It’s crazy how fast the Beats Fit Pro became the talk of the tech town after being accidentally leaked on the AirPods 3 launch day. Well, that and the paparazzi shots of Kim Kardashian wearing the wireless earbuds before Apple even announced them pretty much let the cat out of the bag early.
Colors: Black, Sage Gray, Stone Purple, and White
Battery life (rated): 6 hours (ANC on), 7 hours (ANC Off), 27 hours (ANC on with charging case), 30 hours (ANC off with charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5
Size: 0.75 x 1.18 x 0.94 inches (earbud), 1.12. x 2.44. x 2.44 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.2 ounces (earbud), 1.94 ounces (charging case)
Nonetheless, this sportier version of the Beats Studio Buds has hit store shelves and packs some impressive hallmarks. Along with brand staples like a bold, stylish design and water-resistant protection, the Fit Pro also carries some of the AirPods Pro’s biggest features, including active noise cancellation and Spatial Audio. It also has enhanced sound for music and calls, and an updated design for a more secure fit.
Read our full Beats Fit Pro review to see where it ranks among the market’s best noise-cancelling earbuds and sports headphones. And to help you decide if it's the right model for you, you can also check out our Beats Fit Pro vs Beats Powerbeats Pro face-off.
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Beats Fit Pro review: Price and availability
You can purchase the Beats Fit Pro for $199 at major online retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, or directly from Apple/Beats. It is sold in four colors: Black, Sage Gray, Stone Purple, and White. Bundled with the purchase are a charging case, USB-C charging cable, three sets of different sized ear tips, quick start guide, and warranty card.
These buds are priced higher than the Beats Studio Buds ($149) and the recently marked down Beats Powerbeats Pro ($149). At the same time, they are less expensive than Apple’s flagship AirPods Pro ($249). Those looking for something cheaper with ANC and a wide feature set should consider the Editor’s Choice Jabra Elite Active 75t, which is on sale for $99 at the time of publishing.
Beats Fit Pro review: Design
Put some wingtips on the Studio Buds and you basically have the Fit Pro. What’s most interesting is that they come affixed, so there’s no way to remove them, should they ever need to be replaced or washed. Fitness junkies would have loved that to be an option. Regardless, the design is discreet and looks attractive on the ear.
Build quality is terrific. Not only are the buds composed of sturdy materials to withstand falls from high distances or contact with rough surfaces like concrete, but they come IPX4-rated for sweat and water resistance. This is no different than what the AirPods Pro, Powerbeats Pro or Studio Buds offer.
Details are on point, as expected; you can spot these buds from a mile away because of the iconic B logo placed right on the multifunctional button. The angled sound port complements fit (more on that later). Mic placement is also hidden well, keeping the overall design clean and chic. Another signature Beats move is the selection of bold colors; White is a personal favorite.
But the most appealing design element must be the compact charging case. It’s a downscaled version of the monstrous Powerbeats Pro case. Everything remains intact, including the B logo plastered up front, pairing button on the side, and USB-C charging port in the back. This case would have been perfect if not for the incredibly flimsy lid.
Beats Fit Pro: Comfort and fit
Comfort is improved compared to the Powerbeats Pro. Both the cavity and wingtips are gentler, not pressing too hard against the skin or causing soreness around the concha. This allowed for longer listening sessions before fatigue set in. I wore the buds two hours after finishing a 60-minute workout and felt fine.
The Fit Pro is much more stable for exercising than the AirPods Pro, granted the latter is still considered one of the best running headphones money can buy. Beats’ wingtips fold and mold into the cymba, while the tips create a tight seal to keep the buds locked in place. I was never worried about them slipping out during runs or when performing floor exercises.
Apple’s Eartip Fit Test is available to measure your ears once inserting the Fit Pro for proper sizing. The results were less accurate than what the AirPods Pro version recorded; I had the left bud nearly dangling off my ear and the results were "good seal."
