Running watches with music. You’d think it was a given, right? If you enjoy running, you likely want to listen to music on the go. GPS watches and running watches have all of the functionality and data that GPS watches, and running watches have. How can you tell which option is the best?
A lot of the watches here provide features that most people want from a running watch. Step counting, running duration, speed, and distance, as well as heart rate monitoring, are all included.
Here are a few of the best music-playing running watches on the market. These watches will allow you to listen to music while still delivering all of the necessary running features.
Let’s have a look at the 10 best running watches with music for 2022.
1. Garmin Fenix 6 Range
The Fenix watches from Garmin combine a lot of functionality with a beautiful design that looks good in the office and on the trail. The Fenix 6 is the most recent model, and it comes in a variety of sizes, models, and features. It’s the top choice for a Garmin that can play music. You may also want to wait for the Fenix 7 so stay tuned for that release.
The Fenix 6 is the best device for music listening. You can save up to 1,000 songs on the watch. Listen to music without having to take out your phone or use the watch to control and play music on your phone. Spotify and other streaming services’ playlists may be downloaded directly to the watch, allowing you to listen to music without having to take out your phone.
Make sure you purchase the Fenix 6 Pro variants, though. The Fenix 6s (which is not a pro version) does not support music storing or playback.
The Fenix 6 watches are among the most durable GPS watches on the market. Cycling, swimming, hiking, skiing, and paddle sports are just a few of the activities that can be tracked. A wrist heart rate monitor is included in all versions. Furthermore, contactless payments are available.
They can also display topographical and street maps and upload pre-routed routes. There is 32GB of storage available to preload maps. Popular maps are preloaded on the watch (more maps may be downloaded for a fee).
With the latest version, you’ll get better battery life. 6-15 hours in GPS mode while listening to music (depending on which variant you go with). You’ll get 9-21 days if you don’t use GPS.
A barometer and GPS are used to monitor elevation in the Fenix 6 series of watches. Garmin’s ClimbPro app allows you to track climbing in a variety of ways. This helps to break up the many elevations rises you’ll encounter throughout your workout. The watch displays time, total distance, vertical speed, and elevation (including average elevation grade) while you work out.
The Fenix 6 collects advanced data if you wear Garmin’s running dynamics pod. Keep track of your total running power, cadence, and vertical oscillation to improve your form (how often you jiggle).
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The Fenix series now offers customizable battery options. Mid-activity, adjust features to improve battery performance and obtain more usage per charge.
Fenix 6 downsides
There are a few flaws with the Fenix 6. The first factor to consider is the price. The Fenix timepieces are not inexpensive. A lot of features are available, but they come at a cost. The second consideration is weight. The Fenix is a large watch compared to other versions. The smallest variant, the Fenix 6S, suits smaller wrists better, but it’s still a huge watch.
Overall, if you want a great sports watch that has music, then the Fenix 6 line of watches is the best right now.
- GPS and altimeter built-in
- Bluetooth headphones provide improved connectivity
- Services for storing and streaming music
- There are numerous training options for a wide range of activities
- Extremely costly
- Bulky and heavy
- Should you wait for the Fenix 7?
2. Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 has been a long-awaited launch and it’s finally here! Though many think of this entry as a general smartwatch, not a running watch, the Series 7 model is actually perfect for getting active.
This new watch model features Apples’ largest display yet, an easier-to-use keyboard, and a more durable design. The watch also charges 33% faster for a better on-the-go battery.
With a range of fitness and health trackers, this watch is perfect for any runner. The watch allows users to take an ECG anywhere, track their heart rate, and even measure blood oxygen. This is great for anyone who wants in-depth fitness data when out and about.
The Apple Watch Series 7 also allows users to access multiple workouts and fitness tips. This is perfect for anyone who wants extra fitness motivation or running help. The activity ring feature allows users to connect with friends for extra motivation throughout the day.
The watch connects to Apple Music and users can listen to podcasts, music, and audiobooks on the go. With a choice of 75 million songs, you’ll never get bored! Apple Music is also home to exclusive tracks from certain artists, giving you first listens while running. Keep fit whilst you’re kept entertained.
