The Beats Fit Pro are basically the Apple AirPods Pro with a few modifications. They have a prominent wing tip that helps to hold them in your ears when you’re working out as well as a custom-designed driver to make music sound a bit bassier. On top of that, the Fit Pro have slightly better battery life and a smaller carrying case than the older Powerbeats Pro.
That should, by many accounts, make them the de facto standard in true wireless earbuds – however, there are a few niggling issues that prevent them from claiming that top spot.
Among those issues is the fact that while the Fit Pro have active noise cancellation akin to the AirPods Pro, they’re not quite as powerful as other earbuds from Bose and Sony. Secondly, the wing tip helps hold them in place – but it also adds some extra pressure to the outer ears that can become uncomfortable to wear over a prolonged period. Finally, Android users won’t quite get the full experience (i.e. spatial audio and hands-free voice assistance) that iOS users get and their sticker price is… well, on the pricier side of things.
All that’s kind of a long-winded way to say that while the Beats Fit Pro deliver better results than the similar-looking Beats Studio Buds, there’s still room for improvement here.
Beats Fit Pro release date and price
The Beats Fit Pro became available to buy on November 5, 2021 in the US for $199 (around £150 / AU$300). That makes them slightly less expensive than the AirPods Pro and a little more expensive than the previously released Beats Studio Buds.
While the Beats Fit Pro don’t reinvent the wheel – or in this case, the wing tip – they do implement it in a way we’ve not yet seen. By making it a part of the earbuds and giving it extra flexibility, it’s able to latch onto the inner ear to keep the buds in place.
Previously other earbuds have gone for the wrap-around design and while we think that design is actually more comfortable, there’s something very stylish about the fin being directly attached and inside the ear.
To help you get that perfect seal, the Beats Fit Pro comes with two additional sets of different-sized ear tips in the box and it’s well-worth taking the time to find out which of them fit best.
Speaking of fit, the Fit does honestly do a good job of staying in the ears. At no point in our review did the buds so much as move a millimeter once they were seated properly. However, because the fit was so exact it did put some pressure on the ears – especially after wearing them for a while.
That’s particularly important because the Beats Pro Fit are targeted at workout enthusiasts and even come with an IPX4 water-resistance rating that should make them sweat-proof. They’re not waterproof, however, so do be careful with them near a pool or on the beach, and don’t have dust resistance either, so keep them out of the sand.
On the outside of each bud are the touch controls that allow you to play or pause music and skip between tracks. A long hold will turn on ambient listening mode that will turn off noise cancellation while a second long press will turn it back on.
The controls can be a bit sensitive so you’ll have to be careful when putting the earbuds into and taking them out of your ears – trust us, it’s very easy to unintentionally hang up an important phone call or blast music in your ear without meaning to do it.
We’ll talk about them in more detail below but it’s worth pointing out here that there are a total of six microphones on both earbuds that help pick up your voice and block out incoming noise. There’s also a redesigned driver and ventilation system that helps the bass range sound weightier, and the aforementioned H1 chip inside here that will enable a number of neat features for iOS devices.
Finally it’s worth quickly talking about the redesigned case that’s much smaller than the one that came with the Powerbeats Pro. It easily slides into a pocket and its smooth exterior feels great to hold… just don’t let it slip out onto the sidewalk or floor as it might pick up a few scratches. (Whoops!)
While it’s not exactly a feature, we definitely appreciate having the option to pick between four colors for the Fit Pro. Not only does it come in the classic Beats Black and Beats White color ways, but you can also select between a stunning Sage Grey with light green accents or Stone Purple that’s lavender with dark grey accents.
Of course, the main reason you’re paying a bit more for the Beats Fit Pro than the recently released Beats Studio Buds is because the former have the H1 chip. That allows them to access hands-free Siri as well as spatial audio support on Apple Music, Apple TV and FaceTime.
The other reason these cost more than some other earbuds is because they have active noise cancellation that will block out some outside noise. In practice we found that they weren’t quite as adept at this as the Sony WF-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort Buds, but they do a decent job blocking out conversations happening in another room when you’re working from home.
While Beats designed the earbuds to work with both Android and iOS devices, Android users won’t be able to access the entire suite of features. Specifically, they’ll be locked out from an always-listening assistant and spatial audio.