Beats Fit Pro review: Controls and digital assistant
Skin-detection sensors for auto-pause /play, multifunctional buttons, and voice activation make up the Fit Pro’s control scheme. Everything operates smoothly, most surprisingly the buttons, which produce solid tactility to ensure that single/multi-press and long-press commands are executed as intended. These include playback, call management, volume, digital assistance, and listening mode activation.
But like every Apple audio product, it’s all about hands-free voice controls, spearheaded by the “Hey Siri” feature that automatically fires up Apple’s AI bot when you speak the wake word. The Fit Pro leverages six microphones (three on each bud) and a voice accelerometer that snags every syllable spoken for Siri to interpret verbal commands properly and return results in quick fashion.
Google Assistant and Bixby are also compatible with these buds. You need to manually enable the feature when paired to an Android device. This can be done by assigning the feature to the long-press gesture in the Beats app. Fortunately, both assistants are highly functional, though nothing beats the iOS experience. No pun intended.
Beats Fit Pro review: Sound quality and spatial audio
Audio quality has progressed with every Beats true wireless model. Turning off ANC places the buds in standard mode, which Beats refers to as Adaptive EQ mode. Whether this is the same technology used on the AirPods Pro is unknown for now, but it adjusts frequencies in real time to hear music more precisely. Honestly, I found the Fit Pro delivered better sound than both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro. All praises go to the new proprietary 9.5mm transducer that balances frequencies well, while pumping out deep bass.
For workouts, I tapped into boom-centric records to get a feel for the Fit Pro’s low-end performance. Up to bat was Dr. Dre’s “What’s the Difference,” which smacked a sonic homerun to my eardrums, powered by chunky horns and striking snares that increased my energy levels before a run. Tracks with murky vocals and growling mono-bass like Drake & Future's "Life is Good" were also satisfying to hear and didn’t compromise mids or highs.
I enjoyed some fantastic stereo separation on Bon Jovi’s “Lay Your Hands on Me,” where sound effects bounced back and forth between channels like an intense game of ping pong. Even the high end on these buds has its moments. I played Jazz classics like John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme, Pt. IV – Psalm” and the steady, clattering cymbals shined over the rumbling tom-tom drums.
Don’t forget that you can customize the sound by swapping the EQ out with any of the 20+ options in the iPhone sound settings.
That whole comment about sound being better on the Fit Pro only applies to Adaptive EQ and ANC modes, not Spatial Audio. I say that not to shade how Apple’s 360-degree sound tech performs on Beats’ newest buds — you’re still getting an immersive listening experience when indulging in Apple Music songs and movies that support the feature. However, the Fit Pro’s head tracking was less accurate than that of the AirPods Pro.
A rep for Beats also confirmed that while Spatial Audio works when paired to Android devices, head tracking doesn’t.
Beats Fit Pro review: Active noise cancellation
Noise cancellation is surprisingly great. Like, AirPods Pro great. One would swear Apple stuffed its noise-cancelling circuitry into the Fit Pro. The feature silences background interference at a high level, letting you work out in different settings or recover at home peacefully.
Using the buds mostly indoors, I was happy with the noise neutralization they provided. Humming and rumbling noises were muted, along with loud chatter and televisions raised at high volume. Other common distractions that didn’t grab my attention were doorbells, kitchen appliances, and my mother-in-law’s iPhone ringer. High frequencies were also handled well, though most of them still came through the soundscape; street whistles and my baby boy’s cries were discernible.
Transparency mode is just as good. There’s no way to adjust how much noise you want to hear, but the mics open widely to let in lots of clear and distinctive sound from outside. For instance, I was able to hear my infant son joyfully laughing several rooms over, as well as my wife whistling for attention across the room. We even engaged in brief conversations when close to each other; it was great not having to pause or remove the buds to chat. The feature was most useful outside during runs, letting me hear everything from ambulance sirens to oncoming traffic to the barge work taking place on the waterway outside of the house.
Beats Fit Pro review: Special features
Seeing how well the Studio Buds operated on both iOS and Android platforms, we figured the Fit Pro would have adopted the same proprietary chipset. That didn’t happen. Instead, Beats went back to the H1 chip to keep the Fit Pro heavily intertwined with Apple’s ecosystem. The earbuds do play nice with Android devices via the Beats mobile app and Bluetooth 5.0, but most of the software perks tied to the H1 chip remain exclusive to iDevices.
