Celebrity-endorsed headphones: Some good, some bad

Monster and Dr. Dre spearheaded the trend of celebrity-endorsed headphones, starting with the eponymous Monster Beats by Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga's own signature earbuds. But does a celebrity shout-out mean that those devices somehow sound better than the competition? Check out the following list to get the real scoop on all these new headphones supported by famous musicians.

Monster and Dr. Dre spearheaded the trend of celebrity-endorsed headphones, starting with the eponymous Monster Beats by Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga's own signature earbuds. But an increasing number of artists are partnering with other manufacturers for their own collaborations.

Signeo announced the Soul by Ludacris headphone series at CES 2011, and 50 Cent stopped by the CNET stage this year to demo his own wireless cans, but does a celebrity shout-out mean that those devices sound better than the competition?

Check out the following list to get the real scoop on all these new headphones supported by famous musicians.



Sarah Tew/CNET
SMS Audio Sync by 50 Cent

The SMS Audio Sync by 50 headphones are a trendy fashion accessory while they rest on your shoulders, but their flimsy plastic housing makes me question long-term reliability.

The decision to choose Kleer wireless technology over simple Bluetooth extends its utility as a home theater headset and draws the attention of audiophiles who appreciate lossless quality, but SMS needs to lower the inflated price tag and re-evaluate the hardware design before I can recommend these to active listeners. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET
The Beats Pro by Dr. Dre from Monster Headphones

Although the price is relatively high for the casual consumer, it is consistent with how much professional DJs spend for headphones. At the same time, these headphones probably won't satisfy the hard-core audiophiles who demand uncolored, accurate sound.

For faithful, accurate, natural tone in your headphones, these cans don't offer that kind of precise audio reproduction. What they do offer, however, is a massive amount of swagger. We see these headphones satisfying aspiring DJs or people with a good deal of spare cash who really enjoys blasting the wax out of their ears. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET
Soul by Ludacris Sl300

The Soul by Ludacris SL300 headphones are suitable for blocking outside noise and add a colorful sonic boost to bass-heavy genres like hip-hop, house, and rock music.

We recommend them over competing models like the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones thanks to their more controlled low-end that doesn't sacrifice ambient noise isolation. Read the full review.


Sarah Tew/CNET
Monster Cable Heartbeats 2.0 by Lady Gaga In-Ear Headphones

To a certain degree, the attraction of these earphones is the design, and their celebrity backing--or not. If you're a Gaga fan, these are quite decent-sounding earphones that have the added bonus of including a built-in microphone for cell phone calls, as well as a flat, tangle-resistant cord.

Yes, you can get less flashy earphones that sound about the same for around $100, but that extra $30 is the price you pay for the leather-and-stud flair that goes along with the Lady Gaga and Dr. Dre mantles. Read the full review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Monster Miles Davis Trumpet High Performance In-Ear Headphones with Control Talk

Depending on how you look at it, the unique design of Monster's Miles Davis Trumpet earphones will either be a big selling point or a deal breaker. I liked their design and got a lot comments about it (yes, these will attract some attention). That said, I didn't find the earphones incredibly comfortable on the go and I'm not sure if I would use these on an everyday basis to travel to and from work in New York City (on the subway) or in more-active situations.

But aside from those "mobility" drawbacks, they sound good enough to have you itching to relisten to your music collection and hear just how all your stuff sounds through the Trumpets. Read the full review .

 

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