5 Questions With Noel Lee

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NEW YORK — Monster’s Noel Lee has seen his share of limelight this first half of the year. In addition to being named an inductee in the upcoming CE Hall of Fame, Monster kicked off a high-profile lawsuit against Apple over Beats by Dr. Dre. The company also revealed it had been dropped from Apple’s MFi program.

TWICE caught up with the head monster earlier this spring to talk wearables and smart watches.

TWICE:What do you think about the Apple Watch and other wearables — do you see this affecting Monster’s business at all? Any thoughts to joining the category?

Apple Watch provides a unifying platform that developers of wearables can design for. It’s very much, “How do I get people to design for that product?” Well, you make the product successful and then it’s worthwhile to put resource toward it. I think the Apple Watch provides an international platform for which to create on.

As far as Monster goes, we’re not going to be doing any [wearables] just yet. There’s a lot of development going on, and we want to wait for the dust to settle to see which technologies will win, what kind of sensors. When we do come out with something, it will be meaningful, but we’re not planning to do anything meaningful just yet.

TWICE:Do you have a smart watch or plans to get one? Do you wear any wearables?

I’ve tried [fitness bands]. I like them. I think it’s a cool gadget, but after a while the novelty wears off. I have an Apple Watch and Android watches on order. I’m a watch guy, and to the watch guys, those aren’t really high-end. If I was Apple, and it was a $10,000 watch, it would look different than the $400 watch. It’s the same watch — one’s gold and one’s not. That’s a mixed message to me. Like taking a Rolex and having a cheap version. Then it ceases to be a Rolex.

The biggest thing is battery life. You have so many things you have to plug in already, and the [Apple Watch] battery won’t even last a day and it’s a watch! How can you have a watch not last a day?

TWICE:What’s been the most exciting thing to happen since CES?

The release of Soundstage, our wireless multiroom speaker system, and the reception it has gotten. People’s jaws dropped. We’re looking to go pretty heavy on the install market.

TWICE:What did Monster think of CES Asia?

The feedback I got was great. It beat our expectation.

TWICE:Will you go back next year?

We’ll do it every year.


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