What kind of rapper would 50 Cent be if he didn’t have his own headphone lineup? Alright, we kid, but 50’s SMS Audio Street On-Ear headphones should definitely make you think twice about buying a pair of Beats by Dre. The Streets by 50 feature a fresh design, collapsable body, inline ControlTalk with microphone, and audio that rocks.
The SMS Audio Street by 50 Cent On Ear headphones come in more than a few fun colors and have a premium glossy finish with ultra-clean cushioned earcups and headband cushion. They feature a tri-folding design similar to Beats By Dre which makes them easy to travel with. There’s also an included zippered hard case. The earcups aren’t completely round, they’re ovaled and designed to completely cover even large ears. They’re a nice size for on-ear headphones. The earcups are super comfortable and the cushion and fit make the noise isolation superb. With that said, the headband can become rather tight after an hour of use and they may start to provide an annoying amount of pressure on your head.
There’s a standard removable headphone cable (woo) that features a 1-button inline ControlTalk with microphone. While compatibility may vary among iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry, the ControlTalk can control music, phone calls, and voice activation features. The headphone is a bit longer than your average audio cable. It’s thick and durable, but one of its annoying qualities is it does not sit perfectly straight–it remembers how it was bent from the original packaging.
These Street by 50 On-Ears definitely have a fresh look. We’re bored of seeing Beats by Dre out in the wild, especially considering the design has barely changed in years. We like the design a lot better than the Beats’ on-ears, but in reality it’s an extremely close call. The build quality and showmanship is exactly on par. With that said, on both 50’s and Dre’s on-ear headphones, the build is good, but not amazing. They’re pretty plasticky, but relatively durable.
The audio experience with 50’s Streets is more enjoyable than Dre’s Solo Beats, and just about anyone would agree. They actually work well across music genres. They’re nice and bassy, but not overwhelmingly so. The mids are detailed and clear. The high-range audio is a bit recessed, but the overall audio reproduction is very nice. If you’re not used to premium headphones, they’ll blow you away. The audio quality gets better with use–there’s a break-in period required.
We’re not sure how much effort 50 put into this, but we’ll give him credit: 50 cent did a great job with his SMS Audio Street On Ear Headphones. Not only do they look like cool headphones with a big brand name, but they actually sound great across the board. Pricing in at $179 from Amazon, they’re definitely a little more expensive than they should be, but like Dre’s Beats your paying for branding/image. Even at this premium price, you could be quite satisfied, and you’ll even end up saving yourself some money versus buying Beats by Dre.
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The Good: Nice Sound Quality, Fun colors, Very clean design, Good noise isolation, Removable audio cable with ControlTalk and microphone, Included tough carrying case
The Bad: Build quality is just okay, High-range audio is a bit weak, Cable doesn’t sit perfectly straight