With the launch of the first AirPods, Apple pioneered the journey of truly wireless earbuds as consumer tech. It’s not that there weren’t other wireless earbuds available back then, but Apple made them mainstream and successfully turned them into a fashion statement. Come 2021, and the market is flooded with wireless headphones. Of course, Apple has managed to hold its market share with AirPods and Beats, which recently launched the latest Beats Fit Pro earbuds.
Apple’s current wireless earbuds lineup includes AirPods 2. AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro, alongside its over-ear AirPods Max. The Cupertino company also owns Beats and has recently launched the Beats Fit Pro earbuds. Unfortunately, it’s not available in India yet, but we can hopefully expect it sometime next year. We’ll post an update as soon as we have more news. Anyway, the Beats Fit Pro has launched and, naturally, many will be curious to see where it stands against others. So, let’s compare it with its closest rival and step-sibling, the AirPods Pro.
Review of the ‘Sporty AirPods’ & AirPods Pro Comparison
As mentioned above, the Beats Fit Pro earbuds haven’t come to India yet, so we only have US prices for reference right now. You can get the Beats Fit Pro for $199 (around ₹14,900), while the AirPods Pro’s official price is ₹24,900 in India. However, since the AirPods Pro are older, they are currently cheaper than their launch price for the older wireless charging-only model. You can get it at Amazon for ₹20,900. Post the launch of AirPods 3, Apple silently upgraded the wireless charging case of the AirPods Pro to support MagSafe, and the new models are priced at ₹24,900 currently. (Though you can look out for festive pricing in December!) So, there’s no denying that the Beats wireless earbuds seem more attractive when it comes to pricing.
Design, Fit, Controls, and Colour Options
While the AirPods Pro have a typical AirPods-like design that spots a stem that hangs down the ear, the Beats have a more traditional in-ear design with a stabilising wing that assures a good fit. The Beats definitely add a layer of security to the fit, not that the AirPods Pro feel that they would fall off for most.
The Apple-made AirPods do not have a volume control button or gesture, which is insane considering the price point. Isn’t it high time we got ’em? Nevertheless, both devices offer controls to play/pause, skip/rewind, and answer/reject calls via tap gestures. Whilst the AirPods Pro have a more comfortable and manageable force touch gesture embedded in the stem, you need to press the in-ear button on the Beats Fit Pro earbuds. Unfortunately, the latter slightly pushes the earbuds further back in your ear, and that can become a tad uncomfortable.
In terms of colour options, the choice is obvious. For the AirPods Pro, Apple gives you only a single white variant. However, the tech giant has taken a colourful route for the Beats Fit Pro by offering four options: Beats Black, White, Stone Purple, and Sage Gray. So, if you want to show off your truly wireless earbuds in a different hue, the Beats are the way to go.
There are a lot of common features between both truly wireless earbuds. For example, both include Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and IPX4 water resistance. Both devices also have Apple’s H1 chip and support Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking and Hey Siri voice commands. The question is: which of the two does it better?
Well, as far as ANC goes, Beats have got Apple beat in this comparison — just a bit. Most users won’t be able to tell the difference, but the more snug fit of the Beats Fit Pro would definitely offer better Active Noise Cancellation. However, we expect both siblings are neck to neck in terms of sound, and user reviews agree to that. Still, we’ll be able to test that once we get our hands on the new Beats earbuds.
Anyhow, if there’s one department where Beats Fit Pro overtakes the AirPods Pro, it’s battery life. Apple’s AirPods Pro can survive up to four and a half hours on a single charge with ANC or Transparency Mode. Beats Fit Pro can manage up to 7 hours with ANC or Transparency Mode engaged. Furthermore, where AirPods offer more than 24 hours of listening time with the charging case, the Beats Fit Pro’s case provides more than 27 hours.
That doesn’t mean the AirPods Pro doesn’t have an ace up its sleeve. The higher selling price is justified by a now MagSafe compatible wireless charging case. The Beats Fit Pro doesn’t have a Qi-compatible charging case, which means no wireless charging. Apple probably wanted to offer the Beats device at a lower starting price and ditched the wireless charging case.
With Bluetooth 5.0 technology, the AirPods Pro and the Beats Fit Pro can connect to any compatible device. However, seamless multi-point connectivity and a lot of features are reserved for iPhone users. Beats do a better job connecting to devices outside the Apple ecosystem by offering a dedicated app for Android users that unlocks many features. For instance, the Ear Tip Fit Test and the custom tap controls on AirPods can only be accessed using an iPhone or an iPad. On the other hand, even non-Apple users can access customisable tap gestures and fit tests via the Beats app.
Still, features like Find My, Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, and automatic switching between all Apple products are reserved only for Apple devices on both earbuds. Moreover, the adaptive EQ technology can only be accessed on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
So, Which Buds Win?
As you might have guessed already, there isn’t a clear winner. Both the AirPods Pro and the Beats Fit Pro earbuds are quite similar. The only major differences lie in the earbud design and OS compatibility. For non-Apple users, the Beats Fit Pro offers better connectivity controls and options. iPhone users, of course, will be able to fully enjoy both earbuds, so the choice is likely to come down to price and the fit that you like better.