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.
The five-year partnership between the two will end this year and
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
, 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 lines.
"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.