Need a pair of truly wireless earphones that stay put and sound great? The Beats Fit Pro could be one of the best value pairs yet, delivering performance and price in a seriously strong way.
There’s clearly no shortage of truly wireless earphones or even noise cancelling headphones, but marrying the two together often sees the best results in the high-end. Simply put, you often need to spend a little more to get the best quality, something you can find from the regular winners in the category, such as Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, Beats, and Apple.
Lately, however, Beats has been changing things. While Apple typically takes the top spot in Apple-owned headphone choices, Beats has been branching out and building earphones that offer a different choice, providing sound similar to what Apple provided with designs that are different and prices that also manage to be more attractive overall.
Gone are the days where you’d just instinctively call a Beats pair of headphones a more bass-heavy alternative, because that’s not the sound you get from them anymore. Not by a long shot.
Rather, Beats may well be the more value-driven alternative, because that’s how they read. That’s how the Beats Fit Pro comes across, offering active noise cancellation and support for spatial audio for a hundred dollars less than Apple’s own option.
Are the Beats Fit Pro a solid alternative to the AirPods Pro, and is there much difference between what you pay for one over the other?
Design and features
Launched last year but not turning up until this year in Australia, the Beats Fit Pro are another of Beats’ diminutive earphone options with active noise cancellation technology thrown inside, as well as some other handy features.
Running without cords or cables, they’re another of the truly wireless earphone options you can find today, relying on Apple’s H1 wireless sound chip for earphones and headphones, and connecting to both Apple and Android devices, though providing a little bit of extra support on Apple’s side.
If you do own an Apple gadget, such as a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, you’ll find support for head-tracked spatial audio thanks to that chip and motion sensors, while the standard spatial audio without head tracking works on both iOS and Android all the same.
There’s also support for calls here, and up to 6 hours of battery life with 18 hours (three charges) in the case, plus a button to trigger modes and control media playback.
Priced at $299 in Australia, the Beats Fit Pro come in four colours and arrive in a charge case that needs USB Type C to charge, but doesn’t work with wireless chargers.
Using the Beats Fit Pro isn’t unlike other Beats models in the past, as the company looks past gestures and touchpads, opting instead for a button you can push in different amounts.
You’ll find one button on each side, and while it can be triggered for controlling the type of cancellation you get — full noise cancellation or transparency — and even control tracks the way headset buttons typically work: press once for pause and play, twice for next track, and three times for previous track.
Beats lets you tweak the function for holding the button down away from what is typically the choice of cancellation modes, but Android owners aren’t left in the cold here, either, with an app for Android smoothing out control choices, too. We wish Apple did this for its earphones.
The fit is also something worth talking about, because while the Fit Pro relies on a pair of in-earphone style of tips, Beats has also included a wing to hold them in place, helping the fit.
Not everyone is a fan of the style of in-earphones, and typically we’ve found if you like earbuds, you’re probably going to be less enthused with earphones. You’ll probably be in one camp over the other, but the use of ear wings can help the process, helping with the fit by using a little bit of silicone to adhere to some of the fleshy folds of your ear.
Using a wing means you’re not just dependent on the tips themselves to get a good hold of your ear, and can use another aspect, which is what these use. Simply put, find the right tip out of small, medium, and large, wear the Fit Pro earphones, and then turn them slightly so the ear wing catches the antihelix of your ears, that fleshy crease it can duck underneath. With that, the fit is better than you may expect — better than most standard earphone tips — and you can get to listening.
When you get to listening, you’ll find a performance in the Beats Fit Pro which is surprisingly good, so much that you might say Beats has taken what worked in Apple’s AirPods Pro and just applied it to a new template.
Tested with the Pickr Sound Test — which you can listen to for yourself on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music — that starts with the electronic of Tycho and Daft Punk, which reveals a solid balance in the lows, mids, and highs, and not one area really taking the lead over the other. It’s a good, clean sound with detailed instruments, something we get in other genres, as well.
The often punchier sound in pop and soul is still punchy but still quite balanced, with a great balance and sense of dynamics in tracks from Ariana Grande, Mark Ronson, and Carly Rae Jepsen, while the soft and often warmer sound of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain” sounds just a solid here, while the extra emphasis on bass in our Charlie Puth test track still leans into the bass the way we expect it to.
Yet again, this is another pair of Beats headphones (earphones) that manages to do away with the feeling that Beats is all and only about the bass. The Beats Fit Pro aren’t overly bassy at all. Quite the contrary, they’re delightfully balanced, and that’s good.
