kbps bitrate for free users (320kbps for premium users) and its annoying ads, Spotify would be our top pick in this list of best podcast apps for Mac.

Key Features

  • Access to music and podcasts in one place. Cut the clutter on Mac and switch between music and podcasts seamlessly.
  • Daily Drive. A mix of music, news, and podcasts personalized and curated just for you.
  • User Ratings on Podcasts. Allows beginners or long-time podcast followers to quickly discover new, relevant, exciting, and helpful stuff in this podcast-driven world.

3.    Pocket Casts

Price: Free / US$ 0.99 per month

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 3.9/5 (3K ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Available across all major OS. Pocket Casts does not have a huge library like Apple Podcast or Spotify, so the options are limited.
Switch from one device to another seamlessly—auto download.
Affordable rates.
Aesthetically-pleasing interface

Pocket Casts does not have a huge following as the above two podcast apps for Mac, maybe because it is a fairly recent service. Nevertheless, Pocket Casts is one of the few podcast applications that presents everything you expect in an ideal podcast service. Available across significant OS, Pocket Casts allows you to seamlessly switch from one device to another. Another noteworthy feature is its advanced search and navigation functions, enabling you to locate your favorite shows quickly.

pocket casts interface

Pocket Casts also presents an aesthetically-pleasing interface, and the customization options available allow you to manage your favorite shows and episodes efficiently. Compared to most of the podcast apps for Mac mentioned in this list, Pocket Casts is affordable (just US$ 0.99/mo).

Key Features:

  • Dedicated Filters. Use one of the several filters available or create your custom filters to search relevant content quickly.
  • Personal skip intervals. You can set custom skip intervals and skip silences from the podcast episodes and listen to them efficiently.
  • Great search and navigation. State-of-the-art search bar and navigation to quickly locate the podcast or episode you're looking for.

4.    Podcast App

Price: Free with visual ads / US$ 29.99/year

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (230.4K ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Switch between devices seamlessly. Costly.
Includes podcasts covering all subjects, persons, and interests. Some features are accessible only to premium users.
Find listening history. No auto-play.
Superior sound clarity.

Podcast App is another popular podcast app among Mac, iOS, and Android users. It features almost all categories. So regardless of your interests, you will find the person, topic, sport, or mood-related podcasts on the platform. In addition, you can personalize your experience and manage your favorite shows, allowing you to continue from where you left off from another device seamlessly.

podcast app interface

Although Podcast App covers a range of topics and allows you to personalize your experience across all devices, it does not have some critical features like auto-play. Not to mention the high subscription cost is another

Key Features

  • Seamless switch between devices. Create personalized profiles, switch from one device to another, and pick from where you left off.
  • It covers all subjects, persons, and channels. Sports, entertainment, personal development, hobbies, you name it. Podcast App has got you covered. In addition, several exclusive podcasts are available.
  • Use custom filters. Use the pre-created filters or built personal ones to locate the conversation you were looking for.

5.    Overcast

Price: Free with ads/ US$ 10 year

Available OS: Mac and iOS, including Apple Watch and Car Play support.

App Store Rating: 4.7 out of 5 (33.7K Ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Smart Speed to trim silences. Many features are limited only to premium users.
Voice Boost to listen to episodes loud, clear, and as desired. Not available for Android and Windows.
Create custom playlists. No option to dislike or remove unwanted recommendations.
Sleep Timer.

Overcast: Podcast Player has long been the favorite application of many iOS users. For good reasons: it lets you personalize your experience and customize the app to your needs. You can create custom playlists and search for relevant podcasts using keywords, episode names, or topics. It is an independent project of Macro, ensuring that the app has everything a podcast lover needs.

overcasts interface

The free version of Overcast will annoy you with tons of ads, but once you switch to the premium, all Overcast will offer is quality, efficiency, and a good experience. Smart speed, offline listening, smart filters, custom profiles, optional notifications from your favorite shows, sleep timer, and whatnot, Overcast has got you covered. Moreover, thanks to its continuous development, you will never have to switch to a different platform, given all podcasters enlist their episodes on the platform and the developer comes with helpful updates regularly.

