The Apple AirPods Pro are without question very good True Wireless in-ears. But if you want to enjoy the full functionality of these headphones, you have to use Apple hardware. Apple subsidiary Beats is now entering the race with the Beats Fit Pro headphones, which are supposed to be equally suitable for both iOS and Android. So are Beats Fit Pro a better version of Apple AirPods Pro?
Package and haptics
Available in black, white, grey and purple, Beats Fit Pro come in a sustainable package that holds the charging case and includes the in-ears, three interchangeable silicone earpieces (S, M, L), a USB-C charging cable and the usual printed materials including a Beats sticker. In addition, the manufacturer promotes its music streaming service Apple Music with a code worth the equivalent of three months for free included.
In terms of workmanship, this model (again) leaves an excellent impression – there is nothing to complain about here. This also applies to the charging case, which is like a jewellery box that can almost be opened with one hand. Here you will find the pairing button and charging recesses for the in-ears. On the front, an LED informs you about the charging status, while the USB-C port is located on the back.
There is no such indicator on the earphones themselves, but a status tone signals when the battery is running low. And while the free Beats app for Android can display the charging status of both the earphones and the case, iOS users only have the option of setting up the battery widget. Unfortunately, the case does not support wireless charging.
Thanks to IEC standard 60529, the Fit Pro are IPX4 rated and accordingly sweat and water-resistant. This does not apply to the charging case, so it must be noted that these in-ears must always be used when dry; otherwise, defects may occur. We are surprised that Beats, who market these headphones for sporting activities, did not give them a higher certification. Want to go swimming with them or quickly clean them under the tap? That’s not possible. If you specifically want this, you’ll have to look to the competition, such as Jabra or JBL.
Thanks to the wingtips, these headphones fit securely in the ear cup. To do this, insert the Beats Fit Pro into the ears with a slight twisting motion and press the earpiece down slightly so that it finds a hold in the concha. With the appropriate ear insert, this provides very good external shielding, so passive noise-cancelling is correspondingly high. It is a pity that the choice of ear moulds is limited to three sizes: S, M and L. At a price of just under 230 euros, I would have expected more. Other manufacturers can do this better, even with cheaper models.
A practical test shows how well the earpieces work: On a test bike ride or while running, I didn’t have to push the earpieces down. Due to their design, these headphones protrude slightly from the ears, so wearing a tight hat causes a feeling of pressure. The Beats Fit Pro still manage step reverberation and wind noise satisfactorily.
According to the manufacturer, the Beats Fit Pro have up to six hours of playback time with noise-cancelling switched on, and seven without. The charging case can charge the headphones a further three times, so in theory, this gives a total runtime of 24 hours. In practice, these values are not quite accurate; we ended up with around five hours and 20 minutes at high volume. But this depends on many factors such as temperature and volume. The energy boost provided by the fast-charging function, here called “Fast Fuel”, provides 60 minutes of playback time after five minutes in the charging case, while a complete charging cycle of these in-ears takes around three hours.
Unfortunately, Beats does not disclose anything about the current Bluetooth version and – unsurprisingly – transmits with the codecs SBC as well as AAC. The wireless link (Bluetooth class 1) remained stable in our practical tests in open spaces up to about 35 metres, and in closed rooms, the connection did not break off even when changing floors to the room upstairs (at approx. 100 square metres).
Beats Fit Pro and iOS
Initial pairing is done by opening the case or pressing a button, and an animated pop-up of the case and earphones appears, along with a setup prompt. Apple users can simply complete the subsequent configuration options in the Bluetooth menu under “Settings”, Android users have to resort to using the app.
In the system settings, you can configure things such as name change, noise control, control, fit test for the ear inserts or automatic ear recognition. The device that the Fit Pro should reconnect with can also be set up here. Seamless switching is just as elegant as with the Apple AirPods 3. 3D audio, the option of fixing the microphone to one of the two earphones and various information can also be found here.
Beats Fit Pro and Android
Once the free “Beats” app is installed, initial pairing can be started by opening the case (or by pressing a button) – Beats calls this “One Touch Pairing”. However, unlike the Beats Studio Buds, there is Google Fast Pair is not available. Apart from that, there are of course a few functions that iOS users already have on board. These include a fit test for the ear inserts, the configuration of the listening modes or the option to update the firmware. Fixing the microphone (see above) or ANC with only one earphone is also possible.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not draw level with the Apple platform here: Spatial audio with head tracking, audio sharing with multiple headphones or switching between players in a matter of seconds are not mastered by this model either.
