Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2: Which earbuds are better?


AirPods Pro 2 vs. Beats Fit Pro comparison
Which earbuds work better with your iPhone?
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

If you want new wireless earbuds for your iPhone, the second-generation AirPods Pro are likely your top choice. But Apple offers another pair of earbuds you might consider: Beats Fit Pro. In this Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2 buying guide, we’ll compare the features of these two premium noise-canceling earbuds from Apple.

Do these earbuds provide the same features and sound quality as Apple’s flagship earbuds? Find out in this comparison.

Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2

While second-gen AirPods Pro (aka AirPods Pro 2) is our go-to recommendation for best earbuds for Apple fans, one size does not fit all. AirPods Pro might not suit your needs or fit comfortably in your ears.

Table of contents: Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2

Design and comfort

AirPods Pro in an open case.
The AirPods Pro 2 don’t look as sleek as their Beats competitor.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

There is a big difference in the designs of the Beats Fit Pro and the AirPods Pro. The latter’s stemlike design has seen few changes since its introduction in 2019. And while the AirPods Pro fits snugly in my ears, there’s room for improvement.

During my HIIT workout or running sessions, I feel like the AirPods Pro 2 could fall out of my ears. The AirPods are not as sleek as Sony, Samsung and Bose earbuds — or the Beats Fit Pro.

Beats Fit Pro earbuds in Volt yellow with their charging case
You can get the Beats Fit Pro in an array of colors, including Volt.
Photo: Beats

As you can see from the photo above, the Beats Fit Pro offers a sleeker design than AirPods Pro. The Beats earbuds come with integrated wing tips that allow them to sit comfortably in your ears.

This makes the earbuds ideal for running and gym sessions, as their more secure placement ensures they won’t easily fall out. For an even more secure fit, make sure to twist the earbud back and tuck the wingtip into your upper ear.

AirPods Pro are slightly lighter though. Each earbud of the AirPods Pro 2 weighs 5.3 grams, while the Beats Fit Pro weighs 5.6 grams.

Colors and customization options

Apple offers the AirPods Pro 2 in only one color: white. The problem is that this color can easily show scratches and dirt. It won’t look good after a few months of heavy use.

In comparison, the Beats Fit Pro comes in five colors: black, white, gray, purple, volt and a special-edition reflective black. (Beats discontinued blue, pink and colors.) You can get free engraving on either of the earbuds as long as you order them directly from Apple.

Apple bundles four silicone ear tips with AirPods Pro 2, while Beats Fit Pro ships with three pairs of ear tips. Irrespective of which earbuds you get, make sure to use the Ear Tip Fit Test on your iPhone to get a comfortable fit and the best possible audio.

Water- and sweat-resistance: Which earbuds can handle your workouts?

Between the AirPods Pro 2 and the Beats Fit Pro, I prefer the latter’s design and fit, especially when working out. Both earbuds are IPX4-certified and protect against splashes of water, making them suitable for workouts or light rain. The AirPods’ charging case also comes with an IPX4 rating, which the Beats Fit Pro’s case lacks.

Charging cases

That’s not the only difference in the two charging cases. AirPods Pro 2 comes with a rectangular carrying case that weighs 50.8 grams and looks like a dental floss container. It comes with a U1 chip and a built-in speaker. Thanks to Find My integration, you can track the AirPods Pro and the charging case separately, with the speaker capable of playing a loud sound so you can easily find it.

The Beats Fit Pro come in a bigger rectangular charging case, which is also slightly heavier at 55.1 grams. In daily use, I have not had problems carrying the AirPods or the Beats charging cases in my jeans pocket. But I find the AirPods’ case to be better built than the Beats — the latter feels a bit flimsy.

Connectivity and compatibility: H2 vs. H1

The AirPods Pro 2 launched a year later than the Beats Fit Pro, and it’s apparent from the former’s connectivity support. While the AirPods Pro 2 supports Bluetooth 5.3, the Beats Fit Pro uses Bluetooth 5.0. Both earbuds support the SBC and AAC codecs.

