If you like the Beats’ style and want a noise cancelling wireless earbud for casual as well as fitness and gym use, the Fit Pro tick the right boxes
- Stable fit and good comfort levels
- iOS and Android support
- Useful noise cancelling
- Physical controls
- Can’t customise sound/noise cancelling
- No wireless charging
- Tough competition
- AndroidSupports Android users with the Beats app
- Spatial Audio with Dolby AtmosCan play 360 audio with dynamic head-tracking
- BatterySix hours and 21 more in the charging case
If the Beats of old was a slightly juvenile upstart fond of exaggerated bass, then the ‘new’ Apple Beats is a more mature individual with wider tastes.
That maturity is evident in a more balanced approach to sound that has underpinned Beats’ last few efforts, from the Solo Pro on-ears to the Studio Buds wireless earphones, Beats has become an altogether more tasteful proposition.
And its latest foray are the Fit Pro noise cancelling earbuds that boast Apple’s top-end H1 chip with support for Spatial Audio, auto-switching and plenty more Apple-centric features but also doesn’t forget about Android users. With their wing-tip design, they mean to stay locked in for whatever activity you do.
- Secure and stable fit
- Flexible wing-tip design
Like the Studio Buds, the Fit Pro see Beats forge its own visual identity from Apple’s true wireless series. They maintain the Buds’ look – an appearance not unlike a tiny, sculpted boot – but the most obvious change is the Fit Pro has a flexible wing tip that tucks into the upper ear.
The design works a treat once the earbud is positioned just right, though, like the Studio Buds, the Fit Pro can still be a little bit fussy. What’s helpful is the inclusion of an in-app Ear Tip Fit Test that checks for any sound leakage. Having it provides the confidence you’ve found the right fit and seal.
Once it’s found, the seal is reliably good and comfort levels are super. I’ve taken the Fit Pro on runs and had no issues comfort-wise or felt the need to readjust – they are very runner and gym-friendly in that sense, and with an IPX4 rating they able to resist sweaty digits and rainy days. Three ear-tips are packaged (S, M, L) to find that most impregnable of seals.
The Beats Fit Pro use physical buttons, a method I feel is a better means of interaction for an earphone designed with active users in mind. There’s a nice tactile feel to the responsive presses and the button layout is easy to recall.
A hold on the ‘b’ button cycles between noise cancelling and transparency modes (you can switch to off but that’s only possible in the app), or you can adjust the controls in the app to map volume control to it. You can play tracks, as well as skip forward and back with one, two and three presses respectively. A slight issue with the placement of the touch controls is that by adjusting the earbuds you can unwittingly hit the buttons.
Further differentiation between Beats and Apple come in the choice of colours available – four to be exact in white, black, sage grey and stone purple (this review sample). Even if three of the four options are rather subdued, the more colours the better I say, especially given Apple’s predilection for glossy white earphones. The clamshell case can also be customised with an engraving if purchased through the Apple website. The case itself is bigger than the Studio Buds’ model – another team member felt it was on the large side – but it’s still easily pocketable.
- iOS exclusive features
- Adaptive noise cancelling
- No adjustable sound EQ/noise cancellation/transparency mode
There’s still an aspect of Apple authoring the Fits Pro experience rather than handing over the keys to the user. That’s clearest in the lack of customisable sound EQ (the Beats revert to Adaptive EQ when ANC and transparency mode are off) and the noise cancellation is adaptive, so it alters the performance of the noise cancellation depending on the strength of the seal and how much external noise the earbuds’ microphones can detect.
Even with that in mind, the Fit Pro’s noise cancelling ably diminishes the force of noises indoors and out. Train journeys into London glide by with the minimal intrusion, voices are less perceptible and general ambient noise less obvious. Cars and bigger vehicles can penetrate through the ANC shield on occasion, though.
Used in a gym and the Fit Pro pretty much blocked out all the machinery around me, from cycle to rowing machines, as well as people chatting in the background. The ANC performance is not up to the calibre of Bose and Sony in this area, but few currently are.
