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Beats Fit Pro review: A good alternative to the AirPods Pro?

Edward Munn
10 Mar 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
199
inc VAT

With superior one-charge battery life and a more secure fit, the Beats Fit Pro are a solid AirPods Pro rival

Pros 
Great sound and fit
Impressive ANC
Useful Apple-specific features
Cons 
No wireless charging
Wingtips aren’t removable
Case can be finicky to open
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The Beats Fit Pro are the latest true wireless earbuds from the Apple-owned brand and, as their name suggests, are a more premium offering than the Beats Studio Buds we reviewed in 2021.

Along with a different physical design – they feature wingtips to hold them snugly in place during exercise – the Beats Fit Pro have superior active noise cancellation (ANC) to their cheaper stablemate and also use Apple’s H1 chip.

If you’re looking for everyday true wireless earbuds, the Beats Fit Pro are a great choice, and their £199 launch price makes them a viable alternative to Apple’s AirPods Pro.

Beats Fit Pro review: What do you get for the money?

As I’ve already touched on, the Beats Fit Pro offer a number of improvements over the cheaper Studio Buds, the most significant of which is that they use Apple’s H1 chip. If you’re already invested in Apple’s ecosystem, this enables a whole array of neat features that you don’t get with the budget model, such as shared listening and full spatial audio support.

Crucially, they still offer instant pairing and hands-free Siri and, once you’ve paired them with your phone, they’ll automatically pair with all your other Apple devices via iCloud. Unlike the Studio Buds, the Fit Pro will also automatically pause whatever you’re listening to when you remove one of the buds from your ears.

Otherwise, the main change here is that you get a rather different physical design. While the Studio Buds solely relied on their eartips to stay in your ears, the Beats Fit Pro use non-removable wingtips to remain securely in place during intense workouts. Some people may not find this makes for such a straightforward or comfortable fit, especially during longer listening sessions, but personally I found that the wingtips provided a snug, secure fit.

Elsewhere, everything about the Beats Fit Pro is fairly standard fare for a premium set of true wireless earbuds. For a start, they come with ANC and a transparency mode that enables you to better hear your surroundings, which can be useful when you’re out and about in a busy town or city. Touch controls enable you to toggle between these modes and the standard listening mode with a long-press of either earbud, while a single press pauses your music, and double taps skip you forward or back a track.

As is typically the case with Beats earphones, you won’t find much in the way of customisation options, but you can set a long-press to summon your phone’s voice assistant via either the left or right earbud. Unlike the Beats Studio Buds, there’s also an option to reduce and increase the volume with long-presses of the left and right buds, respectively. That’s a nice addition, but does mean you’ll need to reach for the app if you want to enable noise cancellation.

The Fit Pro’s charging case is powered via USB-C, and Beats claims that you’ll get up to six hours of listening time from a single charge with ANC enabled, with the charging case providing a further three full charges. That’s somewhat better than the AirPods Pro, which can also be used for a total of up to 24 hours, but only promise up to four-and-a-half hours of listening from a single charge. When it comes to topping up, Beats says five minutes in the case can give you up to an hour’s usage in the event you’re running low on juice.

Similar to their cheaper stablemate, the Beats Fit Pro are IPX4 rated, certifying them resistant to splashes from all directions but not waterproof. That means you should have no problems using them during sweaty workouts or in the rain, but it’s worth noting that the charging case has no water resistance, so you’ll want to avoid it getting wet.

One area in which the Beats Fit Pro fail to improve on the Studio Buds is wireless charging. Unlike Apple’s AirPods Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM4, the Beats Fit Pro’s charging case can only be charged via USB-C.

Beats Fit Pro review: What did we like?

Although the noise cancelling on the cheaper Studio Buds is adequate, I found that Beats Fit Pro offered a notable improvement. On my commute to work, they did an excellent job of attenuating the rumble of the train and the hum of the air conditioning units to the point I almost forgot I was on a busy train.

As with any noise-cancelling headphones, the performance of the ANC can be significantly affected by the quality of the fit, so it’s worth experimenting with the different sized tips included to get the best seal. To assist you with this, there’s a neat “Ear tip fit test” function that you can use within the Beats app.

The Fit Pro offer an improvement in the sound quality stakes, too. The Studio Buds are no slouch in this department but the Fit Pro have beefier bass and slightly less harshness in the treble frequencies.

This makes them more engaging for listening to music but comes at the cost of slightly less clarity when listening to podcasts and spoken word content. In any case, the Fit Pro put in a strong sonic performance with impressive separation between instruments.

Although I primarily used the Beats Fit Pro with an Android phone, there’s no doubt that the primary reason to buy the Studio Buds over their cheaper stablemate is that H1 chip. If you’re an Apple user, it means you get the full AirPods Pro experience with earphones that are more inconspicuous and likely more securely fitting than Apple’s own earbuds.

READ NEXT: These are the best noise-cancelling headphones to buy right now

Beats Fit Pro review: How can they be improved?

Although they sound great out of the box, one of the main gripes I have with the Beats Fit Pro – and other Beats and Apple headphones, for that matter – is that there’s no option to change their EQ in the accompanying mobile app. If you find them a touch too bassy, you’ll simply have to live with it unless you have the option to change your phone’s EQ settings.

By comparison with the cheaper Studio Buds, I also found the Fit Pro’s charging case something of a backward step. Its more boxy design is great to look at but it’s noticeably larger in your pocket and I found it much more finicky to open in a hurry, too. Not only that, but its hinge has more play, which makes it feel like the cheaper of the two.

Otherwise, my complaints are fairly minor. As I’ve already touched on, I personally had no problems with the Fit Pro’s wingtips, but their non-removable design again means that you’re stuck with them if you’re unlucky enough to find them uncomfortable. However, if you do get on well with them, they should offer a more secure fit than the Beats Studio Buds or Apple AirPods Pro.

Finally, the Beats Fit Pro aren’t competitively priced enough to consider them as true AirPods killers, especially given their lack of wireless charging. Their £199 price tag is by no means extortionate, but now that Apple’s AirPods Pro have come down from their £239 launch price, there’s not a great deal of difference in how much the two models will set you back.

READ NEXT: If you want cheaper, check out our favourite budget earbuds

Beats Fit Pro review: Should you buy them?

In spite of that, I’d be happy to recommend them as an excellent alternative to the AirPods Pro for iPhone users. They sound great and are packed with premium features, and also offer superior single-charge battery life and a more secure-fitting design than Apple’s earbuds. The main caveat is that you’ll have to go without wireless charging.

For Android users, it’s a little more complex. Personally, I’d still be very tempted by the cheaper Beats Studio Buds. They have inferior ANC, but still offer excellent sound quality and a lightweight, comfortable fit.

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