AirPods Pro 2 earbuds come with Apple’s H2 chip, while the Beats Fit Pro comes with the H1 chip. Both of these system-in-package chips boost the earbuds’ capabilities, enabling faster pairing, more-reliable connectivity and audio sharing. The H2 chip delivers up to two times better active noise cancellation, increased batter life and a adaptive Transparency mode.

Pairing with devices and Apple ecosystem integration

You can use both earphones with an iPhone or an Android device. Pairing with an iPhone or any other Apple device is easy. Just bring the earbuds next to the device you want to pair, and a pop-up will appear on it automatically.

With a non-Apple device, though, the Beats Fit Pro provides a better experience. You can use the Beats app to control many of the functions of the earbuds, update its firmware, switch between various listening modes, etc. The only feature you miss out on is Spatial Audio. When using AirPods Pro 2 with an Android device, you don’t have any options. Apple does not offer an Android app to manage the AirPods. You will find some third-party apps on the Play Store, but the user experience may prove cumbersome.

If you are heavily into Apple’s ecosystem, both earbuds will provide a great experience. Thanks to the H1 and H2 chips, the Beats Fit Pro and the AirPods Pro can seamlessly switch between your iPhone, Mac and iPad. I found the switching experience better on the AirPods Pro, though, likely due to the newer H2 chip.

Controlling the earbuds

At a glance, they could be AirPods Pro, but they're AirPods Pro 2, with many internal upgrades.
AirPods Pro with their charging case.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The AirPods Pro’s stem has a force touch sensor, which you use to control music playback and adjust the volume level. A single press can play/pause music or answer a call. Two presses will switch to the next track, while three taps will go back to the previous track. You can press and hold the stem to switch between active noise cancellation and Adaptive Transparency mode. To control the volume, swipe up/down on the stem.

There’s also “Hey Siri” support, so you can ask the voice assistant to make a call, change the music track, adjust the volume and more.

Beats smartly integrated a button into its logo on the Fit Pro on both earbuds. You can press the logo once to play/pause audio, while a double-press will skip to the next track. Using a long-press action, you can toggle between modes, increase/decrease the volume, or reject an incoming call.

Since both earbuds feature a skin-detecting sensor, they automatically pause music playback when you take them off.

Sound quality showdown: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Beats Fit Pro

Each bud of the AirPods Pro 2 packs an 11mm driver with redesigned amplifiers, while the Beats Fit Pro comes with a 9.5mm driver. Thanks to the larger driver and the superior H2 chip (which Apple also uses in its high-end over-ear headphones, AirPods Max), the AirPods Pro offers better sound quality than Beats Fit Pro. The sound is much more clear: I can hear and distinguish between the lows and highs better with AirPods Pro, and the instrument separation is notably superior.

Bass and treble reproduction on the AirPods Pro is also great. The bass packs a punch without becoming overbearing or boomy, and the treble won’t hurt your ears. You get dynamic head tracking and Spatial Audio on both earbuds for an immersive surround sound experience.

On ther other hand, Beats earphones are known for their bass, and the Beats Fit Pro is no exception. If you are a bass head, you will like the Fit Pro’s sound signature. Sadly, you cannot use an equalizer to tweak the sound output from either set of earbuds.

None of this means the Beats Fit Pro’s sound quality is bad. It’s good. But if sound quality is your top priority, the AirPods Pro 2 is the winner. I like the bass output of the Beats earbuds, but overall, music sounds better on the AirPods Pro.

Active noise cancellation and Transparency mode

Beats Fit Pro in black with the red Beats logo
The Beats Fit Pro deliver impressive sound quality and ANC despite their sleek design.
Photo: Beats

Both earbuds offer active noise cancellation, aka ANC. This helps them block out surrounding noise, letting you listen to your music or podcast in peace. Thanks to their design, the earbuds also block a lot of noise passively. I was happy with the ANC on both the AirPods Pro and the Beats Fit Pro. They cancel out all ambient noise with ease. But in daily use, I found the AirPods Pro better at blocking high-pitched noise. This would likely be due to the H2 chip, which powers ANC on the earphones.

