Wanting to Keep it Simple with a Series 3 - Will this Meet my Needs?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 11, 2019
I road cycle a lot. I have a dedicated cycling computer, so not looking to track my workouts. I don't take my phone with me (risky risky, I know).

I currently listen to music (right ear only so I can hear traffic, etc. on my left) with a 7th gen iPod nano and wired earbuds, with one earbud tucked in my jersey, along with the wire.

I want to listen to music with Airpods. I have gen 1 Airpods, but they are my "good" earphones and thus I don't use them for working out/sweating.

So here's what I'm thinking: buy a Series 3 AW from Apple for $225, get one spare right Airpod from Apple ($69?) that I can mark up for working out so as to not confuse with my good ones, load some music on the watch, and then ride with no wires, and get rid of my iPod nano.

Sounds good, right?

Here's the rub: I do NOT want to pair my watch with my phone or anything, I want to keep it divorced from the rest of my Apple stuff and basically treat it like an iPod. The watch is necessary to use Airpods since my old nano doesn't support it (to my knowledge).

Can I do this? Can I run an AW as basically a completely separate, divorced product that isn't tied to my phone?


macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2014
Monroe, Louisiana
I hate to break the bad news, but that’s not possible. When you unbox a watch the first thing it’s programmed to do is pair with your iPhone, and by default, your iCloud account.

The only way you could do that would be to pair your watch with an iPhone that you don’t use. Like buy a cheap iPhone from eBay, create a separate iCloud account, and sync that phone with your watch.


macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2012
If you do cycle a lot, get a Series 4 at the very least. Cellular version if you plan on keeping your iPhone away. With the recent Facebook Viral post about A guy being saved by paramedics via Apple Watch SOS EMS feature, it fits your use-scenario.

safety is always nice to have especially if you’re figured in an accident, they watch can contact your emergency contacts and Emergency services even when you’re out cold.

Series 3 is fine also, you still need iPhone but you can leave it behind and the watch will still be able to beam music to your airpods and track your bike path via gps. You can also configure your watch to receive less/or no notifications at all.


macrumors 6502
Jul 31, 2016
You have to set up you Apple Watch with your iPhone. After that you can just use the watch alone for a couple of things and listening to music with your Airpods is one of them.