*Scores, prices and rankings updated April 27, 2013*
Of the 150 categories monitored by Decide, headphones are one of the most volatile from a quality and price standpoint. What can you expect from headphones celebs wear? At CES last month reality TV star Snooki showed some jewel-encrusted iHip headphones and heavy-metal band Motorhead announced their own branded “Motorheadphones.”
Those aren’t the first celebrities to lend their name and stylistic flair to a line of headphones though. Here’s a rundown of five popular celebrity headphones and a look at how they rate* in quality and price.
#5 Pop Idol Lady Gaga - Heartbeats – Average Decide Score: 53
While other celebrities have also created off-shoot brands from other celebrities lines, Lady Gaga’s Heartbeats deserve special attention for their awful scores. While some of these earbuds score just under the others listed here due to Beat’s partnership with rival manufacturer Monster, some of Lady Gaga’s headphones are among the lowest-rated headphones we track, and not even the Beats hardware has seemed to help her. We have seen the price of these headphones, normally $60-$70, spike as high as $130 twice in the past year.
#4 Rapper 50 Cent – SMS Audio – Average Decide Score: 65
50 Cent founded his SMS Audio (Studio Mastered Sound) line of headphones in 2011. Prices are highly volatile for these headphones. Over the past year we’ve seen the price of these headphones as high as $300 and as low as $100, and our data shows changes as much as $40 overnight. Click “Set Alert” button to the right of one of these products to be notified when one of these big price swings is in your favor.
#3 Rapper Dr. Dre - Beats – Average Decide Score: 68
While not the highest-rated brand, Dre Beats is, without question, the largest and most popular line of celebrity-endorsed headphones. Several celebrities have made off-shoot branded headphones from Beats, including pop music idols Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, as well as rappers Lil’ Wayne and (Diddy Beats), DJ David Guetta, and N.B.A. star LeBron James. Prices are holding steady for nearly every line of Beats headphones. The highest-rated are $100-$250.
#2 Rapper Ludacris – Soul – Average Decide Score: 73
Ludacris partnered with Soul Electronics for his headphone line. Like Dr. Dre, Ludacris has also attracted other celebrities. He recently signed N.F.L. quarterback Tim Tebow and Olympic runner Usain Bolt. Ludacris’ golden headphones (pictured right) were priced fairly consistently at $191 until six months ago when the price dropped and became highly erratic. Currently they are $142.67, but we saw them as low as $114 in mid-December.
#1 Olympic Runner Usain Bolt – Soul – Decide Score: 80
Usain Bolt’s branded Soul headphones are our second highest-rated celebrity-endorsed headphones after the the gold ones above, but because the average across all Ludacris headphones brought the average down, these are No. 1. Bolt’s Jamaican-styled headphones are currently $200, matching the lowest price we’ve seen. Based on our historical data, we’re confident the price will rise $128 within the next two weeks, but we still suggest looking for a better pair of headphones.
Now that you’ve seen the quality of these celebrity headphones, check out our highest-rated headphones.
* Where celebrities have more than one pair of headphones, Decide Scores have been averaged.