Staying aware: How Transparency mode stacks up on Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2

The AirPods Pro 2 and Beats Fit Pro provide three listening modes: ANC, Transparency mode and Off. With Transparency mode, the earbuds use the microphones to let external sound in, so you are aware of your surroundings. This is a useful feature when you want to talk to someone, as you can do so without removing the earbuds.

While the Transparency mode on both earbuds works well, the AirPods Pro has an advantage. They offer Adaptive Audio, which uses a mix of ANC and Transparency modes based on your environment. There’s also Conversation Awareness, where the earbuds will automatically lower the media volume and boost the voice of the person speaking in front of you. And as soon as the conversation ends, your audio volume will gradually go back to its previous level.

Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio set the AirPods Pro 2 apart from Beats Fit Pro, as these extra features prove useful in daily use.

Microphone quality

The Beats Fit Pro packs six microphones, five of which are used during calls. These are used alongside a voice accelerometer to better isolate your voice. In comparison, the AirPods Pro packs four microphones, with two of them facing inward. But the earbuds’ stemlike design ensures the microphones are closer to your mouth for better performance.

Most parties could hear my voice better when I used the AirPods Pro 2. The Beats Fit Pro did a decent job, but the clarity could not match Apple’s flagship earbuds.

Battery life and charging

AirPods Pro are the best wireless earbuds for Apple Watch, with excellent sound quality and seamless connectivity.
AirPods Pro 2 can last longer than Beats Pro Fit.
Photo: Apple

Apple says AirPods Pro can provide up to six hours of music playback with ANC enabled. In my testing, I came close to Apple’s numbers, with the earbuds lasting around 5.5 or 6 hours in most cases. With the Beats Fit Pro, the claimed runtime is seven hours with ANC. On average, I got around 6.5 hours of playback time.

Once you add in the charging case, though, the AirPods Pro becomes the winner. Despite the Beats Fit Pro’s bigger charging case, it can extend the runtime of the earphones by only 18 hours. The AirPods Pro’s case can boost its battery life by 24 hours.

Charging solutions: USB-C, wireless and fast charging

Charging the AirPods Pro is more convenient than charging Beats Fit Pro. The former’s charging case supports wired and wireless charging, thanks to MagSafe support and either a Lightning or a USB-C port. (Apple updated the AirPods Pro charging case to USB-C in late 2023.) You also can charge the AirPods Pro using an Apple Watch charger.

With the Beats Fit Pro, your only way to top-up the battery is through the case’s USB-C port. There’s fast charging support, and a 5-minute top-up will provide an additional hour of playback. With the AirPods Pro 2, Apple says 15 minutes of charging will get you three hours of music playback.

Price comparison: Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2

Beats Fit Pro earbuds, in Stone Purple color, sit in their chargin gcase
The more-affordable Beats Fit Pro offers as much value for money as the AirPods Pro.
Photo: Beats

The AirPods Pro 2 retails for $249, while the Beats Fit Pro costs $199. The $50 lower price tag of the Beats earbuds helps justify many of their missing features compared to the AirPods. However, Apple’s flagship earphones are frequently discounted to about $199, making them an even better deal.

The Beats Fit Pro is regularly available for as low as $150 on Amazon and other retailers. Pick the earbuds you want depending on your budget. But remember not to pay full price for them, as they are frequently on sale.

Making the decision: Which offers more for your money?

The AirPods Pro 2 is undeniably the better pick between the two. With better sound quality, controls and charging options, it wins on features. But the Beats Fit Pro fits better in your ears with its compact wing tip design. That’s an important factor to consider if you plan on buying new earbuds for your gym or workout sessions. The Beats are also better if you plan to use the earbuds with a non-Apple device.

Final verdict: Beats Fit Pro vs. AirPods Pro 2

If I had to choose between the AirPods Pro and the Beats Fit Pro, I would go for the former. I love the sound quality of the AirPods, and its combination of ANC and Adaptive Transparency mode is hard to beat. Admittedly, I am not a fan of their fit, which is a concern while working out. But for traveling and for hours of daily use, the AirPods prove better overall.


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