The 3 Best Music Recognition Apps to Accurately Find Songs by Tune

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The 3 Best Music Recognition Apps to Accurately Find Songs by Tune

The most well-known music detection software is Shazam, but is it the best? Join us as we pit Shazam against two other song-finding services: SoundHound and Musixmatch.

We’ll begin with a quick description of each app before moving on to several rounds of progressively harder music identification tests. By the conclusion of the competition, we should know which music recognition program is the best at identifying songs. May the greatest app triumph!

The Best Features in Each Song Identifier App

First, let’s take a look at the most important features that each “identify that song” app provides.


Shazam is the app to beat in this competition based only on popularity. The software has a straightforward user interface. When you open it, touch the distinctive logo button to begin listening for music to recognize.

Every song you tag is saved in the My Music panel, which allows you to access a wealth of information about the music. You may listen to a sample, share it with friends, open it in Spotify or Apple Music, see the music video, listen to related music, and discover additional songs by that artist.

Use the top-right Search panel to search up whatever you want, and you’ll be sent to the same page as if you’d recognized the music using Shazam. As you use the app, you’ll see a Playlists For You area containing music recommendations from the service. Connect your Apple Music or Spotify accounts and adjust certain parameters by tapping the Settings gear.

Read more: How Does Shazam Recognize Music Accurately?

Notably, the app has the Auto Shazam function, which continuously listens for music and IDs it even when the app is not open. To use this feature, press and hold the Shazam logo.

If you’re not connected to the internet, Shazam will remember what it hears and look for a match when you reconnect. Since September 2018, Apple has bought Shazam, and the app has been ad-free on both Android and iPhone. Shazam is well-integrated with iOS, featuring Siri shortcuts and a Control Center entry.

Download: Shazam for Android | iOS (Free)


SoundHound is likely the first rival to Shazam you’ll come across if you’re seeking for a music identification app. Its primary feature set is comparable, but it has a few nuances that make it worth considering.

SoundHound, like Shazam, has a large button on its site to begin tagging music. SoundHound makes a big fuss of its voice control capabilities. You may search for music, use the app, start recognizing songs, and more just saying “Hey SoundHound.” The firm also provides a separate Hound voice assistant app, albeit it isn’t necessary to utilize it in comparison to Google Assistant or Siri.

You may explore the hottest music by tapping a category at the top of the app, or you can use the Search box to search songs, artists, and albums. When you open a song in SoundHound, you’ll see that it has its own music player. This may play labeled samples (or entire songs through paid music services) as well as popular chart hits.

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After tagging a song, you may buy it, add it to your favorites, read the lyrics, or find out what album it originated from.

Surprisingly, SoundHound can detect music by singing or humming it. We won’t test this functionality since other applications don’t do it. SoundHound is ad-supported and offers an upgrade to SoundHound Infinite to eliminate them.

Download: Soundhound for Android | iOS (Free)

SoundHound Infinite is available for Android ($5.99) and iOS ($6.99).


Musixmatch, our final song identification app, is integrated with Spotify to offer lyrics. Musixmatch is also a stand-alone program that detects music based on lyrics.

The Home menu allows you to view the most recent releases and top charts. Connect your Apple Music, Spotify, or Amazon Music account on the Play page to listen to tunes in your collection with lyrics.

You may assist other users by contributing lyrics to songs that don’t yet have any, syncing lyrics to music, or even translating lyrics to another language using the Contribute option.

Read more: The Top Sites to Find Song Lyrics Online

The music identification part, which we’ll test here, is located under the Identify tab and functions similarly to Shazam and SoundHound. You may retrieve previous songs by clicking the History link in the top-right corner, or you can use the Search tab to hunt for anything without tagging it.

When you tag a song, the lyrics begin playing instantly. As an added bonus, you may display the lyrics translated into another language just under the original words. This is an ingenious method of practicing a language.

Musixmatch’s premium membership costs $3 per month and includes a few perks such as the ability to store lyrics for offline usage and experience word-by-word lyric synchronization. Because of the nature of the program, it does not operate when used offline, therefore you cannot store labeled music for later use like Shazam does.

Musixmatch is worth having around because of its unique lyrics viewpoint, even if you generally use Shazam or SoundHound. In this duel, we’ll just compare the app’s ability to accurately identify music.

Musixmatch for Android | iOS is available for download (Free, subscription available)

Song Recognition Apps: Summary

It’s difficult to choose a music ID app based just on appearance and functionality. Shazam is free of advertisements and clean, while SoundHound offers the unique ability to hum or sing. Meanwhile, Musixmatch offers the most current, fresh design of the three, as well as the finest lyrical assistance.

We believe Shazam is the best overall pick, but you should give SoundHound a go to see if it meets your requirements better. Musixmatch, as previously said, is an ideal companion to any of them owing to its amazing lyric features.

