Best smartwatch and running watch with music: Spotify, MP3 and more

The rise of working watches with built-in music playback means you may go for a run with out taking your smartphone with you.

Whether or not you are in search of a Garmin watch with music or a fitness smartwatch, the Wareable crew has examined each gadget available on the market.

Many of the Garmin sports watch range, and smartwatches such because the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, provide the flexibility to play music straight from the wrist.

Many working watches provide help for syncing over Spotify, Deezer, or Apple Music playlists, and most nonetheless will let you add outdated MP3s, as nicely.

Learn on for our choose of the perfect working with music choices from our critiques.

Key issues:

Does it work with Spotify?

Many working watches and smartwatches help Spotify – and different streaming providers. This implies you may obtain playlists or particular person tracks to hearken to offline. Verify that the watch helps your chosen service before you purchase.

Bear in mind, you will usually must be a Spotify Premium subscriber to offline sync to Garmin, Samsung, and the Apple Watch.

Music controls or music participant?

Most working watches with music options will provide the flexibility to manage the music that is enjoying in your telephone – however that does not imply they’ll play music solo.

That may be from the telephone’s native music participant or third-party apps like Deezer and Spotify.

If there is a music participant additionally onboard you will have a portion of storage on the watch to make use of and wish to attach Bluetooth headphones to stream music from the watch.

Tips on how to add music

In the event you’re utilizing MP3s then the strategy of getting tunes onto your watch will fluctuate. Some require plugging the watch into a pc and dragging and dropping your audio information to a folder on the watch. And there may be limitations on file codecs and kinds.

Different watches will solely will let you sync music through the companion telephone app, which implies ensuring that audio is in your telephone already. Which will imply connecting your telephone to a pc first if that is the place your audio lives earlier than you may sync over.

Does it work together with your telephone?

It seems like an apparent one however whereas many watches promote having built-in music gamers, that does not imply they essentially provide the flexibility to make use of that function together with your telephone.

It could generally be the case that watches with music gamers are constructed to work for Android telephones and never for iPhones regardless of having the ability to join and use the opposite watch options on Apple’s smartphone.

Huawei’s watches for example don’t provide these music participant options for iPhone customers.

Battery life impacts

Streaming music from a watch will normally have a big effect on battery life. In the event you’re planning to stream music whereas monitoring runs, that is going to hit the battery the toughest so take note of the battery numbers quoted when these two issues are carried out collectively.

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

WareableForerunner 255


Garmin Forerunner 255 Music key options and specs

  • 500 songs
  • Spotify (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • Amazon Music (offline syncing, sub required)
  • Deezer (offline syncing, sub required)
  • iHeartRadio (offline syncing, sub required)
  • 6.5 hours GPS with music
  • Stereo and mono listening modes

Contemplating the worth and connectivity choices, the Forerunner 255 Music is the perfect all-out working watch with music we have examined; it affords top-end options with out a loopy price ticket.

The Forerunner 255 Music (and you will need to purchase the ‘Music’ model) allows you to retailer as much as 500 songs, both through drag-and-drop out of your library of MP3s, or offline synced Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, or iHeartRadio content material. You merely pair your Bluetooth headphones and also you’re away.

Urgent the ‘Down’ button on the aspect of the watch (the button on the 7 o’clock place) provides you fast entry to these music controls, and allows you to do the fundamentals like skip by tracks and alter playlists.

In the event you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you may switch playlists to the gadget for that all-important offline help.

Away from the music, we’re additionally huge followers of the Forerunner 255 as a working watch. It affords dual-frequency GPS to enhance outside monitoring, a race widget, and morning report options. We additionally discovered the optical coronary heart fee monitor carried out nicely even at excessive depth and intervals.

In brief, the Forerunner 255 blends nice working options and offline music playback at a value that is not absurdly costly.

Simply remember that Garmin has now launched the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 265S, each of which include music help as customary. We’re at the moment conducting our prolonged assessment, so keep tuned for extra.

Learn extra: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music review

Apple Watch Collection 8 / SE 2 / Extremely

WareableApple Watch Series 8


Apple Watch Collection 8 key options and specs

  • 500 songs
  • Apple Music (streaming/offline)
  • Spotify (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • Deezer (offline syncing, sub required)
  • Pandora (offline syncing, sub required)
  • Streaming and syncing with Podcasts app
  • Roughly three hours of GPS and music playback

The Apple Watch may pose as a working watch in its personal proper – so don’t be fooled into considering it’s all type and no substance.

The Collection 8 won’t provide an enormous leap in change from the Collection 7, however it does crucially nonetheless provide the flexibility to stream music when you’re working – with Apple Music significantly nicely catered for.

The Workout app on the Apple Watch is fairly highly effective, with customizable information screens that may even present stay cadence when working.

You will not get pages of information like a Garmin, however it’s no slouch in the case of monitoring your actions. Additionally, there are third-party apps for just about each working service – the Strava and Workoutdoors apps being notably good third-party choices.

