By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Beats by Dre is one of the electronics biggest success stories of the past decade. When conventional wisdom dictated that nobody cared about sound quality, Beats Electronics made enough money by selling premium-priced headphones to buy an election. Letting go of it was the biggest mistake its former parent company Monster ever made.
Rapper 50 Cent’s affiliation with SMS Audio is clearly modeled on Beats by Dre. With various products called “Sync by 50″ and “Street by 50,” the products feature a similar iconic “S,” to try to compete with Beats Electronics’ “B” symbol.
SMS and 50 Cent introduced a new earbud that purports to withstand the rigors of workouts. This is a problem well worth solving.
Over-the-ear headphones are way too heavy, and make your ears sweat. Standard earbuds let in too much outside noise, especially in a gym, because all gyms play horrible music that nobody likes. Meanwhile, in-ear headphones — even the rugged ones — can leech sweaty moisture from your ear canal, eventually causing one of the headphones to stop working. It happens every time.
SMS Audio and celebrity spokesrapper 50 Cent introduced the new Sync by 50 In-Ear Wireless Sport in-ear headphones ($160) in three colors, with basketball player Carmelo Anthony’s name on the box somewhere. They’re Bluetooth, which means no wires to get snagged (and possibly better sound than with previous Bluetooth headphones, because Bluetooth doesn’t suck as much as it used to for music, on iOS 7 anyway).
We’ve seen Bluetooth headphones before, and they are a good idea for the gym, even if most people prefer the wired kind. But what really has us intrigued is the “nano technology” mentioned in SMS Audio’s announcement (via Billboard).
This could be either hokum (“our technology has very small atoms or something!”) or awesome, because sweat getting into in-ear headphones is a legitimate problem for many of us.
“Each pair features sweat-repelling nano technology, which protects against water immersion, safeguards against sweat, and withstands extreme weather,” reads the announcement.
We’re going to try to test these out as soon as possible; stay tuned if that sounds interesting.
Here’s Engadget talking to 50 himself about the new headphones: