As I continue to recount my CES experience these next few weeks with all the cool products I saw (keep tuning in to my radio shows and TV segments), I am STILL in search of some pimp, er, sweet, er, spectacular audio-quality headphones. That was one of the most-asked questions from my listeners and readers…”Michael, find me an awesome pair of headphones. And when are YOU going to release your own pair of celebrity headphones?” Well, that second question was mostly from me.
I visited dozens of booths on the convention center floor from companies like Monster, Sennheiser, Skullcandy, Audio-Technica, Klipsch and Turtle Beach. They all seemed to be touting new headphones and earbuds sporting wild colors and booming bass beats. Since the launch of Monster’s ‘Beats by Dre’ a few years ago it seems headphones have toe’d the line between fashion and sound quality. It’s no secret I’m not a big fan of Monster’s phones (apparently their PR reps believe they can sell themselves without sending reviewers a demo unit. Who do they think they are…Apple?!) so I was on the lookout for, yes, fashionable and great sounding headphones.
I got to spend about 2 minutes listening to some new ones released by 50 Cent. Fitty (I’m actually not THAT tight with him but his humongous body guards pushed me back several times) was on-hand to launch his signature line from his company, SMS Audio. The stark blue color of the wired STREET by 50 made me look hip and younger, so I was told by the pretty booth model. And 50’s “Candy Shop” sounded great with an impressive bass sound and feeling.
The nice PR person representing the line said she would get me a pair when she returns back to post-CES life. I am anxious to try to these out and see if they are High-Tech Texan worthy but if I had a dollar for every time a PR rep said they would follow-up with me after CES I could probably launch my own line of headphones. Note: watch for High-Tech Texan licensed headphones in 2013.
UPDATE [Jan. 23] – I heard back from the SMS Audio PR rep whom I met in Vegas with the promise that she would send me a demo pair of headphones. She stated that they “have limited samples available for review at this time” and that I will hear back from her when they have some to send out. Limited samples??? Tell Fitty to either hire more workers or start molding and packaging the things himself. Who does this company think they are – Nintendo? Did they make like one dozen of them to create a frenzy of waiting lists everywhere? As I stated in my original post above, put another dollar in my pocket for the non-delivery of a promised product sample. The only analogy I can put to this is the Hollywood release of a dog of a movie. When a movie studio knows they have a crappy film on their hands they do not screen it for movie critics a few days before its release. They just release the film in hopes of a big first weekend so movie-goers won’t see the horrible review it would have received. Same thing here. Apparently this company doesn’t want some reviewers with a large radio audience, syndicated TV segments, magazine columns and big social network feeds to use its product in fear of a “thumbs down” suggestion. So with the fear of getting shot by Fitty I have to suggest continuing to use those plastic, white earbuds you got with your iPhone to listen to music. I at least got to check out a pair of those.