After a failed collaboration with Sleek Audio, 50 Cent has finally hit the market with a range of headphones. Part of the rapper's SMS Audio brand, the new range currently has three products, the Street by 50 over-ear headphones, the Sync by 50 wireless over-ear headphones and Street by 50 in-ear wired. At CES we got ears-on with what's sure to prove the most popular of these, the Street by 50 over-ear headphones.
Our immediate impression of these headphones is that they don't seem quite as premium as Dr Dre's Beats. Both sets are plastic but the matt black finish of the Street by 50 somehow gave them a slightly cheaper feel. However, overall they're quite stylish with enough flashes of colour to stand out yet enough subtlety to not shout out.
They also feel reasonably sturdy with thick plastics used throughout. The headband adjustment is only plastic, rather than metal, but again it feels strong with plenty of give.
These aren't in any way travel headphones so accordingly don't fold flat - if you don't want to listen to them, it's round your neck they go.
The earcups have a decent amount of soft padding finished in a comfortable faux leather. They are a little on the small side so may not envelope larger ears but we found them reasonably snug, though with us only getting a few minutes listening, long term comfort is an unknown.
Surprisingly there's no inline remote, mic or volume control, nor any other extraneous features - these are pure headphones. The only concession to modern listen trends is a detachable cable, which thankfully uses a totally standard 3.5mm jack plug, rather than a proprietary connection. That said, the lack of a locking mechanism may mean the cable pulls out easily, though again we'll have to get them in for a thorough test to determine this.
The cable itself feels reasonably sturdy and has a soft and smooth rubber finish that we expect to remain relatively tangle free.
Giving the 'phones a listen, they didn't seem to block external noise all that well - the SMS Audio claims of 'passive noise cancellation' should be taken with a hefty dose of salt - but the surrounding din was so loud it perhaps wasn't the fairest test.
Likewise, there was only so much we could ascertain about sound quality from listening to these on the show floor but what was clear is that these do deliver plenty of mid and high detail, and of course dollop loads of bass.
We'll be sure to get these in as soon as possible to give them a more thorough test but from our initial encounter we'd suggest these are a little overpriced compared to more established brands such as Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic. They're also likely to prove a little over bassy for our tastes though we appreciate many people do like this sound.