1. How to pair headphones to a Garmin watch 
  2. Troubleshooting Garmin headphone issues

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Garmin watch

Sync up some buds or troubleshoot issues with help from this guide
Wareable how to connect bluetooth to garmin
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Connecting a pair of headphones to your Garmin watch is essential if you want to tap into features like offline listening while you're working out. 

Luckily, pairing is incredibly simple if you follow the steps we've outlined below. And if you do experience the odd issue with your wireless buds pairing or staying connected to your Garmin, skip to the section below.

How to pair headphones to a Garmin watch 

Wareablegarmin pairing mode headphones

Before you get started, ensure you have a Garmin watch capable of music playback - available to see from Garmin's support page. This will ensure you can get set up with offline listening with Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music once your headphones are paired.

1. Learn how to put your headphones into pairing mode

This will naturally vary depending on the manufacturer of your Bluetooth headphones, but start by learning how to do this and then quickly jump over to your watch before the pairing mode time runs out.

2. Open the menu on your Garmin watch and find 'Music'

Bring up the main list of settings on your Garmin watch by holding the 'Up/Menu' button for a couple of seconds, then scroll down and select 'Music'.

Wareableairpods garmin

3. Select 'Headphones' to begin the pairing process

Scroll down the list to find 'Headphones', then select 'Add New' to initiate a search from your Garmin watch. It's critical to have your headphones in pairing mode at this stage, so check them again to ensure they are.

4. Select your Bluetooth buds from the list

If successful, the 'Searching for Headphones' screen should quickly be replaced by a screen containing your headphones. Select them, then press the 'Start/Stop' button (where the green tick is) to complete the process.

Now, when you open something like Spotify and go to begin playback, your headphones will automatically connect (when in range). 

If your headphones can't be found, reinitiate the pairing mode process on your headphones and then return to the 'Add New' screen.

Troubleshooting Garmin headphone issues

Wareabletroubleshoot garmin headphones

We've paired all manners of Bluetooth earbuds to our Garmin watches over the years of testing, and it is pretty rare to have an issue related to the initial pairing process. 

If you are experiencing issues getting connected, try these steps first to try and iron out any issues:

  • Restart your Garmin watch and try pairing again
  • Make sure your Garmin watch is up to date
  • Make sure your headphone software is up to date

At least in our experience, it's more common to face problems once you've already paired your Bluetooth buds to your watch.

Here's what we recommend if you're experiencing the likes of your audio cutting out or major audio interference:

  • Remove the connection completely from your Garmin watch and repair
  • Disconnect your headphones from your watch and reconnect
  • Turn off playback settings like shuffle and avoid skipping tracks (Spotify)
  • Avoid being close to your phone or another Bluetooth device during playback

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

Related stories