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While additional applications like Shazam are available on Google Play and the App Store, these are the three greatest options. Sony discontinued its TrackID service, while other programs like MusicID haven’t received updates in years. It’s pointless to test them if they’re not under active development.

Music Recognition App Battle: The Rules

Now comes the exciting part: putting various music recognition applications against one other. This battle consists of three rounds, each with two songs.

We don’t want to offer these applications any simple assignments since they are accustomed to popular music. We’ll start with obscure tracks before moving on to music that few people have ever heard.

I ran the tests on an iPhone 11 while listening to Spotify music via my computer’s speakers. Each track will begin at the one-minute mark to replicate a common usage scenario. We’ll time how long each app takes to identify the music.

Each app has two chances to identify the music. Each failed attempt will result in a 15-second penalty for the app. In addition, since precision is critical for music recognition applications, erroneous identifications will incur a 20-second penalty.

Round One: Moderate Difficulty

Let’s start with two music that you won’t hear on the radio but have their own following. Both of these tracks have less than 15,000 Spotify plays.

Track 1: Deephearted by The Difference on What the Heart Needs (2015)


  • Shazam recognized the song in 10 seconds.
  • SoundHound: Both efforts were unsuccessful (30-second penalty).
  • Musixmatch: Found the song in 6 seconds.

Track 2: Ritual by White Heart on Inside (1995)

  • Shazam identified the music in less than ten seconds.
  • SoundHound: Both efforts were unsuccessful (30-second penalty).
  • Musixmatch: The music was identified in 8 seconds.

SoundHound is already in danger after one round, with two failures. Both tunes were recognized by Shazam, but Musixmatch did so in record time. We’ll see whether it can maintain its advantage in the harder rounds.

Round One Winner: Musixmatch

Round Two: Hard Difficulty

Following that, we’ll listen to some tunes from the depths of Spotify. Both of these tracks have had less than 1,000 listens on the service.

Track 3: Useless Numbers by minusbaby on BIAS (2011)

  • Shazam identified the music in less than ten seconds.
  • SoundHound: Both efforts were unsuccessful (30-second penalty).
  • Musixmatch: The music was identified in 16 seconds.

Track 4: Early Morning Soft Shoe by Mundell Lowe on Guitar Player (1977)

  • Shazam identified the music in less than ten seconds.
  • SoundHound: The music was identified in 14 seconds.
  • Musixmatch: The music was identified in 6 seconds.

Shazam has taken precisely 10 seconds for all four tunes thus far. And, although SoundHound ultimately obtained one, it is now effectively out of the contest. Musixmatch is doing well, but how will it fair against Shazam’s most obscure tracks?

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Let’s move on to the third and final round.

Round Two Winner: Shazam

Round Three: Extreme Difficulty

We want music that nearly no one has heard before for the final round. For this, we’ll utilize Forgotify, a tool that finds tracks on Spotify with no plays. This is ideal audio for testing music recognition programs.

Track 5: Rollin’ by Nathan Billingsley on Dying to Please You (2007)

  • Shazam was able to identify the music in 12 seconds.
  • SoundHound: Both efforts were unsuccessful (30-second penalty).
  • Musixmatch: The music was identified in 5 seconds.

Track 6: Get So Many Pains by Neon Hearts on Ball & Chain (1978)

  • Shazam identified the music in less than ten seconds.
  • SoundHound: Both efforts were unsuccessful (30-second penalty).
  • Musixmatch: The music was identified in 11 seconds.

Musixmatch came out on top, while Shazam stayed constant. SoundHound was a huge disappointment in this tournament.

Round Three Winner: Musixmatch

And the Winner of the Best Song Finder App Is…

SoundHound comes in third place, properly identifying just one music out of six. Every other song failed to identify the music on both attempts. SoundHound ends with a time of 164 seconds after these 150 seconds of penalties.

The other two performed far better. Except for one track, Shazam accurately recognized every music in 10 seconds or less. Shazam estimated that it took 62 seconds to identify all songs.

Musixmatch is the only option left. With the exception of two cases, the software detected music in under 10 seconds, outperforming Shazam on average. It took 52 seconds in total.

This means that the best song recognition app is Musixmatch!

Musixmatch performed well here. It, like Shazam, made no errors. And, in most situations, it detected music faster than Shazam. You may therefore trust Musixmatch as a fantastic program for both displaying lyrics and identifying music.

Which Music Identifier App Do You Prefer?

Were you shocked by the outcomes? Because Shazam’s reputation precedes it, Musixmatch must have worked hard to improve its recognition algorithm. Musixmatch might potentially replace Shazam if you like anything in Shazam’s UI or don’t like that Musixmatch promotes a premium version.

Meanwhile, bear in mind that these music identification tools are just one method of identifying tunes that have been stuck in your brain. If they are unable to assist, there are alternative options.

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