(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – The Internet is buzzing about the Apple and Beats by Dre $3.2 billion acquisition, but no one seems to be talking about the company originally responsible for making these expensive headphones, Monster.
In 1979, Noel Lee started Monster in his family’s basement making audio technology such as speaker cables, which later spread to surge protectors, HDMI cables, and other audio merchandise, BusinessInsider reports.
Noel and his son Kevin went to Los Angeles in the 2000’s looking for a well-known music partner to work with them on their recent headphone project. There the father and son duo met Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records, who made Monster a deal that they didn’t accept because of its low price.
Six months later Iovine approached the Lees after their partnership with SLS Audio failed. Monster signed a contract with Iovine and Dr. Dre that gave them ownership to anything Monster had developed, which included around 40-50 different headphone prototypes that Kevin spent millions of dollars on before they ever had a partnership.
In 2011, Beats sold HTC a 51% stake in the company, causing Monster to lose all patents and trademarked designs, excluding the company from Beats for good.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Monster CEO, Noel Lee, discussed his initial reaction when he heard about the Apple acquisition.
“The immediate reaction was, what a deal for Jimmy and Dre!” Lee said. “We’re very happy that they recieved such a high valuation. And I’m thinking of what that means for Monster’s valuation.”
“I feel that we weren’t recognized,” Lee added. “We got erased from the history of Beats. We were the founders. Most of the public has only heard a one-sided story and they’re not even aware of Monster’s participation. And they’re not aware that we’ve gone onto bigger and better things.”
Monster has gone on to create its own line of headphones, Pure Monster Sounds headphones.
“That technology that we designed for Beats, that Beats still uses now, it’s a little dated, in my opinion, and in the opinion of a lot of people on the internet. Our latest technology takes the enjoyment of music to the next level. So I think that this deal could shine a light on that.”