For many listeners, the Beats Fit Pro was a better buy than the AirPods Pro: they had all the essential tech of Apple’s best wireless headphones, but they were cheaper, more stylish and fit much better too. But now Apple has widened the gap between the AirPods Pro and Beats Fit Pro with the launch of the AirPods Pro 2, which promises to deliver better audio and better noise cancellation. Does that mean they’re a better buy than Beats? Let’s find out.
AirPods Pro 2 vs Beats Fit Pro: Price and release date
AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are available to order now and will be available on September 23. They are $249 / £249 / AU$399.
Beats Fit Pro launched in November 2021 with an MSRP of $199 / £199 / AU$299.95.
AirPods Pro 2 vs Beats Fit Pro: Features
We describe the Beats Fit Pro as offering an AirPods Pro-like experience at a lower price, and that means active noise cancellation, spatial audio, and hands-free Siri. They have the same H1 chip as the first-gen AirPods Pro. Battery life is around six hours with the ANC on and 18 hours from the charging case.
The AirPods Pro 2 have slightly better battery life than before – 6 hours individually and 30 hours including the charging case – and the case now works with the Apple Watch charger.
The new case now also has a lanyard loop accessory, to make it easier to lose. The chip here is the latest H2, which Apple says offers better audio quality and improved noise cancellation. What’s more, the case now also has a speaker on the base, so you can find it more easily – and the capacitive touch controls on the earcups let you slide up and down along the length of the ear cups. rods to adjust the volume.
AirPods Pro 2 vs Beats Fit Pro: sound
For a while, Beats had a reputation for making overly cheeky headphones, but the Beats Fit Pro are far more subtle and accomplished. They deliver excellent clarity without overwhelming bass and sound very similar, if not identical, to the first-gen AirPods Pro. The noise canceling is also on the same level, delivering pretty good results without scaling too much to the heights of the Bose QuietComfort headphones that currently lead the class in noise cancellation.
We haven’t had the opportunity to test the AirPods Pro 2 yet, but Apple promises better sound quality thanks to the inclusion of the new H2 chip, as well as a new low-distortion driver and amplifier. There’s the same camera-based custom spatial audio setup we’ve already seen on the AirPods Max, and a new adaptive transparency mode promises to filter out intrusive sounds like road workouts, as well as canceling up to twice the ambient noise.
AirPods Pro 2 vs Beats Fit Pro: Design and fit
The Beats Fit Pro is aimed at active types, so there’s IPX4 water resistance (as now with the AirPods Pro 2), plus easy-to-find touch controls and wing-tip accessories (which the AirPods Pro 2 certainly don’t). own) to fit them more securely in your ear. The Beats buttons don’t have the same imminent pop-out feel you sometimes get with AirPods Pro. There are three sets of ear tips in the box to help you get the best fit and seal. Oh, and you can make them match your skin tone, thanks to a collaboration with Kim Kardashian.
The AirPods Pro 2 look identical to their predecessors, with the exception of the new extra-small silicone tip, which should be more comfortable for people with smaller ears. Reports that the stems would be sorted or gone completely have proven to be unfounded, so if you don’t like the tuning of the first-gen Pros, you won’t like the new ones either – although now these stems may offer volume adjustment for the first time.
AirPods Pro 2 vs Beats Fit Pro: Conclusion
If the Beats Fit Pro were a slightly less impressive AirPods Pro, clearly the arrival of the AirPods Pro 2 will widen the gap between Apple-branded headphones and the very similar Beats. Apple kept the original AirPods Pro design and made few changes, although the H2 chip should offer better audio quality and noise cancellation than before.
The downside is that the price difference is also bigger, especially in the short term when AirPods Pro 2 deals will be rarer than crow’s teeth. Here in the UK the Beats are widely available for £179, a good £70 less than what the AirPods Pro 2 will cost. If you’re not too worried about the improved noise cancellation, then that makes the Beats that much more appealing.