Running with Watch and BT Music

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by TxWatch, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. TxWatch, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015

    TxWatch macrumors 6502

    TxWatch

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    I purchased the Backbeat Fit BT headset to use with my Watch while running. I experienced several of the issues others warned about in various threads, but I thought I would consolidate my findings as a new Watch and BT Music user.

    1. I discovered the Watch Playlist Syncing requires the Watch App to be open on your phone while your Watch is on the charger.

    I added my playlist in the Watch App during the day and I was not planning to charge the phone until the evening. That evening, I charged my watch as usual. The next day, I checked the Watch App in the afternoon and discovered the Playlist Sync was still pending. I searched several sites, including Apple and this one, but I could not find a reference to leaving the Watch App open to sync music. I waited for the next night and as soon as I put my watch on the charger, I opened the Watch App. My music immediately began to sync. Not a big deal, but it might be nice to see it documented somewhere. I incorrectly assumed it would sync in the background.

    2. I experienced the problem with my Watch Playlist playing the first song repeatedly, instead of advancing to the next song while running.

    I tested this at my house the night before I ran and the playlist advanced to the second song without issue, so I thought maybe the problem was resolved. The workaround was to press stop on the Watch's Music App and then, press play again while the first song was playing for the second time. This caused the Watch to choose a random song in my playlist. The Watch continued to play random songs through out the rest of my run, as if shuffle had been turned on. Again not a big deal, but I hope they fix it in the next version.

    3. I experienced the weak BT issue because the Backbeat Fit headset has the receiver on the right side and I wear my Watch on my left arm.

    I tested this at my house the night before using fast simulated arm movements and I did not experience the problem while indoors. As soon as I began running outdoors in the morning, my music was cutting in and out repeatedly. I ran for about 3 miles adjusting the watch, turning my head in different directions, holding my arm in different positions, pulling up my sleeve, removing my hat and headband that were covering the BT headset without any success. I finally stopped and moved the watch to my right arm. As soon as I started running again, the problems were gone. I put my headband and hat back on, and pulled my sleeve down over the Watch without issue. The Watch and Backbeat Fit performed perfectly for the rest of my run. For now on, I will run with my watch on my right arm.

    4. I had my Workout stopped by my shirt sleeve when I was running in the cold.

    I have had the screen on Workout change several times when running with long sleeves, but my Workout was ended the other day in the middle of my run. I did not notice it until right near the end of my run, so I lost that portion of data. The solution is to lock the Workout App by using a long-press just after you start your run. You can still raise your wrist to see the screen, but you have to long-press again to unlock the screen. This is not ideal, but I have been able to avoid future issues once I started locking the screen.

    As a side comment on the Backbeat Fit headsets: I read several reviews on Amazon and the one complaint by a few folks was the volume was too low for their liking. I am not sure what volumes they were used to with other headsets, but I had my Watch just below halfway and it was plenty loud enough for my run. I was able to hear cars as they approached behind me, but the music was very clear and very easy to hear all of instruments and words for all of my songs. When I briefly turned the volume up to the max, it was WAY too loud for my ears.

    I was glad I had researched the process on this web site and others so I knew what to expect. Even though I experienced the same problems as others, I will keep the BT headset and continue to use it for my future runs. I hope these pointers help others avoid the same problems or at least know how to solve them. :cool:

    Thanks,

    TxWatch
     
  2. TxWatch thread starter macrumors 6502

    TxWatch

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I used my Watch again for a 1 hour run with BT Music over the weekend. Here is a quick update on my experience.

    1. I created a new Playlist for running and as before, it did not start syncing until I opened the Watch App on my phone. Interestingly, when I finally opened it, it said Pending Sync for a brief couple of seconds, but then jumped to 6% downloaded. Maybe it was syncing in the background??

    2. The new Playlist worked as expected this time. It started at the first song and progressed through them without issue. I used the Backbeat Fit headset controls to raise / lower the volume, pause and jump ahead a couple of songs to make sure everything was working. There were no problems from the Watch or headset with the control features.

    3. I wore my Watch on the right arm to match up with the right side receiver on the headset. I had zero issues with the music cutting in and out.

    I really like the Backbeat Fit BT headset because I can run without constantly adjusting them as they stay perfectly in my ears, even when turning my head from side to side at full stride. The in-ear form factor was designed for runners with the idea of allowing sounds into your ears while providing excellent volume if you want to crank it up. I have my Watch turned to just below the half way point and I have no issues hearing the music very clearly. I can also safely hear cars as they go around me on the neighborhood streets. (no sidewalks where I run) The outside sounds are muted, but still there enough to get my attention when needed.

    The headset also provides excellent voice prompts as you use it, telling you it is turning on/off, when it connects to your BT source and the battery level. It beeps in your ear when you press the various buttons, so you know the button was pushed.

    At less than $100, (half the price of PowerBeats2) I highly recommend them for runners.

    TxWatch
     
  3. jtrue28 macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #3
    Hmm. I have been able to sync my watch, no problems. It does take forever though. I have never used my watch for BT Music. I have the PowerBeats 2 Wireless. I will see if they are plagued by the same things your headphones have trouble with. Although I think the Beats BT receiver is on the left ear...
     
  4. TxWatch thread starter macrumors 6502

    TxWatch

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    The first time I had the music sync problem, I charged the Watch all night (8 hours) and my music never made it across. It was sitting on my nightstand right next to my phone which had more than 50% battery. The second time I tried, I let it sit on my night stand for almost 30 minutes before opening the Watch App. As soon as I opened it, the music began syncing. (Very slowly, as you pointed out)

    Just curious why you have synced music to your watch, but never used it to play over Bluetooth? I cannot think of another reason to have music on my Watch, but I am just learning all the ways to use it.

    I was warned about the right side receiver of the Backbeats Fit vs the left side receiver of the PowerBeats 2, but I bought the Backbeats anyway. You will not have the same problem with the "Apple" Powerbeats2 headset, unless you wear your Watch on your right arm.

    I chose the Backbeats because they were cheaper ($99) and I liked the over the ear form factor because they stay where I put them regardless of how hard or far I run. They also appear to be more sweat proof because they are made entirely from a flexible synthetic rubber material. (ear pieces, ear hooks, neck wire, etc.) Plus, they have an estimated 8 hour battery life vs 6 hours for the Powerbeats 2.

    I wanted to try them once with the Watch on my left arm to see if it was a low power BT Watch problem or something the other reviewer was doing differently. I have come to the conclusion it is the Watch causing the issue and not the headset, since moving it to my right arm cleared it up entirely. I have also used the Backbeats synced with my phone in my pocket and they worked perfectly for the duration.

    I am willing to live with wearing my Watch on the right arm while running, which is exactly where I always wore my Garmin Forerunner GPS, anyway. However, I do not want to have to run with my iPhone 6P all the time because it is just too big for running.

    TxWatch
     
  5. jtrue28 macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #5
    I loaded a playlist as a test. More or less to see how long it takes and if the watch would actually play the playlist from the watch. Seems to work.
     

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