There is nothing like a friendly rivalry between friends. Pushing your buddies to be better by rubbing their nose in your greatness is a proven way to mutually enhance the capabilities of each party. It’s peer pressure in its purest less seedy form. This is something hip hop artists turned money moguls Dr. Dre and 50Cent probably know all too well. It’s been many years since the two worked together musically. Now they are too busy making music and grand business moves alike. Dr. Dre has his exalted Beats Audio company. While not as lucrative or as expansive 50Cent works closely with SMS Audio as a majority owner to help the company’s Sync “by 50″ and the newer Street “by 50″ compete at a very similar level as Beats.
How similar, you ask? That’s exactly what we aim to find out in today’s aural eval for the company’s new SMS Street by 50 Pro Performance DJ headphones in the Shadow Black color scheme. These are large over-ear cans using SMS personally tuned 40mm drivers. They boast enhanced bass, fairly lightweight design, articulating hinges a couple a cord options and it’s all housed in a “shatterproof” UFP construction. The look is elegant and clean in its design–all black with no gaudy emblems or odd color schemes. Yes I’m looking at you Logic3.
The Street by 50 Pro Performance DJ headphones are bundled like many other similarly priced premium headies . You get the main headphones a hard shell carrying case, 1-oversived coiled DJ cable, a removable cable with 3-click mic, cleaning cloth, owner’s manual and an SMS product brochure. The football-like carrying case is all black with a teal blue trim. It’s sporty and really stylish. The 3.5mm cable with the 3-click mic works with mp3 players, iPod, iPhone, iPad and virtually all tablet PCs and CD players.
Those articulating hinges allow the DJ Wired headphones to collapse and fold in on themselves nicely. Like this, they can fit in the compact carrying case easier than you might think when extended. Memory foam is used for the ear cushions which are wrapped in soft leather. It’s a welcomed change after wearing the Corsair Wireless 2000 headphones. They have completely different purposes in life, we know. But soft leather memory foam 1-ups the slightly more coarse ear cushions on the gaming cans from Corsair. The Logic3 Scuderia use a similarly cushy styling with their ear padding. The padding in top head cusion does seem a firmer to the touch. It’s also very comfortable. But I’m unsure if it’s memory foam as well.
So the comfort is top notch, the styling is very attractive, albeit on a very large set of cans… The rugged construction is disguised in a elegant black and Spartan housing. So how do they sound? Very nice! The SMS Street by 50 – DJ Wired are a worthy rival and can compete the big boys like the Beats Mixr, Ferrari Scuderia from Logic3 and the V-Moda M-100 Metal headphones. The newbies from SMS perform with a more complete soundstage than the Scuderia, where bass is cleaner and highs pop and are more crisp. The bass is discernibly better in the Beats by Dre Mixr DJ but again the highs are sharper and cleaner in a larger variety of music with the Street Pro Performance DJ heaphones from SMS. V-Moda offers a clarity that is hard to surpass due the strategic use of metals. In fact it in those can that the Streets could find a kindred spirit. Performance is very comparable.
Yet there are key pieces of the soundstage that are only heard in our California Loredo headphones from California headphones. Their particular use of metals and focus on acoustic stringed instrument sounds from live bands, cements yet another win for them. This takes nothing away from the SMS offerings. Their headies are tuned for bumping Pop, Hip Hop, Dubstep and the like–bass heavy music. In this area they are rivaled only by the Beats by Dre DJ Mixr. Yet the Pro Performance DJ headphones are far and away more comfortable.