New Beats Fit Pro officially arrives as an AirPod alternative

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We first heard rumors last month that Apple’s Beats division was working on a new set of true wireless headphones. Now it looks like the company has just made it official with the launch of Beats Fit Pro, a set of headphones powered by Apple’s H1 chip that also includes active noise cancellation.

This puts the new Beats Fit Pro in an interesting place among Apple’s overall line of headphones. While the Beats division is an independent brand of the more Apple-centric AirPods, the Beats headphones are still ultimately products designed and marketed under the Apple umbrella. So, surely, Apple has to consider how AirPods and Beats relate to each other when developing each of these products.

Still, at $ 199, the new Beats Fit Pro includes plenty of features that are otherwise only available on Apple’s more expensive AirPods Pro – for $ 50 less.

This not only includes the aforementioned active noise cancellation, which also includes the same AirPods Pro transparency mode feature and spatial audio support, with dynamic head tracking.

Additionally, the new Beats are powered by the same H1 chip found across Apple’s entire AirPods lineup, making it only the fourth Beats product to get this chip, which powers the most functionality. such as “Hey Siri” hands-free support, as well as things like Bluetooth 5.0 and faster pairing.

How they compare

While the Powerbeats Pro, Powerbeats, and Beats Studio Pro all got the H1 chip, the much more affordable Beats Flex stuck with the older W1, while the trendy Beats Studio Buds were completely lacking in Apple Silicon.

Interestingly, it was the $ 300 Beats Solo Pro that were the first full-size headphones to acquire the H1 chip, which arrived over a year before Apple released the AirPods Max under its own brand. However, the two products still differ in that the Beats Solo Pro are on-ear headphones, while the AirPods Max are full-on on-ear headphones. That’s probably why we haven’t seen a similar update to “Beats Studio Pro” coming – the Beats Studio3 wireless remains at the top of this lineup, powered by Apple’s older W1 chip.

Today, however, just six weeks after Apple launched the new AirPods 3 at $ 179, its Beats brand has come out with a serious competitor that it sells for just $ 20 more, and although there are subtle differences, in many ways these new Beats Fit Pro are closer to the $ 249 AirPods Pro than the $ 179 AirPods 3.

What you get

Here’s a look at what you get with Beats Fit Pro:

  1. Several colors : Stone purple, sage gray, white and black.
  2. Active noise cancellation and Transparency Mode.
  3. Adaptive equalizer.
  4. Up to seven hours of listening, with another 21 provided by the charging case (a total of 30 hours).
  5. USB-C wired charging (no wireless).
  6. Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking.

Early reviews note that the ANC, Transparency Mode, and Adaptive EQ all sound the same on the Beats Fit Pro as they do on the AirPods Pro, which isn’t surprising given they’re powered by the same chips.

While they didn’t have the wired charging case, they also beat the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro on battery life. Instead, you’ll need to connect to a USB-C cable to back everything up. This fits in with the more device-independent Beats brand that arguably targets Android smartphone users more, though it’s not like Apple fans don’t have a few USB-C cables lying around either.

Where the Beats Fit Pro and AirPods diverge most noticeably is in design. Beats still takes their more typically fitness-centric approach, as suggested by the “Fit” brand. While the Beats Fit Pro are technically ‘rodless’ they actually use a flexible wing tip design to keep them in your ears, which the company notes is extensive research and testing to create a design. that will stay in place even during the most intense times. workouts.

What’s important here, however, is that the Beats Fit Pro are cutting edge headphones. This isn’t a second-rate product designed for those who can’t afford AirPods, but rather an alternative for bringing all of the best AirPods technology to another form factor, with a brand that will appeal to those who don’t. not part of the Apple ecosystem. For example, Beats Fit Pro even uses the same new skin-sensing sensors that just arrived on the third-generation AirPods in September.

Unlike the Studio Buds, however, Apple makes sure that Beats Fit Pro is just as usable for Apple fans as the AirPods, by integrating the same H1 chip that offers fast and seamless pairing, faster switching between devices. Apple, low latency, “Hey Siri voice activation” and audio sharing.

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