No one in their wildest imagination would have thought that watches that play music would even become a thing.
But tech has always been dynamic. And wearable developers have worked hard enough to ensure you can get the best smartwatches for music to stream and store your favorite playlist.
Today, the idea that you can walk into an electronic store and walk out with a smartwatch powerful enough to play music is stunning. However, you must first do your due diligence to ensure you’re spending money on the right device.
I know that smartwatches are a dime a dozen already. Even then, I find the following to be the best options to consider if you need a model that can play music without your phone:
How to Choose the Best Smartwatches for Music
Before you pay for a smartwatch with music capability, you first need to find out how many streaming services it supports, its battery life, on-board storage capacity, and so much more.
So, here are three things to consider before you make your purchase:
1. Memory and Storage
If you intend to buy a smartwatch that allows you to download and play music offline, you must first determine how much storage you’ll actually need.
- Apple Watch Series 7 features up to 32 GB of internal storage, enough to store more than 1,000 of your favorite tracks.
- Fitbit Senses has a built-in storage of 4GB, which, again, should be sufficient to store at least 200 music tracks.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, whose actual storage is dependent on pre-installed software, has a 16GB storage, enough to store as many sound tracks as you’d want.
How fast the smartwatch can play music is equally an important factor to consider. These smartwatches processing storage in the range of 1 to 4 GB RAM, which should be sufficient for optimal performance.
2. Battery Life
For me, battery life is such a big deal when it comes to smartwatches. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
If anything, it doesn’t make sense to buy a wearable with good storage, fast processing speed, and decent performance, but poor battery life.I highly doubt such a smartwatch would be worth it.
Take Apple’s smartwatch lineup for example.
While they have a decent storage and a promising processing power, they have the worst battery runtime on a single charge yet. Capped theoretically to 18 hours on a single charge, 98% of the Apple Watches last at least 15 hours before dying completely.
Don’t get me wrong.
An Apple Watch can be an incredible investment, as it lets you use the Apple Watch app to create specific albums and playlists that match your preference.
Yet if you decide to buy it, ensure you’re comfortable with the idea that you’ll have to charge your model once a day to get the most out of it. Or at least learn to save Apple Watch battery so you don’t have to charge yours nearly as often.
The takeaway here is this:
Invest in a smartwatch with a decent battery life. If the model can work for 4 to 7 days in smartwatch mode on a single charge, go for it.
However, it’s fine to compromise in favor of reliable brands such as Apple, especially since all have differing preferences when it comes to smartwatches.
3. Connectivity and App Compatibility
Before you settle for a smartwatch that you think is best for playing music, you need to check the type of connectivity that it supports.
You need to understand that some smartwatches only support Bluetooth connectivity. Others can connect to the internet and let you stream music without ever having to download a track.
Obviously, a smartwatch that connects to the internet and equally supports Bluetooth would be an ideal option. Such a smartwatch can work independent of your smartphone, with Bluetooth connectivity being significant for headset configuration.
As for music apps, check to determine how many streaming services the device actually supports. The most common ones are Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora Music, and Deezer.
3 Best Smartwatches for Music That Are Worth Buying
I know there are literally dozens of smartwatches that can play music. But I’ve been determined to bring you only the models that meet the above criteria.
And they’re as follows:
1. Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is somewhat on the high-end. But if you’re a big fan of the iOS ecosystem, it’s undoubtedly the best smartwatch for music to buy.
You’re getting a vibrant and highly responsive display, which mean that the music controls are a snap to navigate.
One thing that makes the Apple Watch Series 8 stand out in the context of playing music is the storage. Its 32 GB storage is sufficient to store 2,000+ tracks. And then 4 GB of RAM ensures faster retrieval and playback of single tracks and your playlist.
Because the model is less dependent on your iPhone, you can connect it directly to a Wi-Fi network and stream music on services such as Amazon Music and Spotify.
Expect the battery to last for 15 hours give or take, although you can add up to 3 additional hours if you optimize power consumption.
- Can stream and store music for offline playback.
- You get 32 GB of storage and 4GB RAM for optimal performance.
- Download and store more than 2,000 songs.
- Apple Watch Series 8 is quite expensive.
- I wish the battery life on a single charge were decent enough.
2. Garmin Fenix 7
Garmin Fenix 7 boasts of a ton of impressive features, one of which is the ability to play music independent of your phone. That it has a 16 GB storage means that you can store unlimited audio songs to listen to wherever you go.
The watch’s round display is about 1.3 inches in diameter. Furthermore, the touchscreen display makes the unit easy to navigate, especially if you tend to switch between lyrics as you exercise.
I wouldn’t consider Garmin smartwatches’ display the most impressive out there. But seeing a brand that focuses wholly on performance try to make the screen real estate impressive is definitely a plus.
Fenix 7 connects seamlessly to Wi-Fi, so you can stream music from third-party providers such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and Deezer.
You can also add personal audio content to the watch via Garmin Express. Or you can use Bluetooth connectivity to listen to music from your phone via the Fenix smartwatch.
This fitness watch has a battery runtime of at least 10 hours optimized for music streaming. But you should expect it to last at most 6 or 7 hours if the GPS system is actively running.
- Garmin Fenix 7 supports music streaming.
- You can download and store more than 1,000 songs to listen offline.
- It’s the most expensive smartwatch on this list.
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
I find Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro to be quite impressive in terms of design and performance. And the ability to listen to your favorite music directly from the watch is no doubt a plus.
Samsung hasn’t locked this watch to the Google ecosystem. So you have absolute flexibility here, which means you can use the device with an iOS or Android smartphone.
The display is quite impressive. You’ll love the brilliant display, the somewhat bigger screen real estate, which is not only responsive but also wide enough for your fingers.
You have two options when it comes to playing music on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
- You can connect the watch to a secure Wi-Fi network and stream music on SoundCloud or Spotify.
- Or, you can download thousands of audio music to the 16 GB internal storage and listen offline.
Although not nearly as relevant to the music theme, I love the idea that you can stretch the use of this watch in the cases where you can’t help but have to.
For example, if you’re thirsty after an hour of workout you can walk into a store or supermarket that allows transactions by NFC and treat yourself to a cold drink.
- You can add YouTube Music and download Mp3 files on the watch.
- It lets you stream Spotify music.
- You can download more than 1,000 songs because there’s enough storage space.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is an expensive investment.
Bringing music to smartwatches is such a tremendous breakthrough. For what it’s worth, being able to listen to and control music from your wrist adds a great deal of convenience, and it goes a long way to make smartwatches worth their price.
Of course, every wearable I’ve looked at has its share of strengths and flaws. At the end of the day, though, every piece here serves its intended purpose.
I hope what you pick meets your needs, and especially that it gives you the best music listening experience.