Headphones Highlight Monster Meet At CES

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#CES Las Vegas - Headphones in many forms made appearances at Monster's International CES press conference, held here Monday.

The company also introduced its ClarityHD Micro speaker/speakerphone, Streamcast audio transmitting system, and a power-monitoring app.

Partnerships have been proven to be a successful formula in the past for Monster, as have celebrity-themed headphones, and Noel Lee, head monster, announced that the company is teaming with Livestrong, Diesel, and Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as  J.Y. Park of JYP Entertainment. They are also launching a line of headphones that feature swappable headbands.

The Livestrong models will be part of Monster's iSport line. The bright yellow in-ear headphones, which are washable and feature the Monster's ControlTalk in-line mic technology, will be available in February for $179.

Diesel and Monster's headphones, the Vektr line, are meant to combine fashion and music, Lee said. Stefano Rosso, Diesel's corporate development director, added, "If eyes could hear, these speakers are what music would look like."

On-ear and in-ear versions will be available for $249 and $149, respectively, and will have the Diesel logo.

Next up in Monster's musician-themed headphones are Earth, Wind & Fire, who performed at Monster's Retailer Awards concert at the 2011 CES. The Gratitude gold in-ear headphones will retail for $229.

Calling them "a diamond ring for you head," the Diamond Tears - Edge headphones were developed with J.Y. Park of JYP Entertainment, one of Asia's most prominent music producers, according to Monster. These headphones will retail for $279.

Finally, for headphones, the company's fashion-focused Inspiration line (both over-ear and on-ear versions available) features a variety of decorative headbands that can be changed.

The over-ear line is geared toward trendy business travelers, Lee said, with three finishes offered: titanium, white and silver (limited distribution) for $279. An on-ear version, Inspiration Lite, will be offered in white for $229. During the press conference, a number of models paraded down the aisle, showing off headbands with leopard prints, feathers and metal studs, although Lee said that they're "not going to SKU all of these." Headbands will retail for $29.95.    

The ClarityHD Micro portable Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone includes a variety of voice-prompt "personalities," as well as the ability to swap out the grille for a colored or patterned one. Features include 3.5mm aux jack, a five-hour battery life on lithium-ion batteries, and an omnidirectional microphone. It will ship in March for $219.  

Monster also showed off its StreamCast HD transmitter and receiver kit ($189) and a power-monitoring app in its Green Power line. The StreamCast HD kit lets users send four separate channels to up to 12 zones.


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