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The relationship went downhill due to financial terms

Beats Electronics and Monster Cable Products have decided to go their separate ways once their contract expires later in 2012.

Beats Electronics, a brand of headphones and loudspeakers that is marketed by hip hop artist Dr. Dre and Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine, has decided not to renew its five-year contract at the end of the year with electronics company Monster Cable Products, which manufactured the headphones since 2009.

The relationship went downhill due to financial terms, according to Businessweek. Both sides would argue over who deserves the most credit for the idea and for the success of the top-of-the-line headphones.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Noel Lee, chief executive of Monster Cable Products, unveiled some of his plans for the future of his company post-Beats Electronics. While Beats tends to cater to young 20-year-olds, Monster is looking to appeal to other groups such as athletes, business professionals and women. He showed off some of the company's new headphones at CES, which are now available for pre-order.

An example of Monster's new offerings is a pair of in-ear headphones dubbed the Miles Davis line where the buds are shaped like trumpets and have volume controllers that look like piston vavles. There are currently eight new lines.

"We can be the Apple of the headphones space, with or without Beats," said Lee.

Beats will continue to hold the rights to the sound technology, the brand and the circular design after the break-up. While Beats can be found in HTC smartphones, HP computers and the Chrysler 300 S sedan, it's looking to expand into audio gear for athletes and TVs as well.

"We have very big ambitions for Beats beyond headphones," said Iovine. "Music has got to succeed on the phone or else the record industry will never thrive."

As far as the split goes, Iovine said, "They're doing their thing, and we're doing ours."

And the beat goes on.

Source: Businessweek

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Imagine that...
By Iaiken on 1/13/2012 10:33:05 AM , Rating: 3
Someone feeling like they're getting ripped off by Monster? Say it ain't so!

RE: Imagine that...
By chmilz on 1/13/2012 10:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, the Beats line of headphones is about the only product made by Monster that's actually almost not a rip off. Many headphone review sites rate them average or better in their price bracket. $300 headphones that are actually almost worth $300, while my $2 HDMI cable is on par with their $65 one.

RE: Imagine that...
By bobsmith1492 on 1/13/2012 11:25:22 AM , Rating: 2
Not a chance... I used a pair of noise-cancelling full over-ear headphones and they were horrible. Lots of hissing (noise) independent of the input signal, they were super uncomfortable, sound quality was poor (tinny), the power/low battery LED died after a month, and the cable failed for one ear after a month and a half.

Not worth $300, not even close. A decent pair of Sennheisers would blow it out of the water for half the price, other than the noise cancelling which seems more of a gimmick for a full-ear closed phone.

RE: Imagine that...
By lelias2k on 1/13/2012 12:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
Apart from the Bose QC15, every single noise-cancelling headphone I have tried does the hissing. AFAIK it's part of the whole noise-cancelling process.

But I've heard many people saying the Beats are really optimized for rap music (which makes perfect sense, coming from Dre), so if you're into other styles, you better off somewhere else.

RE: Imagine that...
By bobsmith1492 on 1/13/2012 1:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
It definitely did its own frequency shaping. Bass was definitely accentuated, which was fine by me except the high end sounded pretty bad.

The hissing wasn't bad by any means; it was definitely quieter than the room noise.

RE: Imagine that...
By kleinma on 1/13/2012 4:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
I had a pair of creative noise cancelling headphones that I liked a lot because the over the head piece had a hinge that could fold the over the ear unit in half and make it pretty compact to carry around (for example in my laptop case). They also took 2 AAA batteries so I would never worry about having to charge them or the eventual death of a non replaceable internal battery that ever since apple did it, everyone now thinks is ok to include in their product.

They died on me after 5-6 years, I think because one of the batteries went bust and coroded inside the headphones. (I guess that is a downside to the AAAs, but not really the headphones fault).

I went to best buy because i found they had died right before taking a long trip and could not wait to order something online. They had bose, beats, and rocketfish. The rocketfish line I guess is a best buy exclusive line, so that should be enough to scare someone away from the start, but all in all, I ended up with them for around 110 bucks, and they work very well. They might not be as good as the bose, but they were no where near the price. They do have an internal battery and charge via microUSB, but overall they feel nice on my head, and do a very good job with noise cancelling. So check those out if you are looking for something.

RE: Imagine that...
By HurleyBird on 1/13/2012 6:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
So, as someone who buys headphones that are noise cancelling, let me ask you something: Why?

