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My gym plays terrible music. Yours probably too. The typical fitness soundtrack oscillates between hair gel “hard rock” from the early 2000s and current pop songs, which are only popular because the hook went viral on TikTok or Instagram. That’s what makes a solid pair of noise-cancelling workout earbuds so valuable. I’ve tried many of the most popular options, and the Beats Fit Pro earbuds stand out in several aspects, including the overall sound quality, ease of use (so long as you’re an iPhone user), and the ability to stay in my odd-shaped ear canals. While they don’t come cheap, the Beats Fit Pro are some of the best fitness earbuds available.
What are the Beats Fit Pro earbuds?
The Beats Fit Pro earphones are basically the first generation. AirPods Pro in muscle suit. The Beats feature Apple’s H1 chip, which allows for quick and easy Bluetooth pairing with an iPhone and Apple Watch. Like the AirPods Pro, the Beats offer active noise cancellation (ANC) that constantly adjusts its performance based on your content and environment. They even offer true spatial audio with head tracking to create a truly immersive soundstage – just like the less exercise-friendly AirPods 3.
All of this tech is packed into a pair of rugged IPX4-rated true wireless cases, making them tough enough to survive extended workouts, even if you’re the type to work up a sweat during your warm-up and an hour later stop home. The standard model is offered in white or black, while the Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian collection offers three neutral tones (moon, dune, earth).
Setting up the Beats Fit Pros
Beats Fit Pros spend downtime in a clamshell-style, battery-equipped charging case that magnetically holds each earbud in place. If you have an iPhone, you can just open the case, tap the phone and the quick pairing will start automatically. It’s very similar to the AirPod setup process, which shouldn’t be that surprising since they share the H1 chip. Once you’re done setting them up, they’ll automatically pair to your phone every time you take them out of the case.
Android users can connect to the Beats Fit Pro like typical Bluetooth earbuds. A small button resides in the battery compartment and pressing it for about three seconds puts it into pairing mode. Once paired, the Beats for Android app can enable advanced features like instant connection and battery monitoring. I was actually surprised at how easy the Android process was.
Instead of touch-sensitive panels like some other popular models offer, each earbud has a clicky button that encompasses most of the outer cover. I did accidentally activate the button on occasion when customizing the bud, but less than I would have if they had touch controls.
You should familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts to get the most out of them. Two quick presses will jump forward, while three quick presses will jump backward. Holding the button toggles between noise-cancelling modes. The button clicks fairly easily and the rubbery wing holds things firmly in place, so this isn’t as intrusive as it sounds.
Get the fit
Included with these earbuds are three sizes of interchangeable silicone earbuds. Once you’ve selected the eartips that sit comfortably in your ear, the earbuds can perform an automatic test to ensure you’ve achieved a snug fit – a must for proper bass response and noise cancellation. The process involves playing sound through the buds while the built-in microphones ensure audio leaks out where it shouldn’t. If it detects a bad fit, the phone will suggest trying other tips to see if it solves the problem.
The medium tips seemed to work well for me right from the start, and the fit test confirmed that I was getting optimal results. I tried the little tips just out of curiosity and it was recommended to try a different set.
Once the Beats Fit Pros are in your ears, a small rubbery wing nestles into the cup of each ear to create a fit firm enough to withstand dynamic moves like air squats or even burpees. Inserting the buds requires a targeted yet intuitive twisting motion that ensures a secure fit.
I’ve done everything from jumping squats, sprints, heavy bag work, kettlebell swings, power cleans, and pretty much every other exercise you can think of with those in my head, and they’ve always shown impressive staying power. Even if I just shook my head vigorously – a motion that would send typical AirPods literally flying under the weight bars – the Beats Fit Pros didn’t budge.
This is what the Beats Fit Pros sound like
Sonically, the Beats Fit Pros of the first generation are very similar. AirPods Pro. The combination of drivers and ANC produces very similar sound characteristics. As you’d come to expect from a Beats product, they emphasize bass. DMX’s “Party Up” booms just enough to confuse my brain a little at max volume without making things sound muddy or introducing distortion. (Not that I’d recommend testing max volume for anything more than quick curiosity, and iOS has a handy decibel meter to make sure you’re listening at a safe volume.)
While listening to one of my favorite gym tracks, Harms Way’s “Human Carrying Capacity,” the Beats Fit Pro stayed true to the crisp and punchy production. The screamed vocals are just the right amount of raspy, and the breakdown lands like a slap in the face…or in the ears.
I use these as my favorite earbuds even when I’m not at the gym. When ANC/Transparency is off, they feature Adaptive EQ – using microphones and dynamic digital signal processing to balance out the bass and mids. They produce clear voices when listening to podcasts, and the impressive spatial audio performance makes viewing content feel more immersive than you would expect when looking at a 6.3-inch screen. I watched the Russell Crowe and Christian Bale remake 3:10 to Yuma while riding an Amtrak train, and the surround sound effect is even more pronounced – without being obnoxious – than the basic soundbar setup I currently use at home.
Because of the H1 chip inside, the Beats Fit Pro pair easily with an Apple TV, making them a solid option if you want the full impact of an explosive action movie in full surround after everyone else is asleep. This chic audio failed to pull me in Black Adambut I don’t think I can blame the headphones for that.
Other features and performance
I don’t want to have to charge my fitness earbuds every day and that wasn’t a problem with the Beats Fit Pro. The buds themselves promise up to six hours of playback with ANC on and transparency (seven hours in Adaptive EQ with ANC/Transparency off), and that’s about right. Even with all the failed functions turned on over a three-hour train ride, I still had over a quarter charge left.
The USB-C charging case (not wireless) holds enough juice for up to 18 hours of additional playback. I’ve found that it’s best to keep the Beats Fit Pro in the glove compartment of my car and take it inside to charge at the weekend.
Beamforming mics do a solid job of picking up my voice and blocking out ambient noise, even in noisy environments. I’ve taken multiple business and personal calls on a moving treadmill and the other person could hear my words (and often my gasps) with no problem.
The mics also enable voice control for Siri, which I use regularly to skip tracks, search for specific songs, and reply to messages. It all works the way I hoped it would most of the time.
So who should buy the Beats Fit Pro earbuds?
At $200, the Beats Fit Pros aren’t the most expensive true wireless noise-cancelling earbuds, but they’re up there for the fitness-minded. That means you’re essentially buying an IPX4-rated, rugged pair of AirPods Pro. For Android users, there are probably better options that can provide a streamlined experience without the need for a companion app. However, for iPhone users, these are my favorite workout headphones. I lost a pair and bought them new because I like them so much. They won’t do the workout for fun, but they can block out all that creed and yung gravy and grunt while you’re trying to attempt deadlifts, and that alone makes them worth the price of admission.