So, what about music? In our testing, we discovered it simple to make playlists in Apple Music and sync them to the Apple Watch. The method has not too long ago been overhauled, so the Apple Watch does not should be connected to the charger to sync music.

Apple Music subscribers rocking a mobile version of the Apple Watch can stream music and podcasts straight from their watch.

For the Spotify app, you do now have the flexibility to stream your music over a mobile or a Wi-Fi connection, and, lastly, you may store Spotify music and playlists for offline playback as you may on Garmin and Samsung watches.

There’s additionally the Apple Watch Collection SE 2, which obtained an enormous revamp in September 2022. It is nonetheless one of the dependable for monitoring effort ranges throughout train from the wrist and matches as much as the Collection 8 and Apple Watch Extremely.

The latter will provide considerably extra GPS monitoring with music in case you’re frightened concerning the longevity of the Collection 8 / SE 2.

Our critiques: Apple Watch Series 8 / Apple Watch SE 2 / Apple Watch Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

WareableSamsung Galaxy Watch 5


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 key options and specs

  • 16GB storage
  • Spotify (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • Amazon Music (offline syncing, sub required)
  • YouTube Music (offline syncing, sub required)
  • MP3 help
  • 40mm/44mm (Galaxy Watch 5) and 46mm (Galaxy Watch 5 Professional)
  • Offline playback supported

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 runs Put on OS, which implies customers can access offline playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and YouTube Music.

All these apps allow you to stream music (over Wi-Fi or LTE), and obtain offline playlists from these streaming providers onto the watch.

In our assessment, it has been a stable performer as a health gadget, as nicely. It won’t match the supreme accuracy you will take pleasure in on Garmin and Apple watches, however we discovered it does a very good job general of monitoring your train – and is an effective alternative for Android smartphone customers.

With Put on OS on board, you are additionally having access to huge third-party apps which have been rebuilt for this new Put on OS and that features Strava.

The Galaxy Watch 5 is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes, with a further 46mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Professional, which affords considerably higher battery life and a titanium construct

The older Galaxy Watch 4 additionally runs Put on OS, due to this fact delivering the identical app help.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review

Garmin Fenix 7 / Epix (Gen 2)

WareableGarmin Fenix 7 vs Fenix 6: Key differences explained


Garmin Fenix 7 / Epix 2 key options and specs

  • 1,000 songs
  • Spotify (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • Amazon Music (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • Deezer (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • iHeartRadio (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • 10 hours of GPS with music
  • Offline playback supported

The Fenix 7 vary has the total gamut of music options, together with storage for 1,000 songs and full help for Spotify, Deezer, and iHeartradio.

It’s also possible to go for the dearer Epix, which is similar because the Fenix 7 however with a full AMOLED show and an $899/£799 price ticket. Each excelled in our critiques by way of athletic monitoring and evaluation, however we discovered that the expertise of including music is far clunkier than rivals.

Nonetheless, not like the Fenix 6 you do not want to decide on Professional or Sapphire choices when shopping for – and all variations of the most recent Fenix 7 can deal with music playback.

And the Fenix 7 has additionally added battery life, which implies you get much more music playback time. Garmin quotes 10 hours of essentially the most correct GPS monitoring with music playback – and you will get much more in case you select customary GPS. That is greater than most individuals want.

In relation to sports activities monitoring, the Fenix 7 is just about the perfect you should purchase with an enormous array of modes, metrics, and settings to cater to your whole sports activities monitoring wants.

It tracks all the pieces from path working to skydiving.

But it surely’s the extent of information you get from working that impressed us, with VO2 Max restoration stats, coaching information, and even insights into your working kind. All fashions can be found in photo voltaic editions, too, which may help barely enhance your battery once you head exterior.

In-depth: Garmin Fenix 7X review | Garmin Fenix 7 review | Garmin Epix 2 review

Garmin Venu 2

WareableGarmin Venu 2


Garmin Venu 2 key options and specs

  • 2,000 songs
  • Spotify (offline syncing, Premium required)
  • Amazon Music (offline syncing, sub required)
  • Deezer (offline syncing, sub required)
  • iHeartRadio (offline syncing, sub required)
  • 8 hours of music with GPS
  • Offline playback supported

The Venu was Garmin’s first ever watch with a full AMOLED display screen, and the Venu 2 improves that display screen high quality for individuals who do not desire a Garmin with a type of dull-looking transflective shows on their wrist.

We discovered it is a succesful smartwatch and a very good jack-of-all-trades sports activities tracker in our assessment – though the information and evaluation are extra fundamental than its friends.

When it comes to music, you are getting house for as much as 2,000 songs, which is up from the 500-song storage provided on the primary Venu. That features offline syncing help for Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio.

You are getting a complete record of tracked sports activities and improved modes for monitoring HIIT and indoor exercise classes. The Venu 2 additionally is available in a smaller Venu 2S model, with each providing good, vibrant AMOLED shows. There’s additionally the Venu 2 Plus, which affords entry to your telephone’s sensible assistant.

