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Signeo Partners With Ludacris For Headphones

1/17/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Signeo marked its entry
into headphones in a big way earlier
this month, using International CES as a
backdrop for its announced partnership
with rap star Ludacris.

TWICE sat down with Len Davi, Signeo
executive director, and Chris “Ludacris”
Bridges to discuss and preview
the five-model Soul lineup.

Acknowledging the stiff competition in
the marketplace — not only does Monster
have its popular Dr. Dre-branded Beats
headphones, but Sleek Audio also announced
a headphones partnership with
rapper 50 Cent at this year’s CES — both
men felt there was still room in the market
for another line.

Davi said that while some manufacturers
have focused on style and others
have focused on engineering, the two
details shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

“We don’t feel that anyone has really
married the two thoroughly,” Davi added.
“Style is important — people want things
to look good — but it shouldn’t be at the
expense of performance.”

Bridges said, “I personally deal with
music on a day-to-day basis, and I
hadn’t found a pair of headphones that
I felt were to my standard of what I feel
sound from headphones should be. I
was dissatisfied with the headphones
market, and I wanted to not only make
better headphones for myself but for
everyone.”

Davi said the headphones are targeted
toward “serious audiophiles” and expects
them to compete with such highend
brands as Sennheiser, Ultrasone
and AKG. “The word Soul really is perfect
because it talks about the passion
for music and the passion for sound and
how the emotional experience that good
music creates, and Chris is all about
that. We partnered with him because he
really gets it, and he was very involved
in tuning it and getting the sound quality
where we wanted it. So it’s really the
perfect marriage because he’s all about
sound and music, but he’s also cuttingedge
style-wise.”

Bridges, who said he’s been both an
in-ear and over-ear headphones user
throughout the years, said,
“The entire brand is very
fashionable and aspirational.
Sound comes first,
though … Most of the competition,
I don’t think sound
is their No. 1 priority.”

He also noted that it was
also important the line be
considered “attainable” in
terms of pricing.

Multiple parallels were
made between the headphones
and automobiles
during the interview, both
in terms of design style and
pricing.

“Not aspirational as in a Bentley,”
Davi started. “But not as affordable as a
Hyundai,” Bridges finished.

The five models include three over-ear
models (SL300, SL150 and SL100) and
two in-ear (SL99 and SL49) at a price
range of $99 to $299. The, SL300, the
line’s flagship model, features noisecanceling
technology and a swiveling
ear cup meant to appeal to DJ-ing enthusiasts.
The SL150 doesn’t have noisecanceling,
and the SL100 is billed as a
lightweight model.

Both of the in-ear models feature wide,
flat cables meant to be tangle-free.

Other audio products are expected to
be launched under the Soul brand, although
no further details were available
at this time.

The headphones are being distributed
by Ingram Micro and will be available in
the spring.