Of all wearable lovers, runners would vouch for the smartwatch as a better device than smartphones to stream music, especially while exercising.
Smartphones are often bulky and heavy, and in a vigorous exercise like running, swimming, cycling they are a nuisance. Streaming music directly from headphones is a good alternative but is very expensive.
A smartwatch might not be the best option to stream music for now, but it will surely be the one in future. As you can witness the delinking of smartwatches from phones, and the rising trend of standalone smartwatches.
This trend goes hand in hand for streaming apps rising interest in wearables. Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora already have apps for top-tier smartwatch brands (Apple, Garmin, Fossil, Fitbit)
In this article, we will feature only those watches that support Spotify and other popular streaming apps like Deezer and Pandora.
Best Smartwatch For Music Streaming: Buying Guide
For all those who are specifically looking for a music streaming smartwatch, the three essentials features to consider are battery, interface, music support, and performance. Try this mnemonic to remember this by heart. (Better In Music)
Battery performance matters as you would most likely want these watches to stream music outdoors. Short battery life involves an annoying hassle of frequently taking off the watch for charging. A decent watch should perform all day long on a single charge.
The interface is basically the way the watch allows you to interact with the streaming apps. Features like screen size, resolution, touchscreen display, gesture sensor all count in to determine the overall interface of the watch.
Music Support means if the watch has the required hardware to support a seamless performance. It must have high storage capacity, should run streaming apps flawlessly, and should connect to the headphones/speaker pair, or have a built-in speaker.
Pro tip: Speakers in a smartwatch practically offer no advantage to music lovers. The sound quality is subpar, and they drain the battery. Better not to pay extra for speakers.
Apart from the essentials, the smartwatch should meet the subjective taste of the users. e.g. If the user wants a rugged watch, the smartwatch needs to be IP68 or ATM 5 rated; if the user needs the smartwatch to replace their smartphones, it should have cellular connectivity (standalone watch), e-wallet feature and solid apps, so on and so forth.
What Are The Limitations Of Spotify On A Smartwatch?
This is true for other apps like Pandora and Deezar. Smartwatches still have a long way to go to offer the best compatibility with streaming apps.
The very first shortcoming is small storage capacity. Most smartwatches offer storage capacity for up to only 300 to 500 songs. You would frequently have to delete or download the songs or podcasts frequently.
Though many smartwatches allow the streaming apps on their platforms, they don’t offer them much freedom. Like the case with the Apple watch series. Until recently, you can’t stream music on any Apple watch via Spotify. Now you can, but still can’t access them on the watch in the offline mode.
The short battery life of the smartwatch is yet another limitation. And so does the lack of a speaker in most smartwatches.
‘Below you will find our curated list of the best smartwatches for Spotify and other popular streaming apps. But before you get to the first review, let’s go through the following table to figure out the key differences, strengths, and weaknesses of a music streaming watch.
Best Smartwatch For Spotify & Other Streaming Apps: Comparison Table
Offline support for Spotify
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
3.5 GB (500 Songs, Standard Sound Quality)
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
4 GB (500+ songs, standard sound quality)
LTE option, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
16 GB( 1000+ songs, High sound quality
Bluetooth, Wifi, NFC
Fitbit Versa 3
4GB (2.5GB available, 300+ Songs)
Apple Watch Series 6
32 GB Storage(1000+ songs, High sound quality)
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music—Best Overall Smartwatch For Spotify
Forerunner 245 Music is Garmin’s attempt at a smartwatch that provides music enthusiasts the pleasure of having their favorite tracks at their wrists.
Forerunner 245 Music provides the comfort of having about 500 of your favorite tracks on your watch. They can be uploaded very conveniently via a PC. With a storage capacity of 3.5 GB, Spotify Premium, Deezer, and Amazon Music apps can be installed. These can be synced using wifi so that you can listen to your favorite podcast while on a run.
The touch panel is missing so all the navigation is done by the buttons present at the sides of the watches. They are very convenient to use and also prevent accidental touches while you are exercising.
The interface consists of various screens in the form of widgets. You can access your favorite apps, weather, calendar, heart rate, GPS, etc. with just a push of buttons. It is quite simple and customizable.
Garmin claims its battery lasts 7 days with GPS turned off. It lasts 24 hours with GPS turned on.
Battery life has decreased compared to the previous model because of the music features enabled.
But if used 4-5 times in a week, that 7 day number is decent.
Galaxy Active 2—Best Samsung Smartwatch For Spotify
Samsung upgraded the Active 1 in just 6 months after its release. The newer Active 2 comes with a lot of features that attract music and smartwatch geeks alike.