Garmin has additionally tweaked the person interface to make it simpler to search out the options you employ most repeatedly and makes customizable information screens simple to view when working.

And the battery doesn’t take as a lot of a battering as you may count on. GPS monitoring with music playback is eight hours, which is greater than sufficient for the typical runner.

It’s not a working powerhouse, however the Venu 2 does excel by way of all-day put on. There’s additionally a Venu Sq 2, a sq. model that is available in at considerably lower than spherical Venu 2 and nonetheless affords a music version to pile in your music.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Venu 2 review | Garmin Venu 2 Plus review

Garmin Forerunner 955

WareableForerunner 955


Garmin Forerunner 955 key options and specs

  • 2,000 songs storage
  • MP3, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio
  • GPS with music: 8.5-20 hours (depending on multiband mode)
  • Stereo and mono listening modes
  • Offline playback supported

By now, you get the image of Garmin’s efforts – and the Forerunner 955 (the highest Forerunner within the vary) has house for two,000 songs, in addition to Spotify, Deezer and iHeartRadio offline playlists.

As a working watch, you are getting essentially the most in-depth analytics of any Forerunner – and primarily a Fenix 7 watch with the additional sports activities stripped out and a lighter design.

We significantly take pleasure in Garmin’s Coaching Readiness function right here, which items collectively metrics like sleep historical past, stress historical past and HRV to evaluate whether or not you are able to go onerous in your classes.

The Forerunner 955 is a triathlon watch, so it is huge on swimming, biking and working. It comes with huge battery life, although streaming music will inevitably eat into that point you need to observe, in order that’s one thing to remember.

Garmin has launched the flexibility to change between stereo and mono listening modes, with the latter getting you a bit extra battery time in that music participant mode.

It additionally affords on-wrist help for Garmin’s Working Dynamics for superior working metrics, as nicely, which implies you do not have to hook up the exterior sensor. It is a gold customary working watch – with a price ticket to match.

Whereas there is not a 955 LTE version like there’s for the 945, Garmin makes use of that mobile connectivity to supply security options sans smartphones versus providing phone-free music streaming.

Like with the Forerunner 255 above, simply remember that Garmin has now launched the AMOLED-packing Forerunner 965. There is no distinction with regard to music help between this era and the 955, however be careful for value cuts and keep tuned for our full assessment nonetheless. 

In-depth: Garmin Forerunner 955 review

Huawei Watch Match 2

WareableHuawei Watch Fit 2


Huawei Watch Match 2 key options and specs

  • Retailer as much as 5000 songs
  • Works with MP3 music synced within the Well being app (Android solely)
  • 10-day battery life (GPS + Music unknown)

The Huawei Watch GT 2e, Watch GT 3, GT Runner sequence and Watch 3 all have built-in music gamers, however, if you would like the most cost effective Huawei wearable to supply that help, it is the Watch Match 2 that you’re going to wish to seize.

The Watch Match 2 shocked us in our assessment time with its mixture of exercise options and price ticket – and it is probably the greatest funds sports activities watches going. Nonetheless, in the case of music playback, there are main caveats.

We must always begin by saying that to make use of the onboard music participant, you will must pair the Match 2 with an Android telephone as a result of that help does not prolong to iOS.

You will should pile on music (MP3 and AAC file codecs) of your individual through the Huawei Well being app with the likes of offline help for music streaming providers like Spotify and Deezer not supported. Huawei has now launched its personal music streaming service so hopefully, that help can be added.

Away from these music options, Huawei contains dual-band frequency monitoring, the flexibility to import routes, and use real-time breadcrumb navigation. There’s Huawei’s newest working efficiency and coaching insights additionally included right here, too.

You are getting battery life that is good for a stable week’s price of monitoring and longer in case you sacrifice some options. If you need a very good health watch with music options that appears like a mixture of a smartwatch and a health band, the Match 2 is a good performer for the worth.

In-depth verdict: Huawei Watch Fit 2 review

Coros Vertix 2

WareableCoros Vertix 2


Coros Vertix 2 key options and specs

  • 32GB reminiscence
  • Drag and drop MP3
  • No streaming providers
  • 60 days battery life in day by day use (35 hours with GPS + Music)

The Vertix 2 is the primary watch within the Coros household to supply a built-in music participant providing you with a very good chunk of the onboard 32GB storage to pile by yourself music. It solely handles MP3 file codecs and you will want to attach the watch to your laptop to pull and drop them onto your watch.

Not like different watches on this record, it does not work with any third-party music streaming providers to supply offline playlist help. So long as you’ve got obtained loads of your music, you may pair up some Bluetooth headphones and depart your telephone behind.

Whereas it won’t have the perfect music options accessible on a sports activities watch, it does promise some fairly spectacular battery life. Even once you think about music streaming.

Mammoth battery efficiency apart, the Vertix 2 additionally packs in an enormous assortment of sports activities modes, offline mapping, entry to its EvoLab coaching insights and does work with third-party apps like Strava, Apple Well being, and TrainingPeaks to share your health information round.

In-depth verdict: Coros Vertix 2 review


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