Garmin that plays music

Garmin that plays music DEFAULT

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music, Gps Smartwatch with Music Storage and Built-In Sports Apps, Black

GPS Smartwatch with Music Storage and Playback

From playing sports to playing your favorite songs, vívoactive 3 Music is the smartwatch for your active life. It features on-device music storage, so you can bring your tunes along for every workout. This sporty smartwatch has estimated wrist-based heart rate and more than 15 preloaded sports apps, so you can choose how you like to get fit. Built-in GPS lets you accurately record outdoor activities.

Your Watch, Your Music

With storage for up to songs, vívoactive 3 Music puts the “beat” in your daily mission to beat yesterday. Use our Garmin Express software to easily transfer music from your computer, and then queue up your favorite songs for easy listening through Bluetooth-enabled headphones. You can even download select music streaming service apps from our Connect IQ store, and then sync your customized playlists to your watch for offline ad-free listening (may require a premium subscription). Now you really can leave your phone behind when you work out, because the music that helps keep you moving is right on your wrist.

Fits You and All You Do

Feel free to take this watch outside in all kinds of weather. Not only is it safe for swimming and showering, its Garmin Chroma Display is easy to read — even in direct sunlight — and housed under extra-durable glass. Comfortable, convenient and easy to see — vívoactive 3 Music just fits.

Play More Sports

With more than 15 preloaded sports apps, finding a fun way to stay active is easy. Hit the golf course, go for a bike ride, take a yoga class, or even try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding. When you head outside, built-in GPS lets vívoactive 3 Music track the details of your chosen activity — with no phone connection required. From snowboarding to swimming and at least a dozen other options in between, this watch is the perfect playmate.

Monitor your fitness level with VO2 max and fitness age estimates, plus keep an eye on how you handle stress through estimated heart rate variability.

Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 5 hours in GPS with music mode.


Just as some watch makers are figuring out how to stream music from our tiny wrist-computers, Garmin is catching up to the times and starting to offer music storage on its GPS watches.

Garmin’s newly-announced Forerunner watch, revealed at CES, stores music locally on the watch and pairs with Bluetooth headphones so you can run without your phone and still listen to music. It’s shipping now and will cost $ A version of the same Forerunner watch without music will cost $

The watch’s music capabilities are somewhat basic. The Forerunner can store up to music files, either transferred from a computer or downloaded as offline playlists from streaming services like iHeart Radio and Deezer. But it doesn’t work with other popular streaming services (the most obvious one missing is Spotify), at least at launch.

Garmin's wearable competitors, from TomTom to Polar to Apple to Fitbit, have all offered some form of local music storage or offline playlist downloads before. Apple and Samsung even do music streaming now from their flagship watches.


Some of Garmin’s earlier watches have had music control, which means you can use the watch to play or pause songs that are playing from your phone. But music directly on the watch is feature that a lot of runners have requested from Garmin. A Garmin spokeswoman said the company has just been waiting for the right time, and that “technology advancements and increased customer interest both came into play when making the decision to add music.”

Music aside, it’s still a jam-packed fitness watch. It has built-in GPS and GLONASS and wrist-based heart rate sensors. It tracks running, cycling, swimming, with a few of Garmin’s more advanced training features (like training load and anaerobic training effect) worked into the software.

It’s also nicer-looking than Forerunners past. It has a stainless steel metal bezel, a glass face, and an always-on display. Garmin claims its battery life with last up to seven days with normal usage and up to five hours in GPS mode.

And it will work with Garmin Pay, the company’s recently rolled-out NFC tap-to-pay feature, which only works on one other Garmin watch, the Vivoactive 3.

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Running watches that let you run without needing your phone for music or GPS, that&#;s the goal.

Looking for the best running watch with music and GPS? Maybe even a watch with Spotify? Me too. I&#;ve noticed increasingly the big movement towards being phone-free, this is especially true with walkers, runners and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Editor&#;s Pick


Apple Watch Series 6

While there is no real change to the hardware on the Apple Watch 6 it improves on an already stellar fitness watch. Running, hiking, swimming, athletics &#; it is as versatile as it is powerful. The improved V02 and the addition of the blood oxygen monitoring make this so much more than an offline running watch. See our full review here.




Garmin Venu - GPS + Music Watch

As the newest Garmin watch in , the Garmin Venu includes a brilliant AMOLED display and battery life that lasts for days. The Venu has Spotify for playing and downloading music onto the watch and includes all the stats a casual or serious runner needs. Another excellent watch in the Garmin range. You may also want to consider the Garmin Vivoactive 4 which has very similar specs but might feel more legit at your local running club or the older Garmin Forerunner Music which is still a crowd favorite.


Premium Option


Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Multi-sport Watch

New for is the Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar. Featuring onboard mapping and offline phone-free music, the Fenix 6x Pro Solar lets you charge the watch using solar power! This ground breaking technology is amazing for outdoor runners, outdoor enthusiasts, sports fans and athletes. It&#;s as premium as it gets in consumer and professional sports watches. Consider yourself elite with this high powered multi-function solar charged titan. Available in titanium and black. This is the definitely watch Jason Bourne would buy.


To have a running watch with music AND GPS built-in is what people want most of all so they can leave their phone at home and be free to run, track their run stats, and enjoy good music while running. All that with no phone calls and no interruptions. But, you need it to be good right? It can&#;t have terrible Bluetooth that drops the music, you can&#;t have bad GPS that drops your run mapping stats or heart rate monitoring.

Woman after running standing with a view over landscape.

Recently I spent an extensive amount of time online researching to buy a watch suitable for running with music and Bluetooth headphones that allowed my wife to leave her phone at home &#; phone-free running with music (and GPS). This research took me so long, I felt it would be worth sharing in the event it helps others.

When I say it took me a long time &#; probably over 9 hours of research. Overdoing it really.

Of course, the latest and most exciting news to hit this article is the release of the newGarmin Solar powered range. This includes the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar (which has offline music), Gamin Instinct Solar (no phone-free music), Quatix 6X Solar and Tactix Delta Solar. The Fenix and aquatic and tactix have offline music from Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music. This makes them one of the best integrated running / sports watches with music on the market, as you have choice in the music provider. Well played Garmin, well played.

The idea of running with only Bluetooth headphones and a watch, while still tracking GPS location, pace, heart rate, times while listening to music without the need for a bulky armband for your phone sounds to me like a perfect scenario.

Leaving my phone at home is a freeing feeling and good for me to be in a good headspace (and you too I expect). In addition to researching for my wife, I also researched and purchased a smartwatch &#; although my priorities were smartwatch first and running watch with mp3 music second.

All the running watches with music compared

1 ATM = 10 Meters
IP68 is light water resistance and we&#;d not swim with our watch on.

Running Watch with Music Research

Most of the research I did was on Amazon but there are a lot of running blogs that have bits and pieces here and there. My issue was that no one blog had all the options listed. There were posts about music on your watch but only a couple of models.

So the list that I&#;ve compiled (updated as at Jan ) is as up to date as possible with only running watches that include phone-free music as standard. I won&#;t put prices here as they change frenetically so easier to check the price for each at the time your researching to buy. Links for each below.


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Main c for a running watch with music

  • No need for phone
  • Accurate GPS (Glonass a bonus)
  • Easy to use interface for running
  • Good Bluetooth for headphones/earphones
  • Good heart rate monitor
  • Decent amount of space for downloading music on to the phone

&#;Nice to have&#; for this phone-free music running watch

  • Spotify with download option on watch
  • Waterproof
  • Great battery life for long runs when GPS, Music and Heartrate tracker are all working.
  • Integrates with Runkeeper first, or Strava as a second choice.

Full list of running watches with phone-free music (updated for )

The notes on the end of some of the watches just what I believe was the overall consensus from the hundreds of reviews I read. I will update this list over time as new watches come along as I&#;m always interested in an upgrade.

Quick List (longer details follow below)

General updates

Since writing this original post I did say I&#;d update this as new models of running watches with music come to marketing in thought to &#; all with offline music options so you can leave your phone behind.

The release of the Qualcomm&#;s Snapdragon processor for Android watches in will improve performance and the release of the Apple Watch 5 will certainly spice things up. Fossil has been quick to release new watches this year with the latest being the Gen 5 range: Carlyle and Julianna.

The new Samsung Galaxy Active uses the proprietary Samsung Tizen OS which seems to be performing quite well as a sports & running watch. I certainly think they have done one of the best-looking round watch face sports watches that also cross over to everyday wear. The screen is lovely.

I expect this year we&#;ll see a lot more sports watches come to market with Spotify built-in with offline options for downloading music to the watch.

