Best Running Watch With Music Reviews

Updated January 18, 2021

People tend to think running watches and smartwatches are a waste of money because they have smartphones that offer improved features? 

There is also a lack of knowledge regarding what smartwatches’ can do. These reasons make it easy to disregard them as a frivolous expense.

For instance, a GPS running watch with music can be a perfect addition to your daily walks and jogs. 

No need to carry your bulky phone; just connect your wireless headphones to the watch and be on your way. 

Plus, it tracks your performance by monitoring things like; step count, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and so on. 

Doesn’t that sound convenient?

We have compiled a list of the best options available for users who know the value of a smartwatch with GPS and music storage features.

And for those who are still skeptical about the usefulness of this device, we have discussed some stand-out features:

See Our Best GPS Watches With Music

#PREVIEWProduct
1
Best For Higher Budgets
1Garmin fenix 6 Pro GPS Running Watch
Garmin - fenix 6 Pro Premium Multisport GPS Watch
Best For Higher Budgets
Garmin fenix 6 Pro GPS Running Watch
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2 Garmin - Forerunner 645 Music GPS Running Watch
Best Overall
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music GPS Running Watch
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3 Samsung - Galaxy Watch Active 2
Best For Low Budgets
Samsung Galaxy Active 2 Music Smartwatch
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4 Polar - Grit X Rugged Outdoor Watch Polar Grit X Rugged Outdoor Running Watch
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5 Coros - APEX Premium Multisport GPS Watch Coros APEX Premium Multisport GPS Watch
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6 Garmin - Forerunner 945 GPS Running-Triathlon Smartwatch with Music Garmin Forerunner 945 GPS Running Music Smartwatch
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7 Fitbit - Ionic Smart Watch For Music Fitbit Ionic Smart Watch For Music
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8 Coros - PACE 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch Coros PACE 2 Premium GPS Running Watch
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1. Garmin fenix 6 Pro GPS Running Watch

Highlights
  • Contactless payment capabilities with Garmin Pay
  • Preloaded ski maps
  • PacePro Guidance
  • Advanced training features
Best For Higher Budgets
Garmin - fenix 6 Pro Premium Multisport GPS Watch

The Fenix 6 Pro will make your workouts more captivating with music, mapping, and intelligent pace planning. 

This is a GPS running watch with music storage capabilities, and it is designed to be worn all day through all kinds of weather. 

This model includes advanced training status, running and cycling dynamics, and Vo2 Max estimates. 

Users can also get access to preloaded topography and ski maps for upwards of 2000 international ski resorts.

This device includes a unique PacePro feature designed to keep you updated while you run your course. 

Keep an eye on your pulse with the enhanced wrist heart rate, pulse ox sensing, and smart notifications.

Another valuable trademark feature of this watch is the Garmin Pay contactless payment capability. With more vendors becoming eligible every day, it can eventually prevent the need to carry cash or cards.

Furthermore, its advanced mapping features will help you stay on track when out for a run. This Pro model also boasts an extended battery life that will keep you from charging for weeks. 

And lastly, to maximize usage, the power manager modes help you optimize your battery usage by switching between different sensors and power settings.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless steel or DLC coated bezel
Size:
1.85 x 1.85 x 0.58 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
1.3 inches
Watch Strap:
22 mm and can fit small, medium, and large wrists
Battery Life:
Up to 14 days – smartwatch mode Up to 10 hours – GPS and music play mode Up to 28 days – expedition GPS activity mode Up to 48 days – battery saver mode

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Advanced training features
  • Easy to read display

Cons

  • Some users found the buttons hard to press
  • Message delivery may lag on an unstable connection

2. Garmin Forerunner 645 Music GPS Running Watch

Highlights
  • Contactless payment capabilities with Garmin Pay
  • Download up to 500 songs
  • Advanced running dynamics
  • Water rating of 5 ATM
Best Overall
Garmin - Forerunner 645 Music GPS Running Watch

Running will be a big part of your exercise if you’re on any fitness regime. Therefore, investing in running watches with music streaming features may be beneficial to your lifestyle. 