Key Features

  • Smart Speed and Voice Boosts. Overcast enhances your listening experiences by eliminating the silences from the episodes and conversations and allowing you to increase the level of audible sound to a preferred volume.
  • Subpar search and navigation. Create custom filters and locate the desired podcast and episodes quickly. Then, like, save, download the episodes and manage your profile.
  • Sleep timer and optional notification. Set optional notifications to get an update when your favorite shows are uploaded. Set the sleep timer to turn off the app automatically.

6.    Luminary Podcast

Price: Free / US$ 34.99 annually

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 4.9 out of 5 (11.5K Ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Smart personalized recommendations. Costly.
Exclusive content that is not available anywhere else. Exclusive content is not available for free users.
Robust search engine. It does not host popular shows like The Daily and so on.
Personalized experience.

Luminary Podcast is regarded as the "Netflix of podcasting" by many, given the range of exclusive content by the likes of Dave Chappelle, Lena Dunham, and Russell Brand. But, of course, all the premium content is accessible only to the subscribers, and to be one, you have to pay a hefty subscription price of US$ 7.99/mo.

luminary interface

When it comes to features, Luminary will satisfy you. From sleep timers to smart filters black theme to bookmark your favorites, Luminary knows its stuff and gives the best possible experience of a podcast app. It is costly compared to other podcast apps for Mac mentioned in the list. But given its unique experience and exclusive content, it justifies the high subscription cost.

Key Features

  • Personalization. Customize almost everything on the platform, build custom profiles, bookmark, and offline listening. Luminary lets you design everything and make the app to your liking.
  • Exclusive content. While many podcast platforms offer exclusive content, none have the likes of what Luminary offers.
  • Robust search engine. Use keywords, dedicated tags, and episodes name to search for the content efficiently.

7.    Podbean

Price: Free / 9.99 per month (with in-app purchases).

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (37.7K Ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Discover recommendations that are a game changer for beginners. Dedicates half of the features to creators.
Exceptional Playback control and audio effects. It does not have some famous podcasts.
Create podcasts. Sometimes glitchy.

Audiobooks.

Podbean hosts a range of content, but it needs to include some famous ones. Still, it contains podcasts covering almost all subjects, and there's a good chance that you'll always have your hands on something to listen to. In addition, its playback features are one of a kind that allows you to add effects, trim silences, and boost audio while listening.

podcast bean interface

Podbean gives you an ad-free experience for less than US$ 9.99/year. However, many of the features on the interface are made for the creators. All in all, Podbean is more suitable if you want to create podcasts besides listening to them. However, given you can find all the content on some other platform, it has nothing unique that forces you to stick with it, and it is best to choose a robust podcast player for Mac like Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Luminary over this.

Key Features

  • Exceptional playback controls. Add effects, trim silences, and boost audio while listening.
  • Dedicated podcast studio (for creators). Create a high-definition podcast, limit background interference, and make your podcast seem professional.
  • Discovery and recommendations. Podbean covers all the necessary subjects and allows you to find something suiting your interests, hobbies, and passions.

8.    Podurama

Price: Free

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 4.3 out of 5 (2.2K Ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Sort favorites and create custom profiles. No filters while searching within custom profiles.
Sync your experience across all devices. Car Play does not work whatsoever.
Over 700K podcasts.
Takes notes while listening.

Podurama is another cross-platform podcast app that Mac users will like, given it includes over 700K podcasts and more than a million episodes. Available for all major devices, Podurama allows you to switch from one device to another seamlessly. It also lets you create custom profiles, bookmark favorite shows, and find relevant content efficiently.

pocket casts interface

It is a free app with minimal ads, so if you are looking for a free podcast app for Mac, Podurama is the way to go. Although free, Podurama will not disappoint you with its features, given that it includes exceptional playback options, like changing speed, trimming silences, casting on another device, and built-in Bluetooth support.

Key Features

  • Exceptional Playback Support. Changing speed, trimming silences, cast on another device, and comes with built-in Bluetooth support, it packs powerful options to listen as desired.
  • Download, continue playback, and offline listening. Smart download features that download all the favorite episodes automatically, continue playback switches to the next episode even without intervention.
  • Sync across devices. Podurama allows you to switch from one device to another seamlessly.