- GPS, fitness tracking, and more included
- Larger display design than the Series 6
- Over 75 million songs available to users
- There are watches more specialized to running
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3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
The Galaxy Watch 4 is another popular smartwatch that’s designed to help users achieve a stress-free and healthier lifestyle. With a range of design and feature updates, this new model is great for anyone who wants to be more active.
On the new Galaxy Watch 4, you can find fitness trackers that measure your unique body composition. Learn more about your body to hit your health goals faster. With the BioActive Sensor, this app gives you accurate data in real-time.
Users can connect with their friends for constant motivation and friendly fitness competition. Share your daily steps and activity data with each other and connect on a live message board. Motivate each other to reach your goals with the Galaxy Watch 4.
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The watch can track a range of fitness activities, including running, allowing you to track your performance over time. With calorie and step trackers, you can stay on top of your fitness. You can also GPS data to see your average distance and endurance when running. The watch also collects blood pressure and heart rate data to inform all fitness suggestions too.
The Galaxy Watch 4 allows users to control music and the watch also supports offline music playback too. The watch comes with the Google Play Store downloaded, allowing users to install third-party music streaming apps such as Spotify or YouTube Music. Just make sure you have accounts on these streaming platforms first!
- Sleek and lightweight design
- High-quality health and fitness data
- Can connect with friends on the fitness tracker
- Low internal storage
- Doesn’t support iPhones
4. Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch is often a popular choice among Apple customers, and it’s also our favorite running watch for music. If you are an iPhone user, this could be an excellent fit.
For Series 6, there are two models and two sizes to choose from. One variant features built-in GPS, while the other supports LTE. Using LTE costs more each month, but it allows you to stream music on your watch, which is a great way to put those extra payments to good use. Music can also be stored on the watch, although it will take up most of the space.
It is available in two sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm. Smaller wrists will benefit from the 40 mm size.
Siri or the watch’s menu can be used to access Apple Music and Beats Radio. Because there are no ready-made playlists to peruse, familiarise yourself with Apple Music if you haven’t already. You’ll also need an Apple Music membership.
The Apple Watch sends you notifications from your phone, so you can stay in touch with what’s going on in your life while you’re working out. There’s also Find My phone, which is handy. When swimming, the watch has a screen-lock mode that ensures the screen remains off when you swim, and when finished, the watch will vibrate to eject water from the speaker.
Apple Pay is also included for quick payments on the fly. You can use Siri to find out what you need to know from current news and weather or adjust your music if you have the LTE version.
The watch’s battery life will vary depending on how you use it. The battery will be depleted faster if you use your phone or GPS. The battery life is respectable but does not stand up to Garmin’s or other GPS watches.
- GPS and altimeter built-in
- Music streaming via LTE
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
- Apple is yet to address the less-than-24-hour battery life
5. Fitbit Sense
Fitbit’s premium GPS smartwatch is the Sense. It boasts a slim design, a 6-day battery life, and a GPS battery life of around 12 hours.
This watch does more than just count steps and track runs. It has a number of added features, such as female health-tracking, contactless payments, and apps.
This Fitbit also has a music player. The Sense can hold up to 300 tracks if you have enough storage space. If you have a paid subscription, you can listen to Pandora and Deezer without having to use your phone.
What else does the Sense do?
While running with GPS, the Sense monitors wrist heart rate and also time/pace/distance. It excels as a true Fitbit in terms of tracking steps, sleep, and resting heart rate.
If you take a break while running, the watch recognizes it, pauses, and then resumes your activity for you so you can focus on your task. If you fail to set your exercise, an automatic workout identification feature will select the appropriate workout for you and start collecting data.
Like the other Garmins we’ll look at, Sense can perform contactless payments and show phone notifications.
The Sense is a compact, lightweight timepiece. It has a bright, high-resolution screen. Furthermore, Corning Gorilla Glass protects the touch screen, making it strong and long-lasting.
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- Music storage
- Pandora streaming
- Long-lasting battery
- Not as good as a Garmin
6. Garmin Forerunner 945
If you’re a triathlete instead of a straightforward runner, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is a good option. Garmin’s best GPS watch featuring music suited for triathletes is this rugged multisport watch.
