Picture this: you’re gearing up for your daily jog, swim, or cycle, but instead of lugging around that bulky smartphone, you’ve got all your favorite tunes right on your wrist.
These days, most premium smartwatches come equipped with enough memory to store thousands of songs. Yet, the task of manually loading MP3s can be quite a chore.
What we crave is convenience.
Enter stage left, music streaming apps like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer. These services seamlessly integrate with leading wearable devices, offering the sweet freedom of offline playback, albeit with a premium subscription.
In this guide, I’ll focus specifically on smartwatches that support Spotify. Garmin was the pioneer, rolling out Spotify integration first. It then took nearly 5 years for this music streaming giant to make its way onto watches from Apple, Samsung, and Google.
Spotify Free vs. Premium—What to Expect
You will find key differences in the table below.
|$10.99 ($5.99 Student plan, $14.99 for Duo plan, and $16.99 for a 6-account Family plan)
|Over 100 million songs, plus 2.6 million podcasts
|Over 100 million songs, plus 2.6 million podcasts.
Premium users often get exclusive access to new releases for the first two weeks.
|Download songs for offline listening (you need Wi-Fi or Cellular support on your watch)
|Visual and audio ads between songs
|Limited to shuffle play for whole albums on mobile; limited skips (6 tracks per hour)
|Full playback control; unlimited skips
|Streams at 160kbps on (128kbps on desktop)
|Streams at 320kbps, offering higher-quality audio
Now that you have the key differences in mind, let’s discuss the top picks from different brands.
Spotify on Apple Watch:
Apple Watch is the best platform to experience Spotify music mainly because it offers top-notch hardware support. A fast processor, huge memory, and responsive touchscreen set the right stage; a clean, no-frills Spotify app does the rest.
Here are my key takeaways:
- Installing and setting up the Spotify app is a no-brainer.
- A Spotify Premium subscription is a must if you’re looking for offline playback, unlimited skips, and an ad-free listening experience.
- I found the interface pretty straightforward. A couple of swipes to the left, a couple of taps and I sorted it all out.
- Siri integration with Spotify allows a true hands-free experience. I can control nearly everything on the app using voice commands.
- Only the cellular Apple Watch model can stream and download music directly through the watch; Wi-Fi models need to be in the range of an iPhone or WiFi network.
To play Spotify on Apple Watch without a connected smartphone you need:
- Apple Watch Series 3 or later running watchOS 7.0 or above
- Paired Bluetooth headphones (you cannot play Spotify on Watch’s speaker)
- A cellular or WiFi connection
Here is a list of all the watches that fit in this category
- 16 GB Storage: Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular, Series 4
- 32 GB Storage: Apple Watch 5, 6, 7, 8, SE, SE 2, Ultra
- 64 GB Storage: Apple Watch 9, Ultra 2
I listen to Spotify on my Apple Watch Series 8, however, you would have an identical experience on a budget Apple Watch SE or SE 2.
To be future-proof, I would suggest you should go with the latest model: Apple Watch Series 9.