Smartwatch technology keeps improving every year, with capabilities from additional health features and sensors to longer battery life and a more intuitive interface. One feature that many smartwatch wearers are looking for is the ability to play music straight from their device without the need to connect to their smartphone.
To help you find the perfect smartwatch that both tracks your runs and plays the music that motivates you to keep running, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 smartwatches with music. We’ll dig into price ranges, which smartwatches use which apps, and whether you need LTE or wifi to play your tunes.
Apple Watch Series 7
If you have any watch that’s later than the Series 3, such as the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch 6, or the latest version, the Apple Watch 7, you can easily play Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, audiobooks, and more. Of course, the Apple Watch is one of the most desired watches on the market because of its integration with other products. For music lovers, the easy integration of the Apple Watch with Airpods makes it a good choice off the bat for wire-free listening during a workout.
Some of the other reasons the Apple Watch is perfect for listening to music can be found below.
- Ability to download podcasts, audiobooks, and music onto the smartwatch so you don’t need WIFI or a cell signal to listen.
- Ability to listen without your phone.
- Ability to download non-Apple music and podcast products from the app store such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.
Buying options from $399+ for the Apple Watch Series 7 can be found here.
Apple – Apple Watch Series 7
Walmart – Apple Watch Series 7
Target – Apple Watch Series 7
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
A smartwatch designed just for music? Yup! The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has a lot to offer, which is why it is so popular among those who love to work out and jam at the same time. You can download up to 500 songs (roughly 25 hours) to listen to offline or even while using GPS.
You can pair up with apps like iHeartRadio, Spotify (premium), Deezer, or Amazon Music. Unsurprisingly, you won’t be able to access Apple products but can find your favorite tunes, audiobooks, and podcasts elsewhere.
Let’s look at some of the other features.
- Spotify Premium owners can transfer full playlists over to the watch offline.
- Quick features, like pressing down a button to bring up a pop-up menu that allows you to easily skip songs and take other actions.
- Offers lots of fitness tracking (especially running) features, making it the perfect running watch with music playing capability.
Buying options from $349+ for the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music can be found here.
Best Buy – Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Walmart – Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Target – Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Samsung Galaxy Watch4
One of Apple’s biggest smartwatch competitors has been the Samsung Galaxy Watch. It’s no different when it comes to smartwatches with music playing features. The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 offers up to 16GB of storage and allows for offline downloading of MP3s, Spotify (premium), among other options for podcasts and audiobooks.
When Samsung switched from Tizen to Wear OS software, users gained access to all the Google Apps out there, including YouTube Music. With offline playback options incorporated as well, the latest Galaxy Watch is a great option for listening to music while running–or any other kind of activity.
What other features are expected?
- Choose between streaming LTE or WIFI Streaming vs offline downloading.
- Access to Strava (a popular fitness app) which syncs up well with music capabilities.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch3 and even Watch2 have music capablity as well, but do not use the Wear OS system.
Buying options from $218+ for the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 can be found here.
Samsung – Samsung Galaxy Watch4
Best Buy – Samsung Galaxy Watch4
Target – Samsung Galaxy Watch4
Garmin Venu 2
Garmin has a lot of smartwatches worth looking at. The Garmin Venu 2 offers a music playing feature as well as a new AMOLED screen that is appealing to look at and makes it easy to see and navigate the watch’s features. You can access Spotify, Amazon Music, and other apps like Deezer on the Venu 2.
One thing worth noting is that you can’t stream music on this watch like you can with some of the other watches on this list. You can, however, download your music, podcasts, and audiobooks. The Venu 2’s 8 GB of storage allows for roughly 700 songs to be downloaded, more than enough to keep you entertained and motivated on even the longest run.
Below are some other things to keep in mind about the Venu 2.
- No built-in speakers like the previous watches mentioned.
- Bluetooth compatible to pair up headphones.
- GPS and music work simultaneously.
Buying options from $399+ for the Venu 2 can be found below.
Garmin – Garmin Venu 2
Best Buy – Garmin Venu 2
Target – Garmin Venu 2
Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit is the fitness tracker company that seemed to start it all. The Fitbit Versa 3 seems to have caught up with competitors, and even allows for offline music playback. Like some of our other options on this list, though, it requires you to download your music and does not allow streaming.
