Rookie headset-maker vs veteran

CLASSY: The Street by 50 looks refined, but feels tight when worn.
Rookie headset-maker vs veteran

SMOOTH: The Sennheiser Momentum's sound is good, but costs more.


    Jun 25, 2013

    Rookie headset-maker vs veteran

    Street by 50 & Sennheiser Momentum on-ear headphones

    STREET by 50 is a new headphone line from rap legend 50 Cent's brand, SMS Audio.

    The line's headphones look refined, with memory-foam earpads encased in soft leather. When folded, they fit nicely into an oval-shaped case, much like a rugby ball.

    Sound-wise, the impedance seems quite low and the headphones can work with the tiniest MP3 player, delivering big and loud sound.

    But there are two areas that can be improved: comfort and sound quality.

    They feel rather tight and a bit uncomfortable when worn for a long period. The sound quality seems a bit rough and can be most grating on the ears if pop music is the preferred choice.

    Sennheiser's Momentum, by comparison, is a high-end headset designed for comfort and good-quality sound. Indeed, there is minimal discomfort when worn for a extended period (about six hours), and the sound is smooth and detailed.

    To be fair, Sennheiser has a much longer history as a headset-maker, whereas SMS Audio is a newbie and its products are meant more for street pop than anything else. The Momentum also costs twice as much as the Street by 50.

    How much:

    Momentum ($569). Street by 50 ($270), including limited-edition collection with colours like blue, magenta, red and teal.