You’ll hear similarly solid sounds regardless of what you tune into, be it the hard rock of the Deftones, the classic rock of David Bowie or The Beatles, or even some jazz and classical. They don’t offer the warmth that some earphones provide, but they still sound excellent all the same.
As it is, we’re writing this review listening to John Coltrane and Duke Ellington in head-tracked spatial audio through Apple Music, because that feature is supported on the Beats Fit Pro, as well.
Much like it is on the AirPods Pro and last year’s 3rd-gen AirPods, you’ll find head-tracking supported in these earphones, providing positional Dolby Atmos music if you subscribe to Apple Music and positional movie and TV show soundtracks in supported media services. You’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to make use of either of those, as they’re specifically Apple features, but if you have one, it means shifting your head from side to side and being able to listen in a more dynamic way.
Granted, it’s largely an Apple-only affair, though Android owners can still listen with Dolby Atmos sound fixed in position, because head-tracking in an Apple thing, at least for now.
Tested with Apple Music on a Galaxy Z Fold 3, we found the Beats Fit Pro delivered the wider soundstage we look for in Dolby Atmos soundtracks, just none of the head tracking, which is at least something.
The noise cancellation side of things is also fine, and reminiscent of what Apple does on the AirPods Pro, but not exactly game changing. It’ll serve the purpose for flights, public transport, and even the roar of human traffic as you walk about the place, but our praise more goes to Beats’ transparency mode which is excellent.
Much like the hear-through mode on the AirPods Max, switching on the mics to let you listen to the world and your music means getting a sound that feels like it’s at a standard volume. It’s not too loud and not too quite; it’s just right. That’s a win for us.
You’ll find up to six hours of battery life on offer in the Beats Fit Pro, which is actually pretty decent, but only enough for three more charges in the case, totally 24 hours overall if you need it.
That result is spot on with one of the other truly wireless benchmarks, the Sony WF-1000XM4, though you can also get an extra two hours from each listen if you switch noise cancellation off on that model.
Regardless, 24 hours of noise cancelling battery life isn’t bad at all, matching some of the best out there while also telling us that you can get through a roughly six hour stint of listening, throw the Fit Pro back in the case, get some charge in, and keep on listening later on.
Alongside decent battery life is a totally decent value, so much so that it’s actually surprising.
Priced at a good $100 below the $399 Apple AirPods Pro, the Beats Fit Pro are basically AirPods Pro without wireless charging, but with almost every other feature.
The fit is similar, the spatial audio with positional head tracking is there, and the sound quality is practically identical. These are balanced and brilliant and beautiful with pricing that knocks it out of the park. Beats has even managed better value than the $279 AirPods 3, which cost nearly the same but lack noise cancellation.
We’ve pointed out how much we love head-tracking in spatial audio in the past, even covering the best albums to try it with and building a special playlist for our sound test list for you to try it out, but to get this technology in a pair of $299 noise cancelling headphones is something else.
What needs work?
The price is just one thing to write about in a package that really delivers. Frankly, there’s just so much to love about the Beats Fit Pro that we’re actually surprised we need to write about what needs work. The point, however, is that very little is perfect, and even these fantastic earphones have a couple of points worth mentioning, though none are deal breakers. Not remotely.
For instance, the case is a little on the large side. You won’t see as small a case as what you get on the AirPods Pro, but it’s also not large enough to be cumbersome. It merely opens up like a clamshell device and is a little bigger, just not as compact as Apple’s approach to design.
That’s minor, as is the lack of wireless charging. Frankly, its use of USB Type C instead of Lightning makes the Beats Fit Pro easier to charge from, because Type C is a standard that transcends the Lightning port used only on Apple’s phones and some of its tablets.
Really, the only major issue is for Android owners, because they won’t see Dolby’s positional tracking on their devices, even with Apple Music being used. They’ll get support for Atmos, which is great, just not the dynamically head-tracked variant, which adds to the fun of re-listening to music you love.
Final thoughts (TLDR)
Without a doubt, these little stunners are my new favourites, delivering sound and value in spades.
The Beats Fit Pro are essentially a more fitness-focused variant of the AirPods Pro, coming with much of the same feature set for a better price. A hundred dollars is no amount to sneeze at, and yet the only major change is the loss of wireless charging, which doesn’t seem like a big deal overall.
For $299, Beats has built a genuinely compelling pair of noise cancelling earphones worth checking out. There’s just so much to love about these earphones, and they’re not only worth a look if you want noise cancellation, but if you’re considering the AirPods 3, because the value is even more impressive. Highly recommended.