Beats (AAPL) is bringing the heat with its latest earbuds, the Beats Fit Pro. Available for pre-order today for $199, and shipping Nov. 5, the Beats Fit Pro are the brand’s best earbuds to date. They pack many of the features found on Apple’s pricier AirPods Pro ($249), including improved sound drivers and active-noise cancelling technology, as well as Apple’s H1 chip for easy switching between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
But unlike the AirPods Pro, the Beats Fit Pro earbuds aren’t just designed with Apple in mind. They’re also extremely Android (GOOG, GOOGL) friendly, meaning you can use them with any Android device you’ve got, as long as you use the Beats app. That means you’ll be able to use things like an ear tip fit test to make sure you’re wearing the right changeable ear tips, quickly switch between noise canceling and transparency mode, and adjust the buds controls.
I’ve been using the Beats Fit Pro for roughly the last week, and they’ve proven to be far more capable than Beats’ Studio Buds ($149) and nearly as good as the AirPods Pro. The only downsides? The charging case is still a chunky beast, the physical button is a pain, and, well, they aren’t AirPods.
A unique look and better fit
The Beats Fit Pro earbuds look a lot like the Studio Buds, with the exception of the Fit Pro’s new wing tip that helps them fit more snugly in your ear. Hence the name Beats FIT Pro. If you’re a big fan of colors, you’ll be happy to know that the Beats Fit Pro earbuds come in four color options: black, grey, white, and purple. I opted for purple.
The ear tips included with the Beats Fit Pro are similar to those found on the AirPods Pro, as well, and are just as comfortable. Like most people, I often find it difficult to get the right fit with earbuds. Apple’s offerings, however, have been consistent in providing the best feel, even over hours of listening. And the same largely goes for the Fit Pro.
What’s more, the Beats Fit Pro gets the same kind of fit test Apple uses with the AirPods Pro, so you can ensure that you’ve got the right ear tip on before you start rocking out.
As for those wings, I’ve always found them rather uncomfortable, but, to my surprise, they’re not an issue on the Beats Fit Pro. And, importantly, they largely helped keep the buds in place.
As for durability, the Beats Fit Pro earbuds are sweat and water resistant. So you can work out without worrying that you’ll short them — even if you’re an especially prodigious sweater like me.
How do they sound?
I’ve used Beats’ other true wireless earbuds, the Beats Studio Buds, as well as the AirPods Pro, and the Beats Fit Pro sound more like Apple’s offering than their own stablemate. That makes sense considering Beats threw in all of the best features of Apple’s earbuds. Those features include improved active-noise canceling and transparency mode, adaptive EQ, spatial audio, and new sound drivers.
Overall, it’s tough to tell the difference between the Beats Fit Pro and the AirPods Pro in terms of sound quality. Both have solid bass and hit high notes without issue.
The Beats Fit Pro earbuds also get Apple’s H1 chip, which means Apple users can use “Hey, Siri” to make hands-free calls or change songs. You can also quickly switch the buds between your iCloud-connected devices just as you can with Apple’s AirPods.
Android users don’t get those features, but they do get one-touch setup via the Beats app, which they have to download separately, as well as the ability to switch between active-noise canceling and transparency modes and the option to customize the Beats Fit Pro’s physical button.
Speaking of which, if there’s one design element I wished Beats changed, it’s that button. It feels so strange to have to press on something in your ear to pause music. It’s also just uncomfortable. Instead, I just pause my music via the Spotify app.
One place the Beats Fit Pro beat out Apple’s AirPods Pro is in the battery life department. The earbuds are rated for six hours of listening time with active-noise canceling, while the charging case is rated to provide an extra 27 hours of charge time. The AirPods Pro get just 4.5 hours of battery life with active-noise canceling and the case has 24 extra hours of charge time.
Still, the Beats Fit Pro’s charging case is a lot bigger than the AirPods Pro’s case, which makes it awkward to carry in smaller pockets. The Beats Fit Pro also lack wireless charging. So if that’s a must-have, look elsewhere.
Should you get them?
I love my AirPods Pro. They sound great, fit great, and are water and sweat resistant. The thing is, the Beats Fit Pro earbuds have the same great qualities for $49 less. If you’re An Apple or Android user and want active-noise canceling earbuds at a decent price, the Beats Fit Pro are a great buy.
More from Dan