By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 05/28/2014
I'm always on the lookout for quality headphones, and since I'm also a huge Star Wars fan, when I saw the SMS Street by 50 Star Wars line ($199.95) at the Consumer Electronics Show, I was very excited, and snapped a photo! 50 stands for 50 Cent, the rapper turned branding sensation, and he is apparently a Star Wars fan, too. At CES, he was paired up with a couple of Stormtroopers to announce these new headphones. The phones are available in Light or Dark Sides, with Vader, Stormtrooper, Rebel Alliance, or Boba Fett variations.
As cool as the headphones look, they have to perform to be worth their $200 asking price. Fortunately, I was very pleased with the quality, features and sound from the 40mm drivers. The SMS Street by 50 headphones look great, and fold nicely into the included matching case. There is a removable headphone cord which makes it easy to replace if that is ever needed. This all makes it easy to transport as well.
The sound is great, and compared to Beats, there is less overwhelming bass which can annoy those around you. These aren't exactly active noise-canceling phones, because there are no special electronics included for that. However, they offer what they call "Passive noise cancelation" and do a great job of keeping outside noise out and music in. Perhaps it's because they intentionally designed the earcups to be oval and not a perfect circle. SMS uses leather and memory foam to retain their shape. While a circle is common on such headphones, your ear is more of an oval, so these headphones fit nicely and are comfortable for long sessions. My daughter even sleeps with them on, all night!
The Star Wars packaging is a nice touch, and you get a collectible box, stickers, and more. I chose the Boba Fett styling because, before there was 50 Cent, Boba Fett was the original gangsta! Plus, it's a little more subtle and only true fans will recognize the symbology. Whichever you choose, may the force be with you!