Despite coming out in 2019 the Powerbeats Pro still more than hold their own as sports headphones thanks to the excellent fit and long battery life, although they lack useful features like ANC.
Read more in my Beats Powerbeats Pro review
- Secure, comfortable fit
- Nine-hour battery life
- Better controls than Fit Pro
- No ANC or transparency modes
- Larger than Fit Pro
- More expensive on MSRP
The Fit Pro are smaller and smarter than the Powerbeats Pro, using a wing-tip to create a secure fit for sports. They sound good and have ANC and transparency modes, but are not as comfortable or long-lasting as the Powerbeats Pro.
Read more in my Beats Fit Pro review
- Cheaper on MSRP
- Pocket-size case
- ANC and transparency
- Uncomfortable wing-tips
- Shorter battery life
The Beats Powerbeats Pro were launched in 2019 and aside from the occasional release of new colors the buds are largely the same today. This means they’re out of date in some respects, with the most significant being that the Powerbeats Pro don’t have active noise cancellation (ANC) or a transparency mode.
These are now standard features on in-ear headphones that cost a lot less than the $249.95 MSRP of the Powerbeats Pro, and you do get both modes on the Beats Fit Pro, which came out in late 2021 and are also cheaper on MSRP at $199.95.
However, one advantage of their age is that the Powerbeats Pro are always reduced during big sales events, and it’s nearly always a $100 discount that brings them down to $150. At this price they’re cheaper than the Beats Fit Pro, which are also reduced in the sales this year but only to $159.
Beats Powerbeats Pro:
were $249.95, now $149.95 at Amazon
Save $100 The Powerbeats Pro are a regular feature in big sales and are almost always reduced to $150. I’d love to see them drop even more, but it seems unlikely, and they do still offer value for money at this price as excellent sports headphones with a secure fit—even if they lack features like ANC and a transparency mode.
Beats Fit Pro:
were $199.95, now $159 at Amazon
Save $40.95 The Fit Pro are usually reduced when Amazon has a sale and they’ve dropped as low as $150 in the past. This $41 discount is still enticing though, for an impressive all-round set of sports buds with ANC and a reliable fit thanks to the wing-tips.
I’ve tested a lot of sports headphones since 2019, and I still rate the Powerbeats Pro among the best, despite their age, because the essentials are done well—they sound great, have a secure fit for any activity, and long battery life.
Aside from the lack of ANC and transparency modes I found little to fault the Powerbeats Pro on when I originally tested them, or indeed when I started using them again lately to update our review on Coach.
In contrast, when I tested the Beats Fit Pro I found them surprisingly uncomfortable to use for anything longer than an hour or so, with the wing-tip digging into my ear. I’ve no such problems with the Powerbeats Pro, and even though the wing-tip on the Fit Pro create a secure fit for workouts, the extra reliability of the hook on the Powerbeats Pro is welcome during HIIT workouts and runs in particular.
Another advantage to the Powerbeats Pro is their controls are easier to use. You can adjust the volume using a separate set of buttons on each headphone—you can’t control volume on the Fit Pro buds—and the multifunction button on the Powerbeats Pro is well-positioned so you only touch it when you want to, whereas I frequently hit the button on the Fit Pro by accident.
Those advantages mean I’d opt for the Powerbeats Pro for $10 less in the Black Friday sales, with an eye to using them mainly as sports buds. However, if you travel a lot the ANC on the Fit Pro may be useful enough to swing the decision in their direction. The passive noise cancellation from the in-ear fit of the Powerbeats Pro blocks some external sounds, but not to the extent that ANC does.
In the UK the equation is a little different this Black Friday, since the Powerbeats Pro have only been reduced to £179 on Amazon from their MSRP of £269.95, while the Beats Fit Pro are £149 down from £219.99. The Powerbeats Pro are great and have advantages, but I wouldn’t pay £30 more to get them over the newer Fit Pro.
To find out more about each of the headphones above, read my guide to the best workout headphones.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.