Listening to music on a Wear OS 3 smartwatch is a breeze - provided you can connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones and you have the right subscription.
In this guide, we'll explain all the steps required to download and listen from the wrist, whether you get your music and podcasts from Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, or Google's YouTube Music.
You'll need to ensure you have a smartwatch running Wear OS 3 (or above) for the instructions below to apply, and also a bit of storage space handy, but, other than that, this is all very straightforward.
Music services available on Wear OS 3
Wear OS has made a big leap over the past few years, and it means that the music experience is far superior to what we were used to with Wear OS 2 software.
With a bustling Google Play Store, this means there are dedicated third-party apps for Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and YouTube Music. Each service offers its own unique features and limitations, though all share the same core features of downloading and streaming for those with paid memberships.
Check out our guides below for a more dedicated insight into each:
How to download a music streaming app
1. On your Wear OS device, head to the app list and find 'Google Play Store'.
2. From here, use the search box to type out your music streaming service.
3. If an app is available, it will appear in the list - select it and hit 'Install'.
4. Wait for the download to complete and then enter the app at your leisure.
What you can do with music on Wear OS 3
As we mentioned above, what you're actually able to do with your music on Wear OS 3 does slightly depend on which streaming service you're subscribed to.
Below, though, we've listed a few of the core things you can achieve from the Wear OS apps of Spotify and YouTube Music to give you a better idea.
- Listen to music and podcasts from your watch by pairing Bluetooth headphones
- Download music and podcasts so you can listen without a phone or internet connection
- Stream music and podcasts without your paired phone if you have a working cellular connection
- Manage downloads, edit playlists, and control playback
How to download music on Wear OS 3
Once you've got your music streaming service's app on your Wear OS watch - and provided you have the right subscription - you'll be able to download content right to the device.
To listen without your phone being nearby or without an internet connection, downloading is the best option. The steps will vary slightly between apps, but it's all very self-explanatory.
Start by opening the app, and finding the song, album, playlist, or podcast you want to download. On Spotify, for example, you'll see the option to 'Download to watch' when you select something. Other apps simply show the downward-pointing download icon. Either way, select this option to download it to the wrist.
Just remember that your watch has a limited amount of storage, so be sure to clear out old episodes and the like to keep space open for future downloads.
How to stream music on Wear OS 3
Streaming music allows you to avoid downloading music or podcasts directly to the device, though you will have to have an active internet connection running in order to do so.
This means being tethered to your phone, or, preferably, having a Wear OS watch capable of a standalone cellular connection.
You'll need an LTE/4G plan from your provider, but, if you do, simply open up your chosen streaming app at any time and select the music or podcast you wish to listen to.
Provided you have data, the connection is strong, and you have your headphones paired, you should then be streaming directly from the wrist.
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