The market isn’t short on true-wireless earbuds now, though rather than chasing gimmicks, Beats Fit Pro go back to ergonomic basics to make their pitch. Combining the convenience of cutting the cord with ANC and a $199.99 price tag, the biggest deal here could well be just how snugly, securely, and comfortably these new Beats actually fit in your ears.
Unlike Beats Studio Buds, which relied on the firm grip of the eartip itself to stay in place, and the bulkier PowerBeats Pro with their over-ear hook, Beats Fit Pro adds a soft little silicone fin. A slight twist as you push each 5.6 gram earbud into place is enough to nestle that into the contours of your ear.
The wingtips are attached, but Beats includes three different sizes of eartip; there’s an automatic fit-test you can run through, to make sure you have a good seal. Now, I have troublesome ears when it comes to getting in-ear buds to not only fit, but remain comfortable over extended listening. With the addition of the wingtip I’ve found Beats Fit Pro are some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve tried, not aggravating my ears even after hours of music and calls, despite being snug enough that I can shake my head aggressively without having them ping out.
All that would be pretty pointless if they didn’t sound any good, but happily the Beats Fit Pro hold up there, too. Beats uses a custom 9.5mm transducer, and claims that the vented design of the earbuds boost treble performance too. Considering the company’s reputation for heavy bass – admittedly one it has pushed back on with recent launches – I’ve been impressed by how balanced everything sounds.
There’s still the heavy thump of the low-end, sure, but it works with – rather than competing with – the mids and highs. I don’t think Beats Fit Pro would necessarily be the first earbuds I’d reach for if I was listening primarily to orchestral or string music; I think Sony’s WF-1000XM4 have the edge there. With dance, RnB, and electronic tracks, though, the out-of-the-box settings are warm and vibrant, without being tiresomely exaggerated or pitchy.
As for the active noise cancellation, that’s powered by Apple’s H1 chipset. There are two modes, ANC and Transparency: the former tries to block out as much noise as possible, while the latter pipes through some ambient sound when you want to hold a quick conversation, say, or be aware of city noise. The combination of the snug fit and Beats’ processing means ANC mode is more than solid. Traffic noise was almost imperceivable, while conversations next to me sounded like they were a room’s distance away.
Switch both modes off, though, and the Beats Fit Pro turn Adaptive EQ on automatically. That promises to adjust the low- and mid-range frequencies in the music according to how you’re hearing it, using the inward-facing microphone. There’s also Spatial Audio support, using head-tracking for more immersive playback of 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos tracks. If you’re an Apple Music subscriber then there’s a comparatively small but growing collection of such tracks out there to stream; it all sounds very clever and can be an interesting experience, though I’m not sure I’d necessarily buy new earbuds specifically for that quite yet.
The Apple H1 chipset also addresses some of my other complaints about the Studio Buds. Not only do you get the one-touch pairing and Find My support in iOS, but there’s hands-free “Hey Siri” activation and auto-switching between Apple devices. For Android users, the free Beats app offers most of the same functionality. I continue to be impressed by how, despite being owned by Apple, Beats is trying its best to be platform agnostic.
It’s one of a number of neat little features which combine to make these earbuds special. The optical sensors – which automatically pause playback when you take the Beats Fit Pro out of your ears – are designed to recognize skin, for example, reducing the likelihood of accidental triggers when you put the earbuds down on your desk. The “b” button on each earbud handles play/pause, track skip, and – with a long-press – toggles ANC and Transparency mode, but you can remap that long-press to something else if you prefer. It’s a physical button, too, so you get a reassuring “yes, I really did push it” click.
The case, meanwhile, charges via USB-C but not Qi wireless, and though it’s light – albeit bigger overall than, say, an AirPods Gen 3 case – there’s no shortage of battery life. Each earbud is good for up to 6 hours of music playback with ANC/Transparency on, or up to 27 hours total including recharges from the case. Switch to Adaptive EQ and you get 7 hours per bud, or up to 30 hours with the case. For voice calls, it’s up to 5 hours per bud, for a total of 22 hours with the case.
Five minutes charge is enough for up to an hour of playback time, with Beats’ Fast Fuel system, while a full charge takes more like 90 minutes. With how fast the earbuds connect, I was able to switch from having one in my left ear to one in my right without interrupting a call.
Beats Fit Pro Verdict
It’s hard not to conclude that the Beats Fit Pro are nestled in the sweet-spot in Beats’ range. Offering a more reassuring fit and more features than the Studio Buds, and smaller than PowerBeats Pro yet still packing ANC, they’re comfortable enough for daily wear though resilient enough for exercise. Earbuds fit is subjective, yes, but I’m fussy and these are undoubtedly the most comfortable I’ve tried in the past couple of years.
At $199.99, they undercut Sony’s WF-1000XM4, and land at around the street price for a set of AirPods Pro. Though I rate Sony’s ANC a little higher, the Beats Fit Pro stay in place better for me than either of the other two designs. The active noise cancelling earbud segment may be fiercely competitive right now but, by going back to basics and getting the fit right, Beats manages to stand apart – even from the Apple AirPods they share so much of their tech with.