Having a device like the Forerunner 645 is undoubtedly one of the best options in this regard. This watch features on-device music storage to keep you entertained during your runs.

Furthermore, you can download up to 500 songs and listen to them by connecting wireless earbuds or headphones. 

The device provides advanced running statistics (used in combination with Running Dynamics Pod), displaying ground contact time, stride length, vertical ratio, and other relevant running metrics. 

It also allows you to measure your heart rate through a wrist-based sensor, offering performance monitoring features during your training sessions.

Moreover, with a battery life of seven days in the smartwatch mode and a water rating of 5 ATM, this fitness watch with music features is also safe for a dive into the pool.

Perhaps the most useful feature, Garmin Pay, will allow you to make online payments with your watch.

Specifications

Material:
Plastic body, stainless steel bezel
Size:
1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
1.2 inches
Watch Strap:
20 mm width, with enough length and holes to fit all wrist sizes
Battery Life:
Up to 7 days in smartwatch mode Up to 5 hours while using GPS along with music

Pros

  • Sync with other devices easily
  • Decent battery life
  • Performance monitoring features
  • Heart rate monitor

Cons

  • Limited Bluetooth connectivity

3. Samsung Galaxy Active 2 Music Smartwatch

Highlights
  • Inbuilt sleep tracker
  • Stress level monitoring
  • Wireless power-sharing
  • Alerts on high or low heart rate
Best For Low Budgets
Samsung - Galaxy Watch Active 2

The Samsung Galaxy Active 2 is designed to offer you smart insights regarding your running style and heart rate and allow you to stay on top of your fitness game.

This GPS running watch with music is incredibly light and has a perfectly sleek design, making it fit with casual and formal attires. 

Moreover, it comes in two variations: aluminum and stainless steel, with various faces, bands, and finishes. The opportunities for customization are endless!

Its inbuilt sleep tracker will help you get quality sleep by providing detailed insights. Couple your improved sleep with improved stress levels with the integrated calm app that comes with this device. 

Wearers can forget about charging problems as this device has a battery built for longevity and endurance, which gives you more than five days of service on a single charge.

To put the cherry on top, it’s also wireless power-sharing compatible with Galaxy phones and devices. However, its speed and power efficiency may be affected by the features you regularly use, such as music streaming.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
1.73 x 1.73 x 0.43 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
44 mm
Watch Strap:
20 mm band which can fit all wrists
Battery Life:
Up to 5 days on a full charge

Pros

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Variety of faces, bands, and finishes
  • Smart heart rate monitoring
  • Better insights to meet fitness goals

Cons

  • Some users felt that sleep monitoring was not as accurate as other similar models
  • Some users felt that the Bluetooth range should be a bit more

4. Polar Grit X Rugged Outdoor Running Watch

Highlights
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Compass
  • FuelWise fueling assistance
  • Military-level durability

This Polar Grit X model is possibly the most lightweight outdoor watch you can find with such a wide variety of features. 

This multi-sport watch is equipped with a compass and an altimeter, designed to help you navigate the outdoors.

With the aesthetics of a sports watch but with all the power of a heavy-duty watch, it is equipped with an impressive range of features, including the new FuelWise fueling assistant and other training aids.

It’s also equipped with a strong battery that delivers impressive performance on a single charge. 

Moreover, this device can automatically detect uphill and downhill using the Hill Splitter. 

It notifies you of your performance on the ascent and descent and speed, distance, and altitude statistics.

Losing your way is never an issue with this MP3 watch on your wrist. It offers real-time route guidance powered by Komoot and keeps you from wandering off track. 

With this Rugged Outdoor model, plan for long multi-day routes, create offline maps, and make your outdoor excursions easier!

