Slacker Radio for Android review: Slacker is the consummate overachiever

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The Good Slacker Radio offers powerful Pandora-like radio and more than 200 curated stations. The new My Vibe feature adds Songza-like capabilities. Paid users get on-demand listening as well.

The Bad Slacker's video, audio, and banner ads are intrusive.

The Bottom Line With its impressive menu of listening options (particularly for premium subscribers), Slacker Radio is one of the best streaming-music apps on the market.


9.1 Overall
  • Setup 9
  • Features 9
  • Interface 8
  • Performance 10

Editors' note, July 8, 2015: See CNET's guide to Internet radio services for a more up-to-date evaluation of this service, along with an analysis of how it compares to competitors.

The latest version of Slacker Radio for Android reflects yet another visual overhaul. The company's previous redesign (earlier this year) brought bright colors, more white space, and a tiled dashboard to the app, but this iteration takes things in a completely different direction with full-bleed images and an overall dark theme with gradients and translucent paneling. While some users may not like the noticeable lack of white space, I happen to think it gives off a more sophisticated feel overall.

At first glance, Slacker Radio might seem like another Pandora wannabe, with its ability to algorithmically generate playlists and rating system for improving stations. But upon further inspection, it is easy to see that this streaming-music service offers quite a bit more than its competitors. To use Slacker you must sign up for an account with your e-mail address or log in with your Facebook or Google+ credentials.