​How to get music on your Android Wear smartwatch

Enjoy listening to music straight from your device
Playing music on your smartwatch

Android Wear devices can now store your music, so you can still get access to your favourite tunes when you go for a jog around the park. But how do you get your music on your smartwatch, and how do you link up your headphones to listen to them?

Essential reading: Top smartwatches for 2015

We've got down and dirty with our Android Wear smartwatch to show you how. Whether you're using an LG Watch Urbane, Moto 360 2 or Sony SmartWatch 3, here's our guide to getting music on your device.

1. Update the apps

The only app you're going to be able to do this with (for the time being at least) is Google's own Play Music. Make sure you're running the latest version of it on your Android device (the Play Store app will tell you), as well as the most recent version of Android Wear – go to Settings then About on your smartwatch to check.

2. Activate offline listening

music on my android wear smartwatch

'Offline listening' means the music is cached on your smartwatch to listen to even when your phone isn't around. To enable this feature, you need to flick a switch inside the Play Music app on your smartphone or tablet: tap Settings from the app's menu then tick the box marked Download to Android Wear to activate it (you may be prompted to enable this from the front screen of Play Music too).

3. Choose your songs

music on my android wear smartwatch

Use the orange pin buttons in Play Music to store selected tracks and albums on your smartphone or tablet, and by extension your Android Wear watch. Back on the Settings screen use the Manage Wear downloads option to decide which of your cached tracks are transferred to your smartwatch as well (remember you only have a few gigabytes to play around with).

4. Sync the music

The syncing should happen automatically once you've activated the right setting in Play Music and picked some songs to download – if not, make sure that your smartwatch is properly connected to your smartphone. A notification on the watch itself will keep you up to date with the progress of the music transfer.

5. Find some headphones

All the Android Wear devices on the market today use Bluetooth to connect up a pair of headphones, so you're going to need to get yourself a set.

Essential reading: Best Bluetooth headphones for running

The supplied instructions will tell you how to get the headphones in pairing mode, at which point you're ready to redirect your attention back to your watch.

6. Make the connection

Head into the Android Wear Settings screen on your smartwatch then choose Bluetooth devices. At this stage the watch will automatically scan for nearby Bluetooth kit, and it should pick up the headphones while they're in pairing mode – select the headphones when they appear to complete the connection.

7. Play some music

You can access Play Music from the main Android Wear menu (swipe left to find the apps list) or by saying "play music" when your smartwatch is listening. There are two options – playing music on your phone or playing it on your watch – and the most recent one will be selected by default.

8. Change modes

If you don't want to use Play Music in its current mode, tap the large cross icon before the app launches and you'll be given the chance to change it. If the music is being played on your phone then you still have the opportunity to control it from your wrist, so you'll probably want to switch modes regularly.

9. Control playback

Once playback starts you'll see a small widget appear on the Android Wear watch face that lets you pause and resume playback. Swipe this up to see the current track then swipe left to access volume and track skipping controls. Swipe left again and you can rate the current track with a thumbs up or a thumbs down from your wrist.

10. Troubleshoot problems

Bluetooth isn't the most reliable of technologies, so if you run into problems then resetting your devices or starting again from scratch will usually be enough to clear them up. Testing your headphones with another device (like your laptop) can help you determine whether problems are caused by the headphones or your smartwatch.

Android Wear super guide

How to set up and connect Android Wear

Android Wear hidden secrets, tips and tricks

Best apps for Android Wear

How to install and use apps on Android Wear

Shop for recommended Android Wear watches on Amazon

Sony SmartWatch 3
Sony SmartWatch 3
Huawei Watch
Huawei Watch
Polar M600
Polar M600
Moto 360 Sport
Moto 360 Sport

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  • Mayush says:

    Thank for the tutorial but I have a problem. When I open play music settings, I cannot see download to Android wear option. 

    • childofibiza says:

      me too.. I have a Moto X 2nd Gen with Lollipop and i don't see it either.. 

  • gdongg says:

    Recently got the Sony Smartwatch 3 and I wanted sync some songd to the watch but i dont have "Download to Android Wear" option on my phone GOogle Play. Is there any thing I need to do. Im using a OnePlusOne. Thanks

  • LeonPhelps says:

    I feel your pain guys.   I have the exact same problem and it's very frustrating!  If anyone discovers a solution for not seeing the download icon,  please let us all know.  If I find it,  I promise to do the same. 

    • AntoniKoo says:

      Bro, try and search for wearmedia by qubinapps. I had the same problem (from indonesia) and now im happily listening music from my sony smartwatch 3 haha.. spread the good news!!

  • Wear3 says:

    i have a new bought SW3 and my problem that keeps on searching solution until now is about loading offline music. Using my S5, loaded with songs connect to my SW3 and already check the box option "download to Android Wear" on play music apps but when i try to tick the 3 dots at the right side of the playlist, there was no DOWNLOAD options. Is there any ways to load music on my SW3?.

  • OpsManDan says:

    argh! Same frustrating problem! I've got the App on my nexus 6 which has the download to Android wear button, but I can't seem to download music to my Sony smartwatch 3 >.< 

  • smileman says:

    Oddly, syncing with Sony's Music app seems to work better for me than Google Music on the Moto Sport 360. When I tap "Manage Wear downloads" nothing happens.

  • yogibimbi says:

    Hmm, the easiest way on the Sony Smartwatch 3 would be to connect the watch via USB, mount it on the desktop, and drag and drop the files over. Even my Bragi Dash can do that...

  • bobbyrooney says:

    ok, so first you need the android wear app. then you need to have google play music, and most importantly, make sure you update.  then you will see the send to android wear in the settings.  the problem with this clusterpoop of a OS is that you your watch will only transfer if its at a certain percentage charged. my LG G watch is 75% minimum.  transferring is a day long event, so make sure you have the watch and phone cables connected.  it's SLOWWWW over bluetooth, so give it time.  i guess giving people freedom to mount the watch as a drive via usb is no longer on google's agenda. who would think dragging and dropping would be logical?

    • bobbyrooney says:

      so after syncing last night, and letting google play music download songs to the watch there were marked as download on the phone, it ended up doing nothing.  the watch said that there were 297 songs, yet i only had 10 marked as download. there is no way to control anything.  their support says that it transfers what it wants to.  google music is so messy and cluttered that it just doesnt work.  way to google to making things more complicated and more closed off than apple and itunes just to push your app that everyone uninstalls by default!  i took AntoniKoo's advice and went with the wearmedia app.  it still needs androidwear app to push itself to the watch, but when you run it on your phone, it lets you have full control of which song you send over and where it goes. at least this works. i was so close to returning my watch and going with tizen.

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