The Beats Fit Pro are an intriguing proposition. At first glance, they look every bit the stylish, workout-friendly, active noise-cancelling earbuds with all the latest trappings that are currently glutting the market.
But there are glimmers of brilliance here: the innovative new wingtip design promises a more secure fit for active lifestyles. The presence of a Beats app for Android allows non-Apple users to reap the benefits and features of Apple’s own brand products, which are usually closed off to anyone not in the iOS ecosystem. Better ANC, better sound and Spatial Audio are also teased – and all for a decent price.
It doesn’t take us long to realise these Beats earbuds are one of the friendliest propositions around, and we think they sound rather good too.
The Beats Fit Pro cost £200 / $200 / AU$299 at launch, although you can find them at a decent discount if you look around. In the UK and the US, you can pick them up for £180 / $180 at major retailers – not a bad deal considering all the features and performance you get with these earbuds.
The Beats’ pricing is more competitive than its Apple, Bose and Sony rivals – all of which we tested at £249. However, a few of these dropped in price recently, with the superb Sony WF-1000XM4 available for £199 now, and Apple AirPods Pro down to £189. Not only is that a good deal, it also brings them right into the crosshairs of the Beats Fit Pro.
Build & Design
The earbuds themselves are lightweight, comfortable and offer a very secure fit thanks to the new flexible wingtips that tuck into your ear. Whether you’re running or on your daily commute, the Beats Fit Pro stay put without ever falling off or feeling uncomfortable. We prefer the reassuring fit of these over the sometimes-fiddly AirPods Pro. The IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance means they’ll survive rain, a sweaty workout or a very humid day, too.
You only get three sets of ear tips (small, medium and large) in the box, but we found the best fit easily thanks to the Ear Tip Fit Test – in the Bluetooth menu for iPhones, or in the Beats app for Androids. This analyses if you’re wearing the right tip for the best seal, or need to size up or down.
Type True wireless earbuds
Active noise-cancelling? Yes
Spatial Audio? Yes
Battery life 6 hours (earbuds with ANC on), total 27 hours (with charging case)
Earbuds weight 11.2g (both) or 5.6g (per earbud)
Charging case weight 54.5g
The Beats Fit Pro come in four finishes: black, white, sage grey or our review sample’s stone purple. The colour-matched charging case is like a large pebble – smooth and flat. The case is bigger than the ones that come with the AirPods Pro, the Sony XM4 and the new Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, but that smooth flatness makes it fairly easy to slip into most pockets and bags. Some might want a more rugged finish, although we found the Beats case didn’t pick up any scratches or get damaged when shoved into a bag with keys (or even when dropped a few times).
We also went for days – close to a week in fact – without reaching for the USB-C charging cable. Battery life is a total of 27 hours with the charging case, with ANC mode turned on. You get a decent six hours in the earbuds with ANC on, which rises to 7 hours if ANC is turned off.
In comparison, the Apple AirPods Pro offer a paltry five hours with ANC on, while the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are on par with six hours. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 offer seven, but the Sony XM4 still lead the pack with 8 hours in the earbuds, which extends to 12 hours with ANC turned off.
Happily, the Beats have the same fast charge feature as its competition: five minutes of charge will give you one hour of battery when running low. The only downside is it doesn’t support wireless charging.
Beats is owned by Apple, and with that comes all the slick convenience of AirPods and the superb H1 chip powering the buds. From instant set-up and pairing, immediate access to battery status, to customising the control buttons and Siri voice control – the Beats Fit Pro are supremely easy to start listening to within seconds of getting them out of the box. They’re flawless in use. We didn’t once experience any drop outs or connectivity issues when paired with our iPhone 12.
Instead of touch-sensitive controls, the Beats Fit Pro use reliable button-presses. Press the earbuds (where the ‘b’ icon is) to control music playback, while a longer press switches between ANC and Transparency modes, or you can customise it to change the volume. Volume control on the earbuds is one feature missing from the Beats Studio Buds and AirPods Pro, so it’s nice to see it added here.
Inside each earbud is a proprietary 9.5mm drive unit specifically designed for these ANC earbuds. Sensors in the bud also detect when you take an earbud out and automatically pause the music, which is always a handy feature.
The powerful H1 chip also brings support for Spatial Audio. Like the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro, the Beats Fit Pro can play Dolby Atmos tracks on Apple Music, with Spatial Audio’s multi-dimensional performance and optional dynamic head tracking offering a more immersive experience when listening to music or watching TV and films. You can choose whether you want the spatial audio to be fixed, track your head’s movements, or have it completely off and stick with good ol’ stereo – it’s worth trying out all the options to find your preference. If you do keep Spatial Audio on, just remember that any non-Dolby Atmos tracks will default to stereo.
