The Washington Times - November 18, 2011, 05:02PM

What the world needs, obviously, is another pair of high-priced headphones endorsed by a celebrity its users are likely never to meet.

Pardon my (initial) cynicism, but as someone who enjoys a good pair of headphones as much (if not more) than the next music lover, I was a little nonplussed, at first, to hear that the rapper 50 Cent (also known as Curtis James Jackson III), was jumping in the celebrity headphone business.


Well, while I haven’t seen or used the new headphones from SMS Audio, a company 50 Cent owns and is chief executive of, I can admire his motivation: The gentleman likes good sound, and want to deliver that to customers, he said in a news release.

(And, I learned Mr. Jackson hails from the borough of Queens, in New York City, which was also home to your blogger.)

“We refused to sacrifice quality over style – we are seamlessly blending the cutting-edge technology with fresh design,” said [Mr.] 50, CEO of SMS Audio. “I have been involved in the concept and creation of this line from start to finish and I’m pumped to see fans of true high-fidelity sound wearing my headphones.”

One of the plusses of the digital music revolution – and I’ve written about this a few times here – is that you can hear things now in music that you might not have heard before; at least that’s my experience. If Mr. 50 (or is it “Mr. Cent”? — The Washington Times’ style requires we use a courtesy title before a last name in articles) has helped create a product that gives me even more that I might’ve missed, I’ll happily rave about the result.

For now, those wanting to sample the new experience can “pre-order” the firm’s “highly-anticipated Sync by 50 wireless headphone and Street by 50 wired headphone,” according to the announcement. The wireless headphones will retail for $399.95; the wired model for $299.95, the firm said.

Of the two new products, the wireless headphones seem the most interesting: “The unique Sync by 50 headphones integrate Kleer wireless technology and is the only wireless headphone to incorporate full on-board controls offering an unparalleled, crystal-clear wireless range,” the news release claimed.

Even more ambitious, according to the announcement: “The passive noise-canceling feature of Sync by 50 blocks out all outside distractions and keeps music unheard by others. An ‘S’ indicator light denotes when the headset is synced, while built-in controls let listeners control volume levels, fast forward, rewind and boost the bass. Battery life is up to 17 hours and users can easily plug in the included cable to keep the music playing without interruption.”

It sounds interesting, but as with any product, I’ll have to hear it to believe it, and perhaps that opportunity will present itself. Meanwhile, you can visit the website for more info.