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Beats Studio Buds Plus vs Beats Fit Pro
The newly updated Beats roster now hosts headphones and wireless earbuds like the Beats Studio Buds Plus and the Beats Fit Pro. Coming in at only a $30 difference, let’s break them down to see which one you should get.
Editor’s note: this article was published on August 8th, 2023, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.
What’s it like to use the Beats Studio Buds Plus compared to the Beats Fit Pro?
The Beats Studio Buds Plus are an update to the Beats Studio Buds, improving in several areas — except for price. They work like a conventional set of ANC wireless earbuds, with a small case and Google Fast Pair. There’s nothing in the manner of ear stabilizers, and the buds use buttons rather than touch panels to enter commands.
The earbuds are comfortable for long stretches and weigh only 5g each. So long as you can jive with the buttons and the possibility of pushing them in deeper with each press, they rank high for comfort. To keep the bud in place, we suggest holding the bud with your thumb and another finger while a third finger presses the button.
If you have difficulty finding earbuds that stay in place, the Beats Fit Pro might do the trick. These ship with non-removable stabilizers that flex to fit your ear’s shape. This feature could make a difference for athletes by effortlessly keeping those buds in. Remember that while the stabilizers aid in locking the Fit Pro in, they apply pressure to the ears.
Like the Studio Buds Plus, the Fit Pro have an IPX4 rating. Both pairs utilize buttons to enter commands. The Fit Pro buds weigh the same as the Studio Buds Plus at 5g each. Both sets ship with three sets of silicone ear tips, but only the Fit Pro have an ear tip fit test in the app, in-ear detection, and features head-tracked spatial audio.
Their cases differ because the Beats Fit Pro clamshell case has a flat bottom, while the Studio Buds Plus case resembles a rounded Apple AirPods-style case. Lastly, the Beats Fit Pro come in seven colors, and an additional three in the earth-toned Kim Kardashian Fit Pro model ($179 at Amazon).
How do you control the Beats Studio Buds Plus and Beats Fit Pro?
The Beats Studio Buds Plus use buttons rather than touch controls. You risk jamming the buds in when pressing, but they are shaped so you can hold them in place with an index finger and thumb while pressing with your middle finger. However, that’s less convenient than touch controls, especially if you’re rushed.
In the app, you can reallocate press-and-hold from noise canceling to volume control, but you can’t have both. With iOS, you have hands-free Siri on the Studio Buds Plus too.
Play / pause, accept / end call
Track forward / Switch call to phone
Press and hold
ANC / Transparency mode
Change volume, request directions, playback control, receive messages, and more
Similarly, the Beats Fit Pro have buttons where the “b” logo resides. By default, the controls don’t have direct noise cancelation and ambient mode control. You’ll have to access it in the app (or in the iOS Settings app). Although, You do have direct volume access, which the Studio Buds Plus do not offer by default. Still, like the Studio Buds Plus, you can use Siri hands-free on iOS.
|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
Should you use Beats Studio Buds Plus or Beats Fit Pro apps?
If you have an iPhone (or other iOS device), you’ll find the control for both Beats earbuds in Bluetooth Settings. Press the “i” symbol next to the connected device. You don’t need to install an app on those devices.
In the last couple of years, Beats has expanded to include better support for Android with the Beats app. It works for the Studio Buds Plus and Fit Pro. The iOS and Android experiences are minimal, but they have listening modes, Find My, and some command reallocation. One difference is that the Fit Pro has an ear tip fit test for finding the correct size.
How do the Beats Studio Buds Plus and Beats Fit Pro connect?
Considering that Beats is a subsidiary of Apple, it’s no surprise that both use the same basic AAC and SBC Bluetooth codec selection. The Studio Buds Plus use Google Fast Pair and Bluetooth 5.3, so they could take advantage of LE Audio down the line. If you have an Android device, the Beats Studio Buds Plus have Audio Switch for automatic device switching between Android and Chromebook devices. Interestingly if using iOS, you’ll need to switch devices manually.
To contrast, the Beats Fit Pro use Bluetooth 5.0. Unlike the Studio Buds Plus, the Fit Pro include the Apple H1 chip for seamless device switching in the Apple ecosystem while using the same iCloud account. Which is better for you will depend on your device. Despite lacking an H1 chip on the Studio Buds Plus, they connect quickly.