It’s similar to the Fenix 6, but with a thinner profile, that is easy to remove a wetsuit when you do a triathlon. If you want more sophisticated tri-specific features and data, it’s a step up from the Forerunner 745.
On the music aspect, it can store up to 1000 tracks, including Spotify music. On the watch, you can control playback and volume. It has multisport for triathletes, allowing you to move between a swim, cycle, and run within the same session.
It measures pool and open water swimming distance, stroke count, pace, and laps, just like previous versions of this watch (in the pool). It works with a variety of Garmin cycling accessories.
If the Forerunner 945 detects a bike crash, the new security feature will notify friends and family via text and email. If you require assistance, you can also manually activate this feature.
The 945 not only records swimming, running, and cycling, but also hiking, skiing, and paddle activities like kayaking, canoeing, and rowing, as well as golf (yes, golf!). It monitors parameters linked to running form with Garmin’s running pod or heart rate chest straps. It also includes comprehensive training load measurements that show you how successful your exercises are and how well your general fitness is progressing. During your workouts, you can use real street and topographic maps to help you navigate.
Furthermore, if you find yourself in desperate need of purchase but have forgotten your money, you can use Garmin Pay to shop on the fly with contactless payment.
Didn’t we say anything about the battery? Don’t worry about charging it all the time; the Forerunner 945 has a battery life of 36 hours in GPS mode and up to 10 in audio mode.
- Multisport watch for elite athletes with Spotify music storage and playback
- Exceptional battery life
- Real-world street and topographic maps
- Design is slim and light
- For some runners, there may be too many features
7. Polar Vantage V2
Polar’s top-of-the-line sports watch, the Vantage V2, is great for running, swimming, and cycling. Plus other activities. The watch features Polar’s advanced heart rate monitoring, as well as long battery life, training and recuperation feedback, and, of course, music management and playing.
You can control volume, pause, and switch songs. This is done with the touchscreen before you start a run and with the watch buttons. The disadvantage is that you must listen while gripping your smartphone. Unlike other watches here, the Vantage V2 lacks music storage.
The Vantage V2 is a big watch that may not be suitable for small wrists. The wristbands can be swapped out to adjust the color. It has a circular, fitness-oriented shape rather than a trendy one. However, because the heart rate monitor has a big sensor, this could indicate improved accuracy.
This watch has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities and the ability to pair with a Bluetooth chest heart rate monitor. CrossFit and weightlifting are among the many activities that may be recorded with the watch. However, this one tends to focus on running and multisport, offering accurate time, speed, distance, and swim metrics.
- Multisport watch with lots of features
- Excellent battery life
- Accurate heart rate monitoring
- Expensive considering there’s no onboard storage
8. Garmin Forerunner 245
The Forerunner 245 is perhaps the finest all-around running watch with music when it comes to balancing connection and pricing. It delivers high-end functionality without a hefty price tag.
You may save up to 500 songs on the Forerunner 245 Music, either by drag-and-drop from your MP3 collection or offline synchronized Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, or iHeartRadio content. Simply connect your Bluetooth headphones and you’re ready to go.
The Down button on the side of the watch (the one at 7 o’clock) allows you rapid access to the music controls, allowing you to perform things like skip between songs and change playlists.
If you have a Spotify Premium subscription, you’ll be able to transfer playlists to your device for offline listening.
In addition, we’re great admirers of the Forerunner 245 as a running watch when we’re not listening to music. It provides a wealth of additional data derived from the heart rate sensor, including Training Effect, Training Load, and Recovery Time, all of which are derived from HRV and VO2 Max.
It also has the PacePro function from the more expensive Garmin watches, which will help you remain on target for your personal bests during races.
In summary, the Forerunner 245 combines excellent running capabilities with offline music playing at a reasonable price.
- Another unobtrusive design
- Comfortable on the wrist
- Great battery life
- Sleep tracking could be better
- Does not have Garmin Pay
9. Huawei Watch GT 2e
As a cheap running watch with a built-in music player, the Huawei Watch GT 2e has emerged as a bit of a surprise favorite.