Updated list of running watches with music for

  • Garmin Venu &#; it has a great look with the usual Garmin decent sized screen with advanced touch options and Spotify built-in. Garmin lovers will appreciate this new model for /
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active &#; it looks really nice. There is a nice black colour but also a really lovely Rose Gold aimed at women. Both 40mm faces. Wireless charging.
  • Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle &#; Men&#;s &#; comes with 8GB storage
  • Fossil Gen 5 Julianna &#; Woman&#;s &#; also comes with 8GB storage. That&#;s a lot of offline music!
  • Huawei Watch GT &#; looks a little similar to the last one but it&#;s much better, and a little sexier.
  • TicWatch Pro 4G &#; This new release from mobvio. A 4G model with Wear OS. Also looks very nice. Only on Verizon at the moment which is sad but still a great option if you want cellular! Streaming music. Sadly still the Snapdragon Wear chip but more RAM which helps!
  • Apple Watch 5 &#; still the best. Made available on Sept 20th with an increased focus on health and fitness. This Apple Watch 5 will have an always-on screen and they say it will still have the same battery life as before. I guess we’ll see. Watch OS 5 launched 19 September. Update: Now Watch OS 7 and Apple Watch 6.
  • Amazfit Sports Watch 3 &#; launched in August and good looking for sure. This is charged with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and stainless steel bezel &#; unless you go for the Elite edition which has AF+AR coated sapphire glass and a titanium bezel. More on this one soon.
  • Amazfit GTS &#; the closest thing we&#;ve seen to an Apple Watch look-a-like. The dial is different but the square design and interface will remind everyone of the Apple Watch. This is a great looking watch as an alternative to the Apple Watch. Released in August This is a serious fashion and fitness watch and is available in a range of colors.
  • Galaxy Watch 4G &#; now available so you can leave your phone at home. Smart move from Samsung as more and more wearable companies are looking at how to include eSIM or nanoSIM to meet customers expectations, or desires at this stage, to be able to leave the phone at home but still be connected.
  • fēnix® 6X &#; Pro and Sapphire Editions &#; taking the Fenix 5 up to a Fenix 6x. This thing has more options than a Macdonald’s order. 42/47/52mm casing size options. Music, maps and WiFi. 10ATM, 32GB and SOLAR!! The power glass absorbs the sun to assist in powering. The Fenix 6 is now THE most serious high sports watch to own. And yet, no 4G?
  • Huawei Watch GT 2 &#; this puppy has a 2-week battery life! Thanks in part to Huawei taking the bull by the horns, quitting waiting for a decent Qualcomm chip and developing their own Kirin 1 chip instead &#; dual-chip actually. The Huawei Watch GT 2 was only released in September so it&#;s going to be a little while before it gets around the world. The advanced sports tracking sounds very interesting and I like the slim form-factor of the watch glass face. I&#;d put up my hand for one of these. It comes in a 46mm or 42mm watch face and 3 different models to chose including Sport Edition, Classic Edition and Elite Edition. I quite like the Classic Edition with its silver finish and brown leather strap. 5 ATM and on-board music &#; space to be confirmed.
  • Garmin Forerunner Music &#; a stylish newer model from Garmin with a tougher look than it&#;s older siblings. The Garmin offers Spotify built-in for streaming or downloading music so you can get the best on your run, and listen to music too.
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4 &#; the Vivoactive 4 comes with an interesting new body energy monitoring software inclusion called &#;Body Battery&#;. This is meant to help you know when your body is optimised for rest or working out. Spotify onboard allows you to download music so you can leave your phone at home.

Running watches with music & GPS in

This is list is in no particular order to keep it fair. In saying that, Garmin and Apple seem to dominate. With the recent news that Google is buying Fitbit (for $2b) we can see that Google feels their current Android selection is a little lacking.

Of all the runners we have polled, asking about their preferred brand of running watch, Garmin seems to win out every time. I&#;m not sure if that is a bias runners have, or if it&#;s legitimately the truth of running watches. With more recent updates to Garmin&#;s line up to include solid offline Spotify integration it makes them a good choice.

In saying that the Apple Watch 5 is still the leading smart watch that also happens to offer music on the phone for running, allowing you to leave your phone behind.

1: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Running Watch with music gps

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a few things going for it. Overall the price and features make this a Top 3 choice for runners who what a good running watch + GPS + onboard music. Here are the key features, positives and some negatives.


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Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Features

  • Download and store up to songs on the watch
  • Bluetooth headphone compatible
  • Garmin Pay available (contactless payment method unique to Garmin)
  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • VO2 Max measurements
  • It&#;s a smartwatch too
  • Bunch of preloaded sports apps
  • Some smartwatch apps available e.g. Uber
  • 5 Hour battery life with running and GPS going
  • 7 Day battery life in smartwatch mode


  • It&#;s a Garmin. That seems to hold a lot of weight in the running world.
  • Equal memory size to most other watches so no points off for that.
  • 2 Colours available
  • Waterproof 5 ATM
  • GPS, Glonass & Galileo (all three ? )
  • All-day stress tracking &#; this is unique to Garmin.
  • Affordable price considering the Brand and features.


  • Garmin Pay &#; not convinced about this one.
  • Limited colours &#; be nice in White

Vivoactive 3 Music &#; for latest price and more reviews: Vivoactive 3 Music

2: Apple Watch 4

The Apple Watch 4 is almost a given in this. It has a fantastic processor speed which ensures that it not only makes a great running watch (with music) but it also is the best all-round smartwatch available. With the ECG feature available in the it also has medical benefits. But it&#;s expensive.

The Apple Watch 5 is newer, faster and exceeds the 4 overall, but this is still a solid performer that only slightly lags behind its newer sibling. Great bang for your bucks.

Apple Watch 4 Features

  • Comes in a variety of colours to choose from. Lots of watch bands to choose from too.
  • Adjustable and swappable bands .
  • The Apple Watch 4 can include a nano-SIM which is unique to other phones.


  • Speed &#; processor is unmatched in a smart device currently
  • ECG &#; it&#;s a medical device too
  • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS. If you can&#;t get a signal for tracking your runs&#;you must run in a cave.
  • Software updates are a sure bet for at least a few years. It might slow down but it&#;ll get some of the good stuff they release each year.
  • Music can be streamed or downloaded.
  • 16GB storage facility &#; most running smartwatches with music only have 4GB. It&#;s being shared but it&#;s still much better.
  • nano-SIM. Leave your phone behind &#; run without it and still take/make phone calls and control Siri etc.


  • Cost. Big expensive cost.
  • It&#;s square. A subjective thing but feels wrong being square
  • Probable not fully featured for Android users.

3: Amazfit Stratos Multisport Smartwatch

I really wanted to get this watch. It was a real contender &#; the features are plentiful and the screen looks really nice. It also has a natural round watch shape which was appealing. I was a bit too masculine and large for my wife but I seriously considered it for myself. Seriously impressive value for money for a running watch with music.

Amazfit Stratos Features

  • 5 ATM water-resistant &#; this would be OK for swimming in
  • VO2 Max
  • Heart rate sensor


  • 22mm regular watch strap
  • Waterproof (5 ATM)
  • Battery life
  • Built-in music capabilities
  • Value for money
  • Overall features for a watch are plenty
  • Decent processor speed
  • Strava features
  • Multisports mode


  • No NFC
  • Slightly complicated user experience
  • Music &#; ensure you have good Bluetooth signal
  • Not sure about OS platform &#; no evidence it&#;s WearOS so&#;?
  • Music space approx. 2gb (4gb total on watch)

4: Fitbit Ionic

Definitely a design that people will love or love&#;less. This Fitbit Ionic just didn&#;t seem to hold enough &#;tech bling&#; for me. So as a running fitness watch, it&#;s a subjective choice for sure. It&#;s very popular and a solid brand behind it.

Fitbit Ionic Features

  • Store and play up to + songs. Depending on the quality of the music files &#; this seems pretty typical but some units go up to songs.
  • Smartphone notifications
  • GPS+Glonass
  • NFC including mobile payments


  • Phone free music (like all watches on this list)
  • Sleep tracking included
  • Built-in coaching features
  • Experienced brand
  • Design &#; if you like it
  • Build quality
  • Water-resistant (50m &#; 5ATM).
  • Finger sized friendly screen
  • Good battery life
  • Heart rate wrist-based monitor


  • Design if you don&#;t like it
  • Can be a little slow
  • Storage is plenty but some might want more.

5: Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4s

Garmin Vivoactive 4s Smartwatch with Offline Music and Pulse ox

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is the bigger watch. The 4s is the smaller running watch. Both come in a 40mm and 45mm watch face but the 4s is smaller. This is the main difference in the two watches. There are many different colours available in both with the 4s having a couple of more delicate features in the design.

I expect they are marketing the 4s as more presentable and the 4 as more rugged.

There are upgrades from the previous Vivoactive 3 model including some nice updates. Great battery life, up to 7 days when just used as a smart watch and up to 5 hours when used when running or exercising with the GPS and Music playing.