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
3.27 x 3.7 x 4.84 inches
Movement:
Electronic
Case Diameter:
3.27 inches
Watch Strap:
22 mm watch band Can fit small 130-190 mm wrists and medium to large 145-215 mm wrists
Battery Life:
Up to 5 days

Pros

  • Accurate HR sensor
  • Elevation sensor
  • Decent battery life
  • Built-in GPS

Cons

  • Some users felt that it would have been better if the backlight was a little brighter

5. Coros APEX Premium Multisport GPS Watch

Highlights
  • Strength mode
  • AI Trainer mode
  • Training mode
  • Optical Heart Rate sensor

APEX has focused on sturdy design and construction on this watch that plays music

It is optimized for fitness, featuring a Strength and Training mode. This mode lets you design your workout regimes by giving you the option to pick one batch of over 200 preloaded regimens or download a workout from the COROS website.

This device is fitted with a built-in heart rate monitor and an Optical Heart Rate sensor to display your heart rate with zone-based analysis. 

Also, wearers can tap into navigation tracking and make use of preloaded routes when navigating unfamiliar paths. 

The navigation statistics display real-time information equipped with a barometer, altimeter, and compass to keep you on track. 

The GPS tracking on this device is also reliable, even in dense woods and high elevations. And if the battery is your priority, the battery management system keeps you notified and allows you to optimize usage. 

You can even set nutrition alerts to inform you of meal times and hydration breaks. Set a vibration and remind yourself to refuel after a long workout or run. 

Moreover, you can avoid overexertion with the AI trainer feature that measures remaining energy after aerobic and anaerobic sessions.

Specifications

Material:
Titanium
Size:
46 x 46 x 11.9 mm
Movement:
Electronic
Case Diameter:
46 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm band that can fit all sized wrists
Battery Life:
Up to 35 hours in full GPS mode Up to 00 hours in UltraMax GPS mode Up to 30 days of regular use

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • GPS tracking
  • Nutrition alerts
  • Over 200 preloaded exercises

Cons

  • Some users felt that the GPS is not as accurate when compared with other high-end smartwatches

6. Garmin Forerunner 945 GPS Running Music Smartwatch

Highlights
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Pulse Ox sensor
  • Garmin coach adaptive training program
  • Incident detection

With the Forerunner 945, head out for a run without losing connectivity. This smartwatch syncs with your smartphone, keeping you updated with text messages, social media updates, emails, and calls. 

If you’re heading out for a run and tracking unfamiliar territory, just send out your location to close contacts, manually or automatically, with this device’s inbuilt incident detection feature.

This offering by Garmin provides incredible versatility in creating your workouts. It also has Garmin Coach adaptive training programs, which feature guidance from coaches.

This watch will also track your path through challenging environments and help you with navigation through a satellite connection. 

Furthermore, its wrist-based heart rate and Pulse Ox sensor let you monitor your blood oxygen levels, which makes it excellent for altitude acclimatization.

This device will improve your running form by providing crucial running metrics, such as stride length, ground time, and vertical ratio, to help perfect your form.

Specifications

Material:
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Size:
1.9 x 1.9 x 0.54 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
30.4 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm silicone band that can fit all sized wrists
Battery Life:
Up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode Up to 10 hours in GPS mode with music Up to 60 hours in ultra-trace mode

Pros

  • Syncs with smartphone
  • Satellite reception
  • Extensive fitness metrics
  • Songs can be downloaded from Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer

Cons

  • Some users complained about the buttons wearing out
  • Comparatively lower battery life as opposed to other comparable models

7. Fitbit Ionic Smart Watch For Music

Highlights
  • Pure Pulse heart rate tracking
  • Dynamic Personal Coaching
  • Built-in NFC
  • Four plus day batter

With this MP3 watch on your wrist, you can achieve your fitness goals like never before. 

