How to get ahead in head­phones

The Mon­ster CEO’s tie-up with Beats by Dre made cans the big­gest mu­sic must-have since the iPod. He reck­ons they’re just get­ting started…

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

In­sight by Mon­ster’s Noel Lee

Mon­ster is a 35-year-old company that did business for 30 years with­out head­phones. We in­vented the Mon­ster ca­bles that mu­si­cians swear by to­day. We did a whole lot more be­sides.

Still, even though we’re now post-Dr Dre and mak­ing our own head­phones, I would never un­der­es­ti­mate what we did with Beats Elec­tron­ics. It was an in­cred­i­ble meet­ing of cir­cum­stances that will never hap­pen again.

At the time, mu­sic was mainly con­sumed from iTunes, with very lit­tle rev­enue for those that make it. Peo­ple were buy­ing sin­gles in­stead of al­bums, so in­stead of a $20 CD pur­chase, it’s a $2.19 spend on iTunes.

So we were look­ing for the next big thing. Dre thought speak­ers, but I said, “For­get those, no­body wants big boxes any­more.” Home the­atre re­ally hadn’t taken hold. The tim­ing was right for head­phones. Bose, Sennheiser, Skull­candy – none of them had done it; the revo­lu­tion was ready to take place. We had our tech, and my knowl­edge of audio, and wanted to ride head­phones in a way no one had be­fore.

Now, Beats CEOs Jimmy Iovine and Dre didn’t know any­thing about en­gi­neer­ing

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