There is a wide range of preloaded exercise options and Garmin coach on the Vivoactive 4 and 4s which can help you get trained up for 5k, 10k, half-marathons and marathons. Nothing like having a trainer to help achieve your running goals. It also has Pulse Ox sensors.

The thing that we really like about Garmin&#;s direction this year is the way they have integrated music on to their watches. You might need a music subscription to these services but if you do you can download from Amazon Music, Spotify and Deezer. Simple to do and it&#;s great to have the choice of services.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 ( ) + Vivoactive 4s

  • Just <4GB of space for MP3 music downloads using Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer (you might need a subscription to those third party services).
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wrist heart rate monitor including Pulse ox.
  • GPS
  • 5 ATM Water rating so good for swimming or showering etc.


  • Garmin quality
  • Good integration with iPhones
  • Onboard music services are unbeaten &#; <4GB is as good as anyone else
  • Garmin Coach for runners who want a little extra support.
  • GPS
  • Good for swimming with a 5 ATM rating

6: Samsung Galaxy Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is probably one of the best selling smartwatches right now. It&#;s not specifically a running watch but as it has all the sporty bits and it has music so it seemed wrong to leave it off. Clearly, the look alone will turn some people off, especially my wife, or so I predicted. The Galaxy watch did lead me to the eventual choice for her and it was extremely close to being my choice also. Safe to say the Samsung Galaxy Watch is one of the only serious current competitors to the Apple Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Features

  • 46 mm watch face (also comes in 42mm watch face)
  • 4GB internal storage
  • Barometer
  • Accelerometer
  • Light sensor (for dynamic display)
  • Wireless charging
  • Samsung Pay
  • Bluetooth
  • Swim proof &#; not sure that means waterproof.
  • Built-in microphone and speakers


  • Looks great for a tough watch
  • Great battery life
  • Swim proof
  • Samsung Pay built-in
  • Samsung Health & Fitness tracking included (same as their sports watches)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • MP3 storage for phone-free running and exercise with music
  • Round watch face &#; more natural
  • Built-in microphone and speaker means you can take calls on this. Your phone has to be in Bluetooth reach but you can answer and talk through the watch
  • Wireless charging on the Samsung Galaxy Watch is great. So much easier not having to line up charging points.


  • Proprietary OS. Generally, I tend to prefer Google/Apple/Samsung type platforms where updates are somewhat assured.

7: Apple Watch 6

Apple Watch 6 on wrist

The Apple Watch 6 has kept its physical design. There are a few new straps you can choose from and some nice new colours including Blue and a (red) model.

This new version has better V02 measuring and the addition of blood oxygen monitoring. You still get the ECG feature as well, making this a serious health device in addition to being a powerful fitness and running watch.

You can get the cellular version for true phone free running and there is a healthy 32GB of storage on the watch for music and apps. This means if you don&#;t go cellular you can get the cheaper GPS model and still have offline music for your fitness activities.

There are so many positive features on this watch that it still takes the lead as the best running watch with gps and offline music. The Samsung Watch3 and new Garmin are good, but just not this versatile.

Apple Watch 6 Features

  • ECG built-in
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • V02 Max measuring
  • Waterproof 32GB storage
  • Wrist-based optical heart rate sensor
  • metre water-resistant (5 ATM)
  • Comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes
  • Fall alerts


  • More features than can poke a stick at
  • Always on display
  • Excellent build quality
  • Variations &#; colours, size, straps &#; you can really make the Apple Watch 6 your style.
  • Powerful processor &#; can handle voice assistants etc well
  • Loads of offline music storage


  • Still at the pricey end, especially if you want Cellular and GPS

8: Garmin Forerunner  with Music & GPS

Another strong contender from Garmin for sure. Garmin seems to have really captured the running watch market very well. The issue is with the prices and I feel over time they are going to have to work hard to beat out the rising contenders like Apple Watch and whatever Google plans for Wear OS in the future. While Google isn&#;t a big threat right now, it&#;s price point for cheaper running watches with music and GPS will need to be considered. There are also a number of good Wear OS watches coming out with Spotify too. But I digress!

The Garmin Forerunner with Music is a great watch. It didn&#;t make the cut based on price but it was probably one of the favourites for sure.

If you really love running, want the Garmin name and you want to fit in at the running club, this is a great choice. If you want a more feminine touch to the design then check out the Garmin Forerunner which is newer but still much the same specs and can handle running with stored music and GPS.

Garmin Forerunner Features

The Garmin Forerunner Music features:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Garmin Pay (like apple pay/Samsung pay/google pay&#;but Garmin pay &#; NFC contactless payments so you don&#;t need your phone or wallet for a run!)
  • Space for up to songs
  • Wrist heart monitor
  • Water-resistant (5 ATM)
  • Some wireless services connectivity (Spotify)


  • It&#;s a Garmin. That means something in the running world. Probably the go-to brand for sports, running and outdoor watches.
  • Garmin Pay built-in. So you can leave your wallet at home and still buy a coffee.
  • The Garmin training software is smart &#; gives you what you need.
  • Integration with Spotify streaming service is a big plus. No need to manually manage files so much.
  • 5 ATM water rating but wouldn&#;t put too much trust in that if your swimming a lot.
  • Battery life is great!


  • Pricey. Not saying it isn&#;t worth it and if you want a running watch only, then it&#;s good. But if you want a few more smartwatch features then the Watch 4 is a better choice in this price range, if you can live with shorter battery life.

9: Samsung Galaxy Watch3


This was one of the most anticipated launches of for Samsung. All the previous owners of the Samsung Galaxy watch were excited to see what new features would be released. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 definitely competes with the Apple Watch (on price also) and was first with the blood oxygen measurement.

It still runs a smart assistant called Bixby and you can talk to it like you would Siri or Google Assistant.

Physically, it still looks a lot like the previous model but with improved features, speed and storage.

Tizen has proved pretty stable over the years.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 Features

  • Finally includes offline music with Spotify support
  • Tracks seven main sports and health activities.
  • Sleep tracking
  • Stress tracking
  • Blood OX level monitoring
  • Heart Rate monitoring
  • Trip/Fall Detection


  • Great looking watch.
  • Blood OX level monitoring
  • Spotify now included (offline options for music)
  • Samsung Pay (where supported)
  • Massive 8GB storage onboard
  • Rotating Bezel is back with the Watch 3
  • Bluetooth and LTE options available
  • Tizen currently better than Google Wear OS


  • Didn&#;t get any cheaper
  • Tizen is a closed OS
  • Some great additions in the Watch3 but they didn&#;t step far from the previous model &#; is that a con? or&#;
  • Some frustration with Verizon connectivity

Garmin Venu Sq Music


Garmin has built on the success for the Venu with the Venu Sq. It comes with an impressive 6-day battery in watch-only mode. This time is greatly reduced if using music and GPS, of course. Designed with smaller wrists in mind with a mm band circumference it still has Garmin Play, Spotify Offline, Amazon Music, Deezer, Garmin Fitness options and the addition of tracking your personal moon cycle.


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There is nothing lacking in this Garmin which makes it excellent value for money. It&#;s packed with all the tracking radio options and the powerful additions that Garmin&#;s operating system offers.

For the price this is an impressive and popular sports watch and of course, it offers offline music for your running. Just makes sure you select the Music option when you buy it. The Venu Sq Standard doesn&#;t offer offline music, the Venu Sq Music does.

Garmin Venu Sq Music Features

  • Numerous color options
  • Pulse OX Sensor + Wrist based Heart Rate monitoring
  • Stress Tracking
  • Menstrual Tracking
  • Advanced Sleep Monitoring
  • Garmin Coach
  • Fitness tracking
  • Garmin Pay


  • Nice fit for smaller wrists
  • Fully featured for the price
  • Spotify / Deezer / Amazon Music
  • Garmin Coach and all the fitness features from Garmin
  • Pulse OX Sensor monitor
  • Garmin Pay &#; leave your wallet at home
  • Always on display option


  • Costs most for the music version
  • Nothing else for this price

Huawei Watch 2 Sport 

Huawei Watch 2 Sport running watch with music and gps

It&#;s easy to write about this watch as it&#;s the one I choose. After 6 months of use, I can&#;t say enough good things about it, but I wrote a separate review on it which you can read here.

I knew it wasn&#;t a new model but as there were few other watches being released I figured that it was the best of the bunch. I wasn&#;t crazy about a super sporty looking watch but as the owner of a Seiko 5 watch (SNZF17), which is my favourite watch of all time (even though it&#;s quite cheap) I was happy that it had a tough look to it. The Huawei Sport 2 ticked all those boxes.

