Can Smartwatches Play Music? Yes, there is a range of Smartwatches which can Play Music. There are a few different kinds of smartwatches that fall into this category. First, devices that can connect to the internet and stream music and play it over a Bluetooth connection to your headphones. Second, devices that have storage on the device for music and you can use it as an mp3 player and play music over Bluetooth to your headphones. Third, devices which allow controlling your smartphone which actually works as the music player.
Smartwatches for streaming music
You want music but you don’t want to carry your smartphone? Do it with a smartwatch and a pair of Bluetooth headphones. You might not want to carry your smartphone while in the gym or doing other sports. The smartphone gets in the way and might not bear the sweat. It’s also a lot more convenient to change tracks from your wrist rather than getting your phone from the pocket.
It’s not for sports? Well perhaps you commute and you want to untether yourself from the phone. Having access to all your favorite music apps on your wrist is really convenient to have.
In order to be able to stream music, you will need a smartwatch with cellular connectivity (usually marked LTE or 4G) to connect to the internet. In theory, you could use a wifi connected smartwatch if you plan using it in the gym and they have wifi but for outdoor sports, wifi is pretty much useless.
Having cellular connectivity can also come in handy for making emergency calls while running or doing water sports. Also if you happen to like waterparks you usually don’t want to or are not allowed to bring your smartphone when going to the slides. If you are there as a group or family and split up for going to different slides it’s really nice that you can call each other afterward.
I did my research and looked at the better-known brands like Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Apple. I really like Garmin, but it seems they don’t have an LTE smartwatch yet. Samsung has LTE watches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch but I had to drop it out of the streaming category since it only supports offline Spotify which means it’s not streaming via the LTE connection.
The Huawei Watch 2 is one of the best options for a smartwatch for streaming music while working out. It runs the Android Wear 2.0 operating system which means it’s a standalone device with its own version of the Google Play App store. This means that you have access to Google Play Music, YouTube Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Deezer.
With IP68 water & dust protection, the Watch 2 is designed to resist the elements and won’t get in your way. 4G, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth antennas are integrated under the watch bezel. This reduces signal interference from your body and optimizes signal reception.
The device has a wrist-based heart rate monitor and GPS so you can track your sports activities with it. Instead of streaming music, you can also use the onboard 4GB flash to store music and play it offline.
The Huawei Watch 2 was released back in the first half of 2017. So far Huawei hasn’t released the 4G watch in the US. The price of the device has come down considerably since it was released and it’s comparable to some of the mid-range multisport smartwatches without cellular support.
Some complaints the Watch 2 has received is that the design is less premium than the previous Huawei model and the screen size is too small (1,2 inches) for some apps especially if you need to use the touchscreen keyboard.
LG WATCH SPORT
The LG Watch runs Android Wear 2.0 like the Huawei Watch 2 and supports LTE so it has equally excellent features for streaming music.
It was released in February 2017 so it’s not exactly new anymore but still one of the top choices. With the IP68 dust/waterproof rating, LG says it’s good for 1,5Meters up to 30minutes.
With the 1,38 inch screen, it’s clearly bigger and more readable than the watch 2. However, the device is also quite chunky so it rises quite high above the wrist.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 3 and 4
If you have an iPhone then a great choice is the Apple Watch. For Android phone users, this option doesn’t really make sense. The Apple Watch will sync with your iPhone to deliver a full suite of notifications.
If you get the one with cellular connectivity (LTE) you will be able to stream music from your favorite apps.
Stream directly from the Apple Watch Music or Radio app, or with Pandora Radio and TuneIn radio.
Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 have a water resistance rating of 50 meters. Apple states that they may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, they should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.
Apple watch series 3 was released in September 2017 and the series 4 was released a year later. The series 4 has some improvements but is considerably more expensive.
Smartwatches for offline music playing
If you want to play music while working out without taking your smartphone with you and you don’t need a cellular connection your best option is a smartwatch with offline music playing capability. This option is in some ways better than the LTE options since you don’t need a sim card and the monthly expense that comes with it and you get better battery life since LTE does use quite a bit of power.
In this category, there are more options but I will only bring up the best options based on my research.
GARMIN VIVOACTIVE 3 MUSIC
Garmin makes great multisport smartwatches and now they also have added music features.
If you’ll be using your smartwatch for the gym, running or swimming, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is an excellent choice. It has storage for up to 500 songs.
You can use Garmin Express to transfer music from your computer by connecting a USB cable to the device. This sounds like an old-fashioned approach but it does work and basically, you can add your offline music or audiobooks or whatever you have available.
Another approach is downloading music service apps from the Connect IQ store, and then sync your customized playlists to your watch for offline listening. Supported apps include Deezer and IHeartRadio.
I really like the Vivoactive 3 Music because it offers such a lot for a reasonable price. The sports features are really good on the Garmin devices, the Garmin android app is one of the best if not the best and the music features are a great bonus.
Vivoactive 3 has GPS, Wrist baed heart rate monitoring and it’s also one of my favorite devices for swimming (check my article on the topic)
. Battery life is up to 7 days which is a lot more than the LTE devices.
The Vivoactive 3 is my current daily smartwatch and I did a review on it (check the full review).
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH
The Galaxy Watch is Samsungs latest LTE smartwatch released in August 2018. It’s available in two sizes 46mm and 42mm.
The larger one has a 1,3″ screen and a larger battery as well. Both have LTE, GPS and are water resistant up to 50meters. This device doesn’t have the Android Wear OS 2.0 but instead, the Samsung Tizen Based Wearable OS 4.0.
Currently, the Tizen OS 4.0 doesn’t have an app for streaming music over the LTE connection. It does have a Spotify app which allows you to download a Spotify playlist on to the device for offline music playing.
Battery life is reported to be around 2,5 days and longer if used in battery saving mode.
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