A major trend at CES this year was in musician-branded headphones. Everyone from rappers to reggae artists are getting in on the party.
We chose several models from the various House of Marley lines to start off our showcase of headphones by musicians. Namely, because these were the offerings that impressed us the most at the show.
Up first are the People earbuds, a conical set crafted from bamboo and recycled plastics. This offering comes in three color options, features 10mm drivers for deep bass, and a durable fabric-coated cable and gold-plated L-plug.
No specific release date is set yet, but these are expected to go for $49.99.
The House of Marley Zion earphones are a sharp departure from the model featured just before. That's because these come from the brand's Destiny line, which contains the higher-end products.
The Zion earphones offer a dynamic driver geared toward a cleaner, more balanced listening experience while still offering the deep bass associated with reggae music. This set also includes an inline remote that works with iOS devices. List price on these is $99.99.
The House of Marley Exodus headphones, which are part of the Freedom line, feature a unique design. The on-ear cups snap onto the headband for size adjustment. It definite looks cool, though how well it works out in practice remains to be seen.
The Exodus headphones are crafted from FSC-certified wood, natural leather and hemp, with recycled aluminum snaps that have a bronze look. They feature a 40-millimeter dynamic moving coil speaker drive and an integrated inline remote for use with iOS devices. The list price for these is $59.99.
At the very top end, we have the House of Marley Trenchtown Rock headphones, a super cushy over-the-ear set with a stylish, durable design and a lux feel.
The Trenchtown Rock are built from FSC-certified wood, leather, and a high-quality recycled aluminum that has a brushed look. The headphones offer built-in, active noise-canceling capability and a three-button Apple remote. They will sell for $299.99.
Also on display at CES 2011: Soul by Ludacris, a headphone line that includes five models ranging from in-ear 'buds to on-ear 'phones to one full-size set. Here, we've chosen one of the middle-of-the-road options, the Soul SL100.
This on-ear model offers a sleek design that can't help but bring to mind the Beats Solo headphones. The SL100 also features a folding design, iOS compatibility, and detachable cords with gold-plated plugs.
Obviously, the Miles Davis Trumpet earphones by Monster can't have been officially endorsed by the musician. But even if you find the use of the late jazz master's moniker tactless, there's no denying the sleek styling. Attention to detail is evident in the metal cable accents, which feature a trumpet-playing silhouette, and the horn-shaped earpieces that are etched with a Miles signature.
These earphones' availability is set to coincide with the upcoming 40th anniversary Collector's Edition of Davis' Bitches Brew Live in February 2011. They won't come cheap, either; you can expect to shell out about $350 for a pair.
Hmm, that naming convention sounds eerily familiar. No matter, we're sure that 50 Cent knows exactly how to make his product stand out; the rapper himself certainly stood out to us when he stopped by the CNET booth and happily showed off his Vegas winnings (contrary to how it sounds, it was cute rather than obnoxious).
There's not a whole lot of info available for the Sleek by 50 Cent headphones, other than the fact that they will be made by H&H Imports. The rapper was also seen milling about the show with a stylish-looking set around his neck.
While not officially branded with DJ Envy, the turntablist did endorse the Nox Audio Admiral Touch headphones at CES 2011. These hefty headphones certainly seem to be designed with style-conscious DJs in mind.