Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monster Audio & Beats by Dre Split

The headphone collaboration between Monster Audio and Beats by Dre is no more. What most might consider one of the most successful collaborations of the consumer electronics industry in the last decade is over, but not before revolutionizing the headphone industry. Not surprisingly, the reason behind the split was a disagreement over profit sharing and the reasons for the line's success. Monster felt like the success was due to the great product and audio quality while Beats by Dre executives, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, thought it was due to the marketing, product placement, and name recognition. Earlier this week, Lee was asked if Monster would be willing to partner with another high-profile musician again and he said yes, but interestingly went onto say that "star power only takes you so far - the product itself has to be phenomenal." This seems to me like it's a slight dig at Dre and Jimmy, but maybe it's just me.

Regardless of who was right or wrong, we will now see what ways both companies turn. Monster Audio has already announced a number of new "Celebrity" headphones at the recent CES convention earlier this month in Las Vegas. As soon as I get all the information, I will be sure to write a full post about all of the new product announcements. Another reason why Monster Audio has decided to drop Beats Audio is their newest venture in the headphone world, SOL Republic. The son of Monster Audio President, Noel Lee, has created a new headphone maker earlier this year, so expect more product announcements out of Sol Republic now that Beats is out of the picture. Don't be surprised if SOL Republic announces a new line of headphones by a famous artist (they already have an endorsement deal with Steve Aoki). My money is on another famous DJ, but this is all speculation.

When asked about the split, Lee said, "We had a great run together. We couldn't have done it without Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre, but they have a different vision of what Beats wants to be, and we want to go onto our next phase of audio and headphones. It ran the course, and it's time for both of us companies to do our own thing."

As soon as I heard of the split, I got flashbacks to May, when 50 Cent announced he was cutting out Sleek Audio and would be creating his own audio line. Just like 50, it seems like Jimmy and Dre want full control of their business venture. 50 Cent bought a small audio company, Kono Audio, and developed his own audio company, SMS Audio. This way he has all the power in addition to all the risk. Even though Beats Audio is very different than 50 Cent's SMS Audio, it still always comes down to money, ego and control of the business.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Zik Parrot by Philippe Starck

The new Zik Parrot Headphones are designed by famous architect, interior designer and product designer, Philippe Starck. Although they are designed by such a famous designer, what makes these headphones unique is all the technology it has.

The outer portion of the earcups is touch sensitive. This feature lets you change the volume or track of your MP3 player with a swipe of a finger. If you swipe your finger up or down it changes the volume and left and right changes tracks. It reminds me of the same technology Apple uses for it's iPhone. The most useful feature is the motion detection sensor they are equiped with. This sensor recognizes when you have your headphones on your ears or around your neck. Music instantly starts playing as soon as you put on the headphones and stops the music when you take them off. If this feature works as well as it sounds, it could revolutionize the headphone industry so I can't wait to check them out for myself. The headphones themselves use Bluetooth to make them wireless. The headphones are supposed to last about five hours on an included rechargeable battery. No price or release date is available, but expect them to break the bank.

For more information, Click Here.
Available Summer 2012
Price: $400

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Philips Headphones CES 2012

Philips has just announced a number of new audio products for 2012.

At $299, the Fidelio L1 Headphones are Philips most expensive headphones.

Next up is the CitiScape Collection, which is a collection of 4 versions of headphones: Underground, Metro, Downtown and Uptown.

The Underground is the only in-ear headphone unveiled by Philips at CES 2012. Price and release date have yet to be unveiled.

The Metro version has an on-ear design and is compact in size and has a minimalist style. They will be available in March 2012 and Philip's plans on releasing them in 5 color options. Retail price will be $49.99.

The Downtown model has that stylish fashiony look that perfectly encompasses the name. These headphones have MusicSteal technology, which is something that Philips created that prevents sound from leaking while listening to headphones. I can't wait to check out how well this works since sound leakage is becoming a big problem with many new headphones. Retail price will be $100 and they will be available in 3 colors.

At $149.99, the Uptown is the flagship model of the CitiScape Collection. It's much larger than any of the other headphones offered by Philips. The large ear cushions and air-filled headband are supposed to make these headphones one of the most comfortable on the market.

For more information and pictures click HERE.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Logic3 Ferrari Headphones

It was just a matter of time till the ultra luxury Italian sports car company, Ferrari, had it's logo placed on a pair of headphones. Logic3 has collaborated with Ferrari to create a very large line of audio products. The range will include 14 products consisting of earphones, headphones, and speaker docks.  The range of products will be split into 2 categories: Scuderia Collection and Cavallino Collection.

