First-time podcast listeners might default to whichever app is on their phone (Apple or Google podcasts), but there are a lot more options out there.
The Podcast App might be one of the better players. It suggests podcasts based on interests or on previously enjoyed podcasts and makes it easy to discover new podcasts. Its interface is easy to navigate, aids in finding curated offerings, recommends episodes based on duration and can search by keyword. The player has a sleep timer. The big cons are that there are ads and a lack of support for CarPlay.
If you want to discover new podcasts and want CarPlay support, Podbean is an ideal option. Its discover page is well organized and offers topic playlists. It includes radio stations, and the player has a setting for intelligent speed. Its features are best utilized by creating an account, but it’s free to do so.
For those with a solid library and want to export it to a better player, Podcast Player: Castbox is a popular option. It offers solid computer support and CarPlay. It has a really good user interface for storing favorite episodes and playlists. It’s also developing a Zen Mode, which lets you customize a white noise machine. Some of the icons in the player are a little small and hard to hit, so if you’ve got a smaller smartphone, this might be a big con.