There are a total of six mics in the Beats Fit Pro that contribute to active noise cancellation (ANC), Transparency mode and better call quality. The earbuds use a mix of outward and inward facing mics to adjust the ANC according to your environment, while dual beam-forming mics work with a digital processor to cut out noise and wind so your voice is clearer when taking a call.
In practice, voices come through clearly on calls, although some surrounding noise will still come through on the other side. We found the Beats’ ANC effective at damping down traffic and crowd noise to a distant murmur, letting you focus solely on the music.
You can toggle between ANC and Transparency mode, and when both are turned off, Beats’ Adaptive EQ kicks in. This tailors the earbuds’ sound to the shape of your ears – all the more reason to ensure you get the perfect seal and fit in the first place.
While a lot of these features seem catered to Apple users, Beats emphasises that Android users don’t miss out here: they get the very same advantages of one-touch pairing, Ear Tip Fit Test, battery status and customisable controls using the dedicated Beats app. Android users with Apple Music also get the benefit of Spatial Audio through the Fit Pro.
The only features exclusive to iOS users with the H1 chip are audio sharing with other Beats and Apple earbuds, auto-switching between devices, dynamic head tracking, and hands-free Siri.
These earbuds sound lively and enjoyable with any song you play through them. We've already noted how Beats is moving away from its bass-heavy past in our Beats Studio Buds review, and the Fit Pro continue this move towards a more balanced approach.
There is still more energy at both frequency extremes than would be deemed strictly neutral, but for the most part things are kept well in hand.
Songs time well, with clearly defined basslines that go deep without overpowering the overall balance too much. They have excellent timing and punch, and a very pleasing presentation that ties the music together cohesively. Whether it’s the foreboding intensity of Massive Attack’s Angel or the more laid-back, deliberate pace of Elevators (Me & You) by Outkast, there’s a great sense of drive that keeps you hooked on the song.
Voices are firmly in focus and delivered with clarity, and never get lost in the mix. There’s enough detail that vocal texture and emotion come through whether you’re listening to Wet Leg or Nick Cave.
The treble is a touch bright and forward when we first start listening, but calms down after a few hours of running in. Eminem’s biting vocals on Forget About Dre are delivered with all the intensity and snappiness it requires, but there’s an edge to the treble that can get a tad excited when the volume is pushed high.
Despite that forward presentation, the Beats never sound too sharp to make things uncomfortable, however. We don’t get fatigued when listening for hours, and we’ve spent a good few weeks commuting with these earbuds now.
The sound profile doesn’t change much when ANC is turned on, and we rather like the added weight and solidity to songs when we’re out and about. Thankfully, it’s not done in a heavy-handed way, although we prefer listening with the mode off when not needed.
When Spatial Audio is activated, you immediately experience the big, immersive soundfield when listening to Dolby Atmos tracks or watching 5.1-soundtracked Ms Marvel episodes on Disney Plus. The dynamic head tracking is more subtle than showy; when listening to Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, we wish it flowed better when panning from left to right.
When compared with their natural Apple alternatives, the Beats’ emphasised treble and bass stand out more. The AirPods Pro have a smoother balance and are dynamically subtler, but there’s not much in it – we swapped between the two buds for hours and still kept reaching for the Beats, even if the sound is less refined.
And our best-in-class Sony XM4 earbuds remain so: they offer heaps more depth and accuracy to the flow of a song. There’s an authenticity to voices and instruments that strike true, and they simply manage to dig in deeper to offer better dynamics and layers of detail. If you listen to podcasts regularly, the Sony earbuds deliver nuances in tone and personality more obviously than the Beats.
None of this changes the fact that the Beats Fit Pro are fun to listen to, and how easy they are to get along with on a daily basis. They have all the advantages of the AirPod Pros’ intuitive set up and extensive features, but with added boons of their own. The fact they aren’t restricted to Apple’s walled garden and play well with Android devices is hugely appealing, and makes them easy to recommend to everyone.
As an AirPod alternative, these Beats Fit Pro are superb – they offer a more fitness-focused design, a more secure fit, the choice of more colours, and they sound just as good. As wireless earbuds in their own right, the Beats are just as worthy of your consideration.
- Sound 4
- Comfort 5
- Features 5
Read our Sony WF-1000XM4 review
Also consider the Apple AirPods Pro
Read our review of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds