Home Technology Beats Fit Pro, Apple AirPods, Bose QuietComfort: Which are the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Sports?

Beats Fit Pro, Apple AirPods, Bose QuietComfort: Which are the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Sports?

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Beats Fit Pro, Apple AirPods, Bose QuietComfort: Which are the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Sports?

Listening to music while running is considered psychological doping from the US Athletics Federation, so it is understandable why Bluetooth headsets have become essential to have an edge during training. The offer of models is very wide and can range from super-cheap ones with questionable audio quality, to top of the range with even active noise cancellation.

In a hypothetical obstacle race that wanted to reveal a little the state of the market, the brand new Beats Fit Pro, the third generation Apple AirPods and the tested Bose QuietComfort Earbuds should certainly be put on the starting blocks.

Obviously there are several alternatives but these three models are conceptually representative of the attributes one should look for in the best Bluetooth headsets for sports. Notwithstanding the fact that there are at least two key characteristics that cannot be done without: resistance to sweat and therefore to liquids, and a good stability of the headset. The active noise cancellation system (Anc – active noise cancellation) is a plus that should be used with caution during some sports activities. Think for example of running or cycling on the road where attention to people and surrounding vehicles remains a priority for safety. At the same time, in some cases, being totally estranged from the surrounding environment can be an advantage for the training and the spirit.

The ergonomics you need

The Beats Fit Pro – in this Kim Kardashian chromatic edition comparison – are a great example of sports design. On the one hand, the designers and engineers have focused on an interaction based on two single large keys, instead of touch surfaces, and on the other hand they have provided comfortable flexible flaps that allow a stable positioning in the basin of the ear. Not to mention the three classic rubber tips of different sizes for the ear canals. In short, they are comfortable, firm and light. And also the possibility of pushing on a physical button (with a very small excursion) makes it easier and more immediate to manage each function: track change, call, noise cancellation mode, volume adjustment, voice assistant activation, etc. Finally, for sweat resistance you can count on the IPX4 certification (water splashes).

The Apple AirPods are an all-rounder that in this third generation have gained IPX4 water and sweat protection (both earphones and case). The design is convincing because with few exceptions they have a good stability due to the fact that they are positioned in the ear basin. It is true that they are not as tight as the Beats and Bose, but this also means that they convey a sense of lightness and superior airiness. They are not totally hung like the old AirPods, but not even tucked in like the AirPods Pro: in fact, halfway. The interaction takes place by pressing the rods between thumb index finger: squeezing you hear clicks (in reality it is a micro-vibration) and consequently you can manage all the functions, except for the volume that Siri requires, the use of the smartphone, app music or the Watch. The Airpods are really compatible with every activity, but in the busiest ones, with sweat, you could risk losing them.

The Bose QuietComfort have for some time been the benchmark in the Bluetooth headset sector, and therefore also stand out in the sports field. First of all, the box provides three types of ear tips, so unlike the Beats it’s even easier to find the most comfortable setup. And they are definitely not afraid of the most extreme sports activities: they remain almost anchored. But overall they are more voluminous and those with small ears might consider them uncomfortable and too flashy. The weight of a headset exceeds 8 grams, against the 4 grams of the AirPods and the 5.5 grams of the Beats. The oversize size becomes an advantage when you have to interact with the large touch surface available. On the other hand, sliding your finger up and down also adjusts the volume. The protection against liquids is basic: also in this case IPX4.

Musical doping

The Beats Fit Pro while sharing the Apple H1 chip with the AirPods sound different. The quality is good but there is some emphasis on the lower frequencies. Definitely an advantage when you are intent on a training session perhaps on the notes of As it was by Harry Styles: just chasing the rhythm part is an urge to push. And then we must not forget that the presence of external noises outdoors needs a more vigorous counterbalance than indoors. So with pop, rap and dance genres they are really recommended; with jazz, classical and even rock there is no possibility of locating the instruments in space and even a thread of elegance.