Make use of its unique Dynamic Personal Coaching feature to help you figure out every routine. This feature adapts to every move you make and gives you feedback accordingly.

While you’re at it, keep yourself entertained with the vast library of songs this device can hold. Choose from upwards of 300 tracks as you engross yourself in your exercise.

Moreover, if you happen to lose your way during a jog, the built-in GPS tracking will guide you towards home by mapping out the route you took. 

It also lets you see your pace, distance, speed, and other vital splits, as well as track your elevation. 

This smartwatch with GPS and music storage capabilities is also multi-sport and lets you use different sport modes along with tracking duration and calories burned for each routine.

Specifications

Material:
Aluminum
Size:
1.89 x 4.05 x 8.69 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
10 inches
Watch Strap:
The small band can fit wrists sized between 5.5 to 6.5 inches The large band can fit wrists sized between 6.7 to 8.1 inches
Battery Life:
Four plus days on one charge

Pros

  • Store and play over 300 songs
  • Built-in GPS
  • Multisport
  • Comes with small as well as large bands

Cons

  • Comparatively lower battery life to other similar models

8. Coros PACE 2 Premium GPS Running Watch

Highlights
  • Storm Alert
  • Strength Mode
  • AI trainer feature
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring with sleep tracking

Beat the elements with this Coros smartwatch and its remarkable Storm Alert feature. It will notify you when a storm is about to hit based on barometric readings, allowing you to plan your day accordingly.

It has an AI trainer feature that helps avoid overexertion and recover to full stamina by measuring your aerobic and anaerobic efforts. 

This model also allows you to chart your performance and progress with the COROS workout summary. This summary will include data regarding GPS tracking, pace, elevation, and heart rate graphs.

These watches display heart rate in zone breakdowns and are compatible with Bluetooth HR devices and training apps on smartphones.

Lastly, you can craft your workout through the Strength and Training modes or create a circuit from more than 200 predetermined exercise routines.

Specifications

Material:
Fiber Reinforced Polymer
Size:
10.5 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
10.5 inches
Watch Strap:
20 mm Nylon strap that can fit small and medium-sized wrists
Battery Life:
Up to 20 days of regular use Up to 30 hours in full GPS mode Up to 60 hours in UltraMax GPS mode

Pros

  • Over 200 preloaded exercises
  • Build your workouts
  • Chart your progress
  • 50-meter waterproof rating

Cons

  • People with larger wrists felt that the nylon band is not big enough for comfortable fitting

Running Smartwatch For Music Buying Guide

Best Brands

Numerous high-end brands are making running smartwatches with music capabilities. The following are some of the best ones out there.

Garmin

Garmin watches with music are more suitable for users who require detailed sports and fitness data and prioritize battery performance. 

With them, you can expect reliable and accurate tracking and record several additional metrics.

Moreover, Garmin’s safety and assistance features are better than what Fitbit or other brands may offer. If you like streaming music, you will also appreciate the added Spotify support.

Coros

Coros watches are geared towards performance sports and are helpful for athletic training. 

They boast a strong focus on fitness tracking, user-friendliness, and training guides.

For athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and people looking to train, Coros is a good investment.

Fitbit

If you’re more of a fitness freak, who doesn’t particularly care for recording running data, Fitbit will suit you better. 

These watches are incredibly user-friendly, and coupled with the companion app; they are very resourceful for anyone looking to track their workouts.

Additionally, its sensors are cutting-edge and offer valuable health monitoring, with features like the skin temperature sensor and sleep monitoring.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking can be used for many purposes, such as route scouting, navigation, and run tracking.

It enables your smartwatch to track the exact path you follow during your run. 

Then it maps out the journey and determines the potential distance you will be traveling.

If you’re in the mood for a random jog through unchartered territory, the GPS feature on your watch can be of extreme use, helping you mark landmarks and find your way back. 

Furthermore, this can help you better understand an area’s geography, and if you’re an adventure buff, it can serve as a way to foster collaborative exploration routines.

