Finding the right running watch with music can baffle even the most ardent runner. Running can be one of the loneliest sports on the planet. Very often, joggers and runners choose to run alone or simply find it hard to find a regular running companion. This is where a running watch with music can really transform your running experience. From listening to your favourite tracks to catching up with a podcast series, a running watch that streams music and other audio services can add a new dimension to your runs.
The risk of fitness trackers with built-in music capabilities also means you can listen to music without hauling your smartphone around with you. Whether you are looking for a Garmin watch with music or a smartwatch that offers fitness tracking and music features, we’ve put together some of the best devices.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
With the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music on your wrist, you can take up to 500 with you wherever you go. From Spotify Premium to Deezer and iHeartRadio, the 245 is compatible with a range of music services.
Price at the time of Article: £279.99
You’ll also get up to 6 hours GPS and music playback for each full charge and offline playback is also supported. It’s probably the best running watch with music on the market right now and all without a crazy price tag. Simply pair your Bluetooth headphones and you are on your way.
Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 is certainly not all style and no substance. It offers powerful fitness tracking features and customisable screens that display everything from heart rate to live running cadence. So, what about music streaming and playback? How does that fare? Well, the Apple Watch allows you to create playlists win Apple Music and sync easily and quickly to your watch.
Price at the time of Article: £399 to £799
If you choose a cellular version of the Apple Watch, you can enjoy fully streamed music and podcasts sent directly over the Internet. But if the Series 5 is a little on the pricey side for you, the Series 3 offers the same music features. If you want to stream music directly to your wrist, make sure you choose the LTE version.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Like other watches in the Samsung smartwatch family, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes with a dedicated Spotify application. This allows you to stream your playlists and tracks using Wi-Fi or LTE and to download offline playlists. You can also choose to transfer music using Samsung’s proprietary music player.
Both 40mm and 44mm sizes come with 4GB of storage which should be enough to store up to 500 songs. You can easily navigate through songs using the rotating bezel on the watch which works really smoothly.
The Active 2 offers around three hours of GPS and music playback. That’s quite low for a smartwatch but enough for shorter runs and commutes.
Price at the time of Article: £289
The Sunnto 7 comes with some impressive features. Firstly, you get 8GB of storage which is enough to load thousands of MP3s. While the Sunnto 7 doesn’t allow for offline storage of Spotify tracks, you can use Google Play Music and download music from here. Pairing with Bluetooth headphones is a breeze and you’ll get around 5 hours of GPS tracking and music playback out of a single charge.
Price at the time of Article: £429
The Fitbit Ionic was Fitbit’s first foray into the smartwatch world and also the first device to offer music streaming from the wrist. However, how you stream that music will depend on where you live in the world. There is no Spotify support just yet, but you can stream from a number of music services.
Those in the US can stream from Pandora. If you live in Europe, the Fitbit Ionic supports streaming from Deezer. The good news is that downloading music to the Ionic is simple by connecting with the Fitbit app.
Fitbit Ionic Blue Gray WatchThose in the US can stream from Pandora. If you live in Europe, the Fitbit Ionic supports streaming from Deezer. The good news is that downloading music to the Ionic is simple by connecting with the Fitbit app.
Price at time of Article: £249.99
Amazfit may not be as famous as Apple, Fitbit, or Samsung, but this brand is definitely one to watch. The Stratos offers good value and great music playback and fitness tracking in one. You’ll get 4GB of storage for your music allowing you to store up to 500 MP3s and play them directly from your wrist. There are no streaming services just yet but these should soon be available with future models.
Price at the time of Article: £159.65
Garmin Forerunner 945
At around £500, the Garmin Forerunner may be one a pricier running watch with music, but you get a lot for your money. You’ll get enough storage to store up to 1,000 songs and also the ability to stream Spotify, Deezer, and iHeartRadio. What’s more, this little powerhouse offers a whopping 10 hours of GPS and music playback on a single charge. Offline playback is also supported. And as a running watch, you get the best that Garmin has to offer in terms of in-depth tracking and analytics.
Price at the time of Article: £469.99
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Garmin has cornered the market when it comes to the running watch with music trends. Their Vivoactive 4 is a smartwatch that combines fitness tracking, music, and notifications in one device. It doesn’t offer live streaming from online music services but it does allow you to drag and drop audio files onto the watch. You can also use offline playlists from streaming services, such as Spotify and Deezer. The Vivoactive also tracks a huge array of sports including running, cycling, swimming, cardio, golf, indoor rowing, and yoga.
Price at time of Article: £239.99
If you are looking for a running watch with music to help make your workouts better, there is a huge range of watches to choose from. Whether you are simply looking for a watch you can load your MP3s onto or you want full-on streaming, there is a watch out there for you. If you already use a music streaming service, it makes financial and practical sense to choose a watch that is compatible with that service. That is if you want to save money on subscription fees and the hassle of setting up new playlists.
Essential Reading: Essential Fitness Gadgets and Gizmos for Runners
Further Reading: Best Beginner GPS Running Watch?