Beats Fit Pro review: Apple’s workout-ready AirPods Pro rivals | Apple

Date:

A new, cheaper alternative to the AirPods Pro is here – and it is also from Apple. The Beats Fit Pro have many of the same features but cost £40 less, are more workout-friendly than their cousins and work with Android, too.

Priced at £199 ($199.99/A$299.95) they offer the same noise-cancelling as the AirPods Pro and features such as spatial audio virtual surround sound.

The Fit Pro essentially add a flexible silicone stabiliser “wing” to the top of last year’s Studio Buds. Once you twist the wing into the top of your ear they stay put even with the most vigorous of exercise, or you can wear them without the wing tucked in for more sedate listening.

beats fit pro
It took bit of trial and error to get the wing into a good position but once twisted far enough round the earbuds were comfortable for listening sessions of two hours or more. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The top of the earbud protrudes a little from your ear and has a single multi-purpose “b” button which you press once, twice, thrice or press and hold to skip tracks, change sound modes or adjust the volume. The music pauses when you remove an earbud too.

The earbuds clip magnetically into a flip-top case for charging and storage, which is like a mini version of the giant Powerbeats Pro case. It is a bit bigger than the best on the market but still just about fits in the money pocket of a pair of jeans.

The earbuds last up to six hours of playback with noise-cancelling active between charges, which is two hours short of the best rivals but at least an hour longer than the Studio Buds and AirPods Pro.

beats fit pro
The case charges via USB-C in 90 minutes and can recharge the earbuds fully three times but does not support wireless charging. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Specifications

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, SBC, AAC, H1 chip

  • Battery life: six hours ANC playback (24 hours with case)

  • Water resistance: IPX4 (splash resistant)

  • Earbud dimensions: 30x 24 x 19mm

  • Earbud weight: 5.6g each

  • Charging case dimensions: 62 x 62 x 28.5mm

  • Charging case weight: 55.1g

  • Case charging: USB-C

Great sound and noise cancelling

beats fit pro review
The earbuds have a conventional silicone tip that creates a good seal and offers some isolation, while the active noise-cancelling has no impact on the sound quality. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Fit Pro sound really good, particularly for fitness-focused earbuds. They have a well-balanced and fully rounded sound that suits a variety of genres. They can produce deep notes with a thump when needed but the bass is kept from overriding the good treble and high notes. Vocals are excellent, instrument separation is good and they handle complex tracks well.

They sound similar to Apple’s AirPods Pro, and slightly better than the Studio Buds, but can’t quite match the very best-sounding earbuds from Sony.

It is a similar story for the noise-cancelling. The Fit Pro match the efficacy of the AirPods Pro, successfully reducing low rumbles, cars and fans, while struggling with higher-pitched noise such as the tapping of fingers on a keyboard. The ambient awareness mode is one of the more natural-sounding of those available, good for listening out for announcements or a quick conversation.

Spatial audio

Beats Fit Pro review
The sensors on the outside of the earbud detect when they are in your ear while accelerometers track the movement of your head. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

In addition to standard stereo sound, the Fit Pro have Apple’s spatial audio virtual surround sound technology, thanks to their H1 chip. It makes the audio sound as if it is coming from a collection of speakers around you rather than directed straight down your ear canal, giving it a greater atmosphere.

When used with Apple devices, the earbuds track the movement of your head and adjust the sound so that it is always centred on the screen in front of you. It works particularly well for movies and TV shows with a Dolby sound track but also works with music, too. It’s all very clever.

Unlike Apple’s AirPods, the Fit Pro support some elements of spatial audio on Android, but not the head tracking and other advanced features.

Apple and Android

Beats Fit Pro review
The Beats app for Android (right) has most of the same features as that available on an iPhone (left). Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The same story exists for other features on Apple versus Android. The Fit Pro support the same instant pairing, seamless switching between devices, instant “Hey Siri” access to the voice assistant, battery status notifications and audio sharing with Apple gear as the AirPods.

They are standard Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds and will connect just fine to most devices, including Windows PCs. But unlike Apple’s other earbuds, the Beats support some of the more advanced features on Android including instant pairing, battery status, customisable controls, firmware updates and the ear tip fit test using the Beats app.

Observations

beats fit pro review
The push-button controls are customisable in the settings or Beats app, while the handy battery status notifications are available on both platforms. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • If you use a mix of Apple and Android gear, the Beats app on Android will not be able to “find” the earbuds unless you turn off Bluetooth on nearby iPhones or iPads.

  • Call quality was really good for such compact earbuds: my voice sounded clear and natural with only a little background noise leaking through in loud environments.

Sustainability

Apple expects the batteries to last more than 500 full charge cycles while maintaining at least 80% of their original capacity but they are not replaceable.

While some minor bits of the earbuds are repairable, they scored a zero out of 10 on iFixit’s repairability scale. Apple offers a “battery service” for £76.44 or replacements costing £96.44 each. The earbuds and case are made from recycled plastic and rare earth elements but Apple does not publish environmental impact reports for accessories such as headphones. The company offers trade-in and free recycling schemes, including for non-Apple products.

Price

The Beats Fit Pro cost £199 ($199.99/A$299.95).

For comparison, the AirPods Pro cost £239, the AirPods 3 cost £169, the Beats Studio Buds cost £130, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro cost £199 and the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 cost £99.

Verdict

The Beats Fit Pro offer a slice of the earbud magic found in Apple’s AirPods Pro in a sportier, cheaper form.

They sound good, have effective noise-cancelling and solid battery life. The spatial audio virtual surround sound system is really great with Apple gear and some of the smart features are available on Android, too.

They are small and don’t have stalks. The wing design keeps them locked in place but can take some fiddling to get comfortable. The charging case is a bit larger than I would like but still pocketable.

They are bettered on sound, noise-cancelling and battery life by the very best. And, unfortunately, the battery cannot be replaced, ultimately making them disposable and losing a star.

But if you want a set of all-purpose earbuds for iPhone or Android that can silence the commute, do justice to movies on your phone and stay put when it’s time to pound the pavement, there aren’t many better than the Beats Fit Pro.

Pros: great sound and noise-cancelling, decent battery and case, great connectivity, good controls, advanced features with Apple devices including spatial audio, some special features with Android, rock-solid fit for exercise or commute, decent call quality

Cons: can be a fiddle to get comfortable, charging case larger than rivals, no wireless charging, only IPX4 sweat resistance, cannot be repaired, expensive.

beats fit pro review
A five-minute quick charge in the case is enough for up to an hour of playback. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

spot_imgspot_img

Popular

More like this
Related

10 Important Budgeting Skills for Managers

Budgeting skills for managers are a must to succeed, lead...

Incredible Benefits of Buying Research Chemicals Online

Chemical components or substances utilized by specific individuals, primarily...

4 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained on Your Summer Road Trip

One of the most popular ways to vacation in...

Electric Skateboards: You Won’t Be Able To Live Without Them!

It is a real phenomenon among young people and...