What’s been accounted for so far? Adaptive EQ, ANC/Transparency mode, audio sharing, control customization, Eartip Fit Test, EQ selection, “Hey Siri” voice activation, and Spatial Audio. Let’s break down the other features available for iOS users.
Automatic switching lets you seamlessly change your audio source from one Apple device to another, when they are connected to the same iCloud account. Find My integration helps locate misplaced buds, and Beats confirmed that it’s working on adding enhanced Find My support for proximity view to precisely locate the Fit Pro when nearby.
Live Listen can be accessed through the iOS settings to enable the iPhone’s mic and hear noises around you, though the feature seems useless since Transparency mode is available. There’s also Background Sounds (aka soundscape mode), which you can enable in the Control Center to play nature sounds and mask ambient noises around you.
Android users can download the Beats app to monitor battery levels for each bud, toggle the listening modes and other settings, activate ANC on one earbud, and perform the Eartip Fit Test. That’s about it.
Beats Fit Pro review: Battery life and charging case
Battery life isn’t on the super-low end like the AirPods Pro (4.5 to 5 hours), nor is it peak level like the Master & Dynamic MW08 (10 to 12 hours). A full charge gets you 6 hours with ANC on, and disabling the feature extends playtime to 7 hours. This is fine for about a week’s worth of exercising or a few days of moderate listening (1.5 hours daily) before recharging.
As for the charging case, it holds between 27 to 30 hours, depending on how you use the buds. The good news is that you’re given more portable power than the AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro cases, which come with the industry-average time of 24 hours. Fast-Fuel charging is also in place to generate 1 hour of use after a 5-minute charge.
It must be said that not having wireless charging is a huge disappointment, especially since all AirPods support the technology and none of the Beats true wireless models do. What’s up with that, Apple?
Beats Fit Pro review: Call quality and connectivity
Apple and Beats have a knack for creating some of the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls. The Fit Pro can arguably be included. According to Beats, five of the six mics are employed during calls, along with the voice accelerometer to minimize background noise for loud and clear calls.
Talking with the missus outside, she didn’t hear the chirping birds or landscaping work taking place next door, but she did notice wind and cars whisking by, which didn’t ruin clarity. She also found my voice muffled on a few occasions. Indoors offered the best call quality, especially during FaceTime calls, where most of my clients praised how crystal clear I sounded.
The H1 chip simplifies connectivity with instantaneous pairing to iOS/macOS devices. In addition, the Fit Pro demonstrates great auto-connect capabilities with Android devices. Range is solid too, generating up to 40 feet of wireless listening in open spaces.
For a second, I was fooled into believing the Fit Pro came with multipoint technology, as my test unit connected to both my Google Pixel 3 XL and MacBook Pro simultaneously, but only for about 10 seconds. During that short time span, I tried playing Spotify from my smartphone and no sound came through, as the buds’ favored my laptop connection.
Beats Fit Pro review: Verdict
With the long-rumored AirPods Pro 2 nowhere in sight for the 2021 holiday season, Apple gave the Beats team an opportunity to step up and release its own high-performance alternative. The Beats Fit Pro delivered, and then some.
Sound is better on these sporty in-ears than in any AirPods model, highlighted by punchy bass that doesn’t overwhelm and blends well with other frequencies. To have Spatial Audio on the spec sheet is a huge selling point. The Fit Pro also comes loaded with mics, which work great for voice and video calls, as well as “Hey Siri” functionality. Lastly, you’ll appreciate the wingtips that optimize fit, something the Studio Buds lacked.
For workout enthusiasts who love their iPhone, the Fit Pro is a no-brainer that serves better for workouts than the AirPods Pro. Casual listeners who just want something flashier, but also great sounding, may want to consider it over the AirPods Pro, especially since it has equally good ANC, higher battery life, and a more stable fit for a lower price. Just don’t expect to get the full AirPods Pro experience, which, is practically flawless.