Have you ever tried running without music? Though some find running in silence calming, most runners rely on music to keep them pumped and motivated while working out. Ebooks and podcasts are also popular with runners and allow them to catch up on their latest show or even learn a new language while working out.
We all know you can listen to music on your phone, but what if you want to use something lighter and more streamlined? You might be wondering whether watches let you stream music or whether you have to buy additional devices to add a soundtrack to your workout.
Keep reading to explore how to listen to music while running, including how to choose a running watch and how to stream music on a watch.
Scroll down to find out some running tips and tricks.
What Is a Running Watch?
Before we talk about the best way to listen to music while running, here’s a quick rundown of what a running watch is.
Running smartwatches usually have premium health and fitness trackers, letting users monitor their progress while out and about. They often feature recovery time data, workout apps, and incident detection services.
It’s also common for running watches to feature music streaming apps, providing the wearer with some entertainment when working out. To learn more about running watches, take a look at our list of the best running watches here. We’ve even put together a list of the best running watches for women.
Why a Smartwatch Is the Best Way to Listen to Music While Running
While they weren’t always able to play music, most smartwatches have music features now. The latest smartwatches usually let you save up to 1000 songs on your device. While it’s common for watches with music storage to let you listen without your phone, this may differ from device to device.
If you prefer to use streaming services, there are options for you too. Many modern fitness watches can now download third-party streaming apps, providing music access without requiring a phone connection. Note that these will need LTE, cellular, or Wi-Fi connections to stream directly from the internet.
Which Smartwatches Have Music?
While not all smartwatches have music features yet (a surprise to those of us who know how crucial music is to workout motivation), many have embraced this feature. We’ve even put together a list of the top running watches with music.
Popular options on the list include:
Apple Watch Series 7
This well-known smartwatch offers a range of running features alongside modern music streaming options. The watch uses Apple Music, a streaming service that provides music, audiobooks, and podcasts on the go. Apple Music has over 75 million songs, so there’s something for all tastes.
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The Fitbit Sense is a GPS smartwatch with a slim design and modern fitness trackers. While this brand is known for its accurate health and fitness trackers, their watches also offer music players. The Sense includes up to 300 tracks of music storage, and you can use third-party apps like Deezer or Pandora–but only if you have a paid subscription.
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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Though the Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t the most optimized sports smartwatch, it does offer running-based features and music compatibility. When it comes to listening while running, this watch supports offline playback and third-party streaming apps. Users can download Spotify or YouTube Music on the Google Play Store, but make sure you have an account on these apps first.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Want to learn more about music and running smartwatches? Here are the most common questions.
Can I listen to Spotify on my smartwatch?
The answer to this question will differ from watch to watch, but most smartwatches these days are optimized to support third-party apps. If your watch connects to the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, you can use these tools to download streaming services like Spotify.
Do note that not all watches support offline playback, and your experience with streaming services will depend on whether you have an LTE connection or not.
Which other apps work for listening to music?
Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming apps, but what are the alternatives?
If you’re a fan of Apple, you can use their Apple Music streaming service, which offers a lot of different genres. Deezer and Pandora are also popular music streaming apps supported by Fitbit devices. Other standard music streaming services include Youtube Music, Tidal, SoundCloud, and Amazon Prime Music.
Can I listen to music on my smartwatch without a phone?
If your smartwatch offers offline playback, you’ll be able to play stored or downloaded songs without a 4G or Wi-Fi connection. This is one way you can stream music via your watch without your phone.
Alternatively, you can opt for a cellular or LTE smartwatch. These versions can connect to networks without a smartphone connection. Keep in mind that watches with this feature often cost more, so make sure you research their advantages and disadvantages before purchasing one.
Do I need special earphones to connect to smartwatches?
One common issue users find is that smartwatches don’t connect to wired headphones. This is an issue if you only use wired headphones or earbuds, as you’ll need to buy Bluetooth headphones, earphones, or earbuds instead.
Though this can be frustrating, Bluetooth headphones are often more comfortable to wear while running, as there’s no chance of them getting caught on anything and no wire to get tangled up. They are also lightweight to work out with and easy to pair with your device. AirPods are a famous example of wireless earbuds, but many options are available now, and many offer budget-friendly solutions.
Time to Get Active
We may be biased, but we think a smartwatch is the best way to listen to music while running. Smartwatches allow you to monitor your progress and listen to music with your hands free, while also offering apps and other features for tracking your progress. Don’t get weighed down by your smartphone when out and about. Try a running watch with music instead!
What do you think about modern running watches? Do you use a smartwatch to run with music? Let us know in the comments!
Last Updated on February 9, 2022
Isobel is a freelance copy and content writer who regularly contributes to Superwatches. Well-versed in all the ins and outs of the smartwatch industry. Isobel specializes in Fashion and design and is a First Class fashion design graduate.
Currently lives in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.