That capability, though, is only available when it’s synced with an Android phone, allowing you to use the Huawei Health app to sync your own music in MP3 and AAC formats. It does not, like the other watches on this list, integrate with music streaming services to keep playlists offline.
It’s a pretty good performer when it comes to running tracking, even though it lacks several important music capabilities. The built-in GPS is accurate, and you can see your real-time metrics on a sharp 1.39-inch AMOLED display. There are also some helpful running manuals available for those looking to add more structure to their running training.
There is also the battery life, which is an amazing 14 days when used as a smartwatch. Although the results may be lower with music and GPS turned on, this is still a good result for a low-cost fitness watch.
The Huawei Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro, which run on Huawei’s new HarmonyOS and has the same music support as the Watch GT 2e, are now available. We’re still finalizing our testing, but the experience of jogging and listening to music on it isn’t all that dissimilar to that of this less expensive Huawei choice.
- Great battery life
- Awesome fitness tracking
- Software functionality is limited, including third party apps
- Doesn’t work with iOS
10. Coros Vertix 2
The Vertix 2 is the first Coros watch to have a built-in music player, allowing you to use some of the 32GB of internal storage to store your own music. Only MP3 file types are supported, and you’ll need to link the watch to your computer to drag and drop them onto the watch.
It does not function with any third-party music streaming services to provide offline playlist support, unlike the other watches on this list. You may link up some Bluetooth headphones and leave your phone at home as long as you have sufficient of your own music.
While it may not offer the most advanced audio functions available on a sports watch, it does boast a long battery life. Even with the addition of music streaming.
Aside from its massive battery life, the Vertix 2 offers a wide range of sports modes, offline mapping, access to EvoLab training insights, and integration with third-party applications like Strava and TrainingPeaks for sharing fitness data.
- Another comfortable lightweight design
- Excellent GPS
- Bright display
- Apps could be better
- Need the backlight, else the display is dim
11. Garmin Epix Gen 2
Garmin finally updated its Epix smartwatch, which was initially released in 2015. It’s been seven years since it was first released. The new Epix 2 is essentially the Fenix 7 with a 1.3-inch always-on OLED display in place of the transflective screen.
Despite the fact that the Garmin Fenix 7 and Garmin Epix Gen 2 seem to be identical, there are substantial differences between them. If you’re thinking about buying one of these high-end sports watches, our guide might help you figure out which one is right for you.
What is the Epix Gen 2?
The Epix 2 can be considered the product of what would happen if you blended a Fenix 7 Pro with the Venu 2. There is just one Epix 2 model, but eight Fenix models in varied sizes, some with solar charging and others with an extra-tough sapphire crystal covering the face instead of glass. Plus 100m water resistance.
A Fenix watch is likely to be the ideal choice if you have small wrists, want the longest possible battery life, or partake in activities like outdoor rock climbing where a regular sports watch might get damaged.
The Epix, on the other hand, has one major advantage over the Fenix watches. That is a bright, high-resolution AMOLED always-on display that really pops charts, maps, and graphics. It’s significantly more colourful than the memory-in-pixel (MiP) displays used in Fenix 7 watches, but it puts more demand on the battery, requiring Epix watches to be charged more often.
Typically, you’ll get 16 days in smartwatch mode (though, note, only 6 days if using the always-on feature). In GPS mode, 42 hours (again, less with always-on, around 30). But, if you’re frugal and opt for battery saving mode, you can enjoy up to 21 days. In fact, there are different ways to use the watch and the ultimate answer is that it depends on what you’re using it for, and how long.
Fenix 7 or Epix Gen 2?
The Epix 2 is available in 47mm and has many of the same features as the Fenix 7, such as 5 physical buttons, touchscreens, and Real-Time Stamina. Sadly, the Epix 2 lacks the new LED flashlight and does not allow solar charging, which is the biggest difference between the two ranges. The Epix can last up to 16 days on a single charge, according to Garmin, and up to six days with the always-on display turned on.
