Customer Review

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic case of style over substance..., 29 July 2012
This review is from: SMS Audio STREET by 50 Cent In-Ear Headphones - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
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Length:: 2:47 Mins

The 'Street By 50 Cent In-Ear Headphones' are a pair of mid-range earphones that are part of the 50 Cent branded range of headphones, designed for style, durability and quality. The range has been specifically designed to be used in conjunction with the Apple range of electronic listening devices, such as iPod's, iPhones and the like.

To be honest, I couldn't care less whether a set of earphones are endorsed by a rapper, particularly cool celebrity or whoever is currently in vogue in the charts. Again, the look and supposed stylishness of the headphones is at the most only secondary to the sound quality reproduction, ergonomics and the products overall durability.

First up, I have to say that upon opening up the box for the first time, I was pretty darn impressed by the look of the headphones. The flat (supposedly tangle-free) wires with a sharp electric blue on one side and black on the reverse make for an instant impression (good or bad is your call). The polished earphone pieces are certainly larger than normal, again repeating the black & blue colour motif and feeling reasonably sturdy for what is essentially a solid plastic construction.

The 3.5mm angled audio jack does however feel very sturdy and secure, with very little chance of the jack being tugged away from your listening device. The small volume control located around five inches down from the earphone's left-hand-side wire, also seems pretty well-designed and able to cope with general day-to-day usage.

The wire length is good, allowing the user to weave it around and in-between items of clothing without it becoming restrictive. The volume remote hangs just below chin level so is always within easy reach. It also includes a small microphone, for answering calls on an iPhone etc. Nice!

However, the volume switch will not work on all such devices, even if they're Apple (for example my classic design 80GB iPod).

Here's a list of all the current Apple devices that the remote / mic will work on:
iPod Nano (4th generation and later), iPod Touch (2nd generation and later), iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod Shuffle (3rd generation or later).

Also included in the box is a funky looking zip-close travel case, three different sized flexible ear inserts (the thin rubber style), and the usual adapter for using the headphone on flights.

My first qualm with the earphones is the use of those annoying thin-rubber ear inserts. It must be said that they certainly don't agree with everyone's ear channels. For me, none of the three sizes really keep the earphones secured in my ear. They're a pain in the proverbial backside when you're out and about. The shape-moulding hardened foam style are better, but by no means perfect. So, if you find that the rubbery ear inserts don't fit your ears particularly well, then be warned, you may need to invest in an additional set of shape-moulding ones if purchasing this particular set of earphones.

Sound reproduction wise, the earphones are able to manage with a reasonable range, although there is quite a considerable blurring of notes where complex layers are present in the music. Bass seems to be prevalent over the top of this somewhat melded sound, although it loses its footing quite considerably when its capability at dealing with the lower depths are put to the test. Having tested out a number of pairs of headphones, earphones, speakers and the like, I always use one particular song as a benchmark for testing out such sound capabilities. For those interested, it's Heaven Shall Burn's track 'Combat'. It works a treat in testing the capabilities of plummeting bass. And sadly, 50 Cent's earphones didn't come out too well here.

Other than that, with less complex music, the earphones performed quite well, with strong sharp notes and hints of warmth to acoustic tracks.

Please note that the earphones are not noise cancelling - not by a long shot. Expect to hear sounds of traffic, talking and the general hustle and bustle of a busy city centre if you've got a commute anything like mine. Also, if you're planning to use these on a busy train or bus, then be warned, there is some serious noise leakage if the volume is not put quite low.

So all in all, these are certainly not high performance earphones. They look snazzy (and dare I say 'street'), they are pretty darn sturdy and hard-wearing, but if you're looking for good quality sound reproduction at a mid-price-range, then there are by far better products on the market. At the end of the day, you're paying on top of the product's price for the 50 Cent endorsement. It's up to you if this is something that's important to you or not...
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Review Details

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Location: Cardiff, Wales

Top Reviewer Ranking: 68