With 50 Cent‘s new SMS By 50 headphones in stores this holiday season, SOHH reached out to SMS Audio President Brian Nohe to get his take on competing with other celebrity-endorsed headsets like super producers Dr. Dre‘s Beats By Dre and RZA’s Chambers By RZA.
Acknowledging Dre’s successful line, Nohe feels there is more than enough room for Fif’s headphones to stand the test of time.
“I remember being a kid in the 1950’s listening to my transmitter radio, most people are probably too young to remember, but there was a single bud you put in your ear and that’s how you listened to your transmitter radio,” Nohe told SOHH. “Headphones have been around for a long time and some competitors have done a brilliant job inducing the market in terms of either quality or fashion. It has been good for the marketplace — the headphones category over the past few years is growing at about ten percent per year. I love the competitors and I think people like Skull Candy have done a great job and Beats have done a good job in terms of speaking to their consumers and I think there’s more than enough room for good, solid competitors and we are going to be one.” (SOHH)
A week ago, RZA talked about his Chambers By RZA facing off against Dre’s Beats.
“I don’t like to compete against my own crew, meaning, hip-hop,” RZA told Billboard.com in an interview at Hollywood’s Trousdale club last week as he prepared for the line’s launch party. “Hip-hop to me is a family. But you do want to sell the most records, have the biggest song and win the Grammy.” That said, he was quick to set his line apart from the efforts of MCs. “With much respect to the other guys, [Dr.] Dre is a producer and I’m a producer,” he said. “If anyone is into sound and dealing with sound, it’s more the producer than a rapper. We get more technical.” (Billboard)
Last winter, former G-Unit member Olivia said she co-signed Dre’s headphone venture.
“Beats By Dre. Actually, I own some right now and I love them,” Olivia told SOHH when asked which headphones line she likes more. “I haven’t [used] the Sleek By 50 but I will try them out. [I saw 50’s tweets saying] he’s not gonna be on Dre’s [Detox] album. I think it’s funny because it’s not fair that [Dre and Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine] are able to do it and then once  wants to do it, get his own headphones, they have an issue. It’s just more web rivalry. [50’s a jokester], yes, he is very much — that’s how he is period. And that’s how I’ve always been so that’s why we had such a good relationship. So I definitely know he’s very much a clown and people take him too seriously sometimes.” (SOHH)
With each set of SMS By 50 headphones sold, Fif is reportedly donating a portion of the profits to help fight hunger.
50 Cent promises that his new line of SMS Audio headphones will beat out any current market competition, but the G-Unit CEO is also donating some of the proceeds from headphone sales to Feeding America. “Because of my Street King initiative, with every purchase there’s a meal being provided through the United Nations World Food Programme,” Fif tells MTV News. “And with this actual project, I decided I wanted to do something here in America. So for every pair of these headsets that are sold domestically and online through SMSAudio.com, 250 meals will be provided by Feeding America, which is our leading charitable organization against hunger.” (RapFix)
Check out 50 Cent’s SMS By 50 NYC headphones signing below: