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There’s nothing better than going for a run when you’ve got a sweet set of tunes playing in your ear. You want to be able to easily access your playlist when you’re having a jog around the block in the morning, right? Thankfully, you can both track your calories and also select your tunes in no time with the use of the right smartwatch!
There are a lot of brands out there providing a lot of really cool smartwatch options for runners, from FitBit to Garmin to Apple Watch. It can sometimes be a little tricky to know what you’re looking for but look no further than this handy article! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite running watches with music, and read on to the end to find our nifty buyer’s guide to show you what to look out for in a running watch with music accessibility.
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Best Running Watches With Music - Comparison Table
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Best Running Watches With Music - Reviews
The Apple Watch Series 4 - you shouldn’t be surprised it tops our list! This watch is incredibly fast in its operation, and most importantly can be connected to music. It’s also ideal for tracking medical information with its added ECG feature.
As is customary for Apple watches, the Apple Watch Series 4 comes in a range of different colorways and watch band options. You can even mix and match the bands, and it’s fairly painless to do so. One especially cool feature about this watch is that it comes with the capability to use a nano-SIM with it.
The watch comes equipped with a GLONASS system and an accurate GPS, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost on your runs! As far as the music is concerned, you can either stream it or you can download it so you don’t need to worry about a lack of WiFi. It also comes with 16GB worth of storage. This is a fabulous choice for any runner with a range of fitness features to keep you right on track.
If you want a good quality watch for fitness, Fitbit is always a strong contender for your dollars. It’s got a bit of a controversial design where some may love it and others may not, but its popularity is not without merit.
With this Fitbit Ionic you can play and store up to 300+ songs straight from your wrist. It will also allow you to stay up to date with the outside world without having to whip out your smartphone, as it will display your notifications right on the screen. Like the other contenders on the list, it also has GPS and Glonass for extra reassurance while you’re running.
It’s also possible to make payments using the watch. You can track basic fitness too, alongside sleep. It even comes with built-in coaching sessions for when you're on the move but don’t have access to any streaming apps. It’s got a fantastic build quality and you can use the watch even with the chunkiest of fingers.
This watch gives a lot of power for a range of different sports, and it’s the perfect companion for running. It’s not just a watch for listening to music while running - it has a bunch of extra features for you to enjoy too.
The watch comes in a range of different colors, including a gorgeous rose gold version, and comes with the ability to pay for things using the device. When accessing your music you’re also able to do so while offline so you don’t need to worry about having an internet connection to use the watch to its full potential.
The watch comes with a circular face and a decently sized display. Despite the size though it’s also quite lightweight, and it’s also ultra durable and can withstand a lot of damage. It also has GPS connectivity and a heart rate sensor. Oh, and it can be used underwater?
Overall it’s a solid option for runners who want to be able to track their stats and look stylish doing so.
Yet another stellar pick from Apple! The Apple Watch Series 5 is a little upgrade on the 4, but as it’s newer it’s a little pricier. But with that price you’ll get a range of great features that you can utilice when running.
The watch features an always on display, allowing you to easily see the time, and it can be seen easily during both dim lights and daylight. Its health tracking capabilities are quite impressive, again featuring an ECG. It also comes with built in GPS.
Using the watch you can track a whole bunch of different activities and it comes with 32GB of space built in so you can easily upload podcasts and music to listen to on your runs. It also comes with fertility predictions for the ladies, and a noise meter. Pretty neat, huh?
Garmin have really nailed smartwatches for runners, and the Garmin Forerunner 645 is a testament to that. While it’s pretty pricey, it’s difficult to find many other faults with it. Let’s take a look!
The watch works very well when connected to music, with a capacity of up to 500 songs that can be stored in it for easy access. You can even connect it to online applications such as Spotify to stream your music on the go.
The watch comes with the ability to use Garmin Pay so you don’t need to take a wallet with you when you’re running. Like many fitness trackers, you can use it to monitor your heart rate, and it’s also water resistant for activities such as swimming.
If you’re an outdoors lover that wants to monitor their fitness, this is a great choice. Furthermore it even has a strong battery life so you can use it for a number of days without it dying. It’s definitely worth a try for any runner if they have the budget.
Best Running Watches With Music - Buyers Guide
When buying a smartwatch for running, there are a few things to consider. Of course, some of these things will be entirely down to personal preference, but others are complete must-haves. The best smartwatches out there will have a bunch of features, such as text accessibility, apps, notifications and most importantly, the ability to sync up your music.
Other things to consider are the phone you’re using and if the watch requires one at all, GPS functionality, and whether you’re looking more for a fitness watch or a smartwatch.
Without further ado, here are some things we recommend looking out for.
The whole reason you’re here! Your smartwatch should be able to sync up with your smart device so you can access your playlists via something like Bluetooth headphones. Some can even connect with internet based apps such as Spotify if you have a subscription too.