It seems that a lot of consumers want the "noise cancelling" box checked off, but why do you want the hassle of batteries, coupled with the fact that the money you're paying for noise cancelling could have went into better sound quality instead -- and even if money was of no consequence to the engineer, I can't see noise cancelling doing anything besides hurting sound quality.

Not to mention that when you have a pair of closed headphones or iems with good isolation, you aren't going to hear anything else anyway when the music is playing unless you're next to an airplane taking off or at a rock concert. Even musicians who are recording or playing live don't bother with noise cancelling tech.

So why on earth does the average consumer gravitate so heavily towards this inconvenient and unnecessary feature?

RE: Imagine that...
By Dorkyman on 1/14/2012 2:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've had 3 different noise-canceling phones over the years, and maybe 6 regular phones, and 2 in-the-ear Shures.

If all you listen to is amped-up heavy beat music, then you're right, isolating noise is irrelevant. But for every other kind of music, the quiet passages are greatly helped by the isolation.

The ultimate in isolation is from the in-the-ear devices, especially when coupled with expanding foam tips. Blissful silence. Put me on a plane near a screaming infant, I don't care because I can't hear it.

Another big benefit of noise isolation is that you can happily hear your music at a much lower (and safer) level. There are millions of people walking around with permanent hearing loss due to loud music. Ask any hearing doc; it doesn't take a lot of exposure to do it.

RE: Imagine that...
By millerm277 on 1/15/2012 4:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Because the noise canceling allows me to hear everything else, but NOT have to hear the continuous droning sound in the background. They're great on airplanes/other forms of transportation.

Isolation completely isolates me (obviously), which isn't so great if I may want to hold a conversation or do other things instead of just listen to something/sleep.

RE: Imagine that...
By kleinma on 1/17/2012 11:28:55 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you have never taken a plane ride where your seat is right next to the giant engine strapped to the wing. Take a few flights like that and then you won't ask that question anymore...

RE: Imagine that...
By chmilz on 1/13/2012 7:06:06 PM , Rating: 2 - these guys know more than you do about earphones

Here's the direct link to their huge iem review thread (since I'm more of an iem user than over ear or noise cancelling):

They rate Monster Beat headphones as "average", just as I stated.

I personally picked up a pair of ViSang R03 after consulting this site, and I'm blown away at how many layers of music I was missing due to bad headphones. Best purchase I've made in years.

RE: Imagine that...
By HurleyBird on 1/13/2012 1:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
Those 300 dollar headphones are easily bested by the $80 SR60i.

Not to mention you can pick up a set of AKG Q701's right now for $300 that will utterly eliminate the beats

Or if you want to stay with a closed back headphone, you can spend $150 on M50's.

Beats sound quality is crap, and they are definitely overpriced.

RE: Imagine that...
By TakinYourPoints on 1/13/2012 6:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
Not true, compare them with $200-$300 headphones by Audio Technica, B&W, or Sennheiser, and the difference is very noticeable.

What Beats does is seriously crank up the bass and treble. Listen to the same song on a Beats and any of the other brands I mentioned above and it almost sounds like a remix. Beats aren't accurate headphones at all.

RE: Imagine that...
By Dr of crap on 1/13/2012 12:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
He was saying that Monster prices are a rip off, not the headphones!

RE: Imagine that...
By HurleyBird on 1/14/2012 8:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
If they are a rip off, then they are crap. Everything is relative after all.

Imagine apple started selling their basic Ipod ear buds for $50. You could make the argument that they aren't crap -- merely $43 overpriced and offer comparable sound to other solutions at $7, but that would be a very stupid argument and I doubt anyone here would find it compelling

Likewise, the argument that "These $300 Beats aren't crap, they're just $250 overpriced!" is just as abundantly stupid. Beats are crap, plain and simple.

I still do not know what Beats Audio is...
By steven975 on 1/13/2012 10:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
Other than a logo.

What makes an HP laptop, HTC Phone, or car audio system "beats audio"?

It's NOT unique silicon. I don't even think it is drivers. What, pray tell, is Beats Audio?

By nathanddrews on 1/13/2012 11:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
You're probably not far off with your assessment. As near as I can tell, Beats by Dre has offerred no firm establishment of guidelines or requirements for a part to be desginated as certified. It's more about style and marketability. I don't doubt that some Beats equipment is of high quality, but I think it's all summed up by this YouTube video from CES 2009: Ut5feMt9zkg .

