Dre/Monster Power Duo Unleashes 6 SKUs


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 feature. 

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."

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 month.


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