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Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) vs Beats Fit Pro
With the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) hitting the market, you may be torn between different options for active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds. A slightly more affordable and OS-agnostic option is the Beats Fit Pro, which still integrates super well into the Apple ecosystem, since Beats is an Apple subsidiary, but works well with other devices too. If you’re stuck between the two, you’re in luck—let’s compare the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and Beats Fit Pro to see which pair of earbuds is best.
Editor’s note: this article was published on May 29, 2023 to include formatting changes and address reader submitted FAQs.
What’s it like to use the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) compared to the Beats Fit Pro?
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) features a stemmed earbud design with interchangeable silicone ear tips in four different sizes, and nothing else to keep it in your ear. The case is a rounded rectangle with a speaker and U1 chip inside. You can use the Find My app to trigger a loud sound from the case’s speaker to find it in the same room you’re in, and the U1 chip lets you precisely identify its location on a map. The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) earbuds and case are IPX4 water resistant, so you can work out with them or walk in the rain without issues.
On the other hand, the Beats Fit Pro is designed quite differently from the AirPods Pro (2nd generation), with wing tips for keeping the buds secure in your ears. It comes with three different ear tip sizes. The case is similarly a rounded rectangle that can easily fit in your pocket, though Beats’ is a bit larger. The earbuds are also IPX4 rated, so with that and the wing tips, the Fit Pro is a great option for athletes. However, the case isn’t water resistant at all. Beats’ case is also less sturdy than Apple’s: the hinge has a bit of lateral play, whereas the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) case feels precisely machined.
How do you control the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and Beats Fit Pro?
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) has stems that respond to pinches and swipes, which you can remap in the iOS or iPadOS Settings app.
Press and hold
Toggle ANC/Adaptive Transparency modes
Change volume, request directions, playback control, receive messages, and more
To control the Beats Fit Pro, there are buttons on each earbud under the Beats symbol. Some controls can be customized in the Beats app if you have an Android device, or in the iOS or iPadOS Settings app.
|INPUT (either bud)||ACTION|
- Play/pause music
- Answer/end call
- Answer a second incoming call, place first on hold
- With two active calls, this alternates between calls
- Next track
- Send call audio from earbuds to phone
- Previous track
Press and hold
- Toggle listening modes (ANC, off, Transparency)
- Increase or decrease volume
- Reject incoming call
"Hey Siri" (iOS/iPad OS only)
- Change volume
- Request directions
- Playback control
- Receive messages and more
Automatic ear detection
- Remove one bud: pause music, resume when inserted
- Remove both earbuds: pause music, won't resume when reinserted
The Beats Fit Pro has a skin detection sensor like the AirPods Pro, which pauses music when you remove the buds from your ears and only resumes playback when you reinsert them. Music won’t resume when you put the buds in your pocket.
Should you use the apps of either Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or Beats Fit Pro?
Android users beware, you will have no software option for the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation). All app-related actions are done through the iOS/iPadOS Settings app, where you can find an ear tip fit test, toggle listening modes, turn on Spatial Audio (and set up personalized Spatial Audio), get firmware updates, and more.
The Beats Fit Pro thankfully has options on any OS. Android users can download the Beats app, where they can toggle listening modes, change some controls, get firmware updates, and more. iPhone users can do all of this in the iOS Settings app. Unfortunately, only iOS users get access to Spatial Audio for the Beats Fit Pro, but if you have an Android device you can use Dolby Audio in Apple Music with the Beats Fit Pro. The same goes for the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) as well.
Both earbuds have Find My support, so you can use location tracking to find your lost earbuds. Only the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) has a case that you can track in the app too; if you lose the Beats Fit Pro case separately from the earbuds, you just have to rely on memory. Using Find My requires location services to be on, so just know that you won’t be able to find your earbuds if you don’t allow the app access to your location.
How do the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and Beats Fit Pro connect?
The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) connects using Bluetooth 5.3, and it supports the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. It has an H2 chip for fast connectivity and quick-switching capabilities between devices logged into the same iCloud account.
Meanwhile, the Beats Fit Pro uses Bluetooth 5.0, and also supports the SBC and AAC codecs like the AirPods Pro. It has an H1 chip, the same chip as the first-gen AirPods Pro, which is still great for connectivity and device switching on Apple devices.
If you have an iOS or iPadOS device, when you open the AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro case near your phone, a card will pop up on your screen prompting you to connect. If you are pairing either to any other device, the steps are the same as pairing any Bluetooth device.
- Enable Bluetooth on the device you want to connect to.
- On the AirPods Pro case, with the case open, hold the setup button on the back of the case until the LED blinks. On the Beats Fit Pro, with the case open, hold the system button on the case until the LED blinks.
- Choose the AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro in the Bluetooth menu to connect.
Is battery life better on the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or Beats Fit Pro?
In our battery testing, we found that the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) lasted 5 hours, 43 minutes with active noise canceling on, just short of Apple’s claim of 6-hour battery life. Under the same testing conditions, the Beats Fit Pro lasted 6 hours, 22 minutes with ANC on.
