New York - First and foremost, Monster's Noel Lee wanted to clear
up the rumors: The split between his company and Beats Electronics was not
financially related, despite what some Internet rumors claimed.
both companies are moving on to other things.
"We had a great run together," Lee told TWICE on Friday. "We
couldn't have done it without Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre, but they have a different
vision of what Beats wants to be, and we want to go onto our next phase of
audio and headphones. It ran the course, and it's time for both of us companies
to do our own thing."
What this next thing for Monster will still
be headphones, although Lee acknowledged they would be attracting a
different audience than the one who snatched up the Beats by Dre line.
"We're going for a different type of consumer," he said. "We're
going to be more centered around the audiophile ... We're going to come at sound
quality from a different perspective. It will resonate more with more mature
listeners, business professionals [and] active sports with our iSport
line. Luxury is a focus for us at the
end of this year, so we think we can create even higher performance than we
have ever done at higher price points."
When asked if Monster would be willing to partner with another
high-profile musician again, Lee said they would, although he noted that "star
power only takes you so far - the product itself has to be phenomenal."
He pointed to the host of partnerships Monster announced at
International CES earlier this month. "We'll partner with folks that can bring
validation to our products, meaning that they will talk about the sound, educating
consumers about higher-quality sound."
Lee said Monster was proud of the work he and Beats had done on
crafting high-quality sound and on educating consumers about what this quality
can do for music, and he plans to continue this education with Monster's own
"I think what we did with Beats is like the first step in blowing
up the headphones market for the general good of everybody, other manufacturers
and competitors as well," he said. "From the monster perspective, we think we're
going to significantly increase our business."
Separately, Monster put out an announcement that it has entered a
strategic distribution partnership with the distributor AVAD.
"The alliance with AVAD will allow Monster to expand its reach in
the growing custom integration marketplace, providing retailers with an
efficient, responsive and sophisticated distribution and training network for
its full line of A/V accessories and other products," according to a statement.