Beats Fit Pro might actually knock AirPods Pro off their throne for iPhone users

Beats' new noise-cancelling wireless earbuds are Apple taking a direct shot at, uh, Apple

Beats Fit Pro in purple held in the hand
(Image credit: Beats)

After being leaked in Kim Kardashian's ears, the new Beats Fit Pro earbuds have been officially launched – available to buy today in the US for $199/AU$270 – and you would think they were a laser-targeted missile aimed at Apple's AirPods Pro… if Beats wasn't also, y'know, owned by Apple.

Beats Fit Pro are true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation and Apple's H1 chip, which means they support all the same useful iPhone-specific features such as fast pairing, auto-pairing with your other Apple devices, auto-switching between them, Find My support, audio sharing with other AirPods and Beats buds… and, for the first time, Apple's Adaptive EQ tech and head tracking for Spatial Audio.

This last feature is especially exciting as a first for anything not named 'AirPods'. It was introduced on AirPods Pro a while ago, then came to AirPods Max when that launched, and the new AirPods (3rd Gen) are the latest to include support. Spatial Audio with head tracking is only really necessary for watching movies, where it creates the feeling of sitting inside a cinema sound system… and it does a pretty amazing job of that. Since I tried it, I've become a total snob about watching videos with regular headphones sound.

This means that the Beats Fit Pro support all the same features as Apple's AirPods Pro, which ride high in our list of the best noise-cancelling earbuds, and best wireless earbuds overall for Apple users – except that the Fit Pro offer longer battery life and an exercise-proof build and fit thanks to wing-tip design.

Beats Fit Pro worn by man

(Image credit: Beats)

With six hours per bud, and 21 extra hours from the case, it gives you more longevity than the AirPods Pro. And the early reviews say that the noise-cancelling is top-tier and the sound quality is actually better than AirPods Pro… that's according to The Verge, but seems to be in line with the general verdict. And it charges with USB-C instead of Apple's Lightning connector.

The downsides? The Beats Fit Pro have a larger case than AirPods Pro, the buds themselves are heaver and bigger (though look pretty good in the ear overall), and there's no wireless charging.

However, for $200, I can live with that pretty happily. These undercut the AirPods Pro price, but seem to offer a bunch of extra versatility. The likes of the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds should be looking over their should too…

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.