Review: 50 Cent's SMS Audio 'Street' Headphones Deliver A Great Audio Experience
Product Reviewed: 'Street' by 50 Limited Edition Pink On-Ear Wired Headphones
Website: Street By 50
50 Cent has ventured into the dangerous and competitive market of celebrity audio. It seems appropriate, considering everyone from Dr. Dre to Snooki have started putting out high-quality audio products. The competition is stiff, considering Beats by Dre is an established brand with a surprisingly good product repertoire. Can 50 put out a product of equal quality? Well, let's find out.
When I first saw the packaging for these headphones, I thought to myself, "There's no way they are really that pink." Guess what? They are really that pink. The limited edition Pink is pinker than a flamingo, in fact. But I feel comfortable enough to admit that I love it. It started out as a funny office joke but quickly turned to workplace envy as I have nabbed the best set of ears in the office.
What's In The Box?
The box is actually a bright blue with a black graphic sleeve over it. Once you open up the box (from the side, mind you) there's a suave looking pic of Fiddy wearing his headphones, which opens up to reveal a snazzy headset case, some documentation, (what appears to be) a microfiber cleaning cloth and...bumper stickers?
The case itself is a nice addition for those on the go who aren't comfortable shoving their $180 headset into their backpack or briefcase filled with books, or what-have-you. It's rigid enough to offer some protection but light and flexible enough to move with the contents of whatever you're carrying it in. Good design philosophy.
Also, less importantly, but still important enough, the cable that runs from your headset to your device disconnects at both ends and has both a straight connection end and a 90 degree end. I don't know whether or not this was intentional, but for people using the headset to connect to a PC, this is really nice if the backside of your desktop is pushed up against the wall. Be wary though, the wire also has a built in microphone, so you definitely do NOT want to lose the cord.
Okay, these things look freakin' awesome. Like - fierce. At first I was intimidated by the pink, but now, I'm all about it. But if pink isn't your style the headset comes in a range of colors, and most are two-toned, with white or black padding. Also, a thumbs up for 50 Cent conspicuous lack of overt branding. When I heard the headset was made by 50, I was expecting to see 'G-Unit' and '50 Cent' plastered all over it. Instead, what I got was a tasteful little 'S' on the side of either ear phone. Really, really good look - and I can't emphasize that enough.
I was pleasantly surprised by how great these fabulous, flamboyant headphones pumped out sound. I cranked up some dubstep, and the sound was robust and clear. I watched a couple short films on youtube with lots of explosions, and it felt like I was right there. Even scenes with whispering or hushed voices came in crisp and clear. This was all very good, but at a price tag this steep, I wouldn't expect any less.
The design of the headset is on par with its competition. It's an 'on-ear' headset, which means after a little while, your ears are going to feel a bit smooshed and achy. This is offet by the comfortable padding around the speakers, but there is still some discomfort from long-term listening. I found I had to take off the headphones every 45 minutes or so just to let my ears breathe. It's not a deal breaker, but big-eared friends, beware.
The speakers pivot on a mount, giving you good movement, and both sides are adjustable via a slide that isn't overly generous but should fit most normal sized noggins. I wore mine completely extended to take the stress off my ears and put it more on my head. Normally that bothers me in a headset, but the little leather pad at the top definitely offsets some of the pain of long-term headset usage on your skull.
The noise cancelling functionality is also pretty satisfying. When the audio is on, it pretty much cancels all the outside noise out. When you're not playing anything, you can still hear what's going on around you clearly, so don't expect complete silence. You probably won't have too many problems with noise interruptions though, so even if they don't work perfectly, they definitely fit the bill.
The headset also folds up pretty nicely, and it feels solid, not wobbily. I don't have to worry about it feeling like it's gonna break every time I fold it up. Everything collapses nice and smooth - there are no alarming snaps or rattles that you get with the cheaper collapsible headsets. The hinges and slides are all metal, so you'll have less to worry about if you manhandle the thing a little bit. While it's solid, it's also pretty light, which makes for easy listening, and is probably what makes longer term use more bearable than other sets of headphones.
Overall, this headset is a quality, solid buy if you're looking for a new pair of headphones. They are lightweight and malleable, yet still deliver impressive sound. While they may be a little cramped for some, or downright uncomfortable for others, the headset itself packs an explosive punch of sound.
But realistically, this entire series of custom celebrity branded headsets aren't cheap. These have great sound, but it's only marginally better than the experience I get out of my Sharkoon headset I have at home, which was 110 bucks cheaper! However, audiophiles will not be unimpressed, and I do thoroughly believe, on some level, you get what you pay for. If you have the 180 bucks to drop on ear candy, then you could do much worse than a Street by 50 SMS Audio Headset.
Highs: Great Sound, Light Weight, Collapsible, High Quality, Great Looks
Lows: Slightly Heavy On The Ears Over Extended Use, Price
Product provided for Review by SMS Audio
This is what an 8/10 looks like.
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