Is battery life better on the Beats Studio Buds Plus or Beats Fit Pro?
According to our standardized battery testing, the Beats Studio Buds Plus reach an impressive 8 hours, 22 minutes of playback with ANC on. That’s exactly two hours more than the 6 hours, 22 minutes battery life of the Beats Fit Pro under the same conditions. What’s more, the charging case on the Studio Buds Plus holds an impressive 28 (or so) hours compared to the roughly 18 hours of juice the Fit Pro case stores.
Otherwise, the specs are the same for both: USB-C and no wireless charging. Fast charging the Studio Buds Plus and Fit Pro for 5 minutes yields an hour of playback.
Do the Beats Studio Buds Plus or Beats Fit Pro block noise better?
The Beats Studio Buds Plus and Beats Fit Pro offer similar passive isolation, with the Studio Buds Plus blocking noises a little better. With that said, the ANC on the Fit Pro removes low-pitched environmental noise better than the Studio Buds Plus.
The upshot of excellent noise canceling is that you don’t need your audio playback as loud to overcome environmental noise. This helps to preserve your hearing from noise-induced hearing loss.
Do the Beats Studio Buds Plus sound better than the Beats Fit Pro?
If you thought how they sound would determine whether the Beats Studio Buds Plus or Beats Fit Pro are for you, there are only minor differences. Beats has clearly defined its house sound for its buds. The only significant difference between the Studio Buds Plus and Fit Pro is above 10kHz, where the Studio Buds Plus produce more output. You’ll get more harmonic content above 10kHz on the Studio Buds Plus.
Comparing both to our headphone preference curve, there’s a reasonable amount of bass and a somewhat scooped upper bass and lower mid-range. These produce a consumer-oriented frequency response that’s great for casual listening, commuting, and working out.
Do the Beats Studio Buds Plus or Beats Fit Pro have a better microphone?
Frankly, microphone performance isn’t the primary strength of the Beats Studio Buds Plus and Beats Fit Pro, but voices sound slightly more natural on the Studio Buds Plus. Both tend to pick up noises in the vicinity of the mics. However, they likely will do fine for the occasional call. Take a listen below.
Beats Studio Buds Plus microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Beats Fit Pro microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Beats Studio Buds Plus microphone demo (Office conditions):
Beats Fit Pro microphone demo (Office conditions):
Which microphone sounds better?
Beats Studio Buds Plus vs Beats Fit Pro: Price and availability
The Beats Studio Buds Plus retail for $169.99, and for $30 more, at $199.99, you can get the Beats Fit Pro. Of course, prices vary depending on the retailer. The Studio Buds Plus are newer, so they’re harder to find on discount.
Should you get the Beats Studio Buds Plus or Beats Fit Pro?
When considering the various categories to compare the Beats Studio Buds Plus and Beats Fit Pro, they stack up close to evenly across the board, down to the earbud weight. The most vital differences boil down to fit and battery life. The Fit Pro use stabilizers, and the Studio Buds Plus have significantly better battery life.
While the Fit Pro certainly make more sense on paper as your new running buddy, it’s possible that the Studio Buds Plus could fit your ears just fine. More to the point, how much you need a set of earbuds for exercising versus everyday use should determine the better pick.
The Studio Buds Plus might last you longer because of their greater battery life. Otherwise, the experience will come down to your particulars. For example, if you use Android, the Studio Buds Plus support Audio Switch for Android, whereas the Fit Pro uses the H1 chip for Apple device switching. If your environment hums with low-frequency noises, then the Beats Fit Pro can filter more of that.
The pair you should grab is the one that makes sense for your activities because they are functionally similar. Consider the Studio Buds Plus feel more comfortable, but the Fit Pro lock in a fit even if your ears are hard to fit.
Android-friendly features through Beats app
Longer battery life than before
Frequently asked questions
If we compare the Beats Studio Buds Plus and Beats Fit Pro to the Apple AirPods (3rd generation), the Beats both sound better than AirPods. However, compared with the AirPods Pro (2nd generation), the AirPods Pro more closely follows our headphone preference curve, particularly in the high bass and low mids. They’re rather similar otherwise.