Monster Meets Miles, Again
By STEPHEN WILLIAMS
The “Head Monster” was decidedly restrained at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And that might be a first.
Noel Lee, the head of Monster Cable who is well known for his glitzy parties during the annual electronics extravaganza and his fondness for celebrity, was chairman of an uncharacteristically low-key news conference, where he shared the stage with the ghost of a legendary, and long gone, jazz musician.
The “Miles Davis Trumpet” headphones led the news announcements from Mr. Lee, who claimed that Monster has “exploded” the headphone category and is now “the leader” in it. Just three month ago, Monster unveiled a slew of new headphone products and a speaker dock.
The new $350 “Trumpet” earbuds are the second product of an alliance between Monster and the estate of Mr. Davis, who died in 1991. The first were the $500 “Miles Davis Tribute” headphones, which were released about a year ago and, as Mr. Lee conceded, may have been a bit too rich for most tastes. The new model, to go on sale next month, is rather stunning, with blue-and-gold accents and an inline control pod that mimics the look of a trumpet’s piston valves.
Monster has been aggressive in the past about licensing personalities for its products — rapper Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, well-known producer Jimmy Iovine are among them. At the news conference, there was a cutout the N.B.A. star Yao Ming, a reference to a line of “Yao Monster” goodies, ranging from home theater and gaming gear to headphones. They are made for the Chinese market, where Mr. Ming is revered.
At last year’s C.E.S., Mr. Lee was joined by Dr. Dre, Ms. Gaga and hosted a concert featuring John Legend and Stevie Wonder. That was a typical Monster event.
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