Today is a day of celebration: It’s Star Wars Day, and that means on onslaught of Star Wars-themed gadgets – like these special edition STREET by 50 headphones I got to test out, which feature the badging of the greatest freedom movement the galaxy has ever borne witness to. But do they honor the Alliance Starbird and all that it stands for, or do they fall flat?
- On-ear design
- MSRP: $199.95
- Product info page
- Folding for portability
- Very comfortable leather cups
- Pricey for limited noise cancellation and no Bluetooth
These are good-looking headphones, regardless of which you pick (they come in Rebel Alliance, Empire, Stormtrooper and Boba Fett editions) and depending on how nerdy you are. In my case, nothing would make me happier than to have the rebel insignia tattooed into my flesh for all time, so these fit the bill. The color scheme is fantastic (they’ll match your X-Wing flight suit perfectly) and they’re also portable, comfortable and feel sturdily built.
I’m not the biggest fan of on-ear vs. over-ear headphones, but these make the experience as enjoyable as possible. The high-gloss plastic in the cable does feel a bit toy-like for something that costs nearly $200, but it also does fit with the overall aesthetic. The oval hard case with an embossed Star Wars logo is also a nice perk.
These deliver solid audio performance, although they do tend to bleed a lot of sound, almost like an open back design. They’re fine for wearing on the street, just not ideal for quiet environments like an airplane cabin if you’re listening loudly.
They deliver rich sound, however, and don’t venture too much into the bass-heavy lows emphasis that tends to be popular among modern headphones aimed at younger buyers these days. Noise cancellation is also decent, though they’re not in the same realm as something with active noise cancelling like a Bose QC15.
Overall though, these are more than meets the eye. It would’ve been easy for SMS Audio to be lazy with the sound on these headphones given the flashy branding tie-in. But in fact, when buying these Star Wars headphones, you aren’t just getting a $200 logo on $5 sound; these are the real deal, and should please even discerning music lovers.
I take Star Wars very seriously, and sometimes cringe at seemingly opportunistic uses of the brand and nostalgia, but these thankfully don’t fall into that category. They’re clearly designed by people who know and respect the series and its tradition, and they also offer up high-quality audio that would impress regardless of looks.