Push notifications, Garmin Pay, music storage, and safety features are all available on both smartwatch lines. Heart rate monitoring, breathing, stress tracking, body battery, fitness age, and sleep tracking are all included, as are the typical Garmin health functions.
The Fenix 7 series was expensive, but that’s to be expected with Garmin’s top GPS smartwatches. Garmin considers the Epix 2 to be a premium multisport GPS watch, thus it’s priced similarly to its Fenix siblings.
The colour options are Sapphire black or white titanium, sapphire black titanium with chestnut leather band or slate steel.
- AMOLED screen is dazzling
- Touchscreen is welcome
- Great battery life
- Massive price
12. Garmin Venu 2 Plus
In terms of design, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is nearly identical to its predecessor, the Venu 2, but unlike the original watch, which was available in both 40mm and 45mm casings, the Venu 2 Plus is only available in a 43mm case. It’s an excellent compromise: it’s large enough to accommodate the additional components of the new watch while not being so enormous that it overwhelms smaller wrists.
In terms of functionality, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is nearly identical to the original Venu 2, with the addition of one key feature: the inclusion of a microphone. Meaning, you can answer incoming calls and utilise the voice assistant on your phone without having to take your phone out of your pocket or purse. It is compatible with Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby, and it is a fantastic addition to an already excellent watch in the form of a smart bracelet.
The Venu 2 Plus is $50 more expensive than the first iteration of the Venu, yet it does not fall short in terms of performance.
When compared to previous generations, the watch will make it significantly easier to use your phone’s speech assistant. We can help you with everything from a quick translation into another language to operating a smart home gadget, calculating the gratuity for a bill, or controlling your music app. It may appear to be a minor feature, but it is quite useful, and it makes this wonderful smartwatch even better.
Is it better than the Venu 2?
It’s similar to the original Venu 2 in that it’s an amazing all-purpose smartwatch that you can wear all day, whether you’re exercising or not. It’s also a good choice if you want an all-day-every-day watch; if you’re exercising or not. The stainless steel case and sharp, dazzling display make it suitable for almost any occasion. Its mid-sized design should fit most wrists and with one size on offer, somehow fits all.
As you should expect from Garmin, it performs admirably in terms of fitness monitoring. Recording heart rate, sleep cycles, SpO2, skin temperature, stress levels, respiration and more.
The GPS on the Venu 2 Plus was accurate to within a few metres of our estimated 5km jogging path, which we had measured with a different device. Garmin’s newest optical heart rate monitor also performs admirably during interval training sessions, reacting quickly to variations in the heart rate reading.
Additionally, Garmin has made good use of the watch’s bright, high-resolution display by including on-screen muscle maps that highlight which muscle groups you’ve just worked, along with guided workout animations for activities such as yoga and Pilates. Due to this practical feature, the Venu 2 Plus is a wonderful choice for anyone looking to experiment with different activities while also adding strength and functional training to their current regimens.
Garmin has the capability of adding more guided sessions in the future, and it has always offered software upgrades to its devices years after their debut, so we can expect the quality of this feature to improve in the coming months and years.
If you want the most complicated features on your wrists, such as live turn-by-turn navigation or training load assessment, a watch like the Forerunner 945 or Fenix 6 is a better choice, but for everyone else, the Venu 2 Plus is an easy recommendation.
- Builds on the limitations of the Venu 2
- Lots of workout routines
- AMOLED display is bright and crisp
- Good, long battery life
- Sleep tracking is accurate
- Again, an expensive option
- Not many third-party apps
- Heart rate sensor needs some work
Running Watches with Music – Conclusion
Running watches with built-in music have become more popular, allowing you to ditch your bulky smartphone while out for a jog.
The Wareable crew has evaluated every running wearable on the market, whether it’s a Garmin watch with music or a fitness smartwatch.
The majority of Garmin’s sports watches, as well as newer smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, can play music directly from the wrist.
Offline Spotify, Deezer, or Apple Music playlists are available on the top running watches with music, but there are many cheaper options from companies like Amazfit. However, this usually means just uploading plain old MP3s.
That’s our whistlestop tour of the best running watches with music. The question remains; do you know what else you need to wear running?
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