Sound on the go: sports watches with music players

Music and podcasts make it more relaxed to walk, walk the dog or run. But should you always have your big smartphone with you? Or can you just connect Bluetooth headphones (theme world) to a sports watch or fitness tracker and listen to music? After all, the latter works with smartwatches like the Apple Watch 6 (test report) or a Google OS watch without any issues, why does it not also work with sports watches or fitness trackers?

In fact, the subject of music on the sports watch is a bit more complicated than you might think. Especially the cheap devices only know Bluetooth for exchanging fitness data, audio streaming is not provided. Providers often advertise for brands like Spotify, but in most cases this only means that you can control Spotify playback on another device in the same WLAN. It is therefore important that, in addition to “integrated music management”, the respective devices have an internal music memory.

In addition, the feature may change with new generations of devices. The Fitness trackers Fitbit Versa (test report) and Fitbit Versa 2 (test report) come with a local music store, to which you can either copy songs manually via the Windows app or sync them from a Deezer premium account. With the switch to Fitbit Versa 3 (test report), this function was unfortunately omitted, from this variant there is only remote control via software.

Another manufacturer that regularly brings good products with music support is Garmin (theme world). In addition to the upper class, such as the Garmin Fenix ​​6s (test report), the cheaper Garmin watches also have local music storage, examples would be Garmin Venu Sq Music (test report) or Garmin Venu 2 (test report)). You can also load apps for Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music on Garmin’s sports watches via the Connect IQ app store. They synchronize with the services via WLAN and download playlists, for example. However, you must have a premium account with the respective streaming provider to access the work at all. It’s convenient for you to see which sports watches are compatible with apps in the Connect IQ store.

Most smartwatches do not bother a little sweat, so you can easily use them for sports. If you are at home in the Apple universe, you can without hesitation connect your Apple Watch (theme world) to Airpods Pro (test report) and listen to music on the go. If you use Android, you have a larger selection of smartwatches. In addition to smartwatches with Android Watch OS, such as Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro (test report), there are several interesting third-party devices. An example is the Honor Magic Watch 2 (test report), which like its predecessor has its own music memory, and with almost 120 euros, it is also significantly cheaper than many devices from Garmin or Apple. More expensive, but also good for sports and everyday use, is the Samsung Gear Sport (test report), which also comes with local storage for music.

A disadvantage of the Android Watch OS and Apple Watch is the relatively short battery life, which becomes even shorter if you use power eaters such as GPS. Devices like Honor Magic Watch 2 or Samsung Gear Sport last much longer. When you do, however, you lose access to the huge app catalog that Apple or Google provide for their devices. This also applies to the sports watches or fitness trackers mentioned above, Garmin or Fitbit have their own app stores, but they are significantly smaller than Google’s or Apple’s.

If you do not want such a device or just want to use a cheap fitness tracker like Xiaomi Mi Band 5 (test report), you do not need to bring a mobile phone. Because the good old MP3 player still exists. The devices have received a decent feature upgrade, many bring Bluetooth or high-quality codecs for low-loss music playback. The Sansa Clip Sport Plus series from Sandisk is available for around 50 euros. It is waterproof according to IPX5 and plays music via Bluetooth. The big advantage of these devices is their storage space. 16 GB or more is not a problem, and most have an SD card slot that you can use to take even more music with you.

If you do not want to do without your smartphone on the go, or if the alternatives are too impractical, you may just need more storage space. There are suitable bags for most smartphones, which are carried on the upper arm and in which the smartphone is tucked away and protected from splashing water or rain. Many of these cases offer a slide through which you can control the smartphone to some degree, albeit not very precisely. Be careful, some arm pockets are designed for certain smartphone models, you should measure in advance and compare the dimensions.

Drinking belts are an alternative to the pockets. In addition to a bottle, these often have one or more compartments in which you can store a smartphone, keys or some money. These running belts are attached to the hips and hardly interfere with sports. Anyone who still wants to bring a drink has a convenient storage option with such a treadmill. However, you need to make sure that there is enough space for the smartphone. Our article shows smartphones in sports for more on this topic: Practical mobile phone covers from 6 euros.

Sports without a mobile phone is possible, but requires some research. In this case, we would recommend one of Garmin’s sports watches. It is not without reason that they are so high on our list of the best sports watches. In addition to the good workmanship and the great training functions, these are the only current watches that have a music function across the board. With Garmin Venu Sq Music (test report) admission is around 180 euros. A good and cheap alternative is Honor Magic Watch 2 (test report), which is also suitable for sports and everyday life.

MP3 players are cheaper. Yes, you need to invest a little more time in maintaining playlists, but it can all be done. The advantage: The units offer a lot of storage space and are very handy. Swimmers will also find appropriate equipment with neck straps with MP3 memory to accompany their workout with music.

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