Music Storage

By using a smartwatch with music storage with a pair of Bluetooth headphones, you can effortlessly switch between tracks in the middle of a high-intensity cardio workout.

Even If you’re not a workout fanatic, you can enjoy your playlist with a smartwatch during your commute. 

Bluetooth Connectivity

Two Bluetooth-enabled devices must first form a channel of communication between them. This process is known as pairing.

Once paired together, you can share information between the two devices. This is why, when buying a running watch with Bluetooth music, do consider its syncing range.

Music App Compatibility

Wear OS watches give you access to the Android version of applications: Google Play Music, YouTube Music, SoundCloud, Deezer, etc. 

Apple Watches are slightly more restrictive, offering you a more limited range of applications. Android watches are better at accessing third-party apps.

Spotify

Thanks to standalone streaming, users can stream music on Spotify through an internet connection without being tethered to their smartphone. 

Music can also be streamed directly from the smartwatch with Spotify by pairing it with Bluetooth headphones.

YouTube Music

With YouTube Music, you can stream all YouTube songs, playlists, and recommendations on your smartwatch by syncing it to your smartphone or tablet.

Deezer

Deezer is compatible with Google, Amazon, IOS, Sonos, and other devices. Download your favorite music and podcasts and listen offline on the go. 

Up to 6 people can use one Deezer account.

Additional Features

Top tier smartwatches, running watches, and fitness trackers are essentially smartphones that wrap around your wrist. 

With these pint-sized watches, you can run apps, monitor your health metrics, control your smartphone, and run tasks that you would typically run on your hand-held device.

You can find a range of features, depending on the running watch you choose. The most basic type is the traditional mechanical watch with basic step counting and notification features. 

These can be purchased at the same price as regular smartwatches.

More advanced watches allow users to track heart rate, monitor sleep, and connect to smartphones and satellites, among other features. 

Expect these devices to be pricier than regular watches. Some may cost you as much as a smartphone.

Therefore, when choosing a running watch, make sure it works well with your phone, whether it is IOS or Android compatible. 

Also, look for better battery life, fitness features, GPS, compatibility, and water-resistance.

Heart Rate Tracking

One of the most convenient features is the heart rate monitor. Monitoring heart rate can be beneficial for those who lead an active life.

However, watch-style heart rate monitors aren’t to be mistaken for medical devices. 

Calorie Tracker

Calorie counters are a particularly sought after feature in running watches. 

With the wearable technology market expanding and health consciousness becoming common, brands are adding calorie counters in their running watches and fitness trackers.

Technological advances have made it incredibly easy for users to keep an eye on their activity levels and energy expenditure, helping them stay on top of their fitness goals. 

Moreover, classic calorie counters display live data and estimate calories burned based on weight, height, age, and gender.

Long Battery Life

Smartwatch battery life varies depending on their features and provides much longer active periods than smartphones and tablets.

They must juggle power and efficiency because of their small batteries. 

Incorporating GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi services as they fight for energy, along with sensors and fitness monitors. 

Generally speaking, more features result in less battery life, but with advances in technology, newer watches are coming up with enhanced battery lives.

Multi-Sport Tracking

Multi-sport watches help track performances in more than one sport, and they can offer accurate data for running, swimming, cycling, etc. 

They depend on a GPS to map out your activity and notify you about your distance and speed.

Smartphone Notifications

Smartwatches differ in the kind of notifications they display.

The ones that sync with smartphones display all your notifications: calls, texts, social media updates, and emails.

Some of the simpler smartwatches only vibrate or beep if you get a call. Others may display the notifications on their screens.

Our Verdict

Our review of these seven running watches with music storage found the Garmin Forerunner 645 as the best overall watch, offering value for money with the most useful features.

Though, if you’re looking to splurge a little, we would recommend the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. However, if you’re constrained by budget, opt for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.

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