Friday, December 20, 2013

PRODUCT REVIEW: SMS Wows With Over-Ear ANC Headphones

I have been sponsored by SMS Audio to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. All Hawkblogger.com proceeds go to Ben's Fund.

Let's face it. I am an aging blogger. Married, with two boys, and closer to 40 than to 30. When 50 Cent went about designing the SMS Audio brand and the headphones that they sell, he probably did not have me in mind. Our paths crossed due to the obnoxious marketing of another headphone brand. After receiving a pair of their over-ear STREET by 50 - ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) headphones for testing, I am quite happy that we have been introduced. 

SMS has both wired and wireless sets, and each offer on-ear and over-ear models. The wired also offers the ANC over-ear version (that I am testing), and DJ Pro Performance models. All are available at steep 40% discount for a limited time using the PROMO code: HAWKBLOGGER. You can find them here.

SMS sent my the ANC pair yesterday, and it was either a late Hannukah or early Christmas present. The box is impressive and large. Definitely something most kids would be thrilled to see under wrapping paper, would likely never guess what it was beforehand.


Slipping off the shell reveals an embossed SMS Audio logo on a matte blue box.


The IQ test begins when trying to figure out your next step. It is hard to imagine most teenagers waiting to find the door before just ripping a side off. The presentation is cool. These are high-end headphones, and the box feels like you are getting a luxury item. 



Seahawks fans will be happy to know the neoprene case can double as a football in a pinch. It is sturdy with a some sort of insert to provide protection. You would not want someone to sit on the case, but it will hold up just fine in a backpack or if dropped. There is a zipper that lines the edge to gain access to the headphones.


The white and satin gray finish is striking against the black background. These are certainly more stylish than the Bose set most businessmen are wearing.


The ear covers fold snuggly inside the case, but they are not flimsy like so many folding headphones.


They snap into place when fully extended, and are lighter than I expected them to be. Really light, actually, but without feeling cheap.


There is a hidden compartment in the case that contains the accessories: the wire to connect to the whatever you are listening to, the USB charging cable for the ANC feature, one of those dual-pronged adapters I've used on some planes, and a dust-free cloth to keep them clean.


The wire is a not-quite-Seahawks blue. During my use, I found myself wishing it was just a bit longer, but realistically, I may just want a pair of the wireless.


My 12-year-old is already trying to convince me that he should get these. SMS knows their target market! He immediately swiped them and wore them while doing his math homework.


We had fun testing the noise-cancelling abilities. As someone who has used Bose headphones on a few occasions, I have to say these were far better. Even without the ANC turned on, ambient sounds were nearly silenced. Once switched on, I could not hear my son speaking to me from a few feet away. Nothing. Silence. If only I had these for the first twelve years of his life. The padding feels like it is made from memory foam. Super comfortable.

I finally wrestled the headphones away from my son after putting my youngest to bed, and sat down to write an article on the Seahawks rushing trouble lately. Pandora was playing, and the whole world melted away. I am not an audiophile, so I won't try to tell you about the lush midtones or full bass. As just a guy that likes music, these headphones made it feel like I was in studio with the artist. I could turn the sound on my laptop way down, and still hear every note. Life was good for those hours. 

Doug Baldwin apparently felt likewise. 

"Classy product," Baldwin told me. "Music to my ears, and the noise-cancelling is cool."

I did not tell him that I have the same pair for fear of reducing just how cool they really are. 

The product manual says the ANC stays charged for 70 hours, which is amazing if that turns out to be true. Being able to re-charge the lithium ion battery with any USB charger is pretty handy as well. 

If I did not already have a pair of the SMS headphones, I would be buying one. And with that 40% off PROMO CODE: HAWKBLOGGER, I may just nab a pair of those bluetooth wireless ones anyway. 


No comments :

Quantcast