Connect the Fit Pro to an iOS device and they operate at a system level (so no need for a separate app). As with the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro, iOS users benefit from dynamic head tracking when Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos is in operation, along with automatic switching between iOS devices, audio sharing between Apple products and hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation. Pairing is one-touch for convenience’s sake, and if the Beats go missing the Find My app puts on its inspector goggles and has a look for them.
Android users get the app (same as the Studio Buds) and tucked inside are features such as customising controls, viewing battery levels, firmware updates and the ‘Ear Tip Fit Test’, though Android users misses out on all the Apple exclusive features and Find My app. One touch pairing is supported but Google Fast Pair isn’t, the lack of which seems to be a casualty of the Fit Pro’s H1 chip support.
Battery life is good with six hours per earbud and 21 in the case with noise cancelling on, an improvement over the AirPods Pro. A five-minute charge brings about another hour, but wireless charging isn’t supported.
Connectivity is Bluetooth 5 and aside from a few blips, there’s nothing to ostensibly suggest the Fit Pro would dramatically let you down during the rush hour commute. There has been the odd occasion where the earphones switched to mono in both ears but re-connecting quickly resolved this.
- Weighty presentation
- Solid balance
- Rhythmically adept
The Fit Pro continue where the Studio Buds left off from an audio perspective. It’s a streamlined approach that’s balanced across the frequency range – bass especially has a nice sense of weight and authority.
The size of the 9.5mm dual diaphragm driver compares favourably with the Studio Buds’ 8.2mm effort, and whether it’s the size of the driver or its tuning, music is treated with a little more scope and width. Otherwise, the bedrock of the cheaper model is repeated here.
Mid- to high-frequency notes are treated with a crispness that favours detail and avoids sibilance or harshness, while voices are reproduced with a naturalism whether that is Debbie Harry’s in Blondie’s Rapture or Nas’ rhymes in The World Is Yours. There may not be as much emotion or richness granted to vocals as you’d hear on Sony’s WF-1000XM4, they’re slightly hidden back in the soundstage, but the Beats get by with a solid performance.
With the large ear-tip in use, there’s a solidity and weightiness to the Fit Pro’s delivery, no one aspect of the frequency range it presents impinges negatively on the other. The Beats show an even sense of balance and a play a nice line in terms of their rhythmic ability with a track like Amon Tobin’s Bridge. It didn’t come across as too congested despite the myriad of beats, and displays some flex in keeping up with changes in tempo without descending into some sort of hapless, timing mush.
I also appreciated the Fit Pro’s handling of the various beats and samples in that track, the drum hits are given a weightier low-end depth that contrasts with the hi-hat cymbal crashes. Again, a comparison to the Sony shows the Beats aren’t as assertive at the top end of the frequency range nor do they extract as much detail or are as punchy with their rhythms – but they’re not a million miles away either.
Should you buy it?
For their customisable fit The flexible wing-tip provides greater leeway to find the best fit and seal to block sounds. It’s also, at least for this reviewer’s ears, proved very comfortable to wear
If you want more control over sound/noise cancellation The Beats continue an Apple trend of not wanting to surrender control over how it sounds or tweaking the noise cancellation, unless you’re completely au fait with not having any control at all
Like the Studio Buds, the Fit Pro are an accomplished sounding pair from Beats reinvigorated true wireless line-up. At this end of the market, it’s up against some very adept £200+ true wireless that have an edge over them in performance terms, but in the bracket below £200 the Beats hold their own.
If you like Beats’ style and want a solid noise cancelling earphone for casual use as well as for fitness and gym, the Fit Pro checks the right boxes. It still favours iOS users with its features, but the Fit Pro is another step in a promising direction as Beats shakes off its bassy origins.
How we test
We test every headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Tested for a month
Tested with real world use
Tested with music streaming services
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No, the only Bluetooth codecs that the Fit Pro support are SBC and AAC.
Yes, we’d rate them as being very good for use with outdoor workouts and gym work. The fit is stable and secure, and the IPX4 rating should keep them from being affected by sweat and rain.
The Fit Pro don’t have any support for Qi wireless charging but they do support fast charging.