Beats Fit Pro Debut With a Fitness Focus, Active Noise Cancellation, and a $200 Price Tag
Following their appearance in iOS 15.1 and some celebrity leaks, Apple's Beats brand today is officially announcing Beats Fit Pro, fitness-focused wireless earbuds that include flexible wingtips to help them fit securely in the ear.
The $200 Beats Fit Pro also include all of the features you'd expect from higher-end Apple earbuds, such as silicone tips in three sizes, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency audio modes, Adaptive EQ, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, and an H1 chip for "Hey Siri" and Find My support as well one-touch pairing on iOS, automatic switching among devices on the same iCloud account, and audio sharing.
We've been using the new Beats Fit Pro for close to a week, and the best description we can come up with for them is a fitness-focused version of the AirPods Pro. They have very similar feature sets but almost completely different designs, with the Beats Fit Pro lacking the stems seen on all AirPods models and going with a low-profile in-ear look with wingtips for stability.
Three different sizes of silicone ear tips are also included to help find the best fit for your ear canal, with an Ear Tip Fit Test available in Bluetooth settings to assess whether your selected tips are providing a good seal.
On the fitness side, Beats says it measured thousands of ears to be able to digitally model the soft wingtips, which indeed are quite flexible yet provide good stability to keep the Beats Fit Pro secure in the ear. Getting an earbud in place requires just a slight twist after inserting it into your ear, hooking the wingtip in place in your upper ear. The Beats Fit Pro also have an IPX4 rating, which means they are sweat- and water-resistant so you won't need to worry about them while working out.
Setup is super simple thanks to the H1 chip, so all you have to do is bring the Beats Fit Pro close to your device and open the case, at which point you'll see a series of prompts to get your earphones paired to your device and walk you through the basic functions.
As for sound quality, Beats says it has developed an all-new transducer for robust sound, along with a new vent system to minimize distortion in the treble range and eliminate discomfort. In our testing, we found very good quality on par with the AirPods Pro, though a bit heavier in the low end, which isn't much of a surprise for a Beats product.
The Beats Fit Pro include dual beamforming microphones in each earbud, as well as an internal microphone and voice accelerometer, all of which work together to optimize sound quality both for audio playing in your ears and for picking up your voice.
With no stems, the Beats Fit Pro don't feature squeezable force sensors for onboard controls as on the AirPods Pro and third-generation AirPods. Instead, the outer surface of each earbud features a Beats "b" button that supports multiple functions, just like the Beats Studio Buds and similar to the Powerbeats Pro.
A single press of the "b" button on either side will play or pause audio or answer or hang up a phone call. A double press skips to the next audio track, while a triple press skips backward. By default, pressing and holding the button for a second rotates through the various listening modes.
The press and hold gesture for each earbud can be configured independently through the Beats Fit Pro listing in your Bluetooth settings, with the ability to select which of the three listening modes (ANC, Transparency, and standard with Adaptive EQ) are included as options as you cycle through, or to set one side to activate Siri rather than change listening modes, for example. Or, you can use the press and hold gesture for onboard volume control, selecting one side for raising the volume and the other for lowering it.
Skin detect sensors located in the earbuds mean that Beats Fit Pro can tell when they are in your ears and automatically play or pause when you insert them or remove them from your ears. With the specific ability to detect skin contact, you also won't have issues with the earbuds being tricked into activating playback when tossed into a bag, for example.
You can also control listening modes in Control Center on your iOS device by long pressing on the volume control to bring up additional options. You can also turn Spatial/Spatialize Audio on or off, and choose between fixed or head tracking when you have the surround audio experiences turned on.
Battery life is rated at up to six hours with ANC or Transparency turned on, and that can be pushed to seven hours with those functions turned off. Our informal testing found results consistent with those stated benchmarks. The carrying case charges over USB-C (no wireless charging, unfortunately) and provides up to 21 additional hours of battery life with ANC/Transparency. A Fast Fuel charging feature delivers an hour of playback after just five minutes in the case, and they can charge to full in about an hour and a half.
The charging case for the Beats Fit Pro is significantly larger than that for the AirPods or AirPods Pro, though not nearly as big as for the Powerbeats Pro. The earbuds snap into their slots in the charging case magnetically and remain firmly in place even with a fair amount of shaking of an open case.
The Beats Fit Pro do support Android with the dedicated Beats companion app for the platform supporting one-touch pairing, a guided fit test, and the ability to toggle listening modes and customize the "b" button, but you won't get the full suite of Apple-specific features enabled by the H1 chip.
The Beats Fit Pro are priced at $199.99 and are available in four colors: Stone Purple, Sage Gray, White, and Black. They are available to order in the United States starting today with shipments beginning November 5. They will launch in China in early December, with additional countries to follow in 2022.