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My gym plays awful music. Yours probably does, too. The typical fitness soundtrack oscillates between hair gel “hard rock” from the early 2000s and current pop songs that are only popular because the hook went viral on TikTok or Instagram. That’s what makes a solid pair of noise-canceling 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 overall sound quality, ease of use (as long as you’re an iPhone user), and the ability to stay in my oddly shaped ear canals. While they aren’t cheap, the Beats Fit Pro are some of the best gym earbuds available.
What are the Beats Fit Pro earbuds?
The Beats Fit Pro earbuds are basically first-gen. AirPods Pro in a muscle suit. The Beats offer Apple’s H1 chip, which enables quick and simple Bluetooth pairing with an iPhone and Apple Watch. Also, like the AirPods Pro, the Beats offer active noise cancellation (ANC) that constantly adjusts its performance to match your content and surroundings. They even provide true spatial audio with head tracking to create a truly immersive sound stage—same as you find on the less workout-friendly AirPods 3.
All of that tech comes wrapped in a pair of rugged true wireless housings with an IPX4 rating, which makes them tough enough to survive extended workouts even if you’re the type to start sweating during the warmup and never stop until an hour after you get home. The standard model is offered in white, black, sage grey, and stone purple, while the Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian collection offers three neutral shades (moon, dune, earth).
Setting up the Beats Fit Pros
The Beats Fit Pros spend downtime in a battery-equipped, clamshell-style charging case that holds each bud magnetically in its resting place. If you have an iPhone, you can simply open the case, tap the phone to it, and fast-pairing will begin automatically. It’s extremely similar to the AirPod setup process, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since they share the H1 chip. Once you’re done setting them up, they’ll automatically pair with your phone every time you take them out of the case.
Android users can connect to the Beats Fit Pro as they would typical Bluetooth earbuds. A small button sits inside the battery case, and pushing it for three seconds or so will put them in pairing mode. Once paired, the Beats for Android app can enable more advanced features like instant connection and battery monitoring. I was actually surprised by how simple the Android process went.
Instead of touch-sensitive control panels like some other popular models offer, each earbud has a clicky button that encompasses most of the outer cover. I accidentally activated the button occasionally when adjusting the ’bud, but less than I would have if they had touch controls.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the button commands to get the most out of them. Two quick presses skip ahead, while three quick presses skip backward. Holding down the button toggles between noise canceling modes. The button clicks pretty easily and the rubbery wing holds things firmly in place, so this isn’t as obtrusive as it sounds.
Getting the fit
Inside the box, these earbuds include three sizes of interchangeable silicone ear tips. Once you’ve chosen the tips that sit comfortably in your ear, the earbuds can perform an automated test to ensure that you’ve achieved a snug fit—a must for proper bass response and noise cancellation. The process involves playing some sound through the buds while the built-in microphones listen for audio spilling out where it shouldn’t. If it detects a bad fit, the phone will suggest trying a different set of tips to see if it solves the problem.
The medium tips seemed to work just fine for me right out of the gate and the fit test confirmed that I was getting optimal results. I tried the small tips just out of curiosity and it recommended I try another set.
Once the Beats Fit Pros are in your ears, a small rubbery wing nuzzles itself into each ear’s concha to establish a hold firm enough to withstand dynamic movements like air squats or even burpees. Inserting the buds requires a specific but intuitive twisting motion that ensures a secure seat.
I’ve done everything from jumping squats, sprints, heavy bag work, kettlebell swings, power cleans, and just about every other exercise you can think of with these in my head, and they have always demonstrated impressive staying power. Even if I just shake my head vigorously side to side—a move that would literally send typical AirPods flying under the weight racks—the Beats Fit Pros didn’t budge.
How the Beats Fit Pros sound
Sonically speaking, the Beats Fit Pros perform very similarly to the first-gen. AirPods Pro. The combination of drivers and ANC create very similar sound characteristics. As you’d expect from a Beats product by now, they emphasize bass. DMX’s “Party Up” booms just enough to rattle my brain a little at maximum volume without making things sound muddy or introducing distortion. (Not that I’d recommend testing the top volume for more than quick curiosity purposes, and iOS has a convenient decibel meter to help ensure you’re listening at safe volumes.)
Listening to one of my go-to gym tracks, “Human Carrying Capacity” by Harms Way, the Beats Fit Pro remained loyal to the crunchy-and-punchy production. The screamed vocals are just the right amount of grating, and the breakdown lands like a punch to the face … or the ears.
I find myself using these as my go-to earbuds even when I’m not at the gym. With ANC/Transparency off, they feature Adaptive EQ—using microphones and dynamic digital signal processing to adjust the lows and mids for balance. They produce crisp voices when listening to podcasts, and the impressive spatial audio performance makes watching content feel more immersive than you’d expect when you’re looking at a 6.3-inch screen. I watched the Russell Crowe and Christian Bale remake of 3:10 to Yuma during a ride on an Amtrak train and the surround sound effect is even more pronounced—without being offputting—than it would be on the simple soundbar setup I’m currently using at home.
Because of the H1 chip inside, the Beats Fit Pro pair easily with an Apple TV, so they’re a solid option if you want to get the full impact of an explosion-laden action movie with full surround after everyone else has gone to sleep. That fancy audio couldn’t get me absorbed into Black Adam, but I don’t think I can blame the headphones for that.
Other features and performance
I don’t want to have to charge my gym earbuds every day and that hasn’t been an issue with the Beats Fit Pro. The buds themselves promise up to six hours of playback with ANC and Transparency on (seven hours in Adaptive EQ with ANC/Transparency off), and that’s roughly accurate. Even with all the fancy features turned on over a three-hour train ride, I still had more than a quarter of a charge left.
The USB-C (not wireless) charging case holds enough juice for up to 18 hours of extra playback. I’ve found that my best bet is to keep the Beats Fit Pro in my car’s glove box and bring them inside to charge on the weekend.
Beam-forming microphones do a solid job picking up my voice and canceling out environmental noise, even in loud settings. I’ve taken several work and personal calls while on a moving treadmill, and the other person could hear my words (and often my wheezing) without issue.
The microphones also enable voice control for Siri, which I regularly use to skip tracks, search for specific songs, and reply to messages. It all works as I’d hoped 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 around, but they’re up there for fitness-focused ones. That said, you’re essentially buying an IPX4-rated, ruggedized pair of AirPods Pro. For Android users, there are probably better options that can provide a more streamlined experience without the need for a companion app. For iPhone users, however, these are my favorite workout headphones full stop. I lost a pair and re-bought them because I like them so much. They won’t make working out fun, but they can block out all the Creed and Yung Gravy and grunting while you’re trying to deadlift, and that makes them worth the price of admission alone.