Some iPhone owners buy Apple’s AirPods Pro without giving it much attention or thoroughly researching the alternatives. That’s actually not the worst thing, given how excellent they are. But, you could have found yourself contrasting the AirPods Pro with another set of Apple earbuds, the Beats Fit Pro, and finding it difficult to make a decision.

The Beats-branded Fit Pro are designed for use in the gym and during exercise, as the name suggests. Yet, because of their snug, tight fit, I am aware of acquaintances and colleagues (such as deputy editor Dan Seifert) who have used them more casually. Although wing tips are sometimes included in earbud designs, Beats absolutely nailed the execution on the Fit Pro. The flexible wing tips help keep the earbuds securely fastened in your ears for extended periods of time.

Air Pods Pro (second-Gen)

$249 20% off

The newest AirPods Pro from Apple are similar to the previous generation, but they come with swiping controls and a new H2 chip that enhances noise cancellation. Also, they have a water-resistant charging cover that works with Apple’s extensive Find My network.

Both pairs of earbuds have active noise cancellation, are sweat- and water-resistant, and come with a number of exclusive Apple features like hands-free “Hey Siri” voice commands, audio sharing, automatic device switching, and head-tracking spatial music. Although the Beats do a commendable job of supporting both mobile systems, those features obviously become irrelevant if you’re using an Android phone.

Beats Fit Pro

$200  28% off

The integrated wing tips on the Beats Fit Pro earphones help keep them in place while exercising and running. Its sound offers the ideal amount of bass and kick to keep you motivated, and they also have superb noise cancellation.

Sound quality

Winner: AirPods Pro

The second-generation AirPods Pro sound better than the first-generation Beats Fit Pro, contrary to what I previously believed. Apple has improved audio quality across the frequency spectrum. The bass has been improved, they are more dynamic, and there are additional advantages including better instrument separation. The second-generation AirPods Pro are among the top wireless earbuds and provide an improved listening experience in almost every way.

Noise cancellation

Winner: AirPods Pro

Comparing the AirPods Pro to the Beats Fit Pro and the first-generation pair, the newest model offers significantly stronger active noise cancelling. Apple claims it can be up to twice as effective, but your particular use case and environment will determine this. They’re great, and I’ve used them on a few flights already. They quiet the world around you noticeably better than their predecessors.

Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro photographed on a reflective black surface.

The AirPods Pro include better “adaptive” transparency mode in addition to the stronger ANC, which is intended to lessen the volume of abrupt noises like sirens or adjacent construction when you’re outside and want to maintain a sense of your surroundings.

Battery life

Winner: Draw

The Beats Fit Pro earphones have a slightly longer battery life of up to seven hours of continuous playback than the AirPods Pro’s six hours (with ANC enabled in both cases). Yet, the smaller AirPods charging case has a bigger capacity than the larger Beats case. Also, it offers wireless charging, something the Fit Pro does not.

Stability

Winner: Beats Fit Pro

There’s no comparing the wing tips on the Beats Fit Pro, whether you’re set to begin a strenuous workout or simply have trouble with other buds progressively dropping out of your ears. These are more compatible with spectacles than the Powerbeats Pro because they don’t wrap around your ears. Also, the flexible material substantially minimises any discomfort that would result from other wing tips pressing into your ear’s folds.

A photo of pink Beats Fit Pro earbuds in a woman’s ear.

The AirPods Pro now come with an additional small set of ear tips, giving Apple credit for supplying four sets as opposed to Beats’ three. Yet you’ll probably end up replacing the silicone tips with foam ones anyhow if you want the AirPods Pro to fit you the most securely.

 water and Sweat Resistance

Winner: AirPods Pro

But not exactly, you’d think Beats would accept this. The IPX4 rating for water resistance applies to both sets of earbuds. So, they shouldn’t have any trouble tolerating copious amounts of perspiration or water splashes (like rain). Simply avoid submerging them.

While Beats makes no claims about the Fit Pro case being water resistant, Apple extends the same durability to the second-generation AirPods Pro carrying case. Even if it may not matter to you at all, it is important to keep in mind if your actions will expose the case to the elements.

Controls

Winner: AirPods Pro

Because to the improved volume controls on the second-generation set, the AirPods narrowly prevail here. With them, you can swipe on the touchpad of either stem to alter the volume, however the Beats Fit Pro requires you to utilise Siri (or your phone directly) in order to make any changes.

A close-up detail image of the touch sensor on Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro.

The Beats’ press-and-hold action can be changed to control volume, but you will no longer be able to switch between the ANC and transparency modes. Although some individuals might prefer the Beats’ tangible, clicky button, the AirPods Pro’s controls are more robust.

Software features

AirPods Pro won.

With numerous Apple software trickery, the AirPods Pro and Beats Fit Pro compete head to head. Both include spatial audio, one-tap setup, automatic device switching, iCloud device syncing, and audio sharing.

But, the U1 microprocessor included into the cover of the second-generation AirPods Pro allows for more accurate Find My Location tracking, increasing their advantage. They are simple to locate, just like an AirTag, and a speaker integrated into the case aids in determining their location. They also support additional accessibility features like conversation boost, while the Beats Fit Pro does offer live listen.

Ecosystem Flexibility

Winner: Beats Fit Pro

Do Android phones technically support the AirPods Pro? Okay, yeah. You won’t be able to do much tinkering with Apple’s buds, so you’d better be comfortable with how they work right out of the box.

Beats goes above and above by providing a specialized Android app for configuring settings, updating firmware, and examining the battery life of both the headphones and the case. The AirPods team treats Android as an afterthought, but Beats is at least attempting to make amends and offer a positive user experience.

Price

Winner: Beats Fit Pro

The Beats Fit Pro is priced at $199.99, while Apple’s AirPods Pro are $249 at regular retail. Although both models are frequently discounted, you can typically purchase the Beats at a lesser cost than the AirPods. I believe the improved sound, ANC, and wireless charging of the AirPods make them worth the extra cost, but those features may not be important to individuals looking for a solid set of earbuds for the gym or marathon training.

Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro pictured in a side profile photo of a woman’s head.

The AirPods Pro is likely to be the better purchase in many situations from the standpoint of pure sound quality and noise cancellation. Although they may share a similar appearance to the first pair, Apple has made significant improvements to the second-generation model.

However the Beats Fit Pro is not completely victorious. All the features and sophisticated gimmicks in the world won’t matter if the AirPods don’t suit your ears well. The Beats headphones’ wingtips will keep them securely in place even during strenuous activities. The Fit Pro earbuds are still more than capable of inspiring you to push through the last few minutes of a strenuous workout, even though the sound and ANC are a step down from Apple’s more recent flagship models.

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