It might depend on the iPhone for a lot of things, but an Apple Watch can pretty much play music on its own. Even when there is no iPhone nearby.

Many might not know this but if you have an Apple Watch 3 or newer you can actually store and play music right on the Apple Watch. The smartwatch offers 8 GB worth of storage out of which you can use about 2 GB to store music and that translates into a lot of songs – hey, an iPod Shuffle at one time had less storage space. And it is all there right on your wrist.


Once you have saved music on your Apple Watch you can connect your Bluetooth headphones with the watch and can listen to music even without your iPhone. That makes it very handy indeed for those times when you need music, but cannot be bothered to turn to your phone for it – times like working out, taking a walk, strolling around the house (easier to keep a watch on than carry a phone), or maybe even while sitting and writing (we are doing this right now – hey, no iPhones around). Or actually, you can even simply use your Apple Watch to play music off a Bluetooth speaker (though not on a HomePod!).

A few points to keep in mind

Turning your Apple Watch into a music player is rather simple, but before you sync any music on your Apple Watch, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • Your Apple Watch needs to be Apple Watch 3 or later for you to be able to sync music on it.
  • Make sure your Apple Watch is connected to its charger. You will not be able to add music to the watch if it is not connected to the charger.
  • Make sure the Bluetooth on your iPhone is turned on and the phone is connected to the watch and is nearby when you are syncing music.

Getting music on your Apple Watch

Once you are through with this preamble, follow these simple steps to store and play music on your Apple Watch:

Open Apple Watch App on your iPhone

how to use an apple watch as a standalone music player - openapplewatchapp
On your iPhone, you have to find the Apple Watch App. It comes pre-installed on the iPhone so you do not have to go through the work of installing another app on your phone.

Find Music

how to use an apple watch as a standalone music player - findmusic
Once you have the Apple Watch app opened on your iPhone, you will need to scroll down and find the “Music” option. The option would have a small Apple Music icon right next to it. Select the option.

Add music

how to use an apple watch as a standalone music player - addmusic
Tapping on the Music option will open a new window where you will find the option to add music here. Tap on the “+ Add music” option. This will take you to your music library from where you can select the music you wish to sync on your Apple Watch.

Automatically adding recently played music

how to use an apple watch as a standalone music player - automaticallyaddingrecentmusic
You also have the option to add music that you have been recently listening to automatically to your Apple Watch. You just have to tap the toggle and the music will sync automatically.

That’s it really. The process can be a little time consuming (depending on how much music you have to put on the watch, of course) so we would recommend you do it either at night or when you have some time to spare.

Listening to music from your Apple Watch

Now that you have music on your Apple Watch, listening to it would require a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Connecting Bluetooth headphones with your Apple Watch is an easy enough procedure and you can do it by simply following these steps:

  • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch and find Bluetooth:
    how to use an apple watch as a standalone music player - opensettingsonwatch
    On your Apple Watch, go to the main menu and find the Settings App. Once you have your Settings app opened, scroll down to find the Bluetooth option.
  • Select “Bluetooth”:
    Tap open the Bluetooth icon and search for the Bluetooth headphone that you want to connect from the list of devices. For this make sure your Bluetooth accessory is discoverable and its pairing settings are on.
  • Select your Bluetooth headphones:
    how to use an apple watch as a standalone music player - selectbluetoothheadphones
    Once you have found your headphones in the list, tap on them to connect with your Apple Watch, and voila! You can now play and listen to your music on your Apple Watch without your iPhone!
  • Go to Music…and hit “play”:
    On your Apple Watch, go to music (it is the icon with the musical note) and choose what you wish to play. Enjoy.

You can choose the same process for playing music from your Apple Watch on a Bluetooth speaker too. However, the HomePods are not supported.

Was this article helpful?