It's sort of like modern day THX - it's everywhere and it really doesn't mean much anymore. You can buy a THX AVR or THX speakers, but does the listening environment have the proper acoustic treatments? Did you manually calibrate the sound and video to reference levels? At the end of the day, consumers see the THX logo or Beats logo and say, "yes, this is worth $$$ because why would they lie?"

RE: I still do not know what Beats Audio is...
By protosv on 1/13/2012 11:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
As I understand it, "beats audio" is just a bunch of EQ settings. It has nothing to do with the quality of the sound processor, the DACS, OpAmps, or any other hardware component involved with sound.

I have no basis for this, but I'd speculate "beats audio" might be something as simple as bypassing the OS to go straight to the sound card, similar to an ASIO/bit-perfect streaming setup. It does appear, however, that beats audio on the HTC phones is nothing more than detection of beats-branded headphones, and adjusting the audio output levels and eq.

As for those who think that beats headphones are worth $300, all I can say is please, for your wallet's sake, listen to some Grado SR80i headphones that cost 1/3 the price of the beats, and tell me they don't sound as good. Alternatively, if you absolutely want to drop $300 on headphones, listen to the Grado SR325i, and you'll quickly see and hear that beats audio is nothing more than a bunch of flashy marketing paired with mediocre headphones at best.

By Cheesew1z69 on 1/13/2012 1:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
Beats Electronics has partnered with several other companies to collaborate and design audio products.

The first such partnership was with HP to design and market desktop and notebook branded as "Beats Audio" products.[4] These PCs include "Beats Audio" branding and software designed to enhance the audio output. The first computers to carry the brand were part of the ENVY laptop line, but the use has since expanded to other laptops and desktops.

By TakinYourPoints on 1/13/2012 6:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
You nailed it, Beats is about tuning and EQ more than anything else (crank the bass and the treble, and midrange, wtf is that?). The Grados you mentioned are a bit too bright for my taste, but I'd certainly recommend those over the Beats any day.

Audio Technica, B&W, Sennheiser, Etymotic for in-ears, there are loads of excellent and accurate headphones out there that cost as much as or less than what Beats has to offer, and they sound fantastic. Beats is all marketing gimmickry for cheaply made headphones/laptops/phones.

"Monster?" Give me a break
By Dorkyman on 1/14/2012 2:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
Over the years it's become easy to identify folks who are susceptible to pseudoscientific gibberish by noting if they use Monster products.

Gotta love that "oxygen free copper" and speaker cabling as big as your finger. PT Barnum was right.

RE: "Monster?" Give me a break
By Omega215D on 1/14/2012 11:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Um, not always. I've been using Shures, Etymotics, Sony, and Klipsch earbuds for my iPod Touch, iRiver, and Cowon players. I decided to give the Monster Turbine a try (it was $120) and found the sound to be very good with full bass and clear highs without sacrificing too much of the mid range.

I found that the Monster Turbines made listening to my 2nd gen Touch pretty enjoyable and gave me a thumping low end when using the Cowon player. My daily driver is a set of Shure SE215s but the Monster Turbines were a good purchase and there was minimal marketing BS compared to their cables line.

RE: "Monster?" Give me a break
By abhaxus on 1/15/2012 9:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly, I don't like to get into these debates, but I cannot imagine how this can be a legit review of the Turbines. Having heard them myself, both amped (cmoy) and unamped off of a receiver and Epic 4G (galaxy s), the Turbines were complete garbage. There was no midrange to speak of, and not much on the highs either. They were muddy throughout the range. The only bright spot of the deal was raiding the box for their triple tree flanges so I could use them with my Shure E2Cs.

I just don't believe that someone who has legitimately owned the other brands you mentioned can seriously rate the Turbines as a decent pair of earbuds. Their sound quality at best compares to a $30 set of Sony earbuds (although their build quality is decent, I will give them that).

By sprockkets on 1/15/2012 3:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
"We can be the Apple of the headphones space, with or without Beats," said Lee.

A hahahahahaha!!! You already are the Bose/Apple of overpriced sht!

By DockScience on 1/15/2012 3:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is a horrible mistake.

No one knows how to overprice mediocre products better than Monster.

If Beats isn't careful, their quality will increase and the prices will go down resulting in unplanned massive increases in sales, a logistical nightmare.

By DTGuy on 1/16/2012 9:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
Thet should send out a Poll to all consumer's emails who bought the headphones and ask them what influenced their buying decision...Sound Quality, Design, Marketing or Price :)

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