Monster’s Beat’s by Dr Dre line of portable audio gear isn’t going to let the looming end-of-year holiday season pass by quietly: the line has added five new products, including signature headphones from basketball star LeBron James and its first iPod-docking speaker station, dubbed the BeatBox.
“What you’re seeing today is what me and Jimmy [Geffen A&M chair Jimmy Iovine] set out to do with Beats,” said Dr. Dre in a statement. “It’s not just about headphones it’s about changing the whole game in terms of the listening experience.”
The Beats by Dr. Dre line has tapped into the high end of the portable audio market by offering flashy signature products that claim superior audio performance in their categories…and command high retail price tags as both audio accessories and fashion statements. The five new offerings fit snugly with that pattern: first the BeatBox speaker system purports to be a “game-changing” portable digital sound system that offers a high-end audio experience in a portable box. The BeatBox features two 5.25-inch bass drivers and 2-inch high-frequency drivers to reproduce a wide range of sound, along with a rugged ABS housing, a minimalist black-on-black color scheme (with silicon rubber controllers and feet), and a built-in carrying handle. The unit can handle iPods and iPhones via a top-mounted docking port. Monster says the BeatBox offers a club-like sounds experience in a tiny package—and at the $449.95 suggested retail price, they’d better be able to back up that claim.
The other four new entries in the Beats lineup are headphones, leading off with a new signature Powerbeats performance sports headphones bearing the name of basketball star LeBron James. Available in red, black, or white, the Powerbeats feature a dual-drier design with an adjustable over-the-ear loop that keeps the headphones secure even during strenuous activity—and, unlike many headphones, the Powerbeats feature a non-noise occluding eartip so listeners can still pick up on peripheral noises—like cars or teammates. The Powerbeats have a suggested retail price of $179.95.
The new iBeats in-ear headphones feature a sealed design that blocks out external noise, and also sport Monster’s ControlTalk headphone cable that can be used with iPhones and iPod to control music playback and handle hands-free calls—it also works with a variety of other smartphones. They also feature Monster’s tangle-free cord design and solid metal construction: they carry a suggested price of $119.95.
The new JustBeats headphones are named for—you guessed it—Justin Beiber, and are aimed at being the first set of quality headphones experienced by young music fans: they’ll sport purple finishes (Justin’s favorite color), be available in both in-ear and over-ear models, and be available solely through retailer Best Buy.
Finally, the Beats Pro over-ear headphones aim to be the flagship of the Beats headphone line, aimed at DJs audio professionals looking for high quality and sound isolation in production and reference headphones. The Beats Pro line will feature all-metal lightweight aluminum body construction for durability, flip-up cups to let DJs monitor a room without taking off their cans, and a dual input-output cable lets users share feeds by daisy-chaining headphones. And they carry a pro-level price tag: $449.95.