The products in the Scuderia collection will be inspired by Ferrari GT cars and will use the iconic red design they are known for. While the Scuderia collection will be flashy and modern, the Cavallino collection is more subtle and sleek. From the pictures available, I really love the design of almost all of their products (especially both speaker docks). Prices have not been announced but don't expect them to cheap. As soon as the products become available in April, I will have a review of each of their products.

More information and pictures can be found here.

*UPDATE* - Some of the Logic3 Ferrari products are now available online, and they will be sold in select retail stores very soon. For more information, Click Here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DJ Pauly D & SMS Audio

Over the past few months there have been rumors that Jersey Shore's DJ Pauly D was signed to 50 Cent's G-Unit company. A few days ago, the famous guido spoke to the media and confirmed his new deal with 50. When asked about the new collaboration, 50 Cent said, "The immediate response to the SMS Audio line has been extremely positive and we are excited to partner with DJ Pauly D to create a unique line of DJ Pauly D-branded headphones." Pauly D went on to say, "Having my own headphones has always been a dream if mine, and now that dream is a reality. I'm excited to begin creating and developing my line."

Millions of viewers have seen his custom jeweled Italian flag headphones on the ultra popular reality show, Jersey Shore. I can't wait to see how outrageous his SMS Audio Headphones end up looking. No release date or price is known but I'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oscar de la Renta Beats Fox Fur Headphones

Beats by Dre has collaborated with legendary fashion designer, Oscar de la Renta, to create a limited edition headphone that has created a lot of buzz in the fashion and electronic world. The headphones are covered in fox fur which make them double as earmuffs as well. Why anybody would ever want to have fur on their headphones, I have no idea.

It really shocked me to find that such an established and successful company like Beats by Dre would decide to create such a controversial product. Not surprisingly, PETA isn't happy at all with the Dr. Dre's use of fox fur. They even sent Dre an email to convey their dismay with the product. If you would like to read the e-mail, click here. If you must know, the headphones cost $695. If these headphones are something you might want, I suggest you buy them ASAP because I have a feeling not many will be made after PETA finishes with them.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

CES 2012 Headphone Announcements

With the start of the 2012 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas days away, a number of audio companies have already unveiled new headphones. Over the next few days I will try to keep you as updated with all headphones news.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Aerial7 Sound Disk Beanie

There are a number of apparel companies who are now integrating headphones into clothing. There is the InSound Headphone Hoodie line and Rusty’s Wired Series Clothing line, just to name a few. This blend of fashion and technology is a nice idea in principal, but till this point hasn’t worked well because either they look awkward or break easily. With this said, Aerial7’s Sound Disk Beanie is different from the rest.

The Aerial7 Sound Disk Beanie is just as it sounds, a beanie with 2 small speakers. With the heart of winter quickly approaching, what better way to listen to your music then inside a warm, soft beanie? They are a must have for any skier or snowboarder as they might be that extra help you need to land that tough trick you’ve been trying for years.

Because of my doubts about the collaboration of clothing and technology in the past, I was skeptical about testing out the Sound Disk Beanie. However, after testing them out for a few days, I have a renewed confidence. Inside of the beanie there are 2 small slits where you place each of the sound disks, which are basically small speakers. Once the sound disks are inside the beanie, you can adjust them to fit as close to your ears as you would like. I was expecting the beanie to leak a lot of sound, but I was completely wrong. Unless you have your MP3 player at max volume, not even the person sitting next to you on the ski lift up the mountain will know what song your listening to. I really liked that the beanies, even with the speakers, aren’t bulky at all. One flaw is that there is no way anyone could know your beanie is different from anyone else’s. Sound quality is definitely not one of its pros, but were you really expecting great sound with beanie headphones?! 

tested out 2 styles of the Aerial7 Sound Disk Beanie: Blue Bonfire & Black Perisher. The Blue Bonfire beanie is an oversized beanie that is much thinner than the Black Perisher. Both are made of an extremely comfortable material with the black one being a little thicker and warmer. Overall, the Aerial7 Sound Disk Beanie is a great gift for anyone who loves music and enjoys winter sports. They are available in 14 different colors and styles.

Price: $60

  • Easy to Use
  • Extremely Comfortable
  • 14 Designs
  • Expensive
  • Average Sound Quality

Overall Rating: 8/10