Apple AirPods offer a more balanced, seemingly polite audio experience. On the lows they are the weakest of the lot, but that also depends on how they fit: full grip coincides with the best experience. Like the Beats they rely on an automatic equalization system that does not allow manual intervention. But with a track like Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill you feel like you are in a lounge room sipping bubbles while nibbling strawberries.

Bose QuietComfort play in another league. On the musical front, high-end colleagues such as Sony WF-1000XM5, B&O Beoplay EX and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 have as rivals. Whether it is low, medium or high frequencies, the performance is always excellent. Any musical genre is well managed. You can pass by the sea by Madame a Crawling Kingsnake dei The Black Keys fino a Digital Love of Daft Punk and live almost that experience that you have on the subway in New York, London or Paris when you appear in completely different neighborhoods from each other, even under the exact same light of day (or night).

Isolation from the outside

The Beats have a discreet noise cancellation system. It only moderately attenuates external noises, so perhaps it is the weakest front of the product. The transparency function that filters out external sounds, on the other hand, is very good. The performance of the microphone during calls is acceptable, as is the management of external noise.

Apple’s are free of noise cancellation and also due to the type of design they offer reduced isolation. However, they ensure great safety, especially on the road, because the integrated system seems to be able to emphasize the more intense surrounding sounds, also facilitating the perception of origin. While running, for example, it is easy to first understand the approach of a car behind you. During the calls the experience is positive.

The Bose QuietComfort are the best Bluetooth headphones on the market when it comes to active noise cancellation. Even today it is difficult to identify a suitable competitor (even if Sony has come very close) and therefore it is good to be very careful not to overdo it. In the midst of cars and bicycles it would be good to use the transparency function and leave the ANC active only where there are no risks. In calls, the yield is slightly higher than the other models.

The added value

Beats Fit Pro are a bridge between the Apple world and the Android world as every operational function is available on both fronts. With the exception of course for spatial audio and Siri support. The declared autonomy is 6 hours for the earphones to which 18 of the case with USB-c port must be added. Using the ANC a lot, the autonomy can be considerably reduced. The audio sharing function is also useful, which is compatible with several Beats and Apple lines.

Airpods are ideal in everyday life if you own other Apple products, while they are historically not recommended for Android customers. You can go from a call, to a video call on your computer, to a training session in the gym: they don’t miss a beat. Then there is the spatial audio during the enjoyment of series, music or film. The declared autonomy is 6 hours for the earphones, which become 30 six is ​​also considered the case with USB-c port and wireless charging. And then they can also be traced with the function Where. Obviously, they always allow audio sharing within the Apple ecosystem.

The Bose work well with both the Apple and Android worlds. The paired app is essential but has the most useful functions such as the equalizer and the control customization system. Furthermore, thanks to an agreement with Spotify, a related shortcut can be activated. The possibility of being able to assign the desired intervention threshold to a specific noise cancellation mode is welcome. The declared autonomy is 6 hours to which to add another 12 hours of the case equipped with USB-c port and support for wireless charging.

In conclusion

The Beats Fit Pro are available in black, white, gray, purple and in limited edition Kim Kardashian shades (blush) pale pink, clay and chocolate. The recommended price is 249.95 euros but online they can be found at a discounted price of about 20%. Overall it is a good product that expresses itself best during sports sessions and that is more than adequate even for everyday life. The case is also very discreet and can be kept in your pocket. Sufficient noise cancellation.

Third generation Airpods are all-terrain. In everyday life or for entertainment they are perfect, while in sport their greatest quality is lightness. It almost feels like you’re wearing nothing. Stability is adequate. The official price is 209 euros, but online it is easy to find discounts of 15/20%. In summary, for those who have an iPhone and want a single product for each situation this is a really good compromise.

The Bose on sound quality, stability and noise cancellation are the top, but they are still more bulky and perhaps not recommended for those with small ears. It is difficult to imagine wearing them all day, unless the desire is to get away from everything. Even without active Anc they insulate quite well. The biggest flaw concerns the case: a bit bulky and uncomfortable in the pocket. The recommended price for the black and talc versions is 224.95 euros; online it is difficult to find major discounts. It is possible that the scenario will change in the coming months since the second version has just been presented, which however costs just under 300 euros.

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