New York- Breaking away from its usual one-SKU-at-a-time
introduction strategy, the Monster/Dr. Dre team unveiled six Beats products
yesterday, including its first iPod docking system.
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 I've done."
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
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."
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 and $199 for the in-ear version.
The JustBeats will be available exclusively at Best Buy. All
models are scheduled to be available through Best Buy and other retailers next