Garmin smartwatches can do many things, but they didn’t actually gain music support until 2018. Since this feature is still relatively new to the ecosystem, there are only a handful of music streaming services available on Garmin devices today. Below, you’ll find a list of all the Garmin music services available and how to set each one up.
Which music services work with your Garmin smartwatch?
A total of four music streaming services are compatible with Garmin watches: Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and iHeartRadio. On all watches that support these services, you can also upload your own local music files for listening on the go.
Oh, and you’ll need a pair of Bluetooth earbuds to connect to your Garmin watch. Be sure to check out our lists of the best workout earbuds, best true wireless workout earbuds, best earbuds for running, and best workout headphones if you’re in need of a pair.
Now that that’s settled, check out the full list of Garmin music services below and how to set each one up.
How to sync Spotify with your Garmin device
Spotify is everyone’s go-to music streaming app nowadays, and Garmin added support for it back in October 2018. It first came to the Fenix 5 Plus lineup and Forerunner 645 Music.
To get Spotify on your Garmin smartwatch, you’ll need a Spotify Premium account (sign up here). If you’ve never tried Spotify, the streaming service offers a 30-day free trial for new users.
Once your account is ready, download the Garmin Spotify app from Garmin’s Connect IQ store to your smartwatch from your phone. You’ll then be prompted to sign into your Spotify account from your smartphone. Once signed in, switch back over to your watch, navigate to the music widget, and select the playlists and podcasts you’d like to sync to your Garmin.
How to sync Amazon Music with your Garmin device
Amazon Music is another popular music streaming app, especially for those who are already Amazon Prime subscribers. Garmin added Amazon Music support to its devices in August 2019.
Again, you’ll need an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription (sign up here) to use the service on your watch. A 30-day free trial is available for new users. Or, if you’re simply an Amazon Prime member and haven’t signed up for Music Unlimited separately, it should work for you just fine.
Once you’re signed up, download the Garmin Amazon Music app from Connect IQ to your Garmin smartwatch. Navigate to the music widget on your Garmin watch, select the overflow menu (three dots), and select the Amazon Music icon. You’ll be given a six-letter code, which you’ll need to type in at amazon.com/us/code. This can be done on your phone, on your computer, or wherever else you have access to the internet. Once authorized, hit the Browse button on your watch and you’ll see the playlists available to you on Amazon Music.
Related: AA Essentials: The best running gear, running watches, and more
How to sync Deezer with your Garmin device
Deezer was one of the first music streaming services Garmin added to its watches. Of course, you’ll need a Deezer Premium subscription (sign up here) if you want to sync your Deezer playlists with your Garmin. A three-month free trial is also available if you’re a new user.
To set it up, download the Garmin Deezer app from Connect IQ to your Garmin watch. Then go back to the media widget on your watch and select Deezer as the provider. You’ll be prompted on your phone to sign into your Deezer account via Garmin Connect. Sign into your account, then head back to your watch to start syncing your Deezer playlists.
How to sync iHeartRadio with your Garmin device
iHeartRadio seems to be available on every fitness platform I’ve tried. Like the other services, you’ll need an iHeartRadio All Access subscription (sign up here) to create your own playlists and sync them with your watch. iHeartRadio also offers a 30-day free trial for new users.
To begin the setup process, download the Garmin iHeartRadio app to your Garmin from Connect IQ. Once downloaded, select iHeartRadio as the music source in the media widget on your Garmin watch. You’ll be presented a five-digit numerical code which you’ll need to enter at iheart.com/activate. Once verified, you can go back to your watch and choose the playlists you’d like to sync to your Garmin device.
How to upload local music to your Garmin device
Not all-in on music streaming services? You can also upload local music files from your computer to your Garmin device. The process is pretty simple.
First, you’ll need to download the Garmin Express app on your computer. After Garmin Express is installed on your computer, select Get Started, then Add a Device. Plug your watch into your computer with the charging cable, select Add Device, and sign into your Garmin account. Select the Music option on Garmin Express, click the folder icon to search for the music you’d like to transfer to your Garmin watch, selec the local music files or playlists you’d like to transfer, then click Send to Device.
Alternatively, if you have the Android File Transfer tool available on your computer, you can use that to transfer music to your Garmin, too. If you use this method, you can simply drag and drop the music files you’d like to transfer instead of searching for them through Garmin Express. However, Android File Transfer and Garmin Express can’t be used at the same time. If you have Garmin Express open, it may prevent Android File Transfer from opening when your Garmin is plugged in. If this happens, simply close Garmin Express and plug your Garmin back in.
Note: Garmin devices support the following music files: .mp3, .m4a, .aac, .adts, .wav, .m3u, .m3u8, .wpl, .zpl, and .pls.
Garmin has been pretty aggressive in adding new music services to its lineup, but there are still a handful of big names that aren’t there yet. The following streaming services aren’t yet available on Garmin: Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal, and SoundCloud.
Garmin smartwatches with music capabilities
Of course, you’ll need a Garmin smartwatch to use the music services listed above. Below you’ll find a list of all the Garmin smartwatches with music capabilities available today.
- Garmin D2 series
- Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series
- Garmin Fenix 6 series
- Includes Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, 6S Pro, 6X Pro, 6 Pro Sapphire, 6S Pro Sapphire, 6X Pro Sapphire, and 6X Pro Solar
- Does not include standard Garmin Fenix 6 or Fenix 6S
- Garmin Forerunner 245 Music (review)
- Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
- Garmin Forerunner 945
- Garmin Legacy Saga Series
- Garmin Legacy Hero Series
- Garmin Venu (review)
- Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music and Vivoactive 3 Music (Verizon)
- Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S (review)
Garmin didn’t start adding music capabilities to its GPS watches until 2018’s Vivoactive 3 Music, so all devices before that don’t have music support. It’s crazy to think that high-end devices like the Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935 don’t support music storage.
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