Best smartwatches for music 2024: Take time to rock with our essential guide

If you'd told someone 20 years ago there would one day be an article listing the best smartwatches for music, they'd have thought you were out of your mind. But such is the beauty of modern technology that it's now perfectly possible to stream and store music – and do countless other cool things – using that thing on your wrist.

However, with so many high-tech smartwatches available, how do you go about choosing one that suits your needs? Don't fret as I've made the job a bit easier for you by listing what I consider to be the very best smartwatches for music. 

Below, I'll give you the lowdown on which streaming services each watch can access, the storage facilities, battery life and more. Best of all, I'll also point you in the direction of the best smartwatch deals available right now, so that you can save money on your purchase. Top tech at a bargain price? What's not to like?

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Scott Munro

Scott has spent more than 30 years in journalism covering everything from audio tech and video games, to travel, sport and news. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more.

Quick list

Our top pick

Best smartwatches for music: Garmin Fenix 7

(Image credit: Garmin)

1. Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin's premium smartwatch has everything you need to listen on the go

Specifications

Storage: 1000 songs
Streaming: Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeart Radio
Battery: 10 hours GPS and music
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Top battery life
+
Lots of streaming support
+
Offline play
+
Great sports features 
+
Rugged

Reasons to avoid

-
No Apple Music support

The Garmin Fenix 7 is the company's ultimate smartwatch which not only means superb sports support and a mega-rugged build, but also lots of music support. This watch will store music files with a 1000 song limit, but you can also offline sync your streaming from the likes of Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer as well as getting iHeartRadio music. 

Unlike many of the other options out there, the Garmin Fenix 7 has a super long battery life in standby mode but also an impressive 10 hours of use with both GPS and music playback active. Connect your Bluetooth headphones directly and this is all you need to listen to music wherever you go.

If you want the Garmin Fenix 7 for sports, then you're covered for nearly anything, from trail running to skydiving. This will get metrics like VO2 max and heart rate variability for the ultimate feedback and guidance on your workouts. There's even a solar edition that gives you more charge when out in direct daylight. And they both let you tap to pay, ideal if you're wallet-free too.

Best Apple option

Best smartwatches for music: Apple Watch Series 9

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Apple Watch Series 9

The best upgrade option for Apple Watch users

Specifications

Storage: 64GB
Streaming: Apple Music, Spotify, Podcasts
Battery: 18-36 hours
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Streaming and offline support
+
Fantastic design
+
Rich in features

Reasons to avoid

-
Works best with Apple apps

It's easy to casually glance at the Apple Watch Series 9 and think it's no different to previous models, but dig in and you'll see enough tweaks to make this a great option for those new to Apple's timepiece, or existing Apple Watch users who have had an older model for several years and are looking for an upgrade.

It's packed with 64GB of storage so you can fill it with a huge amount of songs and if like me you've been rocking an older model such as the Apple Watch Series 4 with its 16GB of storage, the difference here in clear. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 is available in a load of colour options and when it comes to music, it really comes into its own when paired with Apple Music. There are also a large number of colourful face options which are customisable and look great on its ultra-clear display - and everything from colour variations to display functions can be tweaked on the fly.

Battery life is thoroughly decent too and you'll get 18 hours, with 36 hours possible when in low-power mode. And of course, you'll also have access to a load of extras such as Apple's Fitness+ app which has dedicated workouts – complete with music – for a wide variety of activities including running, walking, cycling, yoga and meditation. Pair the Apple Watch Series 9 with your iPhone and a whole world of fitness routines will open up.

Best OLED display

Best smartwatches for music: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

The best OLED smartwatch that keeps the music going

Specifications

Storage: 16 GB
Streaming: Spotify, YouTube offline, MP3
Battery: 40 hours mixed use
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Offline Spotify support
+
MP3 onboard option
+
LTE connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
App limitations

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is a super powerful smartwatch that combines a superb OLED display, attractive design and ECG heart rate monitor to give some of the best wrist-based tech out there. In terms of audio the options are huge with offline support for Spotify, YouTube and Amazon Music, plus MP3 storage on the 16GB device. 

This watch, unlike many others, does offer LTE connectivity meaning you can get online anywhere you are, even without a smartphone connection. You do have that Wear operating system so keep in mind there are app limitations to that ecosystem compared to something like the Apple Watch. That said some apps are built just for this and work well, like the Strava app.

Best for workouts

Best smartwatches for music: Fitbit Versa 3

(Image credit: Fitbit)

4. Fitbit Versa 3

Music and fitness go together with this neat offering from Fitbit

Specifications

Storage: 300 songs
Streaming: Pandora (US) and Deezer (Europe)
Battery: 4 hours GPS and music
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great sleep tracking
+
Heart rate and GPS

Reasons to avoid

-
No Spotify support
-
Limited apps

If you're on Team Fitbit and already using the app, then this is the smartwatch for you. This takes all the best bits about Fitbit, like its health and fitness tracking, and adds music support. The Fitbit Versa 3 can store 300 MP3 tracks that you can drag and drop right on there. It also works with Pandora in the US and Deezer in Europe with offline sync support for each. Unfortunately there's no Spotify support in that capacity with the app simply working as a wrist based controller for the app on your smartphone.

This is an affordable option if you're after a smartwatch that offers music, GPS run tracking, Bluetooth headphone connectivity and an accurate heart monitor rate on your wrist.

And it's also worth noting that even though the Fitbit Versa 4 is available, there's no onboard music storage feature, so that's why I'm still recommending this older.

