If you haven’t been able to guess by our previous review, we’re a bit hard to sell when it comes to celebrity headphones. We aren’t knocking the new Snooki cans (pardon the pun) per say, but we’re willing to bet more than a day’s wages that they kind of suck—or are at least a little fake, if you’ll pardon another joke. However, we can’t help but get excited about the SMS Audio Sync by 50.
These over-ear headphones are the direct product of 50 Cent’s brainchild audio company, and with his no-nonsense business aesthetic at the forefront, there’s a lot to love about these stereo headphones. Sure, there’s no noise-cancellation, but with stellar looks, phenomenal sound, and a bewilderingly great fit, they’re a winner in our book. Read on for our full headphone review.
Design and Comfort
Unlike the Street by 50 line, which we thought was a bit more subdued than most other competing brands, the Sync by 50 model is all about the bling. We love the crisp and glossy black or white options, as well as the thick, luxurious padding on both the headband and ear caps. Furthermore, the emblazoned and glowing S on the ear caps is a nice touch, though we do think it’s a bit posh that they happen to blink during synced use.
Then again, if you’re going to wear a blinged out set of headphones, you might as well go for the gusto. Otherwise, there’s nothing to be covered that Beats hasn’t already put out, save the incredible syncing function. Using a dongle the size of a small matchbox, you can sync the headphones wirelessly with any available audio source, allowing you to get a good fifteen meters away from your iPod and still pipe in those tunes.
Sound Quality and Performance
Curiously, Sync by 50 provides one of the most custom-tailored listening experiences we’ve ever seen in a pair of cans. The bass is deep and punchy but without any loss in clarity, as we sort of expected. However, there are some curious boosts in the higher frequencies, though only in specific bands.
As it turns out, our theory is that these are the freqs most used in hip-hop: A feeling that’s backed up by the incredible sound quality produced through that genre. There’s also a bass booster switch called THUMPP that can add additional low-end kick, should you need it. All in all, the sound quality is intensely accurate and powerful, though we have a feeling only the dedicated hip-hop fan will get the most use out of these headphones.
We won’t lie to you: around $400 is a lot to spend on any pair of headphones, and considering the same price buys a lot higher quality in a brand like Bose, the Sync by 50s might be a hard sell to all but the most dedicated hip-hop enthusiast. That being said, the design alone is worth cold hard cash, leading us to think the value truly rests in the eye of the beholder.