SMS AUDIO’S BEST MODEL YET
The Street by 50 is SMS Audio’s finest headphone offering thus far. Sonically, it is a distinct improvement from their Over-Ear model The sound of this headphone is exactly what a rapper-endorsed headphone should be; full-bodied, with deep impactful bass, a warm overall temperament, but not at the expense of clarity. Audiophiles still may find these headphones to be too colored/bloated for their listening preferences, but it is still impressive to notice such a vast improvement from previous offerings. In this reviewer’s opinion, the Street by 50 DJ model may well be the best overall sounding rapper-endorsed headphone to date.
THE FIT AND THE FINISH
Presently, the DJ Pro is offered in “shadow black” and “city gray.” The headband exhibits the attractive Street by 50 DJ model signature stitching (found throughout the product-line). The headband features a glossy exterior while the earcups show a matte finish where the signature “S” Logo is engraved on each side. In true SMS Audio fashion, the packaging is nothing less than spectacular. Of course, what’s more important (and impressive) is how compact these headphones fold up. SMS Audio provides a form-fit hard-shell-zippered carrying case for these headphones.
One interesting feature of this headphone is how the earcup can be swiveled to a right-angle above the ear, allowing one of the listener’s ears the freedom to hear outside sounds. This type of feature is especially useful in professional DJ application. Unlike most DJ headphones, the earphones do not swivel sideways. Some will find SMS Audio’s unique approach to be a major plus, while others may prefer the older-standard approach.
Two especially thoughtful features of the design here is the way in which the cable is implemented. For one, SMS audio provides both a straight cable with an inline mic and remote and a second (coiled) cable for professional use. Secondly, the user has the option of connecting the cable to either left or right side as there are two inputs available for ultimate comfort.
As all DJ models should, the Street by 50 isolates well. Keep in mind there is no active noise cancellation offered here, but rather, the listener benefits from extreme passive isolation. In order to achieve this, the manufacturer has made the clamp of the headband a bit on the tighter side. Some users may in fact find the clamp here is a bit tighter than they would prefer. For me, the headphones are still quite comfortable, despite its tight grip. The earpads exhibit a standard faux-leather exterior, and plush interior.
I’ll be frank and say that I had little expectation that the DJ model would sound as good as it actually does. The first track I listened to was “I’ll be Waiting” by Adele. The sound signature showed immediate warmth, but with great vocal presence. The real treat was hearing the left-channel guitar fills (which are mixed very low) come more to forefront. The percussive handclaps which are placed on top of the snare hits were totally distinguishable from the snare. In other words, the instruments are very clear and distinguishable.
Hip hop fans will be pleased by the lively bottom end brought forth by the Street by 50 DJ. From the standpoint of the meticulous audiophile, the bass presentation of the Street by 50 DJ is a bit too forward and lacking control. However, from the standpoint of the hip hop enthusiast, the Street by 50 DJ is fantastic! Yes, there is a lot of bass, but there is also added presence in the vocal range.
Percussive elements are extra-clear here. I would go as far as to say that the Street by 50 DJ is among the best choices for hip hop on the market today. Listening to Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” I am reminded that extra boom in the bass region does not necessarily have to lend itself to a clouded overall frequency response. The entire track seemed impactful and well balanced. There is a sense of immediacy as the voice and rhythmic elements are spotlighted simultaneously.
Listening to Wynton Marsalis’ classic rendition of “Caravan” I felt that that the headphones could use a hint more air up on top. It was hard to hear the wonderful resonances of the cymbal work. All in all, however, the quartet still sounds wonderfully balanced, if just a tad warmer than I would have liked.
I listened to The Civil Wars’ “Falling” with special attention to how the headphones would handle acoustic guitar. I can say that these headphones handle acoustic guitar rather well despite their warm sound signature. I was able hear a lot of upper harmonics that are usually drowned out in warmer headphones.
- Full, lush sound with more refinement than any previous SMS model
- Excellent passive isolation offers uninterrupted listening without the need for batteries
- Two distinct cables make it easy to switch from personal to professional application
- Most will find the headphones are comfortable to wear for extended listening
- Folds up compactly into an attractive protective case for portable use
- Smartphone compatible
- Still too bassy to be a top consideration for audiophiles.
- Some may find that the headphones are a bit too tight on the head
The Street by 50 DJ model
is about as good as I’ve seen/heard from any rapper-endorsed headphone. More than that, I am certain that it is the best sounding offering from SMS audio thus far. Highly recommended!
RATING CHART @ PRICEPOINT
|DESIGN & FEATURES:
||8.5 out of 10