Apple Watch is a great and versatile device, but it has limitations when it comes to audio: even though it has a small built-in speaker, it cannot be made to
play music itself. (The quality wouldn’t be up to much anyway, we imagine.) Instead, it controls the music playing on another device: its companion iPhone, or a paired
Bluetooth speaker or pair of headphones.
In this article we explain how to pair an Apple Watch with a Bluetooth wireless speaker, and then play and control music through it. For those who are interested, we’ll be using the
Jam Heavy Metal speaker, which you can pick up
for £100 from Currys.
Pair with the speaker
The first step is to pair the watch and speaker.
You’ll need to make sure the speaker is on, and most speakers will need to be put into discovery mode, most likely by holding down a button until a light starts flashing – consult the manual or the maker’s website if it’s not obvious.
Now open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, and tap Bluetooth. Under Devices, at the top, you should see the speaker’s name, labelled Not Paired. Tap the speaker’s name and it will start to pair.
(The Jam speaker says “Paired!” when this has worked, but in other cases you’ll just see that Not Paired changes to Connected.)
Control music remotely from your watch
Open the Music app on your watch and navigate to a song as usual. When you start it playing, it will play through the speaker with no further action on your part – so be wary of songs with objectionable lyrics near the start. The exception is if the speaker is turned off, or powers down because it’s been ignored for too long: in this case you’ll be asked where you wish to output the audio.
Once the song is playing, you can control the volume of the speaker using the Digital Crown.
If you want to change the output during playback, do a firm press on the screen and a button labelled AirPlay will appear; press this and then select a new output device.
Unpair from the speaker
At any point you can disconnect your watch from the speaker. The easiest method is simply to choose another output source, using the methods outlined above (most simply, by hard-pressing the screen from the Music app), and/or turning off the speaker.
But for a more long-term removal, go to Settings > Bluetooth again and find the device, which should be listed under Devices. Tap the letter I on the right and select Forget Device.