When running with the watch I use Google offline music as it&#;s the built-in option. I do have Spotify on it but that only works with your phone, google works without your phone. With google music, I can stream music from the cloud on the phone (I have the 4G model) OR before you leave home, and your phone behind, you can click the albums you want and download them for offline use. You can also download on the 4G/LTE model without WiFi but that will use data.

This means you can run without your phone and have all the music you need.

Huawei Watch 2 Sport Features

  • Wrist-based heart rate monitor
  • Huawei Health built-in
  • Sleep tracking built-in
  • Wear OS
  • Interchangeable watch bands &#; standard watch size
  • Built-in NFC payment &#; Google Pay
  • 4GB on watch storage for music.
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi


  • Comfortable &#; I can wear this all day and not notice it
  • Wear OS &#; updates often, isn&#;t the fastest, but it works
  • Good integration with iOS for notifications
  • Sleep tracking is great
  • GPS is solid &#; great on watch mapping and very pin-point accurate
  • Heart rate and workout statistics and graphs are really great &#; nice on the phone and on the watch
  • Running coach and running plans built into Huawei Health app are good


  • Speed. This is a complaint of every smartwatch using a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, which is nearly all of them right now. It works but it could be faster. The chip is being used in more smartwatches this year.
  • No other complaints at this price.

Fossil Sport Watch &#; Gen 4

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The Fossil Sport Watch comes in two styles &#; Women and Men&#;s versions.

Powered by Google Wear OS you can be sure you&#;ll get updates and be able to change the watch face to suit. Mediocre reviews on this steered my clear but there is a huge Fossil fan base out there, and considering Fossil watches come out of the same factory as most other brands it seems likely they are as good in terms of build quality as all the rest.

Fossil Sport Watch Gen 4 Features

  • Wear OS
  • Swim proof &#; 5ATM
  • hour battery life
  • Magnetic charger
  • 43mm Men&#;s and 41mm Women&#;s
  • 22mm watch band (Men&#;s) and 18mm watch band (Women&#;s)
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Offline music storage &#; 4GB on watch storage
  • GPS (no clear idea if it&#;s only GPS or if it also has GLONASS or similar?)
  • iOS and Android compatible
  • NFC Google Pay


  • Wear OS so at least you know it will maintain some sort of updates
  • Swim proof
  • Men&#;s and Women&#;s options&#;if you like being matchy matchy
  • Offline music storage &#; 4GB
  • Built-in microphone
  • NFC Google Pay is built in so you can &#;coffee&#; with the cool kids after your run&#;or just pick up some milk at the store on your way home


  • Battery life can suffer pretty quickly of you like to doodle with your watch a lot. True of most Wear OS models here
  • A little slow &#; as all Wear OS Snapdragon models are here

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus (fēnix)

Let&#;s be clear, this is not just a running watch, although you could use it just for that and be very happy. The Garmin Fenix 5X is a multi-sport watch with serious firepower. It has been updated to the Fenix 6x now but the 5x is still not sluggish. It&#;s a chunky monkey so if you have petite wrists then you might look like a kid trying to fit his Dad&#;s wetsuit (I have petite wrists). It comes in Orange too, which you will already have realised I really like for a sports watch. If you have the money then there is little debate this is the best of the best.

Garmin Fenix 5X features

  • Premium multisport GPS smartwatch
  • Garmin Pay
  • Stores up to songs
  • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo built-in (no ones getting lost)
  • 10 Day watch life (or 8 hours with GPS and Music going &#; Marathon-able)
  • TOPO Maps
  • Loads of colour/spec options
  • Wrist base heart rate
  • Spotify compatible &#; Garmin did an update across a whole bunch of watches.
  • Waterproof


  • Multi-sport options
  • Waterproof &#; not just resistant
  • If Topographical maps are an important part of your running i.e you are an ultra marathon runner, then this is a big pro to the Fenix.
  • Garmin Pay NFC eWallet
  • Spotify integration


  • Cost &#; it&#;s not cheap but if you&#;re serious about running, or multi-sports, then this is the high end.

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

Follsil Gen 5 Carlyle Smartwatch with Music & GPS
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New for and already exciting all the Wear OS / Fossil fans in the Fossil Gen 5. This is perfectly aimed at a market of people where it&#;s common for both people in the relationship to have the watch. The customer seems to be young and cool. The style between the watches is not vastly different, but different enough that the Gen 5 Carlyle and Julianna are clearly designed with both Men and Women respectively. The Gen 5 Julianna has a beautiful Rose Gold model which will appeal to a lot of women and definitely brings a new look for a ladies smart watch with music.

Fossil have jammed in the features and the most significant improvement with the Fossil Gen 5 is the upgraded processor &#; now the Qualcomm Snapdragon , upgraded from the Speed has always been one of the major complaints with Wear OS devices so the Snapdragon Wear is a welcome update to Wear OS smart watches. As it is the newest and best broad market watch in it is going to sell like hotcakes. I also expect this and the Samsung Galaxy Active will battle it out.

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Features

  • Wrist-based Heartrate tracking
  • Changeable watch bands &#; style is important people.
  • NFC
  • 8GB on watch storage which gives plenty of room for music
  • Google Pay
  • Swimproof (3 ATM)
  • Speaker and microphone built-in
  • Wear OS
  • Google Assistant


  • For a new release, it&#;s affordable
  • Includes all the things you want or need in a running watch & smartwatch
  • 8GB is a good amount of on watch storage for apps/music etc
  • 44mm for the Carlyle is a great size for display
  • Snapdragon chip is faster and able to handle more &#; especially things like Google Assistant commands.
  • Great battery life.
  • Swimproof is a big win here.


  • Size might be a lot for skinny wrists unless you like that look
  • Nothing else of note.

Apple Watch 5

Apple iWatch 5

The Apple Watch OS 5 has an always-on screen but it&#;s not really clear if there is a lot here to sing and dance about. A few more options for straps and some new apps. Watch OS 6 has arrived also with some performance updates. While you wouldn&#;t think of this as your first pick as a running watch with music, it&#;s actually a perfect match for that and so much more.

The always-on screen is a bit of a big deal as no longer do you need to do that awkward check the time thing, especially in a meeting or when you&#;re in a conversation with someone. Much easier to take a sneak peek at the screen without needing any kinetic movement.

The eSIM will become more standard over time is my prediction, so the watch can operate completely independent of an iPhone.

Apple Watch 5 Features

  • Noise app alerts you if the abient audio around you is too loud.
  • Cycle tracking app for women
  • Expanded fitness tracking options &#; tracks more types of exercise
  • Continues to provide offline music with syncing options what just work. A good reason to choose this if you like running and want music with no phone.
  • eSIM option so you can not only leave the phone at home for music, but you can also leave it at home and use the Watch for calls and messages.
  • Siri onboard. This is something Apple Watch still has over Wear OS &#; Siri works really well.
  • Has a built-in Compass &#; I think this could be great for outdoor adverturers and expect there will be a news story one day that tells us how someone made it out of a deep dark forest after getting lost by using the Watch Compass.
  • Watch OS 6 app store on the watch so you can find apps and install without the need for your phone.
  • ApplePay
  • Stainless Steel or Aluminum body options.
  • 40mm or 44mm
  • GPS + Cellular
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • Water-resistant 5ATM (Swimproof)


  • Noise app is pretty cool.
  • Lots of straps to pair and mix and match
  • It&#;s essentially become a phone independent watch for calls, apps, music and messaging. Pretty impressive.
  • All-round solid watch for sports, running and a lot more.


  • Still expensive but this also makes the very capable Watch 4 look good.
  • New leather loop strap is nice, but expensive too.

Garmin fenix 6X Watch


The release now also includes the Garmin fenix 6X Pro Solar edition which includes a built-in solar charging ability on the watch. This allows you to charge the phone when out in the sun which is a major break through. See on Amazon. Make sure to watch for the Pro Solar if purchasing as they look similar and have similar names to the fenix 6x without solar.

The Garmin fenix 6x is some serious firepower for a multi-sports watch &#; much more than just a running watch with music. It includes some cool smart features but there a bunch of features it bypasses to ensure it remains a serious watch for serious sports enthusiasts.

It comes in a range of really great looking colours and finishes including a nice Rose Gold.

Garmin fenix 6x Features

  • &#; display
  • Mapping options &#; Topo maps
  • Onboard music (offline options)
  • v02 estimates
  • Garmin Pay
  • Maps included for ski resorts around the world. Pick your next ski run from your watch. That&#;s pretty cool.
  • Power management options so you can see what&#;s using the battery juice up fastest.
  • Wrist-based heart rate sensor
  • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
  • 42/47/52mm sizes
  • 10 ATM &#; the highest-rated sports watch waterproof rating on our list in
  • 32GB Storage
  • So.many.options! Bands, materials, bundles etc. Garmin have doubled down on this model and it sits at the top of the list if not for the price and also if you don&#;t need the smartwatch features of the Apple Watch 5.
  • Comes in 6, 6 Pro, 6S, 6S Pro and 6X


  • True multi-sport watch
  • GPS that works
  • Topo maps are a nice addition, was also on the fenix 5
  • Loads of features and finish options


  • No 4G LTE option
  • Cost, but you have the money then this is not a con.