Pandora and Deezer are the best music app choices for the Fitbit Versa 3 if you want to use it without your phone. For some reason, Spotify has recently updated requiring your phone to be present.
Consider the following factors when looking at the Fitbit Versa 3.
- Large screen for easy viewing of songs or podcasts.
- Access to major apps like Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora.
- Affordable option with major benefits like extensive fitness tracking.
Buying options from $229+ for the Fitbit Versa 3 can be found below.
Fitbit – Fitbit Versa 3
Best Buy – Fitbit Versa 3
Target – Fitbit Versa 3
AmazFit Stratos 3
The AmazFit Stratos 3 is worth a serious look because of its affordable pricing and ability to play music. This device allows you to sync up on Bluetooth with your headphones and crank out preloaded MP3 music and more.
The Stratos 3 can hold up to about 380 songs of around five minutes apiece. Keep in mind that you will have to download music from your computer to the watch via a connection cord.
More important features include:
- Phone-free capability that lets you listen to music offline only using the watch.
- Can run with GPS simultaneously on.
- Price point is much lower than many watches with similar features.
Buying options from $199+ for the AmazFit Stratos 3 can be found below.
AmazFit – AmazFit Stratos 3
Amazon – AmazFit Stratos 3
eBay – AmazFit Stratos 3
Garmin Fenix 7
The Garmin Fenix 7 is one of the newest additions to the Garmin line, and while this watch does come at a steeper cost than many, it has plenty of capabilities beyond streaming music and downloading audiobooks. While you can certainly load a fair number of tunes and audiobooks on the watch, you can also stream music by connecting to the IQ App store.
From Spotify to Amazon, the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to your choice of music provider. The Fenix 7 also has incredible additions for those who like to spend time outdoors or fitness training.
Here are some of the key features.
- Store up to roughly 1000 songs (this makes the Fenix 7 the option with the most music storage on our list).
- Stream popular apps aside from Apple.
- A high-end smartwatch and also the most expensive option on our list.
Buying options from $698+ for the Fenix 7 can be found below.
Garmin – Fenix 7
Can you listen to music on a smartwatch?
Absolutely. These seven examples above show all the different ways you can listen to music whether it be preloaded or using streaming. Some watches have speakers but still may not have the capability to play out loud and rather require Bluetooth headphones.
Which smartwatches have music?
The seven are our picks for smartwatches with music; however, most new smartwatches are now incorporating the ability to stream music. High-end smartwatches especially, like Apple and newer Garmin watches, will generally offer the ability to play music. This is especially true for watches that have screens, as you can see what’s playing and skip the track or playlist if desired.
Can I listen to Spotify on my smartwatch?
Not all smartwatches allow you to listen to Spotify. However, most will have access through their own individual app stores where you can download the app. In order to download the actual music, you will need a premium subscription.
Can I listen to music on my smartwatch without my phone?
Not all smartwatches offer this but many on our list above do. Any smartwatch that allows you to pre-download music, giving you the ability to listen offline, should let you play music without a smartphone connection.
Which music apps are supported on Smartwatches?
This depends on the type of smartwatch. For instance, you will see all Apple apps on the Apple app store, whereas Garmin will have different access to apps. Most of the most popular apps, like iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Spotify can all be downloaded regardless of app store.
What is the quality of music on a smartwatch?
The quality of music on a smartwatch should be identical to that on your phone, since smartwatches play music in the same format–in MP3 format, for instance–as it is on your phone or computer. If you are streaming music, your music quality will depend more on your WIFI or LTE connection. Finally, if you want to play the music on your smartwatch’s speaker, keep in mind that many do not have a built-in speaker and those that do were not designed to blast music. Your best bet is to invest a good pair of wireless headphones or earbuds.
Brittany Collens is one of our top sports writers. She is also a professional tennis player which helps her authority on subjects such as health and fitness.
She has a degree in journalism and has previously written for well-established sports magazines in Massachusetts.
Brittany lives in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States.