It’s been a good seven years since Apple shelled out billions for Beats, the bass-heavy headphone company owned by Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Not only did the purchace make billionaires out of the duo, it gave Apple a fast-track to an untapped area for them - headphones - with a brand that built itself famously on being cool.
Skip to today and Apple is doing rather well in the headphone market, with Apple AirPods making as much money for the tech giant as some of its rivals do in their entirety.
Instead of merging Beats in with its AirPods it has successfully kept both brands separate but they now share some of the same Apple tech - including its proprietary chips - and work in pretty much the same way.
We’ve spent some time with the Beats Fit Pro, sweating away the Christmas excess, to put the true wireless earphones through their paces - here are 5 things to know…
1 Connectivity is super slick
We’ll be honest, we’ve been bitten before with Beats connectivity issues. As much as the PowerBeats Pro earphones are a powerhouse for long-distance runners and the like, sometimes we could only connect to one earphone at a time, or they wouldn’t have charged properly - forums prove we aren’t alone in this, but we have had no issues at all with the Beats Fit Pro. It’s quite the opposite.
Lift up the lid on the slimmed-down case - compared to the PowerBeats Pro case which is like carrying a rucksack for your buds, this one is a small pillbox - and you are blessed with instant pairing and quick switching.
Well you are if you are using an iOS device. It’s a touch more complex on Android but all you have to do is head into the Bluetooth settings and choose the earphones. Again, you are connected in seconds but for the best experience download the Beats app, as it is here that you have total control of the earphones.
2 The Beats Fit Pro are the perfect fit (for us)
We were really impressed with how well the Beats Fit Pro earphones fit in our ears. Unlike their PowerBeats bedfellow, there’s no over-ear fixture - wingtips are used instead and they are superb. They offer a really comfortable fit but, most importantly, one that means the earphones are going to slip out at the worst time.
The seal from the earphones is decent, too - although it’s a little tricky to get right the first time as you have to twist, then ‘lock’ them in place and try to get the wingtip under the antihelix (the flap of your inner ear).
The active noise cancellation isn't as strong as we have experienced on rival earphones but while we have tested better before, because the seal is so good it really enhances the effectiveness of the silence. In the box there are a number of tip sizes so make sure you experiment with them all to find the right fit.
3 They have a beast of a battery
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: there’s no wireless charging available for these buds, which is a shame. But the good news is Beats/Apple has decided to use USB-C rather than Lightning to charge the case. And to prove it they throw in the shortest charging cable known to man - seriously it’s about two-inches long and is USB-C to USB-C.
Once you do find an actual charger that’s useful, then around 90 minutes' charge will give you full juice and a mere 5 minutes will get you 60 minutes’ playback. Impressive.
In total we get around 24 hours out of the earbuds which is a big improvement on the Apple AirPods Pros - 6 hours in the buds and a further 18 hours’ charge in the case. And that’s with ANC on.
4 The sound on show will match your workout
Beats have always been bass heavy and the Beats Fit Pros are no exception. Yes, the bass has been amped but not at the degradation of the rest of the audio.
While in the gym we listened to - among other tracks - Todd Terje’s Delorean Dynamite, the Lindstrom Mix of Tribulations by LCD Soundsystem and Robot Rock by Daft Punk and the bass throughout boomed nicely. There was plenty of clarity in the high notes, too, with the overall sound pretty expansive.
There’s spatial audio on board if you are listening to the likes of Apple Music - which you can get through the AirPods. It's decent, moving the music with you when you move your head - which is something you will be doing a lot if you are running. It's worth noting that this feature is only available through iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 or later.
5 The Beats Fit Pro controls are good but be careful
You can control what you are listening to through tapping the left or right side of the Beats earphones. You can change the controls but the standard ones worked well for us, with one tap to pause, two taps to skip a track and so on.
We did accidentally press the area a number of times when fiddling with the earphones or towelling the sweat from our face. It’s nothing we haven’t experience on other earbuds we’ve reviewing but worth pointing out. Oh, and when it comes to sweat these are definitely resistant and work well even when you are struggling to finish your workout.
Another great feature is the automatic pause/play when you take a bud out of your ear. It’s a small but really handy feature.
Beats Fit Pro review: Final Verdict
While they are beat when it comes to noise cancellation by the likes of Sony, the Beats Fit Pro are a fine pair of true wireless earbuds that are perfect companions for whatever sport you are into.
The Beats Fit Pro earbuds are a brilliant mix of Beats' design with some of the best features that the Apple AirPods have to offer. Fantastic on iOS and a decent enough experience when used with an Android device, the Beats Fit Pro are well worth a consideration.
- These are the best True Wireless earphones around.