Past models from this list

The Polar M was a watch that I wanted to like because it was one of the only ones to break the design mold. It has an android OS and a nice clean interface. It is a now a little older and never really caught on with running fans. It&#;s also one of the only models that supports music in the Polar watch range.

The Samsung Gear Sport is still a great watch with offline music but Samsung has released newer models that mean this moves off the active list. It&#;s water-resistant to 50 meters and finally, it looked better than a lot of others in this space. If you can get it on sale, it still performs.

The Apple Watch 3 is still a great watch but now that it has been surpassed by more than 2 models it seems time to retire it to this section. You can get it for a great deal so it&#;s still worth considering if you&#;e not the type that needs the latest and fanciest of gadgets.



The LG Watch Sport tried to enter the fray but didn&#;t seem to hold its own well enough. It is now discontinued.

Motorola Moto Sport &#; this watch was released in and while you can still get your hands on it, there are better options on the market.

Conclusion on which running watch with music we chose&#;(drum roll?)

Running watch for my wife:

I went with the Samsung Gear Sport for my wife because it was affordable and seemed to have a straight forward interface. The bezel works well and the interface is attractive. The colour was also appealing to my wife. #winning

2 months in and many runs finished the Gear Sport was a good choice for the price. Transferring songs to the phone very easy, much easier than I expected so I would recommend it.

The real winning watch was the Apple Watch 4 and now the Apple Watch 5 but just couldn&#;t stretch to that considering this was also a bit of a test as to whether she would like using a running watch with music, or a watch at all.

Running watch for myself

So, an update on the below is that I&#;m moving to the Apple Watch 6 on release next week. It&#;s been a long time coming but I just struggle with the Wear OS software on a slow chip so it&#;s time to upgrade. This will give me phone-free running with music but also the eSIM and Apple Pay will let me leave my phone at home for most trips out of the house. I share more later.

I went with the Huawei Watch 2 for myself and while running was not my priority I have clocked loads of runs on this and love it. Connects to my Bluetooth earphones easily. The GPS on it is excellent and the heart-rate monitor is also consistent. It&#;s light, comfortable and also quite comfy to sleep wearing at night for sleep monitoring. The built-in fitness app data is attractive and well organised and the sleep tracker is excellent.

I especially bought this for the built-in 4g sim card so I can use it as a watch and phone on the go (like the Apple Watch but cheaper). This doesn&#;t seem to be on the US model but is on the UK model.

If I&#;ve missed a winner for running with music, let me know in the comments below.

Apple Watch 6 Review and Unboxing

Apple Watch 6

What we like (Pros)

Blood Oxygen + ECG monitoring

Always on brighted screen

Vo2 Max monitoring

Loads of storage space for music

Good battery life

What we like less (Cons)


This post was last updated on / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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

The rise of running watches with built-in music enables you to stop hauling a giant smartphone out for a jog.

Whether you're looking for a Garmin watch with music, or a fitness smartwatch, the Wareable team has tested every running wearable on the market.

Most of the Garmin sports watch range, and newer smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, offer the ability to play music straight from the wrist.

The best running watches with music offer offline sync Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music playlists, but there are plenty of cheaper routes to getting music features from the likes of Amazfit too. However, that generally means uploading good old MP3s.

Read on for our pick of the best music options/

Best running watches with music

Our picks of our favorite running watches with music, based in our in-depth testing.

Garmin Forerunner Music

Price when reviewed: $

Garmin Forerunner Music

  • songs
  • Spotify support and offline syncing (Premium required)
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • 6 hours GPS with music
  • Offline playback supported

Probably the best all-out running watch with music – when you balance connectivity and price – the Forerunner offers top-end features without a crazy price tag.

The Forerunner Music enables you to store up to songs, either via drag-and-drop from your library of MP3s, or offline synced Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music or iHeartRadio content. You simply pair your Bluetooth headphones and you’re away.

Pressing the Down button on the side of the watch (the button at the 7 o'clock position) gives you quick access to those music controls, and lets you do the basics like skip through tracks and change playlists.

If you're a Spotify Premium subscriber, you'll be able to transfer playlists to the device for that all-important offline support.

What's more, away from music we're big fans of the Forerunner as a running watch. It offers loads of extra data leveraged from the heart rate sensor, which focuses on Training Effect, Training Load and recovery time – all garnered from HRV and VO2 Max.

It’s also been handed down the PacePro feature from the Fenix, which will help you stay on track for your PBs during races too.

In short, the Forerunner blends great running features, offline music playback at a price that's not absurdly expensive.

Read more: Garmin Forerunner Music review

Buy from Amazon

Apple Watch Series 6/Watch SE/Series 3

Price when reviewed: From $ (Series 6), $ (SE), $ (Series 3)

apple watch series 6 music

  • songs
  • Apple Music and Spotify offline syncing and LTE streaming on compatible models
  • Streaming and syncing with Podcasts app
  • Roughly three hours of GPS and music playback

The Apple Watch is very much a running watch in its own right – so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all style and no substance.

The Workout app on the Apple Watch is pretty powerful, with customisable data screens that can even show live cadence when running, if you wish.

You won't get pages of data like a Garmin, but it’s no slouch when it comes to tracking your activities. Also, there are third-party apps for pretty much every running service – the Strava and Workoutdoors apps being notably good.

So, what about music? Well, you can make playlists in Apple Music and sync them to your Apple Watch quickly and easily – and it’s one of the most user friendly experiences in our list.

Apple Music subscribers rocking a cellular edition of the Apple Watch can stream music and podcasts directly from their watch.

For the Spotify app, you do now have the ability to stream your music over a cellular or a Wi-Fi connection and finally, you can store Spotify music and playlists for offline playback like you get on Garmin and Samsung watches.

For those who want to save money, the Apple Watch Series 3 is now available for $ There's also the Apple Watch Series SE $, which features Apple's newest heart rate monitor, which we found is one of the most reliable for exercise.

Tested and rated: Apple Watch Series 6 review | Apple Watch Series SE review | Apple Watch Series 3 review

Buy from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Price when reviewed: From $

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

  • songs
  • Spotify offline syncing and MP3
  • 40mm and 44mm sizes
  • Offline playback supported

Like the rest of the Samsung smartwatch bunch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers a dedicated Spotify app. This means you can stream music (over Wi-Fi or LTE) and download offline playlists from the streaming service onto the watch.

It's also a decent fitness device, it's a decent experience for casual runners looking to make that step up, although the Samsung Health experience isn't as polished or complete as rivals. There is a Strava app however, which makes gripes about the app a moot point.

You can transfer music through Samsung's own music player as well, and thankfully it's really easy to do from the Gear Companion app.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes, with both offering 4GB of storage to pile on your music and Spotify playlists.

Bringing back a software version of the much-loved rotating bezel makes it easier to navigate through your tunes and playlists, too. This is a smartwatch well worth considering to liberate the music from your smartphone.

It's also worth noting that the Galaxy Watch 3 is available too, which also supports Spotify. It's larger, but doesn't come with a silicone strap so you'll need to swap the strap to get sweaty on runs.

How it stacks up: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Samsung

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro series

Price when reviewed: From $

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

  • songs
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • 10 hours of GPS with music
  • Offline playback supported

The Fenix 6 range has the full gamut of music features, including storage for 1, songs and full support for Spotify, Deezer and iHeartradio. However, you need to make sure you opt for Pro or Sapphire options when buying (these cost more money, naturally).

One of the biggest features of the Fenix 6 – and why it costs so much – is the battery life. You get 10 hours of GPS tracking with music (and 36 hours without music), so serious runners should be covered.

When it comes to sports tracking, the Fenix 6 is pretty much the best you can buy with a vast array of modes, metrics and settings to cater for all of your sports tracking needs.

It tracks everything from trail running all the way to skydiving. But it's the level of data you get from running that really impresses, with VO2 Max recovery stats, training data and even insights into your running form. Now all models are available in solar editions too, to give you an extra battery boost when you head outside.

In-depth: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro review

Buy from Amazon

Garmin Forerunner

Price when reviewed: $

Garmin Forerunner Music

  • songs
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • 5 hours of music with GPS
  • Offline playback supported

While Garmin doesn't officially list it on its site anymore, it's still one you can pick up at a good price to get some music in your life. It’s got room for songs and supports offline playlists for Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and iHeartRadio just like the rest.

The Forerunner Music does come with a slightly larger price tag for all this extra dressing, and you get five hours of GPS tracking while listening to music from the wrist.

