ON-EARS FOR THE HIP HOP FAN
The Street by 50 On-Ear is a welcomed addition to SMS Audio’s headphone line. It offers a powerful and robust sound while remaining lightweight and comfortable. Presumably, this headphone will be compared to other rapper-endorsed headphones – namely the Beats by Dre Solo HD and the Soul by Ludacris SL150. Of these, the Street by 50 may be the one for you if you enjoy the thickest, most slammin’ bass.
THE FIT AND THE FINISH
First things first, the Street by 50 On-Ear is a wonderful-looking headphone. Less is more here. It is a simplistic design which cares less about “bling” and more about sleek. It draws attention to itself because of the designs integrity rather than grandiosity. The Street by 50 exhibits an amalgam of glossy and matte plastic which looks well-thought out. The cable of course is detachable and features a smart-phone enabled microphone/remote.
The packaging here is superb. One first notices the cardboard sleeve featuring 50 Cent’s signature engraved into the side. Inside this sleeve is a box with a magnetic flap-door. Inside the box we find the headphones neatly folded up in a hard-shell zippered carrying case. The cable sits neatly tucked away. Finally, an instruction manual and cleaning cloth is also included.
The headphones feature a lightweight and compact design which is ideal for the traveler. The headband folds up “transformer-style” and can be stored in a large jacket pocket. The earcups exhibit soft, comfortable leather-like material and are slightly oval-shaped for a more intuitive ergonomic-fit than that of the typical circle earcup.
The cable installs into the left earcup and has a microphone/remote at about chin-level. This remote is compatible with most smart-phones offered today.
ALL ABOUT THE SOUND…
Sonically, the Street by 50 On-Ear
may have the deepest/most impactful bass impact in its class. Conversely, the SL150 sounds more balanced across the entire frequency spectrum. However, the Street by 50 are terrific with hip hop music. The Beats Solo HD are not competitive in that they don’t excel over the other two in any specific area.
Listening to “All of the Lights” by Kanye West featuring Rihanna, I was struck by the depth of the bass. The impact of the kick drum left me feeling the need to run while I listened. It sounds multilayered and very robust. The other percussion elements such as snare and high-hat were rendered with clarity. I would have preferred the vocals to come forth with greater presence, but overall it was a very enjoyable listen.
Switching to Foo Fighters “Walk” I came away with the impression that bass clouded the mix a bit. Ideally, the overall sound would a bit snappier. These are definitely a hip-hop/r&b fan’s headphone. For rock, the SL150 sounded better.
Returning to the genre which the Street On-Ear does best, I put on who else…50 Cent “We Up.”
Because this headphone is tuned with an extremely forward (and sometimes loose) bass, the genre for which it excels is hip hop. Kendrick Lamar’s voice comes forward even more than 50’s here. One of the reasons is that 50’s lower-register voice gets slightly mixed in with the bass. Either way, it is an all-engulfing experience…one of the best on-ear hip hop headphones I’ve ever come across.
- GREAT HIP HOP CANS
- LOOKS SLEEK WITHOUT BEING “BLINGY”
- DETACHABLE CABLE
- WORKS WITH MOST SMARTPHONES
- LIGHT & COMFORTABLE
- FOLDS-UP COMPACTLY
- PACKAGING IS SUBSTANTIAL
- MAY BE TOO BASSY FOR SOME LISTENERS NOT PARTIAL TO HIP HOP
- THE SL150 FROM SOUL BY LUDACRIS MAY BE A BETTER ALL-AROUND CHOICE FOR NON-HIP HOP LISTENERS
If you are in the market for an on-ear hip hop headphone, I would most certainly put the Street by 50 On-Ear
on my shortlist. It is at once compact, stylish and gives the hip hop listener that full sub-woofer feeling!
RATING CHART @ PRICEPOINT
|DESIGN & FEATURES:
||8 out of 10