Among the many roles your phone can take on—portable jukebox, web browser, video caller, document scanner, gaming console, and many more—it can become your personal, portable audio editing studio, too.
To find the right app for editing audio on your phone, you’ll need to decide which kind of editing features you need, and the amount of money you want to spend. If audio editing is serious business for you, it might be worth investing in a paid-for app rather than relying on a free tool.
Hokusai is an elegantly presented, fully featured app that makes audio editing on a phone very straightforward. You can get around your tracks with pinches and swipes, select segments with a couple of taps, and add effects such as fades and gain adjustments within seconds.
From the basics of cutting and pasting audio clips, to more advanced features like merging multiple tracks, Hokusai can handle just about everything you could ask for. You’ve got a variety of options for importing and exporting as well.
The basics of Hokusai are all available for free, while a one-off $10 upgrade will get you bonus features like a selection of extra effects, more granular control over volume, and the ability to save preset configurations so you can use them again later. Unfortunately, it’s not available for Android.
Hokusai is free for iOS, with a $10 upgrade available.
With Mstudio on your phone, you’ve got access to a host of tools for editing music and voice tracks. You can trim, cut, merge, convert, and split your audio files, as well as get access to more advanced features like the ability to reverse clips and change their speed.
We particularly like Mstudio’s interface, which is focused around the task you want to complete—it’s simple even for complete beginners to dive in and start editing, and you’ll find it supports all the common audio formats and a wide range of sample rates.
[Related: The best ways to record audio on your phone]
Everything is available free of charge, so you won’t have to pay anything to start chopping and clipping your audio files, but there are quite a lot of ads scattered throughout the interface. Not a fan? You can choose to pay a one-off fee of $4.49 to support the developer and remove the ads from the app.
Mstudio is free for Android, with a $4.49 option to remove ads.
3. WavePad Audio Editor
WavePad Audio Editor’s busy interface is a testament to just how much this app has to offer: Load in your audio files and you can perform tasks like pitch shifting, clip trimming, and noise reduction with ease.
There are also hundreds of royalty-free audio effects and music clips to play around with if you need them, and the built-in equalizer lets you get your tracks (or specific sections of them) sounding just the way you need them too. As you would hope, it supports a wide selection of audio file formats and sample rates.
You can use WavePad Audio Editor for free, but you won’t get the full selection of effects, library clips, and output formats without subscribing to the premium version of the app, which costs $3 a month (and also removes ads from inside the app).
4. Lexis Audio Editor
If you just want to make some simple edits to your audio files, with minimum fuss, Lexis Audio Editor could be the right app for you. It features a straightforward interface and all the basic tools you need for audio editing jobs like cutting, pasting, trimming, normalizing, and noise reduction.
You can also insert silences where needed, as well as apply fade-ins and fade-outs to give your clips a more professional touch. Tempo, speed, and pitch are all adjustable, and there’s a 10-band equalizer to play around with too.
Even better, just about everything in Lexis Audio Editor is free. The only part that requires payment is the MP3 export utility, which costs a one-off payment of $6. Without it, you can still export your edited tracks in FLAC, WAV, M4A, AAC and WMA formats, but if you want MP3s with the free tier, you’ll have to figure out how to convert audio files yourself.
5. Audio Evolution Mobile Studio
If you need a serious audio editor on your mobile phone, and are prepared to pay for it, consider Audio Evolution Mobile Studio. It’ll set you back $11, but you’ll get a wealth of features for your money, including built-in music creation tools.
This app turns your smartphone into a full audio editing studio, so you can record new tracks via attached devices, and manage multiple tracks in a number of popular audio formats. When it comes to editing, you’ve got a wide selection of effects to pick from, so you can trim, tweak, and process your audio as much or as little as you need to.
Despite all of the functionality the app offers, its interface isn’t confusing or complex. In the track editing mode, for example, you can get at all the key features along the top, and select parts of clips with great precision and ease.