Beats Fit Pro Review: The Best Beats (or Apple) Buds So Far

Beats Fit Pro.

Beats Fit Pro review: The best Beats (or Apple) buds so far

MSRP $200.00

“They’re the AirPods Pro, but more secure, Android-compatible, and have a lower price.”

Pros

  • Comfortable, secure fit

  • Excellent ANC

  • Excellent transparency

  • Very good sound quality

  • Fun extras (head-tracking)

Cons

  • No wireless charging

  • Limited contol settings

  • No EQ settings

If you’re shopping for a set of true wireless earbuds, you’ve got more choices than ever and many more features to consider. Active noise cancellation (ANC), comfort, a secure fit, battery life, sound quality, wireless charging, in-ear sensors, and on and on. That can make for a difficult decision, even if you’re taking advantage of our guide to the best true wireless earbuds.

Well, your decision just got harder: The $200 Beats Fit Pro, with their unique wingtips and tons of advanced features enabled by Apple’s H1 wireless chip, make a compelling argument that you can actually get it all — with no compromises. Just how good are they? We think they’re Beats’ best earbuds so far.

Those wings

Beats Studio Buds next to Beats Fit Pro.
Beats Studio Buds (left) and Beats Fit Pro. Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Easily the most unique aspect to the Beats Fit Pro are those wingtips that protrude from the outer surface of the earbuds and curl inward toward your ear. When the earbuds are positioned correctly, the tips should anchor themselves just under the arch of your antihelix — a firm, ledge-shaped fold of cartilage. Seating them is pretty easy — just push the buds into your ear canal and then give them a small rotation forward and back. With some practice, you’ll be able to do it in a single move.

When I first saw photos of the Fit Pro, I was skeptical about how comfy those pointy tips would be. Beats isn’t the first company to use this design — you’ll find similar rubber anchors on the Sony WF-SP800N, Jaybird Vista 2, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, and the JBL Reflect Mini NC — but unlike those other earbuds, the Fit Pro’s wingtips point into your ears more dramatically.

If you need prescription eyewear, or want to wear sunglasses, go for it. The Fit Pro won’t be in your way.

I needn’t have worried. They’re made from super-soft silicone rubber. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say you won’t notice them at all, they’re very comfortable, even for longer periods. More importantly, they do what they’re designed to do: Lock the Fit Pro in position so that you’re not constantly pushing them back into place as your running or activity attempts to dislodge them.

But what I like most about the wingtips is that they don’t interfere at all with glasses — unlike the over-ear hooks of the Powerbeats Pro. So if you need prescription eyewear, or want to wear sunglasses for protection, go for it, the Fit Pro won’t get in your way.

There’s just one potential downside to the design. The wingtips are beautifully integrated into the plastic of the multifunction buttons — so much so that you really can’t see where the rubber ends and the plastic begins. But this means that if the wingtips ever become damaged or simply wear down with use, there’s no way to replace them; you’ll have to buy new earbuds.

The multifunction buttons are super-easy to press — almost too easy. Inserting the buds in your ears without accidentally pressing them can be tricky. But they reward you with a tactile click that leaves no doubt that you’ve pressed them correctly. There’s no ability to customize the controls, with the exception of the long-press action, which can be set using iOS or the Beats app for Android to trigger either ANC mode changes or volume level.

Kill the noise

Beats Fit Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Beats Fit Pro use the same ANC and transparency system as the AirPods Pro, with similarly impressive results. External sounds like the droning of fans or the rumble of traffic are significantly reduced, leaving you with a nice, quiet bed for your audio to play against, whether it’s music or podcasts. Heck, you can just engage ANC and use it for some peace and quiet in a noisy home or coffee shop.

From Chick Corea to Megan Thee Stallion, or a Brahms concerto, the Fit Pro will happily render them all.

Curiously, while the Fit Pro’s transparency mode is much better than that of the Studio Buds — and easily as good as the AirPods Pro — ANC mode isn’t quite as good as on the Beats Studio Buds, which frankly, is something of a surprise. I chalk it up to Fit Pro’s slightly larger pressure-balancing vents, a feature that increases the overall comfort associated with wearing ear canal-sealing headphones. In this case, however, those vents seem to let just a little more sound in than on the Studio Buds, and I believe that’s what lowers the Fit Pro’s ANC performance. To be clear, we are not talking about night and day, or anywhere close to that kind of difference. It’s subtle, and you may not notice it at all, but hey, they pay me the big bucks to point this stuff out.

Supreme sound …

Man wearing Beats Fit Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Fit Pro sound really good — better than the Studio Buds, and I think they’re better than the AirPods Pro as well. They have a wide soundstage and defined stereo imaging that puts them on par with the excellent Jabra Elite 7 Pro. But the real surprise here is the Fit Pro’s sound signature.

