Rapper-endorsed headphones have been a trend for the past several years. Moreover, many of these models have not been “music to the consumer’s ears” and, ultimately, faded into oblivion. Yet, a new contender, 50 Cent, throws his proverbial hat into the ring with the Studio Mastered Sound or SMS Audio brand.
SMS Audio’s STREET by 50 Cent Wired On-Ear Headphones have met strongly positive reviews (i.e., averaging 4.8 stars on SMSby50.com and 4.5 stars on Amazon.com). Since first sight at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, this author has been excited to review the new Star Wars version.
Star Wars First Edition STREET by 50 On-Ear Headphones ($199.95) are available in the following four designs:
• STORMTROOPER – white headband with Stormtrooper’s mask on black ear cups
• REBEL ALLIANCE – silver headband with Starbird on orange and white ear cups
• GALACTIC EMPIRE – all black with red Imperial crest on ear cups
• BOBA FETT – green headband with Boba Fett’s chest symbol on rust and ivory ear cups
Thankfully, all four motifs avoid the all-too-familiar campy or childish pitfalls with their appearances, thus, making it possible for an adult to wear these out in public. Moreover, SMS Audio and 50 Cent deserve much admiration especially on the Boba Fett version’s utilization of his “coat of arms” that is much too underused in merchandising. Both the aforementioned quality as well as this author’s natural predilection towards Boba Fett (i.e., the merciless and mysterious bounty hunter that first appeared in “Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strike Back”) makes this reviewed set of headphones particularly appealing.
Each Star Wars First Edition STREET by 50 On-Ear Headphones comes with both a color matching cleaning cloth as well as a carrying case with the Star Wars logo embossed on both sides. Also, in addition to a user manual, a character poster (12” x 18”), set of stickers, and certificate of authenticity are included.
The packaged audio cable is just over 4.5’ long with a 3.5mm jack on each end. One audio jack is angled so as to easily plug into one’s music source and another straight jack, which connects to the headphones at the bottom of the left ear. This cable has a built in microphone and features a single button to play/pause music, rewind/skip tracks, and answer/end phone calls.
The headphones are primarily plastic and easily flex to accommodate varying head widths. Furthermore, leather cushioning is used on the oval-shaped ear cups (i.e., to better fit the natural shape of the ear and provide improved passive noise canceling) as well as on the apex of the headband. For larger headed individuals, the headband expands approximately 1” on both sides and ultimately provides an extremely comfortable fit over extended usage. With 40mm drivers, these headphones strongly emphasize bass. Plus, at traditionally appropriate volume levels, the remainder of the sonic spectrum was much too quiet for this author’s tastes.
Star Wars First Edition STREET by 50 On-Ear Headphones are beautifully designed and well-built. This equipment is perfect for any Star Wars fan and also quality enough to please audiophiles. With the latest cast for “Star Wars Episode VII” announced, this author also eagerly looks forward to the next edition of STREET by 50 and hopes it includes new Star Wars characters plus possibly classics, such as Han Solo, Ewoks, and the smoothest man in the galaxy…Lando Calrissian.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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