So, why opt for the Forerunner for more money? It blends the power of a Forerunner with VO2 Max data, recovery, Training Status and advanced analytics with a sleeker, nicer look. It’s got a silver bezel.

There are also some other features: the Forerunner Music has a barometric altimeter, can measure running power (if paired with a Running Pod or chest strap) and has Garmin Pay.

The cheaper Forerunner Music has none of those things, but does feature the Body Battery, which can predict how well you’re set to train and a Pulse Oximeter sensor, and the new PacePro feature.

Fully tested: Garmin Forerunner Music

Buy from Amazon

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Price when reviewed: $

Garmin Vivoactive 4

  • songs
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • 5 hours of music with GPS
  • Offline playback supported

Garmin has added the same music features to the watch that was considered Garmin's answer to the Apple Watch. Though the Venu (mentioned below) has changed that.

The Vivoactive 4 is the company’s smartwatch, and it mixes music, notifications and Garmin Pay with wide-ranging sports tracking with lots of dedicated modes – but entry-level feedback.

It will track running (indoor, outdoor, treadmill), cycling (indoor and outdoor), swimming (pool only), golf, strength, cardio, elliptical, indoor rowing, yoga and more.

You can drag and drop audio files onto the watch when you hook it up to a computer, and it'll offer offline playlist support for select music streaming services, such as Deezer and Spotify.

On top of that, you get the same sports tracking features packed in the Vivoactive 3 Music, including Garmin Pay, GPS and a heart rate monitor.

In detail: Garmin Vivoactive 4 review

Buy from Amazon

Garmin Venu 2

Price when reviewed: From $

Garmin Venu 2

  • 2, songs
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • 8 hours of music with GPS
  • Offline playback supported

The Venu was Garmin's first ever watch with a full AMOLED screen and the Venu 2 improves that screen quality for those who don't want a Garmin with one of those dull-looking transflective displays on their wrist.

In terms of music, you're now getting room for up to 2, songs, which is up from the song storage offered on the first Venu. That includes offline syncing support for Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and iHeartRadio.

You're getting a comprehensive list of tracked sports and improved modes for tracking HIIT and indoor workout sessions. The Venu 2 also comes in a smaller Venu 2S version, with both offering nice, bright AMOLED displays. Garmin has also tweaked the user interface to make it easier to find the features you use most regularly and makes customizable data screens easy to view when running.

And the battery doesn’t take as much of a battering as you might expect. GPS tracking with music playback is eight hours, which is more than enough for the average runner.

It’s not a running powerhouse, but the Venu 2 does excel in terms of all-day wear. There's also a Venu Sq, a square version that comes in at significantly less than round Venu 2 and still offers a music edition to pile on your music.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Venu 2 review

Buy Venu 2 from Amazon

Garmin Forerunner

Price when reviewed: $

Garmin Forerunner

  • 1, songs storage
  • MP3, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and iHeartRadio
  • GPS with music: 10 hours
  • Offline playback supported

By now you get the picture about Garmin's efforts, and the top Forerunner has space for 1, songs, as well as Spotify, Deezer and iHeartRadio offline playlists.

As a running watch, you're getting the most in-depth analytics of any Forerunner – and essentially a Fenix watch with the extra sports stripped out. The Forerunner is a triathlon watch, so it's big on swimming, cycling and running. It comes with big battery life, though streaming music will inevitably eat into that time you have to track, so that's something to keep in mind.

It hooks up to the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod for access to advanced running metrics. It's a gold standard running watch – with a price tag to match.

There is now a Garmin Forerunner LTE, though unlike other LTE-packing watches, that extra connectivity is reserved for communication and safety features over letting you stream music sans smartphone.

In-depth: Garmin Forerunner review

Buy from Amazon

Garmin Forerunner

Price when reviewed: $

garmin forerunner

  • songs
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • 6 hours of music with GPS
  • Offline playback supported

If you want a triathlon-friendly Garmin and really can't stretch to spending on a , the comes in cheaper and will give you the same music features. Though you have half the storage to play with.

It's the successor to the Forerunner XT putting many of the same features into a smaller case. That includes a built-in music player where you can pile on your own music via drag and drop on your computer. Or you can sync playlists from Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and iHeartRadio on the watch.

You get all of those core sports tracking modes including new Suggested Workouts and a smarter recovery advisor to up its training skills.

Battery life with music and GPS in use is up to six hours, which compared to the 16 hours you get without music shows how much streaming will dent its staying power.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Forerunner review

Buy from Samsung

Fitbit Versa 3

Price when reviewed: $

running watch with music playback update

  • songs
  • MP3 drag-and-drop also Pandora (US) and Deezer (Europe)
  • 12 hours GPS no music (expect approx 4 hours with music)

Fitbit's first smartwatch is no longer available directly from Fitbit's own website, which means in time it's unlikely to get the same software update treatment as its new Sense health watch and the new Versa 3 lead the smartwatch assault for the now Google-owned company.

The good news is that the Versa 3 (and the Sense) both now come with built-in GPS making it a better running companion when you head outdoors.

Like the Ionic and previous iterations of the Versa, you are still getting a built-in music player and music controls here too. Unfortunately, unlike Samsung and Garmin, you don't get the kind of Spotify support we crave. Despite adding the app, this really acts as just a controller for your phone – similar to Apple's version.

However, those in the US will have access to Pandora in order access offline listening. If you're in Europe, that door is closed to you, but it does have Deezer support.

Thankfully, putting music on the watch itself is actually fairly straightforward, since this can be done through Fitbit's own music app. To do so, you need to go through the desktop Fitbit Connect app and select the files you want to sync.

Once on there, it's a case of pairing your Bluetooth headphones with the watch and you're away. For a deeper take on how the device fares in music streaming and beyond, take a look at our Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense reviews.

Fully trialled: Fitbit Versa 3 review | Fitbit Sense review

Buy from Amazon

Huawei Watch GT 2e

Price when reviewed: $

huawei watch gt2e

  • 4GB storage
  • Works with own music synced in Health app
  • 14 day battery life (GPS + Music unknown)

The Huawei Watch GT 2e has emerged as a bit of a surprise fave as an affordable running watch that also has the bonus of a built-in music player.

That functionality however only works if it's paired with an Android phone, letting you sync over your own music in MP3 and AAC format via the Huawei Health app. It doesn't work with music streaming services to store playlists offline like other watches on this list.

Away from its useful music features, it's a really solid performer when it comes to run tracking. Built-in GPS is reliable and you have a crisp inch screen AMOLED display to view your real-time stats. There are also some useful running guides that offer a good starting point for anyone that wants to add more structure to running training.

Then there's the battery life, which is an impressive 14 days in smartwatch mode. You'll likely get less with music and GPS in use, but it's still a really good showing for a fitness-focused watch that doesn't cost a whole lot.

The Huawei Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro are now on the scene, which run on Huawei's new HarmonyOS and offers the same music support as the Watch GT 2e. We're still finishing up our testing, but the experience of running and piling on music onto it isn't all that different from this more affordable Huawei option.

In-depth verdict: Huawei Watch GT 2e review

Buy on Amazon

Amazfit Stratos 3

Price when reviewed: $

Amazfit Stratos

  • 4GB memory ( MP3s)
  • No streaming services
  • 5 day battery life (GPS + Music unknown)

Amazfit may not be a familiar name to most, but Zepp Health, who also makes Xiaomi's wearables along with the Amazfit line of watches, is one to keep an eye on.

The Stratos is a budget watch that can suitably handle your music needs. The Stratos 3 offers solid overall sports tracking features including a built-in music player.

The original Stratos doesn't just compare favorably to the top pick in this field with regard to price, either, with the Stratos matching Garmin with 4GB of storage data for your music. In our testing, we found the music controls to be limited, but generally the playback lives up to basic expectations.

Like other sports watches, the meat here is in its built-in tracking modes, which are also backed up by GPS/GLONASS support and a heart rate monitor. Thanks to a partnership with Firstbeat, more advanced metrics, such as VO2 Max and Training Load, are also on board.

For the full details on its music tracking capabilities and tracking chops, jump over to our Amazfit Stratos review. If you wanted to spend less, and want more of a sleeker look with the same sports tracking, the new Amazfit GTS 2 and GTR 2 offer built-in music players too.

Put through its paces: Amazfit Stratos review

Buy from Amazon

RunningBuying guidesSport


Music plays garmin that

Garmin watches are the most popular smart wares around the globe. Their instance durability and robust design snatch the heart of all adventurers and athletes. 

Most people also want music in these Garmin watches. If your Garmin watch supports music then you are lucky, and it’s just like killing two birds with one stone.

It’s an amazing experience to enjoy songs while running, hiking or any workout. But only a few Garmin watches have built-in storage for music. 

We have done a lot of research and collected some best Garmin watches with music support, you can play music on them. Also, you can install a Spotify app on these watches and build your favorite music library. 

