The Best Running GPS Watches with Music | 2023 Buyer's Guide
***Updated in June 2023 to include new Garmin watches.***
Top 3 GPS Running Watches with Music in 2023!
Watch This Garmin fēnix 7 Pro & epix Pro (Gen 2) Series Review!
Affordable Garmin GPS Watches with Music Storage
Garmin fēnix 7 Pro — Best Overall Running Watch with Music
The fēnix 7 Pro Solar/Sapphire Solar Series blows every watch on this list out of the water (or off the trial) with its ability to store up to 2,000 songs on watch. And it leaves most of them in the dust when it comes to solar-charging battery life. Plus, superior performance metrics, topo maps, GPS & heart rate accuracy—and much more—make it the most rugged yet sophisicated watch you can get on your wrist.
Heave your heaviest playlist into your fēnix 7/7S/7X Pro Solar by simply uploading from services like Spotify®, Deezer, and Amazon Music, and listen through headphones with BLUETOOTH® technology. No phone needed!
And treat yourself to touchscreen or 3-button operation to access the best Garmin training tools, preloaded, full-color maps, and new built-in LED flashlight.
Available in 3 sizes, you're sure to find a fēnix 7 Pro running watch that will have the battery life, durability, and music that will outlast whatever you put it through!
The only possible downsides to this ultimate GPS running watch: the size of the price and the wearable itself, which has a bit more bulk than Garmin Forerunner watches.
Garmin fēnix 7S/7/7X Price: $799.99–$999.99
Garmin Forerunner 255 & 255S Music — Most Affordable Running Watch
For the runner who wants both beats and radically updated training tools and features on watch without dropping $500 or more—the Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music is the perfect running partner for your wrist.
As a more affordable option, the Forerunner 255 Music stores up to 500 songs. Just download your must-have workout tunes from your Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon account and go.
Additionally, at $300 less than the fēnix 7, you many of the same training tools on the Forerunner 255 Series, including VO2 Max, Race Predictor, PacePro, Recovery Advisor, Training Status, and Training Load. Plus, factor in wrist-based heart rate, Body Battery energy monitor, Pulse Ox, and advanced sleep monitoring.
Plus the new Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music now comes in two sizes, has multi-band GPS, triathlon profiles, and more!
Garmin Forerunner 255S / 255 Music Price: $399.99
Get even more motivated over on our Forerunner 255/255S page!
Garmin Forerunner 955/955 Solar — Best Running Watch with Music for Triathletes
Tune in to your determination and leave your phone at home with the Forerunner 955 or 955 Solar. This one's for all you marathoners and triathletes out there who rely on their motivational playlist and advanced training features for the win.
So what makes this watch different than the fēnix 7 or the Forerunner 255/255S Music? Well, it's a bit more feature-rich than the 255, and while it has nearly all the same feature-heft as the fēnix 7, it's got a lighter and sleeker build, catering a bit more to those athletes who may want less bulk on their wrist.
First off, the FR 955 can store up to 1,000 songs on board—twice as much as the 255 and 255S Music, but only half as much as the fēnix 7/7S/7X. Onboarding your tunes plays out in the same way as the others through services like Spotify®, Deezer, and Amazon Music.
The Forerunner 955 features are basically the same as the fēnix 7 with a few exceptions. With the bulk of the fēnix 7 comes more storage space (hence more song storage) and more battery life. The Forerunner 955 battery life offers up to 15 days in smartwatch mode while the FR955 Solar gets up to 20 days. The fēnix 7 gets up to 18 days and the solar model offers up to 22 days of battery life.
Garmin Forerunner 955/955 Solar Price: $499.99–$599.99
Garmin Forerunner Enduro 2 — Ultra Running Watch with Music
Unlike the previous Garmin Enduro, the Enduro 2 can store music on watch—and a lot of it! Download up to 2,000 songs plus playlists from your Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music accounts (subscription may be required). Then get ultra long music for phone-free listening that lasts as long as you do!
This Garmin ultraperformance multisport GPS watch with solar power provides battery life of up to 150 hours in GPS mode with solar charging to help you outlast your next ultra race. AutoSelect mode uses SatIQ™ technology to dynamically determine the GPS mode necessary to maximize battery life without compromising positional accuracy.