Despite their workout-friendly design (which begs comparisons to the Powerbeats Pro), the Fit Pro don’t place extra emphasis on bass. Not that there isn’t plenty of bass response — there is — it’s just that Beats has tamed the Fit Pro’s low end to be more proportional to the rest of the frequency bands. So while they might not provide the kind of pounding rhythm you want for an intense workout, they’re far better suited to playing a wide variety of genres.

The Fit Pro include head-tracking sensors, which let you experience Dolby Atmos in an entirely new way.

You can create the world’s most eclectic playlist that jumps from a jazz master like Chick Corea to Megan Thee Stallion and then over to a Brahms concerto, and the Fit Pro will happily render them all, with plenty of detail and zero harshness in the high frequencies.

I still wish that Beats (and Apple) would give us control over EQ, for those times when a little more boom might be called for, but it’s genuinely hard to complain given how great the Fit Pro sound right out of the box.

… and head-tracking spatial audio, too

Beats Fit Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

For Apple — and thus for Beats — spatial audio is kind of a big deal. The company has gone all-in with support for Dolby Atmos Music on the Apple Music streaming service. Any set of headphones will let you enjoy the 3D aspects of Dolby Atmos, but the Fit Pro include head-tracking sensors, which let you experience Dolby Atmos in an entirely new way. With the feature turned on (you can switch it off in the iOS Control Center), Dolby Atmos music tracks respond to the orientation of your head. It sounds freaky — and it does take some getting used to. But when you turn your head from side to side, it sounds like the song is being performed “in front of you” such that a head turn to the left balances the vocals to your right ear and vice versa. If you keep your head turned for longer than a few seconds, that position becomes the new front.

It also works with Dolby Atmos, 5.1, and 7.1 movie soundtracks, but in these situations, the “front” is always the location of your screen, whether that’s an iPhone, iPad, or your TV (Apple TV 4K only). I’m not sure that head-tracking is a big reason to buy the Beats Fit Pro, especially if you’re an Android user (for now, only Apple devices support head-tracking), but it’s a fun feature that can make some music and movies more entertaining.

Call quality

Beats Fit Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

In all but the noisiest of environments, the Fit Pro deliver very good call quality. They struggle — as do most true wireless earbuds — with loud sounds, but when things are relatively calm, your callers will have no trouble hearing you clearly. They’re much better for calls than the Studio Buds, which sound a bit muddy by comparison.

Beats doesn’t include a separate sidetone adjustment so that you can hear your own voice clearly, but you can switch to transparency mode before or during a call, which amounts to the same thing. And since the Fit Pro’s transparency mode is so good, it helps to make these earbuds very capable calling companions. The fact that you can use either earbud independently for both calls and music is a bonus.

Battery life

Beats Fit Pro charging case.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

After a few years of stagnation, Apple has started improving the amount of listening time you can get from a single charge on its earbuds. The Beats Fit Pro are rated for six hours with either ANC or transparency modes on, making them the longest-lasting ANC earbuds in either the Beats or Apple lineups (the AirPods Pro top out at 4.5 hours, and the Studio Buds get five hours). Better yet, if you turn off these modes, that number jumps to seven hours — not quite the nine hours you’ll get from the Powerbeats Pro, but pretty decent nonetheless.

The charging case, which disappointingly doesn’t support wireless charging (Qi or MagSafe) can bump these numbers up to 27 and 30 hours, respectively. A quick charge of five minutes will get you an extra hour of playtime.

Our take

Beats Fit Pro box contents.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Beats Fit Pro are essentially Apple’s AirPods Pro, but with a more secure fit, Android compatibility, slightly better sound, and a lower price. In our books, that makes them almost perfect.

Is there a better alternative?

If you want everything the Apple ecosystem has to offer (head-tracking spatial audio, Find My network, quick switching between Apple devices, and hands-free Siri), then no, there are no better alternatives at this price when it comes to true wireless earbuds. If you really want/need wireless charging, get ready to pay $49 more for the AirPods Pro.

If, on the other hand, you’re less fussy about these features, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro deserve your full attention. They’re as good or better for ANC, transparency, and sound quality, and a lot of folks will find them more comfortable, yet almost as secure. They also have wireless charging and an unbelievable amount of adjustments for EQ, controls, and more. And they’re the same price as the Beats Fit Pro.

How long will they last?

It’s good that the Fit Pro have a longer starting battery life than Apple’s other earbuds (except the Powerbeats Pro) because, in our experience, this is the one area that can severely reduce earbud life expectancy. Even if they drop by 50%, you’ll still get three hours with ANC on, which while not great, is still perfectly usable for most situations.

It’s harder to say how much life you’ll get out of the flexible wingtips. If those get shredded or torn, it’s buh-bye earbuds.

Should you buy them?

Yes. Despite a few missing features like EQ, control adjustments, and wireless charging, the Beats Fit Pro are a stellar set of true wireless earbuds.

Editors’ Recommendations






Above article first published by Source link . We curated and re-published.

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