Read More: Best Garmin Watch For Cycling


Best Garmin Watches With Music

Garmin Forerunner

garmin watch with music

Forerunner series is the top Garmin series for athletes, and most of the forerunner members come with built-in music support. Along with other big reasons, music is also a big theme behind the manufacturing of Forerunner

Unlike other smartwatches, you don’t need to only control music on a smartphone, but you can download and play tracks without a phone.

This sports watch has GB of capacity that can store up to + tracks and podcasts. You can also transfer music from your computer to Forerunner via USB cable. 

The watch also supports other music apps like Spotify, Pandora etc, and builds your music list.

Fitness & Health Tracking

Along with music this watch also offers a variety of premium fitness and health tracking features and built-in sports apps. Some of the major fitness tracking features include;

  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Running Dynamics
  • VO2 Max
  • Pulse Ox Sensor
  • Training Status
  • Training effect & load
  • Intensity minutes
  • Body battery energy monitoring
  • Women’s health tracking

Apart from this, the GPS tracking on Forerunner is insane, you will also get live tracking and few safety tracking features. The watch will track your routes more precisely and show quick results. 

You can set your goals via Garmin Connect, and a virtual Garmin coach helps you to effectively achieve your goals.

Bottom Line

Overall Garmin Forerunner is the winning watch that has amazing music capabilities. And secondly, I love its stylish and sexy design, most of the durable watches don’t have a beautiful shape but this one has. Secondly, on this watch, you will see animated workouts that help you to correct your workout angles.

  • A highly accurate fitness watch
  • Excellent battery life
  • Elegant and stylish design
  • Physical buttons

Garmin Vivoactive 3

garmin music watch

Garmin Vivoactive is the best mid-range smartwatch for music lovers. Just like Forerunner , it offers GB of storage to store your favorite songs. On this smartwatch, you can easily download up to songs and connect with Bluetooth for phone-free listening. 

Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a Garmin Express that allows you to easily and quickly transfer music from your computer. 

You can also download any music app like Spotify from your Garmin Connect IQstore, and then sync your favorite playlist to your watch for offline listing. You will never get bored with your old workout playlist because you can change it up anytime by using Spotify or any other music app.

Other Features

No doubt, Garmin Vivoactive 3 is full of exciting fitness tracking and other features. The most premium health tracking features in this sports watch include; 

  • VO2 Max
  • 15 Preload sports apps
  • Heart rate variability (HRV)
  • Stress tracking
  • Women’s health tracking
  • Incident detection
  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Sleep tracking
  • Intensity Minutes
  • Auto activity tracking
  • Training Record and much more

That watch can automatically track your few sports modes, but you can also turn off auto activity tracking as this feature sometimes consumes more battery. 

Apart from all these features the watch has 5 ATM water resistance and has high durability. You’ll have over a thousand amazing watch faces and a few of them are customizable too. You can also download more apps and watch faces from the Garmin Connect app.

Bottom Line

This is another best watch to store music and music apps.Thanks to Garmin for adding a long-lasting battery to this device that allows us to track activities for 8 days in smartwatch mode.

You can also extend the battery life by turning on battery saver mode. The watch tracks your every activity more accurately and effectively. 

  • Fully customizable watch
  • Durable design
  • Accurate GPS
  • Excellent battery life
  • Heart rate isn’t available in swimming mode
  • Little bulky

Garmin Venu Sq

garmin music watch

Here comes the best budget Garmin watch that supports music. Garmin Venu Sq comes with two different variants one has a round shape dial the other one has a square. So you can choose any design that you love.

Just like the other two Garmin watches, in Venu Sq you don’t need to use your smartphone to listen to tracks. This watch has GB of music storage which is enough to store over + songs. You can download or transfer more songs via Garmin Express or from your computer. 

The good news is, this smartwatch comes with a built-in speaker and microphone that allows you to make calls and reply to texts. 

Other Features

Although Venu Sq is a mid-range Garmin watch here you will find some of the most high-end features, these features include;

  • Body battery energy monitoring
  • Pulse OX Sensor
  • Stress tracking
  • Women’s health tracking 
  • Hydration Tracking
  • Respiration Tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Mindful breath
  • Safety tracking
  • Create workouts and more

Similarly for athletes and fitness lovers there are 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps that help you to track your various useful exercises like walking, running, cycling, swimming, golf, and more.

The watch is pretty durable and has Gorilla Glass 3 and an aluminium bezel. Because of its 5 ATM water resistance, you can track your underwater activities. 

Bottom Line

Overall Garmin Venu Sq is a beautiful watch with a sleek design suited for every outfit. This watch has a bright color display and option AOD (Always-on display.

Venu Sq gives 6 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, and 14 hours in GPS mode, which is enough to track your activities for a long time.

  • Excellent battery life
  • Light and compact footprint
  • Best mid-range watch
  • More premium feature
  • Nice design
  • Limited 3rd party app support
  • No ABC Sensors

Garmin Forerunner


Forerunner is a multi-sport watch that is best for every athlete and outdoor sports. It can store songs, for phone-free listening you can use Bluetooth headphones.

Similarly, you can transfer music from your computer and make your favourite playlist. From the Garmin Connect IQ app, you can install Spotify to get access to millions of tracks and podcasts. 

Garmin Forerunner comes with a more advanced design, having a five-buttons interface that enables you to track any activity by simply pressing them. You will get a Garmin Chroma display with transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) that allows you to easily read the dial even under direct sunlight.

Other Features

Forerunner is a high-end Garmin watch that is packed with a huge number of fitness tracking features and other features, these include; 

  • VO2 Max
  • Training Load and training status
  • Anaerobic training effect
  • High-quality performance monitoring
  • Running dynamics
  • HRM 
  • Women’s health tracking
  • Safety tracking
  • Built-in sports apps and more

I strongly recommend this smartwatch to runners, because it can track your running from every aspect. It measures your ground contact time, stride length, vertical ratio, vertical oscillation, balance, pace, speed, and other such things.

The watch is pretty easy to use and have a lot of customization options available. 

Bottom Line

Under the hood, you have a lot of exciting features to explore in Forerunner Along with music support, this watch supports the NFC feature to make contactless payments. Because of its lightweight and small dial this smart wear is also best for ladies. 

  • Advance running features
  • Accurete fitness and sports tracking
  • Excellent battery life
  • Fast and accurate GPS
  • Advanced running metrics require extra hardware
  • Expensive

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

best garmin watches with music

Fenix 6 Pro is the last Garmin’s device on our list, and it’s not wrong if I called it the best. This is a premium and high-end Garmin watch that is packed with every single feature that you have expected. 

The streaming service in this watch is amazing. It supports Amazon Music, Deezer, IHeartRadio, Spotify, and other music apps.

Fenix 6 series comes with 32 GB of solid built-in memory allowing you to store + songs and a lot of other apps too. 

There is a ″ display which is 36% larger than its predecessor. The watch is made with strong and durable polymers, tested to U.S military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance. The watch bezel is made with stainless steel or DLC coated and has a scratch-resistant sapphire lens and premium material.

Other Features

Although the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is a pricey smartwatch, but you will pay for quality. The advanced built-in feature makes this watch more worthy and pricey too. The most premium features include; 

  • Backcountry SKI
  • XC SkI dynamics
  • MTB dynamics
  • Animated workout
  • Surf-red features
  • Power Manager 
  • Wrist-Based heart rate
  • Body Battery energy monitor
  • Advanced sleep monitoring
  • Hydration tracking
  • Performance metrics
  • PacePro
  • Recovery time
  • Daily workout suggestion
  • Golf tracking features
  • ClimbPro 
  • ABC sensors
  • Pulse OX sensors
  • Respiration tracking
  • Acclimation
  • TOPO maps
  • Safety tracking and much more.

Because of the huge number of features, the Garmin Fenix 6 pro is pricey and if you have the budget I will strongly recommend you to go with this one. For every single athlete, Skiing expert, adventurer, hiker, or runner this is a perfect smartwatch. 

Bottom Line

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is not only the best smartwatch with solid music capabilities but also offers a huge variety of fitness and sports tracking features. Similarly, it has 21 days of insane battery life and you can use this watch for 80 days in battery saver mode. 

  • Rugged as hell
  • Fully customizable
  • More premium features
  • Best for athletes and outdoor adventure
  • Offline maps
  • A constant stream of updates

Final Words

You can enjoy music during your workouts and exercises with the above Garmin watches. We have done a lot of research before making this list so that you can buy anyone the above watch without any doubt.

Please note that none of the above Garmin watches can play music on a physical speaker. You must connect your watch with Bluetooth headphones to experience phone-free listening.