The rugged, lightweight design includes a light UltraFit band for a secure, comfortable fit during all your activities. And use traditional button controls or the new touchscreen interface to access selections.
Preloaded TopoActive and ski maps will help you find your way, while a variety of built-in sports apps as well as endurance, stamina and other performance metrics will help take your training to the next level.
Garmin Enduro 2 Price: $1,099.99
Garmin Forerunner 965 — Best Running Watch for Triathletes
Train brilliantly with Forerunner 965, the premium GPS running and triathlon smartwatch with a bright AMOLED touchscreen display and lightweight titanium bezel.
And enjoy your favorite training tunes by loading them from services like Spotify®, Deezer, and Amazon Music, and listen through headphones with BLUETOOTH® technology. No phone needed!
Wake up to your morning report with HRV status to see health insights with an overview of sleep, recovery and training outlook (data presented is intended to be a close estimation of metrics tracked). The training readiness feature tells you when you’re primed for a productive session — while daily suggested workouts adapt to performance and recovery alongside the race widget, which provides training tips, course details and completion time predictions.
Navigate any route confidently with multi-band GPS and full-color, built-in maps. With traditional buttons and a touchscreen display, it’s easy to tap into your training status and know whether you’re training productively, peaking or strained.
If you’re pushing to outshine the competition, the Forerunner 965 is there to light up every run with up to 23 days of battery life in smartwatch mode.
Garmin Forerunner 965 Price: $599.99
Garmin Forerunner 265 — AMOLED Display Watch with Music
Train brilliantly with the Forerunner 265 GPS running smartwatch. Its colorful AMOLED touchscreen display stands out while the training readiness feature — which tells you when you’re primed for a productive session — helps you crush your goals.
And do it all with music storage on your wrist!
Wake up to your morning report with HRV status to see health insights alongside an overview of sleep, recovery and training outlook (data presented is intended to be a close estimation of metrics tracked).
Plan your race strategy with the race widget, which enables personalized daily suggested workouts that adapt to performance, recovery, the race you’re running and its course.
Get ready to make the most of every run with wrist-based running power and multi-band GPS. And when you want to switch it up with cross training, choose from more than 30 activity profiles, including triathlons, cycling, swimming and more.
Get a more complete picture of your health, not just a glimpse, from your Forerunner 265 with up to 13 days of battery life in smartwatch mode.
Garmin Forerunner 265 Price: $449.99
Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2) — Best High-Performance GPS Watch with Music
The new epix (Gen 2) is basically a fēnix 7 Pro with a stunning AMOLED touchscreen—but without solar-charging technology built in. And like the fēnix 7 lineup, it allows you to store up to 2,000 songs on watch.
Simply upload your training tunes from services like Spotify®, Deezer, and Amazon Music, and listen through headphones with BLUETOOTH® technology. No phone needed.
The epix 2's touchscreen and 3-button operation let you access the best Garmin performance metrics, superior GPS, topo maps (preloaded on the Sapphire model), and a new built-in LED flashlight.
Unlike the fēnix 7/7S/7X premium outdoor watches, it does not offer solar-charging options and doesn't have quite the battery life. And the fēnix 7 is the only Garmin watch that is military tested for durability.
However, the epix Pro series also now offers 3 sizes—42 mm, 47 mm, 51 mm, so now there's one of these eye-catching premium multisport GPS watches for every wrist!
Garmin epix Pro Price: $899.99–$1,099.99
COROS VERTIX 2 — Ultimate Adventure Watch with Music
This monster outdoor endurance watch, is loaded with ultra-helpful features for serious trail runners, cyclists, hikers, and rock climbers. And it made the list because it's the first COROS watch to offer music on watch with its massive storage capacity.
The COROS VERTIX 2 battery life is extreme—even for COROS—which will earn it a check with endurance and extreme sport athletes. Here's what it looks like:
- Up to 60 days in watch mode
- Up to 140 hours in Standard Full GPS (GPS/QZSS)
- Up to 240 hours in UltraMax GPS mode
- Up to 50 hours in All Systems + Dual Frequency On
The next brow-raising feature is its improved GPS tracking. Access all 5 major satellite systems—GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS—with Dual Frequency satellite communication.