Some handy additional features on your watch to look out for are the ability to pay for things using just the watch, camera accessibility, and fall detection sensors. You should also consider what kind of warranty the watch has.
When it comes to running, it can be beneficial to look out for a watch that has the ability to track your movements via a GPS system. This not only gives you something to look back on after you’ve worked out, but it will also help you to navigate where you’re going easier. This is very helpful if you’re trying out a new trail and don’t know your way home as it will simply help to show you the way. Some even leave breadcrumb-like indicators to show you where you’re going right from the watch.
Certain smartwatches employ the newer, more accurate GLONASS system too so this is something worth considering if this feature is important to you.
If you’re buying something that you’re going to be wearing, then it’s important that it’s comfortable for you! Smartwatches are usually made using silicone or rubber as these will usually provide the most comfort for you, however if you prefer some watches do also come with leather or fabric bands. These usually look a little more fashionable if style is your concern.
You need a watch that’s comfortable but that also fits well and has a lot of breathability for when you sweat while running.
Access to Apps
Some, but not all, watches will give you the ability to use your favorite apps straight from your wrist. If you want to keep up to date with your app notifications or texts and calls, then this is ideal for you.
You should keep in mind that some smartwatches will only give you the ability to access their fitness based applications. You need to select a smartwatch that has the feature to see other apps if this is important to you. The minimum you should be looking for though is the ability to access fitness apps and to access texts and calls.
When you’re on a run, the last thing you want is for your watch to suddenly flake out on you! That’s why it’s incredibly important to have a smartwatch that has a good battery life - you’re not always in a situation where you can plug the watch in to charge at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, if you’re spending a lot of money on a watch then you need it to be able to survive even the most arduous runs.
You’re going to have a lot of data to digest on the screen of your running watch. For that reason it needs to be easy to read, otherwise the data isn’t going to benefit you. The watch should be readable in both the light and dark, especially if you like to go for runs in the night.
Water Resistance and Waterproof
This is going to depend on where you’re using your smartwatch, but it’s always a good idea to ensure that your watch has at least some degree of resistance to water. If you’re in an area where it rains a lot this is even more important.
If you enjoy swimming and want to incorporate it as part of your fitness routine, the watch needs to be able to be submerged in water without experiencing any damage. Always check how much the devices can handle being underwater if this is something you’re looking for.
Some smartwatches can have relatively small screens, so if your fingers are bigger or you need to be able to quickly glance at the screen to access data, this can become a bit of an issue. The interface of the device should correspond with the screen size. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should be able to access the screen when it’s wet.
Every watch is different in terms of size, and as time goes on manufacturers have found more and more ways to be able to make watches compact while also providing a good interface. If you purchase a wristband they also tend to have smaller displays so this is something to be mindful of.
Sometimes you can even customize the display on the smartwatch to show certain data and apps. If you want all of your statistics on one screen to access this is often possible, though things may be a bit more cramped on smaller watch screens. If you need more information on your screen, it’s worth investing in a watch with a slightly larger screen.
Sensors are what you need if you want to be able to see how many calories you’ve burned, among other things. Most people buy fitness smartwatches in order to monitor their calories. They also help you to be able to monitor your performance overall as you work out, and run in this case.
The more sensors that are on your smartwatch the more different things it can track. All the sensors will be designed to track a certain statistic or body movement
Heart Rate Monitors tend to be the basic sensor you’ll find. As the name suggests, this will track your heart rate and how many beats per minute you have.
Some watches will also have an accelerometer that will show you how many steps you’ve done that day, and how many calories you’ve burned through exercise or during the day. It will also help to monitor your sleep patterns so you can amend your sleep if it’s not good enough.
Finally you have the gyroscope. This will monitor things like cycling or other rotational movements.
You need to be able to use your watch properly. This can be a little difficult if your watch requires a certain smart device. You may not even have a smart device in the first place! Your watch will be useless if you don’t have a compatible smart device. With that being said, not all smartwatches require a smartphone, though the majority require one.
Certain watches can only be used with a certain system, for example the Apple Watch can only be used in conjunction with iOS operating systems. Others can be used with all sorts of different devices.
One other thing to keep in mind is that certain watches will need a Bluetooth connect or WiFi (some connect even directly to your area phone network).
Design and Color
Not everyone cares about looks, but if you do then you’ll know that having a stylish watch can really help your confidence and overall look. You can buy watches in a range of different colors and designs so it’s possible to find something that will suit your wants and needs.
Some watches come with the ability to mix and match the straps on them, and you can even get some custom ones online! It is also possible to choose the main watch color. You’ll mainly see watches that come in rose gold, metal black, black, gold, rose gold and white, and white.
Watches can also come in a range of different shapes and sizes. You can get rectangular watches, square watches and round shaped watches. There’s also the classic and the digital watch to choose from.
The last thing to remember is that a lot of smart watches also have functional buttons on the side that will help you to navigate the watch, and there will also be 2 straps.