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Đánh giá Garmin Venu SQ Music: đồng hồ thể thao nhưng vẫn lịch lãm

Garmin Forerunner Music review: a runner’s best friend

The Forerunner is Garmin’s excellent performance running watch and sets a new benchmark against which the competition should be measured.

Two versions are available: one which can download music and one which cannot at a recommended retail price of £ or £ respectively. It came out in April to replace the popular Forerunner

The Forerunner resembles a round digital watch and is just mm wide, mm thick and g in weight, which by sports watch standards is tiny, comparing favourably with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 and the Apple Watch Series 5. It takes standard universal 20mm watch bands and comes with an excellent traditional silicone strap that fits wrists between mm and mm in circumference: in other words most wrists.

The colour transflective LCD display – which is not a touchscreen – can be seen in direct sunlight without the need for a backlight, although there is one for the night. The display is clear and easily readable at a glance, but is pretty basic compared with the flashy OLED screens on smartwatches. Think of it more like an advanced colour digital watch and you will get the idea.

There are quite a few watch faces to choose from, including digital and analogue options, plus many more available from third parties via Garmin’s Connect IQ store.

The up, down and back buttons take you around the interface. The start/stop button doubles as a select button and the light button powers the watch on and accesses quick settings. Press and hold the down button to access music controls or the up button to quickly jump to the full settings menus.

From the watch face you can also access a long list of customisable widgets using the up and down buttons, including smartphone notifications, calendar, the weather, health stats, stress levels, your heart rate, previous runs and many others.


  • Screen: in transflective MIP (x pixels)

  • Case size: mm

  • Case thickness: mm

  • Band size: standard 20mm quick release

  • Weight: g

  • Storage: GB/ songs

  • Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)

  • Sensors: GPS/Glonass/Galileo, compass, accelerometer, heart rate, pulse Ox

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth , ANT+, wifi (Music only)

Charging and syncing

The Forerunner fully charges in two hours via a short snap-in USB cable that plugs into the back of the watch and can connect to Garmin’s desktop Express software on Windows or Mac.

The watch connects to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth and the Garmin Connect app, which handles syncing data, updates, smart notifications and other bits. The separate Garmin Connect IQ app handles installing apps, including watch faces, widgets and music services.

The Forerunner Music also has wifi for syncing your activities straight to the cloud, downloading music and software updates.

The Garmin Connect app is extremely comprehensive, able to display an almost bewildering amount of information, with analysis often reserved for pay-for subscriptions elsewhere, such as how effective your training is. Recent updates have made the app a lot more beginner-friendly, particularly for day-to-day health tracking.


The Forerunner is generally repairable, but Garmin typically replaces damaged devices with refurbished units for a fee. The battery is not user replaceable, but straps are. The screen is covered in Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, similar to a smartphone.


The Forerunner tracks lots of sports but excels for running with practically every feature you can think of, whether that’s on a treadmill, track, trail or road. The battery lasts up to 24 hours tracking with GPS, and just under six hours playing music.

The GPS trails are the most accurate I’ve tested in suburban London, matching distance and routes with very little deviation from maps and race lengths. The time it takes to get a GPS lock, and the strength of that lock, has been drastically improved with a recent software update too, getting a lock within 20 seconds of stepping outdoors most of the time.

Garmin’s third-generation heart rate sensor is about as accurate as optical scanners can be too, and for the majority of people will be more than accurate enough for training purposes. If you need better you can connect a chest strap via Bluetooth.

During a run you have a series of customisable screens with a varying number of fields and stats on display. The screens are well designed and easy to understand with just a quick glance mid-run.

My primary screen has pace at the top, a run timer and distance in the middle, and heart rate at the bottom. But you could show fewer fields or swap any of them for a vast list of stats, including: various timers and laps, distances, paces, speeds, heart rates and zones, running dynamics (with optional Running Dynamics Pod accessory), cadence, race info, temperature, elevation and other bits. There’s a stat for practically anything you want to see at a glance.

Targets, performance and workouts

You can get the watch to beep and vibrate when you’ve hit certain milestones, such as laps or distance, and speak things like your average pace every three minutes through Bluetooth headphones. You can also set a target based on distance, time or pace, which is extremely handy for running a 5K without a running track.

Alongside VO2 Max estimates, used as an overall measure of fitness, the Garmin can measure performance and tell you if you have worked hard enough. Between six and 20 minutes into your run the watch will beep and give you a positive or negative score, which is either a kick to run harder or confirmation that you’re on track. I find it extremely useful.

The Forerunner can track workouts such as interval training too. The watch has a built-in coach with adaptive plans for beginners to intermediates with a 5K time over 21 minutes.

But you can easily programme your own or download sessions, based on pace, distance, heart rate zone or other metrics. Running at a pace, for instance, the watch beeps a countdown to the start of the interval.

During the sprint the watch beeps when you are over or under your target pace alongside a glanceable dial on screen. It works really well and means you do not need a track, a set place to run or someone with a timer to do effective interval training.

The only thing missing is a barometer. You’ll still get elevation data from maps, but if you look to train using elevation this might be a deal-breaker.

Other health

The Forerunner does a good job of tracking most of the basic cycling stats similar to running (pace, distance, heart rate etc) and can be paired with various external sensors for speed and cadence, plus Garmin’s smart lights.

Swimming, including heart rate, lengths, distance, stroke type and count, calories and other bits can be tracked in the pool too. Plus gym workouts and a handful of other activities profiles, such as walking, yoga, rowing and weights.

Overall health tracking is also extensive, covering all the usual suspects such as steps, calories, distance, intensity, heart rate, move notifications, menstrual tracking and stress.

Garmin’s body battery attempts to track your energy levels during the day to show when best to exercise or rest. The watch tracks sleep, including cycles, heart rate and estimates blood oxygen saturation, and it can alert you when if heart rate spikes when not active. The only thing missing compared to the very best fitness trackers on the market is ECG measurements for your heart.


Both versions of the Forerunner can control music playback on a smartphone, but only the Forerunner Music can download tracks and play them without a phone, with a capacity for GB or tracks.

Music in MP3 or AAC format can be transferred via USB cable from the computer using Garmin Express. If you’re a Spotify Premium, Deezer or Amazon Music user, you can install the associated app on your watch and sync music and podcasts directly to the watch via wifi. The Spotify app works really well, although downloading large playlists takes quite some time. Playing Spotify on runs without a phone is a killer feature but reduces the battery life to six hours.


Alongside health tracking, the Forerunner has basic smartwatch features, vibrating when you get a text, notification or call on your phone. You can scroll through the text of a notification and clear it, reject a call and that sort of thing.

The battery lasts about a week with the screen on, notifications and health-tracking active, including heart rate, which is significantly longer than most smartwatches that only manage up to two days.

The smartwatch functions work with both Android and an iPhone. They will not match a true smartwatch, but if you are looking for alerts on your wrist the Garmin does the job.


  • Syncing and updating the watch via wifi is much faster than via smartphone.

  • You can’t listen to music and sync via wifi at the same time.

  • Garmin and Beats headphones have a bug that breaks the on-earphone volume controls.

  • The watch can take a beating – I fell while running, landing on the watch and taking a bit out of the plastic but it was otherwise unaffected.

  • The Forerunner doesn’t support Garmin Pay/mobile payments.


The Garmin Forerunner costs £ RRP without local music playback or £ RRP with music playback, but are frequently discounted.

For comparison, the Garmin Forerunner 45 has an RRP of £, the Forerunner £, the Polar Vantage M costs £, the Suunto 5 costs £, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 costs £ and the Apple Watch Series 5 costs £


The Garmin Forerunner Music is a runner’s best friend, and sets a new bar by which most other running watches will be measured.

The watch is small, slim and light. The display is very clear and easy to read. It has practically every stat and aid necessary to track, measure and help with running and training, and comprehensive analysis and export of data to many popular services, including Strava.

Much of the information will be overkill for casual runners, but for those looking for a tool that works reliably with real buttons and helps them analyse their runs, do intervals and train better, the Garmin ticks practically every box. Seven days’ battery as a watch or 24 hours’ tracking runs doesn’t hurt either. Buy the one with music and free yourself from your phone for motivational tunes or podcasts, including offline Spotify support.

It also does a great job of tracking a lot of other activities and features comprehensive general health monitoring too, including sleep, stress and heart rate alerts. Its smartwatch-like features get the basics right without trying to do too much, plus it has a fair few watch faces available and easy-to-swap standard straps.

It’s not the cheapest, but the Garmin Forerunner Music is a truly great running and fitness watch that is easy to live with on a daily basis.

Pros: slim, light, real buttons, clear screen, accurate GPS, good heart rate, extensive stats, comprehensive health tracking, highly customisable, long battery life, optional offline music, Spotify, basic smartwatch features

Cons: expensive, no barometer, no touchscreen as well as buttons, interface can be a bit clunky, screen fairly basic compared with smartwatches

Other reviews

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