Las Vegas — One year after Monster’s very public split with Beats by Dr. Dre, the manufacturer is trying to reach as many different consumer demographics as possible, and it’s using a ton of star power to help.
In a celebrity-studded press conference on Monday, Monster expanded several of its existing headphones lines and launched its very first gaming headset, the MVP Carbon.
Noel Lee, head monster and upcoming CE Hall of Fame inductee, charged through a series of product announcements, periodically calling out the designated celebrity “brand ambassador” to accompany him on stage. He said that the holiday season (as well as International CES) had become “Headphones R Us,” with the vast number of manufacturers in the market. To combat this trend, Monster has “identified different market segments where we don’t think there’s a clear succinct leader … [there is] a lot of business left to be had,” said Lee.
For the heavily fashion-conscious segment, model and actor Tyson Beckford appeared with Lee to highlight three new Diesel Vektr colors, and musician Sheila E came out to promote the Diamond Tears line. Lee described the Diamond Tears headphones as “a gamble.”
“We didn’t know where it was going to go. This was so blingy — we didn’t know if it was going to be successful. [But] for many retailers this is our No. 1 unit quantity seller.”
Boxing champ Sugar Ray Leonard joined actor Nick Cannon in support of the NCredible Entertainment partnership that Monster formed in 2011, and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees appeared for its iSport athletic headphones. Both lines are featuring new product additions.
Rapper Xzibit popped on stage to show off the MVP Carbon gaming headset, which Monster has developed in partnership with EA Gaming. The on-ear headset has 30mm drivers and Monster’s High Definition Headphone Surround (HDHS) powered by AstoundSound surround-processing technology. It will be available in black or white in February for a $269 suggested retail.
Monster also announced alliances with fashion brand Tumi and with UFC, which Lee called “the fastest-growing segment in all of sports.”