The Beats Fit Pro Could Be a Great Alternative to Apple's AirPods

It comes down to style and fit

Key Takeaways

  • Beats Fit Pro are $200 wireless earbuds with noise-cancelling.
  • They’re built on Apple’s H1 chip, and offer almost all the features of AirPods Pro.
  • They work with Android, too.
Pair of hand opening Beats Fit Pro case with earbuds inside

Beats

The new Beats Fit Pro look like an excellent alternative to Apple's AirPods Pro, and they're cheaper, too.

Apple's AirPods are just great. They have deep integration with the iPhone and iPad, sound great, and have some genuinely useful features only on Apple devices. On the other hand, there are only three models (not counting the over-ear AirPods Max), and they're all very similar. Beats, owned by Apple, gets to use the H1 chip that allows all the magic AirPod tricks, but it's operated as a separate company. As such, Beats gets to make some bolder design decisions. 

"Beats may sound better, but I coach tennis with mine, and the AirPods are highly durable," distracted tennis coach and marketing director Farhan Advani told Lifewire via email. "I think it just comes down to which one is cheaper at the time for you, is more comfortable for your ears, has better sound quality, or has features that pertain more closely to your needs."

Beats Fit Pro

These Beats Fit Pro are like a slightly bigger, slightly tweaked version of the Beats Studio Buds, with added 'wingtips.' These tips might be the biggest reason to choose the Beats Fit Pro over any of Apple's AirPods. The flexible stem sits inside your outer ear and keeps the buds in place, even while you're working out. 

Woman wearing Beats Fit Pro in grey

Beats

Other highlights include noise canceling, a six-hour battery life (with noise-canceling on), plus another 18 hours in the charging case, three size options for the ear-tips, USB-C connections for charging, and mics in each unit for phone calls. 

Oh, and you can pick a color, instead of settling for the AirPods’ plain white.

"I wish there was an upgrade/swap program," wrote technologist Dave Zatz on Twitter. "I’d take these over my Pro just so I can get a color other than white."

H1 Magic

As said previously, the Beats Fit Pro uses Apple’s H1 headphone chip, meaning they get almost all the great features of regular AirPods. This includes instant pairing, where you open the case, and your iPhone automatically detects them.

You can also enjoy Spatial Audio, use the Find My app to locate them, and make use of quick-switching, which is supposed to automatically connect the headphones to whatever Apple gadget you’re currently using. That’s a flakey feature even on AirPods, though. 

Beats Fit Pro noise cancelling

Beats

The H1 also allows audio sharing, allowing two people to listen to the same music, or watch the same movie, while both wearing their own headphones, with independent volume control. This is a fantastic feature when traveling—you can watch in-flight movies on an iPad with great sound, for example.

Speaking of in-flight sound, the Beats also inherit the AirPods’ noise-canceling options, including the game-changing Transparency mode, which pipes a bit of the outside world back in so you feel connected, and also so hear your own voice on calls, which should keep you from shouting. 

What They Don’t Have

Right now, the Beats Fit Pro lack almost nothing compared to the AirPods Pro. One missing feature, however, is Spatial Audio for group Facetime calls, which makes it seem like voices are coming from the position of the person on-screen.

This sounds like a gimmick, but is exactly the kind of neat feature that makes all-day video meetings less fatiguing

You also have to charge via USB-C since there’s no option for Qi or MagSafe charging. 

Which Ones Are for You?

The Beats Fit Pro are so similar to the AirPods Pro in terms of specs that the choice will come down to more personal reasons. One is fit. If the AirPods aren’t comfortable in your ears, or fail the iPhone’s tip-fit test (available on the Beats, too), then try the Beats. If you want to spend a little less money, then pick Beats. And if you prefer Beats' style, or require the wingtip design, then it’s Beats. And if you think the Beats brand is cooler than Apple, your choice is made.

As far as audio quality goes, the AirPods Pro sound fantastic, so that might be a hard target to beat.

But there’s one exclusive Beats feature that might tempt you away from the AirPods: the long-press gesture can be used to change volume—up on one side, and down on the other. You might consider adding that to your AirPods, Apple.

Was this page helpful?