The AirPods Pro case holds an extra 24 hours of charge, while the Beats Fit Pro case provides another 18 hours of charge. Overall, both are pretty similar in battery life.
With any true wireless earbuds, it’s important to remember that the overall lifetime of batteries is diminished the more charging cycles it goes through. The shorter the battery life, the more often you’ll have to charge it, and as a result, the battery’s capacity will drop fast. If you care a lot about battery e-waste, it’s important to keep this in mind.
Does the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or Beats Fit Pro block noise better?
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) has great active noise canceling. It’ll be a great companion for commutes or at work if you want to eliminate noises around you. The ANC performs especially well in the low and midrange frequencies. It also has pretty good isolation, which is required to get the most out of the Adaptive Transparency Mode these buds offer, powered by the new H2 chip.
The Beats Fit Pro has similarly performing ANC, although it doesn’t deliver quite as well as the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in the midrange, but is still great at canceling out noise.
Getting a good fit is important for getting the kind of ANC performance you see on the above chart, so it’s a good idea to use the in-ear fit test both earbuds offer. Lacking a good fit increases the likelihood of increasing the volume too high and causing noise-induced hearing loss.
Does the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) sound better than the Beats Fit Pro?
In our testing, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) has a frequency response quite close to our target curve, with a bit of deviation above 8kHz. Most people will enjoy the sound of the AirPods Pro (2nd generation), though it’s worth noting you won’t be able to change the EQ using the Settings app.
The Beats Fit Pro, in typical Beats fashion, places a relative emphasis on bass frequencies, mainly by under-emphasizing the midrange. Most genres should sound good through the Beats Fit Pro, but if you love music that benefits from pronounced bass, you will especially enjoy this frequency response. You also can’t adjust the EQ in the Beats app or Settings app, like the AirPods Pro.
Does the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or Beats Fit Pro have a better microphone?
The microphone in the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is good for phone calls in quiet places, but background noises can cause your voice to cut out. In our samples below, you can hear that wind noises cause the audio quality to decline.
The Beats Fit Pro mic is markedly less clear, but usable. Background noise can cause problems, and wind noise in particular can cause your voice to be attenuated. It’s adequate for phone calls, but take them in a quiet place.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Beats Fit Pro microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Windy conditions):
Beats Fit Pro microphone demo (Windy conditions):
Which microphone sounds better?
Editor’s note: Our standardized test setup plays back pre-recorded phrases from a calibrated artificial mouth in our test chamber, either with or without simulated background noises, simulated reverberant spaces, or artificial wind. This means that samples from every product can be directly compared, which makes it far easier to make meaningful comparisons between products in terms of the raw speech quality or the product’s ability to reject noise. While this setup is consistent, it’s unable to allow the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) earbuds to detect speech as they would in the real world (using vibrations), so you’re likely to experience something different than our demos above.
Should you get the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or Beats Fit Pro?
If you have an iPhone, you will be able to get the most out of either of these earbuds. Enjoying the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is pretty much dependent on owning an iPhone, since Android users won’t get access to any important features like Spatial Audio, firmware updates, and the fit test. The Beats Fit Pro is also a good option for iPhone users who want a cheaper option with great connectivity, Spatial Audio, ANC, and a bassy frequency response.
Android users should go for the Beats Fit Pro, which has the Beats app available for software features. You won’t be able to use Apple’s Spatial Audio on an Android with the Beats Fit Pro, however, so keep that in mind if you want to purchase it.
What should you get instead of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and Beats Fit Pro?
One of the best pairs of noise canceling earbuds you can buy is the Sony WF-1000XM4, which has excellent noise canceling, great sound, foam ear tips, and OS-agnostic software with customizable EQ. It’s pricey at $278 at Amazon, but if you have the extra cash, it’s worth it.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II is another great OS-agnostic option, with a really bassy frequency response if you like that sound. It’s expensive at $249 at Amazon, but it’s a great pair of earbuds. To see how it fares directly against the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation), check out our comparison article on the two.
Android users may prefer the Google Pixel Buds Pro, since it integrates so well with Android devices. It has Google Assistant integration and quick access to Google Translate, which is a nice convenience. It doesn’t have spatial audio yet, but that’s on the way in Fall 2022. For $199 at Amazon, it’s comparably priced to the Beats Fit Pro. Samsung users will also enjoy the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which has amazing ANC, good sound quality, and so much Samsung-specific integration, like support for the Samsung Seamless codec and Samsung’s 3D audio. It’s $179 at Amazon, right between the price for the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and the Beats Fit Pro. Learn about how the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro compares to the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in our detailed versus article.
Frequently asked questions
You won’t be able to use Spatial Audio in the same way as iPhone users, but Android users can use Dolby Atmos through Apple Music. In the Apple Music app, follow the steps below to enable Dolby Atmos:
- Tap the More button (three vertical dots).
- Tap the Settings tab.
- Tap “Dolby Atmos” to toggle it on/off.
The Beats Fit Pro feature an ear hook design, so they will stay in your ear better than the AirPods.