9.    Downcast

Price: US$ 2.99 per month (in-app purchases and tips).

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 4.3 out of 5 (2.2K Ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Search, subscribe to, and download audio. Poor sound quality.
iCloud Syncing with other iOS devices.
Gesture support, sleep timer.
Browse and download older podcast episodes.

Downcast has got everything covered and offers an ad-free experience for a nominal price. But it fails on one big aspect: the sound quality. It is a premium application but provides the excellent quality you get with Spotify's free version. Nevertheless, there are other exceptional features, like taking notes while listening.

downcast interface

It also extends the support to all Apple devices, like the Apple podcasts, and covers a wide range of topics, including some exclusive conversations. Podurama is suitable for users committed to podcast listening, as there is no such thing as free listening.

Key Features

  • Sync across devices. Downcast allows you to switch from one Apple device to another seamlessly.
  • Discovery and recommendations. Downcasts cover all the necessary subjects and keep you coming back for more.
  • Robust search engine. Use keywords, dedicated tags, and episodes name to search for the content efficiently.

10.   Podcast Player — Castbox

Price: Free / US$ 24.99 one-time (with several in-app subscriptions)

Available OS: Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS.

App Store Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (98.4K Ratings)

What we like: What we don't like:
Over 259,000,000 Volumes of Audio Content A lot of ads for free users.
Adjust playback speed, trim silences, and volume boosts. Audiobooks and exclusive content are reserved only for premium users.
Personalized podcast recommendations.
Live audio streaming.

Podcast Player - Castbox is another popular platform with over 29 million podcast episodes covering all subjects, genres, and themes. Popular among the podcast community, Castbox offers a beautiful interface, search function, and option to create custom profiles. What's substantial is Castbox even includes podcasts from other languages, including French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Simplified Chinese.

castbox interface

Most of the content is free in Castbox, and unlike most podcast apps for Mac mentioned here, it does not limit exclusive features to free users. But it charges you high costs for listening to premium content. Still, given that it also features audiobooks and presents almost all popular podcasts, you do not have a different platform in the future. Moreover, its feature set is another win for the platform as it packs all the necessary features in a simple interface.

Key Features

  • Over 29 million podcast episodes. Podcast Player - Castbox covers all the necessary subjects and allows you to find something suiting your interests, hobbies, and passions.
  • Playback settings are unmatchable. Adjust playback speed, trim silences, and volume boosts.
  • Get a personalized experience. Customize almost everything on Podcast Player - Castbox, build custom profiles, bookmark, offline listening.

Part 4. What To Look for in a Podcast App for Mac?

Of course, you must be curious about which criterion we have shortlisted the above best podcast apps for Mac. Here's what you have to look for when trying to choose the best podcast app for Mac:

l  App availability

Being the best podcast for Mac does not mean it must be available for macOS only. On the contrary, you should be able to seamlessly access the podcast episode from where you left off on another device. That is why it is best to choose a podcast app available across all devices.

l  Cost-value

Some podcast apps for Mac are costlier than others. However, there are better ways to go than the cheap ones. In contrast, a higher cost does not necessarily mean it is the right one. A good podcast app for Mac must charge you for the features offered, i.e., look at whether it is cost-effective or not.

l  Can the podcast show be found in the app?

Search, and navigation is one of the most critical, if not the most vital, aspects of a good podcast app for Mac. For context, it should allow you to quickly navigate to the episode you are looking for, eliminating the need for endless scrolling. Furthermore, the platform should allow you to save and build profiles for quick access and efficient use.

l  User friendly

Does the platform have a good interface? Does it allow you to quickly locate, save, and personalize your experience? Does the app crash? All these characteristics should be thoroughly examined. Of course, all the podcast apps for Mac mentioned in this list have good UI.

Final Words

Hopefully, you must have found a podcast app for Mac that suits your needs and includes the topics and subjects you're most interested in. We have included some ten podcast apps in the list for a reason. And that is to allow the users to examine the different types of podcast services offered and let them pick the most suitable one for them. Another aspect that we were more critical of was the availability of topics and podcast subjects covered in all the apps so that you always have your hands on something you can listen to without switching to a different platform.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Jan 17, 24
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