Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

50 Cent's new headphones get a test run on a trip to Egypt

The verdict? Street by 50 headphones do the job.

For someone used to leading the pack in musical promotion, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson sure took his time in unleashing his SMS Audio headphones range.

The market is already flooded with signature brands by the respectable (Quincy Jones and Dr Dre), the opportunistic (Ludacris) and the just plain wrong (Justin -Bieber).

I decided to take the entry-point cans – called Street by 50, with prices beginning at Dh450 – for a spin on a recent trip to Egypt.

First up, the look. Now, you would think Fiddy would have this covered. Whereas Beats by Dr Dre is super slick and the House of Marley brand looks pleasantly retro, Street by 50 is stiff and fragile; like it was designed by Toys R Us.

Since Street by 50 doesn’t fold, like Beats, it causes serious portability issues when travelling. I resorted to placing them around my neck when checking in and out of airports.

When it comes to the sound, you have to understand these are not noise-cancellation headphones. This is not necessarily a bad thing as you don’t have to fret over how much money you are spending on premium AAA batteries – and Street by 50 does block most of the abrasive sounds outside.

My first test was conducted during a three-hour flight and I found the headphones doing a decent job of keeping me engrossed during an in-flight movie.

However, the exterior noise became a nuisance during those moody quiet scenes integral to the plot.

In a busy street you just have to crank up the volume – mind you, I was in Cairo’s Tahrir Square – so if you are audio sensitive this product won’t work for you.

Street by 50 does a much better job when you put it through its paces at home. Naturally, the bass of hip-hop albums is well rendered and packs a punch. The cans also responded well to David Guetta’s Nothing But the Beat, producing a full and rich sound.

When it came to the punk rockers Green Day’s bouncy new release, ˇUno!, the drums were produced with surprising intensity, hitting you in the gut at high volume.

Let’s face it, even 10-year-old children are wearing (mostly fake) Beats by Dr Dre now. If you want to stand out with something a bit lighter (both in weight and on your wallet) but a few notches below on sound quality, Street by 50 does the job.

 

Saeed Saeed is a reporter for The National’s Arts&Life

sasaeed@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National