Android App Showdown: SoundHound Vs Shazam

Shazam vs SoundHound

So we have all heard of Music ID apps but there are two that are currently the most popular ones out on the market. Sound Hound and Shazam, but which one reigns supreme over the other? Recently I’ve mentioned that you should download Shazam, among other apps, if you have just purchased a new Android phone. Let’s see if that still holds true after putting both of these apps through a rigorous test run.

In order to test the Music IDs each app was only allowed to “listen” to each track for 3 seconds (You can tap the screen to send the recorded info before the app has finished listening). In addition to this, in order to test real world noise environments, the central air, dishwasher, and sink were all on while testing. I let the apps listen to a wide range of music instead of just testing pop songs to test their ability to extract music identifiers. Here are the results:

Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something

  • SoundHound: Identified (1st attempt)
  • Shazam: Identified (1st attempt)

Alive – Krewella

  • SoundHound: Identified (1st attempt)
  • Shazam: Identified (1st attempt)

Daybreak – Overwerk

  • SoundHound : Unable to identify track
  • Shazam: Identified (1st attempt)

I tried over ten times, but SoundHound could simply not identify this track, which is so prominently featured in the latest GOPro HD Hero 3 advertisement.

Number 1 – MC Jin

  • SoundHound: Unable to identify track
  • Shazam: Identified (1st attempt)

SoundHound experienced the same difficulties with this song as the previous test track, it just simply could not identify it no matter how much time or tries I gave it.

I Need A Girl (Feat. G- Dragon) – TaeYang

  • SoundHound: Identified (2nd attempt)
  • Shazam: Identified (1st attempt)

“A.I.N.Y. 愛你” – G.E.M. 鄧紫 

  • SoundHound: Identified (2nd attempt)
  • Shazam: Identified (1st attempt)

The clear winner here is Shazam. So those who took my recommendation about installing Shazam won’t have to uninstall it.

However, there are a few things to note about these apps. I tried using Shazam a few weeks back to ID a song a street performer was singing. It was a really bad rendition of Katy Perry’s Firework, so it was unable to identify it.

Would it have been able to identify it if it was a better rendition? Who knows. However, I researched online and it looks like in order for Shazam to identify a song, it must be a studio recording —otherwise it won’t work. So that’s something that is a little disappointing.

It is also important to note that SoundHound says it can ID a song that you sing or hum. However, I haven’t personally tried that out yet so if you’re a particular good singer you may want to try this out and see if it actually works. But seeing as it can’t even ID some of the studio recordings that I gave it, I am somewhat skeptical that this feature would even work. For now, install Shazam and forget about SoundHound.

Shazam  - [Google Play Download Link]

SoundHound – [Google Play Download Link]