YouTube to MP3 converters let you rip the audio from any YouTube video and save it as an MP3 audio file that you can listen to offline later.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of tools around that claim to do the job, but don’t quite deliver. Some of them impose annoying time restrictions while others are just plain slow. Then there’s a good few that are packed with obtrusive advertising or come bundled with additional software you’d rather not install. Finding the best one, therefore, can be a minefield.
That's why we've put all the more prominent YouTube to MP3 converters through their paces, and picked out the ones that really deliver the goods without any nasty surprises. Whether you want to listen to music from a video offline whenever you like, or turn your favorite YouTube's channel into a podcast that you can enjoy when you're working, these are the best ones for the job. As long as you have the copyright owner's permission, that is – bear in mind that YouTube's terms of service explicitly prohibit unauthorized downloading.
If converting YouTube to MP3 still sounds like a hassle, consider a music streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music or Google Play Music instead, so you won’t need to convert any files at all. If you want to do more than just extract music, the best video editor for iPhone might come in handy too. We've also rounded up the best free video editors for Windows, macOS and Linux.
Best free YouTube to MP3 converters at a glance
The best YouTube to MP3 converter available right now is: WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe
If you need to convert a video to a different format, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is the best software around. It's not free, unlike the tools below, but it can handle videos from virtually any source (including Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Blu-ray and DVD) and convert it to just about any file type. There are even preset profiles for playback on different devices.
1. Any Video Converter Free
The best YouTube to MP3 converter – just copy, paste and go
Operating system: Windows
If you're looking for a fast, flexible YouTube to MP3 converter, this is the tool for you. You would be forgiven for judging Any Video Converter Free by its name and believing it to be a tool for converting from one video format to another. While this is part of what it can do, it can also be used to download videos from YouTube and save them as MP3s – exactly what we’re looking for!
YouTube to MP3 conversion is not the sole purpose of the program, so it's rather larger than you might expect, but this should not put you off (but take care not to install the optional adware during setup).
It seems almost overkill to use what is a powerful and versatile piece of software for just one task, but downloading MP3s is as simple as pasting in the URL of a YouTube video and waiting for the download to complete. You can then select MP3 as the output format, and hit the Convert Now button. It's a shame there's no one-click option for converting YouTube to MP3, but it's hardly a major hardship.
Read our full review: Any Video Converter Free
2. 4K YouTube to MP3
Quick, easy to use and surprisingly flexible
Operating system: Windows
4K YouTube to MP3 is very similar to 4K Video Downloader (further down this page), but dedicated specifically to stripping the audio from videos.
Despite its name, 4K YouTube to MP3 also allows you to save the soundtracks from videos in OGG and M4A formats, and you can take your pick from various bitrates so you can choose a suitable balance of speed and quality (though in our experience, even downloading at the highest bitrate is quick and painless).
It doesn't just support YouTube, either; you can also use it to save the sound from videos hosted on Vimeo, Flickr, Facebook, SoundCloud and others. Just copy the address from your web browser and click the green 'Paste URL' button to get started.
Perhaps best of all, unlike some YouTube to MP3 converters, 4K YouTube to MP3 comes with no bundled extra software. Upgrading to the premium version for a one-off fee will allow you to download entire playlists, but the free software is perfect for everyday use.
3. 4K Video Downloader
Save audio from YouTube videos in MP3, M4A or OGG format
Operating system: Windows
It might not be the most stylish software around, but like 4K YouTube to MP3 above, 4K Video Downloader is brilliant.
It works in a similar way, too, but because this app is chiefly for downloading whole videos, there are a couple of extra steps involved. Copy the URL of a video from your web browser (it supports YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr and DailyMotion) and click 'Paste URL'. Select 'Extract audio' and pick MP3, OGG or M4A, then click 'Extract' and the audio will be converted and saved to the destination of your choice. Done.
The free version of 4K Video Downloader lets you download up to 24 videos in a playlists, which is particularly useful for grabbing several songs by a particular artist. You can download and convert longer playlists to MP3 format if you buy a license key, but the software's free features are very impressive.
Read our full review: 4K Video Downloader
4. Free YouTube to MP3 Converter
Download and convert music, complete with album artwork
Operating system: Windows, macOS
Free YouTube to MP3 Converter does exactly what you'd expect (converting videos from YouTube to MP3 format) and it's perfectly safe to judge it by its name. Unfortunately, like Any Video Converter Free, there is bundled adware from ByteFence to avoid, so be watchful during the installation and uncheck any additional bits and pieces you don't want.
Once installed, however, you're in for a treat. There's no need to fiddle about with options, you can just get on with downloading the music you're interested in immediately. Use a simple drop-down menu to choose the quality and format you would like to save your audio file, paste the URL, and click Download. Files are saved and converted in one fell swoop.
The beauty of Free YouTube to MP3 Converter is that there's no messing about, nothing superfluous, and nothing confusing. It has one purpose in mind, and it has been designed to do it as efficiently as possible. Definitely worth a try – we're sure you'll love it.
Just copy a YouTube video URL and ClipGrab will handle the rest
Operating system: Windows
An utter delight of a program, ClipGrab makes converting from YouTube to MP3 nice and simple – aside from the bundling of the Opera browser, which is easy to skip if you'd rather avoid it.
The wonderfully simple interface gives you a pleasing hint of just how easy things are going to be, right from the word go. Copy a YouTube URL to the clipboard and ClipGrab will spring into action, offering to download the related video for you.
Even if this doesn’t happen – you might not yet have the program running, for instance – a quick paste into the relevant field is all it takes. You can then indicate that you are interested in downloading the audio as an MP3 before you click the 'Grab this clip!' button to do just that. The MP3 you seek will be yours in next to no time.
Read our full review: ClipGrab
What to look for in a YouTube to MP3 converter
When you're looking for a YouTube to MP3 converter, one of the first things to consider is how many videos you want to convert. If you're only going to be doing it once or twice, it might be worth considering an online tool, but for anything more it's worth downloading a dedicated desktop application.
Desktop software will also be faster, because the data isn't processed on a remote server, and some applications are also capable of converting multiple YouTube videos to MP3 format at once.
It pays to be careful, though; YouTube to MP3 software is very popular, so it can be easy to stumble across malware when you're looking for one. We've thoroughly tested all the tools in this guide, and can confidently recommend them.
- Enjoy your MP3s with the best free music apps for Windows