One of the most appealing aspects of smartwatches is that they can be used without the need for a smartphone. And built-in music storage or the ability to stream music means you can listen to your favourite tunes whilst you’re running, listening to music, following a workout or just cleaning the house.
We just like to listen to music without having to have our phones with us at all times!
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When we say onboard music, we mean the ability to store music on your watch. When we say streaming, we mean listening to music digitally via the internet, with the help of Bluetooth.
And if you don’t have an Internet connection, onboard music plays because music is stored on your device.
So, let’s look at 8 of the best smartwatches for music in 2021:
8 Best Smartwatches for Music in 2021
The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a much loved and beautifully packaged smartwatch that lives up to its reputation of being a fun watch.
This watch comes in two sizes: 41mm by 11.3mm and a larger 46.2mm by 11.1mm.
It offers some life-saving features, too. For example, an ECG sensor that is FDA-approved and a trip alarm. This next generation of the Galaxy range from Samsung is health-focussed, too, with VO2 Max and SpO2 data, blood pressure monitoring and a huge catalogue of watch faces. Plus, a much slimmer design.
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Without double, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the best Android wearable on the market today, giving competition to the Apple Watch 6.
Though that’s all well and good, you’re here to learn about the music capabilities. You can enjoy offline playlists if you have a Spotify Premium account, if not, there’s 8GB of storage onboard. If you have the LTE version, you can listen to your favourite tunes totally free of your phone.
If you’re interested in Samsung Galaxy Watches, check out the 9 Health Benefits of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, here.
Speaking of the Apple Watch 6, of course, it’s on this list.
There’s a lot to say about the music features that the Apple Watch offers without diving into a specification of the watch itself, so let’s focus on that:
The watch itself offers 32GB onboard storage, but if that’s not enough, there is a host of app and streaming options available, too.
For example, “Hey, Siri”. An Apple Music subscription allows you to ask Siri to play a song or album and as long as it lives in Apple’s music universe, it’ll play it.
With your Apple Watch 6, you’re able to sync any album or playlist from your iPhone to your smartwatch.
Streaming apps you can use include (but not limited to):
- Apple Music
- Radio FM
- TuneIn Radio
- iCloud Music Library
- Apple Radio
In fact, there’s a lot you can do with your Apple Watch without needing your phone. Check out our article, here.
The Garmin Forerunner is a 47mm by 13.7mm watch offering 5ATM water resistance, a bright 240 x 240-pixel resolution display, GPS and music, to name a few things.
We can’t think of a better device than the Garmin Forerunner 645 for those of you looking strictly for a smartwatch designed for music and aren’t concerned about the health-related features.
Offering around 3.5GB storage, the Forerunner 945 can store around 1,000 songs onboard.
If, however, you have a wifi connection, you can enjoy music streaming for the following apps (which may need you to sign up for a Premium account):
- Garmin Express
- Amazon Music
- iTunes/Apple Music
- iHeart Radio
What’s more, you can download music from these apps to your Forerunner and enjoy it offline.
The Vivoactive 4 is significantly cheaper than its siblings in the Fenix range, but every bit a sports watch. With dimensions of 45.1mm by 12.8mm, 5ATM and Gorilla Glass protecting the screen, it’s a rugged little thing.
The most critical function of the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is music. There’s a small price jump from the Forerunner 645 and 645 Music, but the latter models need you to download music to the device itself.
There is around 3.6GB of onboard storage for your playlists, albums and podcasts. Also, you’re able to add music manually to your Vivoactive 4 with a computer.
The band can be used with music streaming services, too, namely Spotify and Deezer. Though you’ll need a premium subscription for the former. Some users have grumbled that getting everything connected isn’t as user-friendly as it could be. However, once you’ve done it, you shouldn’t need to do it again and it works flawlessly.
The Garmin Fenix 6 is the Fenix 6 series’ middle sibling. It’s the edition of the outdoor watch that we imagine existing Fenix users, as well as those looking for a new fitness tracker, would look at first.
The Fenix 6 Pro sits between the Fenix 6S and the burly Fenix 6X, offering almost all of the same features in a 47mm case.
The onboard memory is double what it was in the Fenix 5 Plus (now you get 32 GB vs 16 GB in the Fenix 5S Plus), which really is useful if you want to save music on the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. And you can do this by synchronising music via Spotify (or Deezer, whichever streaming service you prefer). Once you’ve uploaded your playlist, simply pair it with a Bluetooth headset and go.
Also, The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar is one of the best solar powered smartwatches with longer battery life.
On paper, this device isn’t a million miles away from the Vivosmart in terms of size: A 44mm by 10.9 mm offering weighing only 42g in stainless steel with Gorilla Glass and 5ATM rating.
The watch itself offers 4GB of built-in storage for music, which you can use by creating playlists that you can access even when you’re not near your phone.
You can also hook up streaming services like Spotify (though you may need a Premium account to get the best out of this app). Currently, this is the only service you can download the app directly to the watch, whereas the others require your phone to be nearby and connected via Bluetooth.
However, a cool thing you can do is switch between music services, if you want to.
The Versa 3 is the latest generation in the line, but Fitbit has stated on its forums that it has no specific plans to add music storage to the Sense or Versa 3 devices, which undoubtedly disappoints many.
For those who are unaware, the Versa 3 has built-in GPS, allowing for phone-free racing. However, unlike the Fitbit Ionic, the watch does not have the ability to store music for offline listening.
Fitbit Versa devices have a plethora of streaming options to select from. So far, Deezer and Pandora are really the only two that can handle streaming or uploading offline songs. Though the brand says it’s working with Spotify to bring this service in later models.
Be careful when looking at this model as there are two variants, one of which cannot download music and one can. Be sure to check you’re looking specifically at the 245 Music.
The Forerunner 245 is a rounded smartwatch that is just 42.3mm by 12.2mm and weighs 38.5g. This is small by sports watch standards and matches up to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3 and the Apple Watch Series 6.
Both models of the Forerunner 245 can manage music playback via a smartphone. However, the Forerunner 245 Music has 3.5GB (about 500 songs) of memory built it. What’s more, it, can stream and play tracks without the need for a handset.
MP3 or AAC music formats can be passed from a device via Garmin Express. If you have a Spotify Premium, Deezer, or Amazon Music subscription, you can update the app on your smartwatch and connect music and podcasts directly to the watch via wifi. The Spotify app is really functional, though uploading big playlists takes a long time. Playing Spotify while running without a phone is a fantastic function, but it cuts battery life to six hours.
We hope that helps in your search for the best smartwatches with music!
Maygen is an expert content writer with exceptional knowledge of the smartwatch and fitness tracker market.