How to stream Apple Music on Apple Watch Series 3 without iPhone

Apple’s strategy for Music control on watchOS has changed significantly over the years, and as of watchOS 4.3, the company has finally added support for the full Apple Music library back onto the Apple Watch’s Music app.

While it’s not completely obvious, it is now possible to stream your entire Apple Music library from your Apple Watch to your Bluetooth-enabled headphones such as AirPods, without the need of your iPhone.

This will work with the non-LTE Series 3 models, as well as older Apple Watch models (including the first-generation Series 0) over Wi-Fi.

  1. Ensure that your Apple Watch is completely disconnected from your iPhone by either getting out of Bluetooth range or turning off Bluetooth entirely on your iPhone. To disable Bluetooth on your iPhone, head to Settings → Bluetooth → and toggle Bluetooth off.
  2. Pair your Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch. If you’ve previously paired Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch before, or if you’re using AirPods that have been paired with any of your other devices before, simply swipe up from the bottom of the Watch face to invoke Control Center, scroll to the bottom and tap the AirPlay icon, and then select the name of your Bluetooth headphones. Otherwise, head to Settings → Bluetooth on your Apple Watch. Ensure that your Bluetooth headphones are on and are in pairing mode. You may have to confirm some a code of sorts before it pairs to your Apple Watch.
  3. Once your Bluetooth headphones are paired, head to the Apple Music app on your Watch, tap Library and choose your music. From here, your Apple Watch will go ahead and begin streaming music over its LTE or Wi-Fi radio, independent of your iPhone. On Apple Watch models supporting LTE, you can even stream Apple Music radio stations such as Beats 1.

Here are some images of what the process looks like:

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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