Best battery

Best smartwatches for music: Coros Vertix 2

(Image credit: Coros)

5. Coros Vertix 2

If you're after a smartwatch with an outrageous battery life, then look no further

Specifications

Storage: 32 GB
Streaming: MP3 only
Battery: 35 hours GPS and music
Offline support: No

Reasons to buy

+
Huge 60 day battery life
+
32GB of memory
+
Good looking design/build

Reasons to avoid

-
No streaming apps

The Coros Vertix 2 is the best smartwatch for battery life bar none thanks to its whopping 60 day standby mode and 140 hours of use with GPS tracking on. That drops to 35 hours when using GPS and music playback to Bluetooth headphones,  but it's still far more than the competition can offer. The Coros Vertix 2 is also a lot cheaper than the Garmin Fenix 7 and now offers impressive sports training insights.

You don't get streaming music support though. Instead this uses classic drag and drop file transfers for MP3 music, so you'll need a PC to hand. But with 32GB of storage onboard you should be able to fill it with enough to last that 60 day battery life and more. It's also waterproof, rugged and looks great.

Best all-rounder

Best smartwatches for music: Garmin Forerunner 265

(Image credit: Garmin)

6. Garmin Forerunner 265

A Garmin that's ideal for mixing sounds with the outdoor life

Specifications

Storage: 8GB
Streaming: Spotify, Amazon, Deezer, iHeart Radio all offline, MP3
Battery: 6-7 hours with GPS tracking
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Offline streaming audio
+
Superb GPS & HR tracking
+
Stereo and mono modes 

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 8GB storage

The Garmin Forerunner 265 comes in alongside the 965 as the company's running and multisport watches with the new AMOLED display. As such everything looks fantastic on the bright and colourful screen. But audio is awesome too thanks to offline support for Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio and MP3 storage. Plus you can pick to listen in stereo for quality or mono to save battery. 

The downside is the Garmin Forerunner 265 is limited to 8GB of storage so you'll need to pick your favourite playlists wisely before downloading them for offline use. That said, that's still enough to hold around 1000 songs.

There's great GPS and HR tracking with most sports supported while even more are available via the IQ Connect store. All of these features combined makes this Garmin useful for a long time to come.

Best design

Best smartwatches for music: Garmin Venu 3

(Image credit: Garmin)

7. Garmin Venu 3

A slick and stylish Garmin that'll serve most of your smartwatch needs

Specifications

Storage: 8GB
Streaming: Spotify, YouTube offline, MP3
Battery: 11 hours GPS and music
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Offline Spotify playback
+
Stunning AMOLED display
+
MP3 support

Reasons to avoid

-
OS limits
-
8GB storage

The Garmin Venu 3 is a good looking lifestyle tracking smartwatch which combines a rich AMOLED display with lots of tracking metrics - and the heart rate and GPS is spot on thanks to Garmin's experience in this area. 

That extends to audio now too, with loads of offline streaming service support. So you can download Spotify to your wrist with that 8GB capacity topping out at around 1000 songs. 

To be clear, the Garmin Venu 3 supports Spotify offline if you have a premium account, but it also has Deezer, iHeart Radio and Amazon Music support. You can also transfer your own MP3 files across to the watch if you want something the various music streaming services don't have. With around 11 hours of battery life for GPS and music playing, you'll get a lot of sounds for even the most demanding of training needs.

Best for storage

Best smartwatches for music: Google Pixel Watch 2

(Image credit: Google)

8. Google Pixel Watch 2

Monster storage makes this smartwatch worth a closer look

Specifications

Storage: 32GB
Streaming: Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, MP3
Battery: 24 hours
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Huge 32GB storage
+
LTE streaming
+
Offline streaming support

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited battery life

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a superb wearable that combines the Android OS and its many apps with a bright and high resolution AMOLED display. This also packs in a massive 32GB of storage making it one of the best smartwatches for storing offline music. There's also support for YouTube Music, Amazon Music and Spotify.

The Pixel Watch 2 also packs in LTE connectivity meaning you don't always have to download music since you can stream over that connection wherever you are. Plus that 24 hour battery life should have you going all day without worrying about charging too much – presuming GPS isn't on, of course.

Buying advice

It's worth narrowing down your needs so you can look out for features you can't live without but potentially save money by going for those which don't have features you can live without. Here are a few key areas you'll want to give some thought.

Connectivity

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How connected do you need to be? Some watches will come with a SIM allowing you to always connect to data without a phone nearby. This is ideal if you always want access to your music streaming without having to limit choice. However, you can save money and battery life by going for an option without this connectivity. In this case you'll ideally want one that lets you save music for offline listening.

Stream or store?

I, like a lot of people, stream music these days, while others prefer having stored music instead. This can mean high fidelity audio or simply your music library all offline to listen to anywhere. Whichever class you fit into, make sure you look for a watch that suits those needs. If it's storage then you'll want a smartwatch with plenty of storage capacity. If it's streaming, then you may want one with a better battery life, or at least that offline storage option.

Battery life

The battery life on smartwatches is fairly similar with a day or two on a watch with GPS and smart connections. Some go longer but the key is to make sure yours charges quickly. That means it won't matter so much how long the battery lasts as you can top up quickly ready to go again.

Read more on how we test products and services at Louder.

7. Garmin Venu 3

A slick and stylish Garmin that'll serve most of your smartwatch needs

Specifications

Storage: 8GB
Streaming: Spotify, YouTube offline, MP3
Battery: 11 hours GPS and music
Offline support: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Offline Spotify playback
+
Stunning AMOLED display
+
MP3 support

Reasons to avoid

-
OS limits
-
8GB storage
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