Is there an app that can tell you what song is playing?

Ever found yourself enchanted by a song playing in a café, captivated by a TV show or movie soundtrack, yet stumped when it comes to naming that tune you’re loving? Let these apps help you name the song that you’re hearing.


Shazam is the OG of music recognition apps, one of the first apps available on the App Store. Shazam works by creating a unique digital fingerprint of the song you’re listening to, to scan against the vast Shazam song database for a match.

  • Names your song, and syncs the lyrics: Shazam identifies any song within a few seconds, and displays synchronised lyrics.
  • Save songs to a personal library: You can also save your song to your personal library of your ‘Shazams’.
  • Watch the music video of your song: You can watch the music video of the song in YouTube or Apple Music, play the song if you’re connected to Spotify or Apple Music.
  • Charts: Shazam also shares Top 200 charts of the most Shazamed tracks, by country
  • Concerts: Shazam also displays any upcoming concerts of the artist, on the track screen, or artist page.
  • Pops up in other apps: You can even set up Shazam to be a pop-up app in other apps like TikTok, Instagram and Youtube.

Shazam is available on both the App Store and Google Play, so you can Shazam songs on PC, smartphone, tablet, even smartwatches.


SoundHound is another beloved music recognition app, with a great reputation for identifying songs in seconds, performing well even on obscure tracks and from live performances.

  • Voice control to start the song matching: With SoundHound’s built in voice control, you can ask SoundHound to identify your song, search, and play songs, hands free. Just start with “Hey SoundHound…”
  • Names your song, and syncs the lyrics: SoundHound names your song and displays real-time synchonised lyrics, via LiveLyrics®.
  • Save songs to a personal library: All of your picks will kept in your own personal history,
  • Watch the music video with SoundHounds built in Youtube player: You can play the music video of your songs for free via SoundHound’s built in YouTube music player.
  • Music Map of where songs are being discovered, realtime: SoundHound also offers a Music Map feature to see what music is being discovered around the world.
  • Connect to Spotify for playlists: You can connect SoundHound to your Spotify account to create playlists, or further explore your music across genres, categories and charts.

SoundHound is available on the App Store and on Google Play.

Genius: Song Lyrics Finder

Genius is like Wikipedia specifically for obsessed music lovers. Genius can identify your song and a wealth of related information about the song, the lyrics, the artist and more.

  • Names your song, and displays annotated lyrics : Press the Soundwave button for Genius to identify the song and display the annotated lyrics for you.
  • Reputed to be the world’s biggest collection of song lyrics. Genius has a song library of over 1.7million songs that you can search on
  • Crowdsourced annotations for lyrics: Genius has crowdsourced annotations from the Genius community, that you can also contribute to.
  • Verified content about tracks: Artists and producers have added verified content about their tracks.
  • A video library of artist interviews: Genius also has a wide collection of video interviews with artists talking about their music.


Apple bought Shazam in 2018 for $400 Million, and they have been integrating its music recognition functionality into Apple platforms ever since. This functionality on Siri is so popular, over a billion music recognition requests were reportedly completed in a year.

  • Ask Siri to name the song that’s playing: When you can’t name a song you’re listening to, you don’t need to open the Shazam app, you can just ask Siri something like: “Hey Siri, what song is playing?”, or “Hey Siri, Shazam this song” and Siri will come back with an answer in a few seconds.
  • Automatically adding your song to My Music: If you have Shazam installed on your iPhone or iPad, the identified song will be added to your My Music section of the Shazam app.
  • Music recognition shortcut in the control centre: To save you hunting around for it, the Shazam icon appears in your iPhone or iPad Control Centre.

Google Assistant

If you have an Android phone, you can ask Google Assistant to identify the song you’re listening to.

  • Ask Google Assistant to name the song: To ask Google Assistant to identify the song you’re listening to, start Google Assistant on your smartphone, click on the microphone icon and ask something like “Hey Google, what is this song?”, or “Which song is this?”. Alternatively, click the “Search a song” button.
  • You don’t need the track playing to search for it: You don’t need to have the actual track playing to search for a song. You can ask Google Assistant to match a song from about 10-15 seconds of your humming, whistling or even you singing the melody of the song.

Now Playing – Google Pixel Phones

Pixel Phones have their own app for naming that song that is playing, called Now Playing.

  • Always listening: Now Playing is designed to automatically be listening out for music nearby, and can display song matches via notifications, even when your phone is locked.
  • Now Playing works offline: Now Playing can work off-line (for Pixel 2 phones onwards) because its set-up starts with the download of a song database to your Pixel phone, used to match the song you’re searching for.
  • Cloud search to match more obscure music: If you have a Pixel phone with Android 12 or later (like Pixel 4 onwards, including Fold), you can set up your phone to do a cloud search for a more obscure song that couldn’t be matched with the downloaded song database. Once you have set things up to show the search button on lock screen, tap music search to search for your song.

AHA Music (Chrome Extension)

With AHA Music, makes music recognition available in a Chrome extension allowing you to identify songs playing via your browser.

  • Touch to Identify: Once you have installed AHA Music to your Chrome browser and pinned it, play the music you’d like to identify on a browser tab, and click AHA Music icon to match the song.
  • Matches songs playing via Chrome browser: AHA Music listens to music playing in the Chrome browser on Spotify, Deezer and Youtube, as well as video files and audio files.


And there you have it, five convenient apps to help you name that song!