Do all fitness watches have music playback capabilities?

If you use MP3 files, the method for entering songs into your watch will vary. Some require connecting the watch to a computer and dragging and dropping the audio files into a folder on the watch. In addition, there may be limitations on file formats and types. The Forerunner 265, which replaced last year's Forerunner 255 Music, is now our top recommendation for those looking for a high-end running watch with music.

The price has increased compared to the last generation, but the enormous improvements to the screen justify the additional cost, in our opinion. And that jump also includes twice as much storage, since the 8 GB present in the standard version of the 265 allow you to store 1000 songs on your wrist. Now there is no need to pay more for music either, since Garmin has prepared the “Music” version separately and includes compatibility with 265 and 265S devices as standard. It is also one of the most versatile players out there, with support for MP3 or offline playback through the Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music or iHeartRadio apps, available in the Garmin Connect IQ store.

In addition to music, we're also big fans of the Forerunner 265 as a sports watch. Despite the name, this is an equally great option for swimmers, cyclists and triathletes. It offers dual-frequency GPS for super-accurate outdoor tracking, detailed feedback on training and recovery, and solid heart rate accuracy. The Fenix 7 range includes the full range of musical features, including the storage of 1000 songs and full compatibility with Spotify, Deezer and iHeartRadio.

And the Fenix 7 has also added longer battery life, meaning you get even more music playing time. Garmin offers 10 hours of the most accurate GPS tracking with music playback, and you'll get even more if you choose a standard GPS. That's more than most people need. But what impressed us is the level of data you get when you run, with VO2 max recovery statistics, training data and even information about how you run.

All models are also available in solar versions, which can help increase the battery a bit when you go out. The Venu was the first Garmin watch with a full AMOLED screen, and the Venu 2 improves screen quality for those who don't want a Garmin with one of those boring looking transflective screens on the wrist. In terms of music, you have space for up to 2000 songs, which represents an increase compared to the storage of 500 songs offered in the first Venu. This includes offline sync support for Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and iHeartRadio.

You get a full list of registered sports and improved ways to record HIIT and indoor training sessions. The Venu 2 also comes in a smaller Venu 2S version, and both offer nice and bright AMOLED screens. There's also the Venu 2 Plus, which offers access to your phone's smart assistant. It's not a power for running, but the Venu 2 excels in terms of all-day use.

There is also a Venu Sq 2, a square version that costs much less than the round Venu 2 and that still offers a music edition to add music to your music. The emblematic Forerunner 965 is one of the best Garmin watches with support for music, with space for 2000 songs and support for Spotify, Deezer and iHeartRadio also available through applications. Since the battery life lost when exercising almost doubles if you play music through Garmin devices, we also think that the 965 is also a better option than the Forerunner 265 (above), which normally only lasts about four days with similar use. The Huawei Watch GT 2e, the Watch GT 3, the GT Runner series and the Watch 3 have built-in music players, but if you want the cheapest Huawei portable device to offer that compatibility, it's the Watch Fit 2 that you'll want to get hold of.

The Watch Fit 2 surprised us in our review with its combination of training functions and price, and it's one of the best affordable sports watches on the market. However, when it comes to playing music, there are important caveats. We should start by saying that to use the built-in music player, you'll have to connect the Fit 2 with an Android phone, since that compatibility doesn't extend to iOS. You'll have to accumulate your own music (MP3 and AAC file formats) through the Huawei Health app, as it's not compatible with streaming music services such as Spotify and Deezer offline.

Huawei has launched its own music streaming service, so it's to be expected that support will be added. Battery life is good for a whole week of tracking, and more if you sacrifice some features. If you want a good fitness watch with music functions that looks like a combination of a smartwatch and a fitness strap, the Fit 2 performs well for that price. The Vertix 2 is the first watch in the Coros family to offer an integrated music player, which gives you a good part of the built-in 32 GB storage to accumulate your own music.

It only supports MP3 file formats and you'll have to connect the watch to your computer to drag and drop them on your watch. Leaving aside the enormous battery performance, the Vertix 2 also includes a large collection of sports modes, offline maps, access to your Evolab training statistics and works with third-party applications such as Strava, Apple Health and TrainingPeaks to share your fitness data. James is a co-founder of Wareable and has been a technology journalist for 15 years. The best smartwatch for listening to music is the Garmin Fenix 7 (opens in a new tab).

It offers offline music storage on Spotify and Bluetooth for headphones. This means that you can go for a run, record everything, and listen to your favorite music while you do it. It even has Garmin Pay, so you can pay for that much-needed stop for a drink, and all without your phone or wallet. Plus, it has a great battery, so it won't be a cause for concern no matter how far you go.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 definitely competes with the Apple Watch (also in price) and was the first to measure blood oxygen. To better understand your current fitness level and your overall physical health, the watch monitors your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen. Enjoy more than 25 integrated indoor sports apps and GPS in this Garmin fitness watch that is available in 3 different color palettes. Although this running watch with music only comes in one size, you can adjust the bracelet from 5.9 to 9.0 inches for a secure fit.

Although this Willful watch lacks built-in storage, you'll want to take your phone with you to unlock many other features with which to monitor your fitness. The affordable MorePro 18 proves that you don't have to splurge to get a feature-packed fitness watch. The Apple Watch 3 is still a great watch, but now that it has been surpassed by more than 2 models, it seems that it's time to retire it to this section. There are so many positive features in this watch that it's still the best watch for running with GPS and offline music.

That said, the Apple Watch 5 is still the leading smartwatch that also offers music on the phone for running, allowing you to put your phone down. The Apple Watch could pose as a running watch in its own right, so don't be fooled into thinking that it's all style and nothing of substance. This fitness watch works with iOS and Android phones, so you can easily download the app that comes with it. And it's on the list because it's the first COROS watch to offer music on the watch with its enormous storage capacity.

It also has an ECG function, which makes it a serious health device, in addition to being a powerful watch for exercising and running. The main disadvantage of the Apple Watch is the relatively short battery life: most people need to charge their watches every day. One of the many practical features offered by the YAMAY fitness smartwatch are the music controls on the wrist, so you won't have to take out your phone every time you want to skip a song. .

Amie Atanacio
Amie Atanacio

Evil coffee enthusiast. Professional beer ninja. Devoted social media aficionado. Proud pizza advocate. Typical internet nerd.