Dre/Monster Power Duo Unleashes 6 SKUs
By Lisa Johnston On Oct 4 2010 - 3:01am
— Breaking away from its usual
one-SKU-at-a-time introduction strategy, the
Monster/Dr. Dre team unveiled six Beats products
last week, including its first iPod docking
Speaking at a press event held at the Best
Buy Theatre in New York, Dre dismissed the
stiff competition of the iPod docking station
market, saying, “[The other docks] don’t sound
right … I’m more proud of this than almost anything
The Beatbox has dual 5.25-inch bass drivers
and two 2-inch high-frequency drivers. Along
Dre’s usual conspirators — namely head monster
Noel Lee and music producer Jimmy Iovine — the
team enlisted design firm Ammunition and founder
Robert Brunner. Suggested retail is $399.
Four headphones and earphones were unveiled,
including the highest-end Beats model
to date. The Beats Pro are geared toward studio
users, home musicians and DJs, represented by
their swiveling ear cups and dual cable ports.
Suggested retail is $399.
The Powerbeats ear-clip headphones, billed
as “workout headphones,” are the result of a previously
announced partnership with basketball
player LeBron James. They’ll be offered in black,
red and white for $149 and feature Monster’s ControlTalk
The remaining headphones were launched in response
to what Iovine described as the commoditization
of the CE industry. “You can’t make sound convenient,”
he noted. “[The digital revolution] did not help sound at
all — it hurt it.”
The three SKUs — the iBeats and in-ear and over-ear
JustBeats — are geared toward younger listeners, with the
JustBeats being promoted by teen pop star Justin Bieber.
“We wanted to make an ear bud that replaces the free or
the $29.99 ones that sounds like they’re free,” Iovine said.
“When [kids] get an iPod, the headphones that come with
it is just to see if the iPod is working.”
Bieber made an appearance at the conference via a
previously taped statement, in which he noted that kids
will spend $200 on an iPod and then just $15 on the
Lee said Monster strove to keep the price below $99.99
for the iBeats, noting, “We’re losing money on this.” They
have a solid metal construction, and Lee said they come
with 12 different ear cushions.
The JustBeats, which are offered in purple, retail
for $199 for the on-ear version and $199 for the inear
The JustBeats will be available exclusively at Best Buy.
All models are scheduled to be available through Best Buy
and other retailers next month.