Runners will also get advanced training analytics; interval, triathlon, and multisport training; recovery time; and sleep monitoring.
You will get internal storage and Bluetooth headphone connectivity for offline listening, but storage is in the form of MP3s onto your watch from your computer. No music service like Spotify is available.
COROS VERTIX 2 Price: $699.00
Garmin Venu 2 Plus — Best Multisport Smartwatch with Music
The Venu 2/2S Plus puts voice functionality, speakers, and a mic on your wrist so that you can make and take calls and send and receive texts while leaving your phone in your pocket!
While this Garmin multisport watch does not have the most robust running features, it will dazzle you with its capacity for 650 songs on watch and its gorgeous AMOLED display. It's the perfect watch and price point for runners who are content with basic running and activity profiles and a substantial playlist of their favorite workout jams.
As with the other Garmin watches, you can easily stream or download music onto your Venu 2 through Spotify®, Deezer, or Amazon Music. Connect your headphones through Bluetooth and access up to 650 tunes on watch.
Runners get VO2 Max, activity profiles for running, indoor track, and treadmill. Track your progress with GPS-based distance, time, and pace, as well as cadence that provides real-time number of steps per minute. Enjoy run workouts, and the Venu 2 Plus is also foot pod capable.
Additionally, enjoy golfing, cycling, and swimming features, and easy-to-follow, animated cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts—and download more from the Garmin Connect app. Plus, count on all of Garmin's best health-monitoring and smart features.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus Price: $399.99
Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music — Fitness GPS Watch
In essence, the Venu Sq Music fitness smartwatch is the Venu 2 Plus without all the phone functionality. As the name implies, it offers phone-free, on-watch music, up to 500 songs.
This next-gen Garmin Venu watch offers substantially increased battery power and more accurate GPS. And the crystal-clear AMOLED display shows large, easy-to-read text, even in bright sunlight.
Enjoy more than 25 built-in indoor and GPS sports apps on this Garmin fitness watch that is available in 3 different color palettes. Plus get gym and fitness profiles: Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing, Breathwork, Pilates, Yoga, and HIIT.
Running profiles include: Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running.
Available outdoor recreation profiles are: Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, and Golfing.
Available cycling profiles include: Biking, Indoor Biking.
And you'll also have Pool Swimming.
Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music Price: $299.99
Polar Vantage V2 — Outdoor Fitness Watch with Music Controls
As far as running watches go, the premium Polar Vantage V2 would hands down be further up the list. But as for music side of it, it's not the most convenient wearable for runners.
The Vantage V2 allows you to control volume, pause, and switch up songs on your watch—using either the lovely touchscreen or the watch buttons. However, you must have your phone paired to the device and with you on your run.
From a purely running watch perspective, the Vantage V2 is the ultimate tool for tapping into personalized smart training. Not only will you get Polar's trademark heart rate monitoring on wrist, this GPS running watch gives you features like Running Performance Test, Cycling Performance Test, and Training Load Pro for personalized stats, info on your power zones, and how much you're straining your body.
This runners watch is also about knowing the optimal time to work out and when to rest with features like Recovery Pro, Nightly Recharge, and Leg Recovery Test.
Plus, get a lot more out of this watch, including 40-100 hours of continuous training battery life and the Polar Flow app that offers super comprehensive training, planning, and analysis tools.
Polar Vantage V2 Price: $499.95
Polar Vantage M2 — GPS Running Watch with Music Controls
Again, another great running watch from Polar that focuses on personalized data and adaptive training—but doesn't have the onboard music storage. You can control music on your phone from the training display, the watch face, or both.
To use the music controls on the Vantage M2, you'll need to have the Polar Flow app running on your phone, and it also needs to be paired with your watch. The music controls setting becomes visible after pairing your watch with your phone via the app.
As far as running features go, this mid-range priced watch offers some high-end features like Polar Running Program, Training Load Pro, and Nightly Recharge. FitSpark training guide offers you different types of daily workouts to choose from that match your recovery, fitness level, and training history.
You'll also get advanced wrist-based heart rate, smart notifications, and access to the Polar Flow app where you can keep a running diary, analyze your stats, and make your next plan of attack!
Polar Vantage M2 Price: $299.95