The Beats Fit Pro’s design feels like that of the Studio Buds but enhanced by the silicone fins: The tapered ridges bear the distinctive company logo and are responsible for the controls. Once again, touch and swipe gestures are missing; you have to press in the classic way. This pushes the little buds a little way into the ear, particularly when activating the ANC.
Apparently, the manufacturer doesn’t want to overwhelm us, which is why the controls of the Beats Fit Pro remain as minimalist as those of the Studio Buds: play, pause and accepting or rejecting calls are all done with a single press, you can move a track forward with a double-tap, a track back with a triple tap and switching between noise cancelling, transparent and normal mode is done by pressing and holding. As an Apple user, however, that’s not quite it, because if you want to fast-forward or rewind within a song, you can do that too. Android users have to do without this useful feature.
While it was not possible to change the volume on the Studio Buds, this is now finally possible on this model. You just have to decide whether to press and hold to change ANC or the volume … sorry, but other manufacturers can do this better!
The sound of the Beats Fit Pro
If you like the sound signature of Beats, you’ll be in for a treat with this model too. The bass of the Beats Fit Pro is boosted likewise and hits the ear in a pleasantly warm way with slight weaknesses in definition. The tonality is therefore slightly spongy, but 808 kicks and basslines can still be identified. On top of that are the mids, which seem slightly subdued. Vocals are therefore not as prominent in these in-ears. However, this also means that midrange-heavy sounds (electric guitars, lead synths) are not reproduced harshly and are therefore not tiring to the ears.
It’s a similar situation with the treble: They are also slightly reduced, so that sibilant sounds are not annoying. However, this means that the Beats Fit Pro lack a certain effervescence, that would make music rich in overtones shine.
It makes hardly any difference sonically whether noise cancelling or transparency mode is on or off, which is extremely pleasing. The adaptive equaliser, which is only active when both modes are deactivated, adjusts the lower and middle frequencies to the fit of the headphones in real-time, according to the manufacturer. However, we could only detect minimal differences here in terms of sound.
If we switched on 3D or spatial audio including dynamic head tracking, the sound image changed accordingly. Pure stereo tracks could sound washed out in the bass; content in 5.1, 7.1 or Dolby Atmos naturally created a kind of spatiality that can be good or bad – but that’s something everyone has to decide for themselves.
How good is the Beats Fit Pro noise cancelling (ANC) and transparency mode?
We were curious to see how well Apple’s subsidiary had implemented adaptive noise cancellation. And although the Beats Fit Pro incorporate the same core technology as the Apple AirPods Pro, to our ears, the noise-cancelling here didn’t pack quite as effective a punch. Low frequencies were nicely cancelled out, while the upper mids and high frequencies reached the ear in a muffled manner. No question, the ANC of these headphones worked well, and in noisy environments, you can retreat into a pleasant quiet zone. Nevertheless, in absolute silence without media playback, a slight hissing noise could be heard.
This noise was amplified when the transparency mode was activated. What distinguishes Beats and Apple here is the naturalness. Although they are slightly restricted in the highs, train announcements or conversations always remain intelligible.
Talking on the phone with the Beats Fit Pro
Our test calls and video calls left little to be desired. Even in the pouring rain, the person we were talking to attested to excellent speech intelligibility. And our conversation partners were clear and understandable!
Beats Fit Pro and Apple AirPods Pro: the differences
Are the Beats Fit Pro a better version of Apple AirPods Pro? Some people might rightly ask themselves that, after all, both headphones use Apple’s H1 chip. In terms of sound, we found the Apple AirPods Pro to be slightly ahead, as they sounded a little more musical to our ears and the ANC also worked a little more effectively.
But the Beats Fit Pro fit much more securely in the ear thanks to wingtips, and if you are tired of the colour white, you can “decorate” your ears with black, grey or purple buds. One big drawback for the RRP of just under 230 euros: The Beats charging case cannot be wirelessly refuelled via a charging mat.
If you like the sound signature of Beats and have an active lifestyle, you should buy these without hesitation: The Beats Fit Pro sound good and fits super securely in the ear with the appropriate EarTip complete with its silicone fin. The noise-cancelling and transparency modes are just as good! However, we would deduct points for the somewhat limited control options and the reduced feature set for Android users.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight without cable5.6 g each, case 55.1 g
- Cable length15 cm
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of ear moulds (S, M, L)
- USB-C cable
- Available in black, white, grey and purple
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC
- Auto pause function