Those aren’t exactly deal breakers considering how many earbuds don’t have access to spatial audio at this point – and Beats does make a pretty great Android app that will let you customize their controls – but these snags might persuade you to pick a more Android-friendly option like the Sony WF-1000XM4 instead.
Gone are the days of Beats earbuds sounding like blown-out car speakers with enough bass to shake your skull. The new sound profile Beats has gone with keeps things exciting with elevated highs and lows and good overall clarity.
To put the earbuds through their paces we checked out INDUSTRY BABY by Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow, which is available in Dolby Atmos on Apple Music. Right off the bat you hear the driving bass line but it’s followed by a vocal track that moves depending on which way you’re facing. Look left, and the vocal track moves to the right earbud. Turn right and the opposite happens. Being able to dynamically change the audio mix as you move your head is electrifying – giving you a concert-like experience anywhere.
Much of this is due to the way Beats are tuned and Apple’s H1 wireless chip – but the newly designed driver inside the earbuds does help give them a slightly larger soundstage than previous Beats earbuds.
Apple Music has thousands of Dolby Atmos-mixed tracks that deliver a spatial audio experience on true wireless earbuds that really sounds great – INDUSTRY BABY is just one of many songs that really flaunts the sound profile of the new Fit Pro.
The caveat we’d make here is that, despite their impressive performance for their size, the spatial audio on the Fit Pro doesn’t replace the immersive sound you get from a true Dolby Atmos speaker system. However, it’s a big step up from traditional wireless earbuds.
As far as call quality is concerned, the Beats Fit Pro use five of the six microphones to accurately portray your voice to your recipient and the results are good overall. People we spoke to said we sounded relatively clear, though the volume was a bit softer than when we used speakerphone.
What that tells us is that these earbuds probably won’t be the ideal solution for business professionals who need crystal-clear audio in their calls, but would be absolutely fine for someone who just takes the occasional call or two on their earbuds.
According to Beats, the Fit Pro have some of the best battery life of any of their earbuds – with ANC on you’re looking at around 6 hours per charge with 18 hours in the charging case. That’s around an hour-and-a-half more per charge than the AirPods Pro and is a significant improvement on Apple’s flagship true wireless earbuds.
The Fit Pro will last even longer with ANC turned off – though, if you’re using them for talking instead of listening to music, the battery life will be a bit shorter.
Overall, that battery life is on par with other noise-cancelling earbuds – which is great – and falls just a bit short of other true wireless earbuds without ANC.
The silver lining here is that the buds support fast charging that will restore about an hour of listening time after only five minutes on the charger and will be fully charged in around an hour.
The only real disappointment on the battery life front is that the Fit Pro don’t support wireless charging like the AirPods Pro which means you’ll always have to keep a USB-C charging cable close at hand when you want them to be recharged.
Should you buy the Beats Fit Pro?
Buy them if…
You are a workout-loving iOS user
The target demographic for the Beats Fit Pro is clear – it’s perfectly aimed at folks who want earbuds that can go with them to the office during the day and to the gym at night. Preferably those folks will be iOS users who can utilize the hands-free Siri feature, but even Android owners can get in on the fun.
You want AirPods Pro’s features at a lower price
Between the H1 wireless chip and the active noise cancellation, the Beats Fit Pro offers the two best features of the AirPods Pro at a big discount. Sure, the AirPods Pro still has wireless charging, but that’s a relatively minor feature to be missing out on.
Good battery life is paramount to you
While they don’t offer the best battery of any earbuds on the market, the Beats Fit Pro have a better battery life than Apple’s flagship earbuds by a pretty large margin.
Don’t buy them if…
You need top-tier noise cancellation
That said, we don’t quite feel Beats offers the best active noise cancellation in the business. If you want to hear absolute silence, we recommend a pair of Sony or Bose earbuds instead.
You want the best-in-class Android experience
Beats has gone above and beyond to make Android users feel welcomed with its adoption of USB-C, one touch pairing and the Beats app on the Google Play Store. However, there’s still no always-listening assistant for Android users or spatial audio support.
You have sensitive ears that might not enjoy the extra pressure of the wing tip
The wing tip does its job, there’s no doubting that. But if you’re like us and have very, very sensitive ears, the added pressure from the tip might be a bit too much, especially if you wear them five hours a day or more.