With the internal memory of 4 GBs, lots of your favorite playlists can be at your disposal. The cherry on top is that Active 2 supports Spotify offline, which means your Spotify tracks can be used even when you have no service. The watch allows immaculate Bluetooth connectivity with Bluetooth headphones of your choice.
Samsung Active 2 connects to your phones via Bluetooth but also allows wifi connectivity in case of the phone being out of range. The settings are managed by Samsung’s wearable app which controls apps, pairing, watch settings, etc.
Galaxy Active 2 is controlled by a feature called a touch bezel which is a digital embodiment of the mechanical dial in the previous model. The interface, made of Tizen OS, is quite simple and user friendly. It is fast, snappy, and lag-free. The watch rocks and is always on display which is also customizable.
Galaxy Active 2 has a pretty decent battery life. With the always on display turned off, it can last for almost 2 days along with music and other apps. With the display turned on, it lasts for a bit more than 24 hours. It juices up in about 2 complete hours.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus—Durable Garmin Smartwatch For Spotify
Looking for a rugged option that also caters to your musical needs? Fenix 5 plus might just be the perfect smartwatch for you.
Bluetooth 5.0 provides flawless connectivity to your most loved pair of headsets. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot connect it to your other Bluetooth appliances, for example your car Bluetooth or your Bluetooth speaker, the connection is just as good.
The controls and interface are straightforward. The traditional button controls are present which have a tactile feedback to them. They are very convenient to use and can be used while running and exercising. Especially music controls are very easy like play, pause, next, previous track and volume controls are all done by the side buttons.
Battery performance is not something that stands out. The watch offers 18 hours of juice with the GPS turned on. These numbers can be boosted to 42 hours in the Ultratrac mode where the data tracking quality is decreased specifically to increase the endurance. The timing is still decent for day to day usage.
Fitbit Versa 3—Best Fitness Watch Smartwatch For Spotify
Fitbit Versa 3 is a potent combination of a great battery, a loaded fitness watch, and convenient music control. This is sure to give you the Apple Watch vibes on a low budget.
Versa 3 provides a greater extent of musical support. The only problem is that the offline playback is only supported by the Deezer, Pandora, or the watch’s onboard memory. Spotify only allows you to use your watch as a remote control for the tracks being played on your smartphone. Deezer, Pandora, and Spotify come pre-installed though.
Users can listen to the songs through the speaker or using Bluetooth devices. Connectivity is great with little to no latency. Even when running or exercising, there is no jitter or fluctuation in the playback.
Versa 3 is equipped with a 1.58 inch AMOLED touch panel which acts as an input for navigating through the interface. You can receive calls, select playlists, and songs from your favorite apps just by a touch. The interface is quite simple and understandable. There is also a programmable button that can be used to access Alexa or your favorite apps instantly.
The battery is one of the most promising features of Versa 3. It can last up to 6 days with routine usage and GPS used 2-3 times a week. With the always-on display turned on, it lasts roughly for 2 days. It supports fast charging also with a 15 minute charge giving roughly 35% boost.
Just recently Apple allowed Spotify to stream music directly on the watch without any need for a connected iPhone. The Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest in the series of premium wearables so we added it here for its advanced features. But if you are on a budget, you can opt for Previous versions with Wifi or Data connection.
Keep in mind that for IOS devices no other watch can offer better compatibility than the latest Apple Watch series.
Until recently, Apple has been less open to third party apps like Spotify, Deezer or Pandora. Though it allows you to install these apps onto your Apple watch, but allows them little functionality. Like just a few months back you can tinker with the playlist on the phone through the spotify app on the watch.
A lot of this has to do with Apple promoting ‘Apple Music’ to its user base and securing a wide space in the streaming apps industry. But as it always happens, they had to open up to slash the growing pressure of its users.
You can stream music on Spotify when your watch is connected to a Wifi or has a cellular connection. But you can’t listen to music offline. However, ‘Apple Music’ Offers you that functionality.
The watch has 32 GB of storage, has a pretty loud speaker, and flawlessly connects to Airpods.
Apple Watch series 6 has a killer display and if that could not impress you, I wonder what can? ( Speaking of smartwatch display) Always-on, Retina Display is the Gold standard of smartwatches.
Apple Watches don’t offer something out of the ordinary when it comes to battery life. Series 6 offers standard 18 hours of battery life. But if you assign it heavy-duty tasks like streaming songs on a cellular connection, the battery would hardly make it to the end of the day.
Almost all these smartwatches support Spotify(and many other music streaming apps) offline if you pay for the premium subscription of the app. You can check the comparison table for a quick overview of the key features of the smartwatches with respect to music streaming. The best smartwatch for Spotify is, however, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music as it has the best battery life, supports offline listening, and allows you to stream music directly via Wifi Connection.