The new $199 Beats Fit Pro are essentially Apple’s latest AirPods in everything but name. They have the same active noise cancellation, Transparency mode and Adaptive EQ as the $249 AirPods Pro, and pair just as effortlessly with your Apple devices. More so, they’re $50 cheaper and have a more workout-friendly design.
So where does that leave the AirPods Pro? There’s still plenty to like about Apple’s wildly popular earbuds, which also have some slight advantages of their own over the Beats Fit Pro. Now that we’ve used both of these buds extensively, here’s a breakdown of who the Beats Fit Pro and AirPods Pro are best for.
You should get the Beats Fit Pro if…
You want all of the AirPods Pro features for a lower price
The Beats Fit Pro do nearly everything that the AirPods Pro do for $50 less. Both earbuds have active noise cancellation for blocking out the world around you, Transparency mode for amplifying your surroundings and an Adaptive EQ that optimizes your music on the fly when you’re not using the other two modes. In our testing, these features worked equally well across both models. We also found both buds’ sound quality to be pretty comparable, though the Beats Fit Pro offer a slightly wider soundstage that makes it easier to hear individual parts of a song, and slightly more prominent bass.
Beats Fit Pro sport the same Apple H1 processor as the AirPods Pro, meaning they’ll pair instantly to your Apple device while letting you use features like “Hey Siri” voice control and Find My tracking in the event you lose your buds. While the AirPods Pro go on sale often (we’ve seen them drop as low as $189), the Beats Fit Pro get you pretty much all of their features — and then some — for a lower retail price.
You want something ideal for working out
The Beats Fit Pro and AirPods Pro can both handle a day at the gym, as each pair of buds includes three sets of silicon tips for getting a solid fit and are IPX4 rated to handle splashes and sweat. However, the Fit Pro have the slight edge here, thanks to a rubberized wingtip design that nestles in your upper ear to provide some added security during a rigorous workout. Just note that neither of the charging cases for these buds is water-resistant, so you’ll want to keep them out of the rain.
You care about colors
While the AirPods Pro come only in white, the Beats Fit Pro give you a choice of black, Sage Gray, white and Stone Purple, the latter of which we especially love. So if you want more options for expressing yourself — or just really want bright purple earbuds — the Fit Pro are ideal.
You want Apple earbuds that work well with Android
The Beats Fit Pro work best with iPhones, but unlike the AirPods Pro, they won’t leave you in the dark if you’re using an Android phone. Beats’ latest buds are compatible with the Beats app for Android, which lets you do things like adjust the listening modes, customize the controls, check your battery levels and even perform an “Ear Tip Fit Test” to find the right fit for you. The AirPods Pro will still let Android users activate active noise cancellation and Transparency mode using on-ear controls, but there’s no app support for customizing them at all.
We also found the Beats Fit Pro to pair pretty quickly to our Google Pixel 5a and 6 Pro. The only big features that Android users will miss out on are hands-free Siri controls, Find My tracking, dynamic Spatial Audio and automatic switching between multiple devices.
You want slightly longer battery life
If you want the longest-lasting buds in Apple’s lineup, get the Beats Fit Pro. These sporty earbuds lasted us nearly seven hours of continuous listening, which is significantly better than the five or so we typically get out of the AirPods Pro. Both of these buds are rated to last up to 30 hours total with the charging case (and can both juice up pretty fast), but you’ll get more endurance during a long flight or hike with the Fit Pro.
You should get the AirPods Pro if…
You want a more compact case with wireless charging
One advantage the AirPods Pro have over the Beats Fit Pro is wireless charging, which means you can juice them up by simply placing the case on any wireless charging pads you have handy. Apple even refreshed the AirPods Pro with a case that supports MagSafe, the company’s latest charging standard that works with a number of accessories. Additionally, the case is much more compact than the one that houses the Beats Fit Pro — both should fit in most pockets just fine, but the former will leave more room for your keys and spare change.
You just really like the AirPods design
AirPods are just as much a fashion accessory as they are a means of listening to music, and maybe you just want the AirPods Pro because you like their now ubiquitous design. And that’s totally valid! Apple’s high-end buds still look pretty slick, and they’re not quite as thick as the Beats Fit Pro overall. The AirPods Pro have become synonymous with wireless earbuds at this point, and if you’re buying one of these as a gift for someone, they’re probably the safer choice.
The Beats Fit Pro deliver all of the things we love about the AirPods Pro for $50 less, all within a more workout-friendly design that has more color options. They’re a no-brainer if you’re in the Apple ecosystem, and still work pretty dang well with Android phones.
That said, the AirPods Pro are still a solid buy, especially since they go on sale so often. You’ll get a more pocket-friendly case that can charge wirelessly, as well as a now iconic design that’ll help you blend in with everyone on your crowded subway ride.