BEATS BY DR. DRE – WHERE SPORTS, MUSIC, FASHION AND CULTURE WORLDS COLLIDE
Christmas came early to the locker room of the Cleveland Cavaliers. When the team came back from morning practice one day in early December, everyone got a surprise – a custom-made pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones – the unmistakably cool “must have“ style and sound accessory made by Monster cable that’s turning the pop music, culture, fashion and sports worlds on their ears. Dr. Dre and LeBron James had the customized Beats in Cav colors made for each member of team.
Thanks to the emergence of the Apple iPod and other portable listening and digital solutions, music means something entirely different to people than it did ten years ago. Music is much more portable, so it can make a more intense emotional connection than ever before – and where and how you listen reflects on every aspect of your personal style, taste and outlook.
That’s where the appeal of Beats by Dr. Dre comes in. With their sculpted metal and soft-touch plastic frames and perfectly placed small-case ‘b’ on the sides, Beats can be seen all over MTV and beyond these days, sported by artists like Akon, Ludacris, Snoop Dog, Nelly, will.i.am, Fergie and many others. (In case you missed the nextto- last episode of Entourage, it was Beats that Turtle donned in the final scene to chill out on the jet and avoid Johnny Drama’s noisy questions. LeBron James, like many other athletes who take music practically as seriously as they do their sport and even use it as part of their pre-game routine to get in the zone, has been listening with Beats since last summer. In fact when he made the trip to the Beijing Olympics he traveled with a pair – and also presented pairs to each of his fellow Redeem team members.
the beats backstory
“Screw the sneakers, how about speakers?” That was Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine’s response to Dr. Dre one day several years ago when Dre called to say he was being asked to promote a footwear product. And that conversation is really what got the Beats ball rolling. Soon after, Jimmy and Dre joined forces with the audio experts at Monster, including “Head Monster” Noel Lee. All three men have lived their lives to the hilt with a passion for music. And while each has his own personal perspective and tastes, they all believe strongly that “sound matters” when it comes to recording and listening to music. Their common goal has always been to improve the listening experience and bring people closer to the music they love. All three were also frustrated by the inadequate sound of normal headphones, which just couldn’t deliver the full sounds of today’s digital audio tracks. They wanted to create a brand new type of headphone that would unleash the total sound of a music mix and kick the entire private listening experience up a notch. When producers like Dre record their music, they listen back in studio on high-performance loudspeakers and high-powered amps, and they create lush musical soundscapes with layers of high and low-frequency sound. This is the power and experience they wanted to re-create in their new headphones.
As Kevin Lee, The Little Monster, describes it: “Today’s music is recorded in digital high definition that precisely captures clear vocals, deep full bass, punchy drums, and the natural harmonics of each musical instrument. But despite highly advanced digital recording technology, most listeners never hear all the details captured in the recording studio.”
The incredible Beats sound was tuned and refined personally by Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Monster’s Noel Lee. The breakthrough headphones incorporate several new sonic technologies, including a new type of speaker driver, that have revolutionized the headphone world. With Beats you get unprecedented bass, dynamics and listening luxury, with a level of personal control that really adds flavor.
The Beats experience is all about getting up close and personal to the music you love – and of course looking great while doing it. So to engineer a product that looked and good as it sounded, the Monster “Dre team” brought in the talents of renowned industrial designer (and Apple design alumnus) Robert Brunner, who now runs San Francisco design firm Ammunition. With Brunner on board, the Beats design team was able to create a product that offered the ultimate in aesthetic form-meets-function. Wearing a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones literally tells the world that you care about quality music, and you don’t mind showing it off.
The Beats team has continued to refine and adapt the headphones style to different needs. They recently introduced Beats Tour headphones, which are smaller in-ear style phones that not only elevate the audio experience but offer another major hassleeliminating first: tangle-free cables. Kevin Lee worked on creating the tangle-free cords for ten years, based on the basic concept that Fettucine tangles less than spaghetti.
Never one to mince words, Dr. Dre summed up the Beats mission for the introduction of the new headphones: “When I’m making a track I’m trying to capture the sound that makes me go ‘now THAT’s the shit! And I want that reaction from everybody who hears it. I spend a lot of time in the studio listening to my music through headphones…with Beats, people are finally going to hear it the way they should: the way I do.”
more monster music moves
Many people think of Monster Cable just as the company that creates the world’s high-quality audio and video cables and other accessories, but in actuality, Noel Lee founded the company back in 1978 for one simple reason: he wanted to make music sound better. A former Livermore Labs engineer, Lee had quit his job a few years earlier to tour with his rock band, and was experimenting with a better type of cord to transmit music signals electronically. He unveiled his original “Monster Cable” speaker cables in 1979 and since then has continued to build his family company around a love for music and entertainment.
Monster has even branched out into the production realm with its own Monster Music label, which recently announced with Ludacris that a special DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ version of the artist’s new album “Theater of the Mind” will be released under the Monster Music® label. Like other Monster Music releases, the special “Theater of the Mind” version will be released on a Monster Music High Definition Surround (HDS) SuperDisc, and it will include mixes by Head Monster Noel Lee that will provide listeners with an elevated surround sound experience, designed to maximize the capabilities of 5.1 home theater systems and bring out all the excitement of great audio and great audio equipment. In addition to the elevated audio quality made possible by Monster HDS, the Monster Music releases of “Theater of the Mind” will feature video content in 1080p Full HD resolution for the finest high-definition video performance.
Whether it means teaming up with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to create a better way to connect to music on-the-go, continuously developing better, more efficient cables for music and video distribution, working with top artists to bring fresh material to fans – or of course, creating special customized products for great athletes like LeBron and his teammates – Monster is a company that is rooted in music as a way of life.