I tried out 3 smartwatches with music capabilities and found the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music to be the best smartwatch that met my needs for phone-free music listening.
Sometimes I want to listen to music as I go about my daily activities, but it’s just not convenient for me to carry my phone with me. It got to the point where I felt I needed to find a solution, so I looked into smartwatches that could also act as an MP3 player with Bluetooth connectivity.
I identified what I needed out of the smartwatch in terms of battery life while playing music, how easily it connects to my Bluetooth headsets (I have a few different pairs), and the ease of navigating through the player at a moment’s notice.
Time and again, I kept coming back to the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music because it met my needs the best. I also considered the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and the Fitbit Versa 3, but ultimately picked the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music because of its intended use as a music player.
Keep reading to learn more about why I chose to go with the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music and why it makes it easy to listen to music without the need to carry a phone.
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#1 Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music gets put on my wrist because it’s primarily intended for use as a music player and has health monitoring features as secondary features.
I like the fact that the music player aspect of the watch comes first while enabling me to monitor and track health metrics in the background. This lets me put down my phone, go about my day, and listen to music while engaging in various activities.
The best part about the Forerunner 645 Music is the fact it has room to hold up to 500 songs at a time. That’s a lot of music to work my way through before I need to change the playlist.
The watch connects easily to all of my Bluetooth headsets and makes it easy for me to grab the pair with the strongest charge as I go out the door.
It also connects to Spotify for those times I’ve got a Wi-Fi connection and can take advantage of it. At no time am I ever out of reach of listening to music or podcasts with this smartwatch.
I’m not big into fitness, but I do like to get a workout or go for a walk regularly. The Forerunner 645 is designed for runners, but I’ve found it adapts well to my activities.
I can log a swim in the pool, differentiate between a stroll on the sidewalk and a treadmill, or track my progress on an elliptical.
Overall, it’s a nicely featured watch that connects with Androids and iPhones, meets all of my needs, and ones I didn’t know I had.
#2 Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a nicely featured and versatile smartwatch that has similar features to the Garmin Forerunner 645, but also has a focus on monitoring heart health and sleep cycles.
It stores up to 300 music files and connects to Pandora and Deezer for offline playlists. The Versa 3 has Bluetooth connectivity and connects to iPhones and Androids without a lot of fuss.
The Fitbit Versa 3 comes in second place for a few reasons. For starters, the screen is on the smaller side and forces me to pay more attention to what I’m tapping on.
The interface responds nicely, but it’s still a bit annoying to have to work at focusing on the screen. Other drawbacks include the fact it has a lot of functions that compete for your attention.
It’s a fitness watch, an MP3 player, and a health monitor crammed into one device. This can work for some people, but the fact the watch isn’t a music player up front was a bit of a drawback.
#3 Garmin Vivoactive 4
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 blends music playback, workout tracking, and vital health statistics. It connects with Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer for downloading a music playlist for listening to without a phone.
It also has a capacity of 500 song files and the battery lasts up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, although listening to music drains the battery faster.
It also has GPS, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, a pulse oximeter for blood oxygen saturation, sleep tracker, and even a stress monitor.
It’s got a lot of great features, but I decided against it because I wanted a smartwatch that put music first as opposed to balancing music with other features.
Overall, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is loaded with features that are great if you want to track all of this information over time. It also connects to Androids and iPhones alike.
What to Look For When Buying the Best Smarwatch With Music Capabilities
Smartwatches are designed to combine multiple functions and features into one device. That’s intentional because the smartwatch is intended for use with or without a smartphone and has to deliver on its capabilities.
When you’re looking for a smartwatch that can act as an MP3 player, look for one like the Garmin Forerunner 645 that puts music first and the rest of the features in the background for ease of use and enjoyment.
Which is the Best Smartwatch With Music?
The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is the best smartwatch for music in terms of file capacity, connectivity, functions, and player features.
It’s easy to use, has a powerful battery to keep it going for the long haul, and I don’t need to worry about connecting my phone to transmit music.
I can leave my phone somewhere nearby and still receive alerts if I so desire while listening to my personal soundtrack.
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