Apple is accused of bullying Monster over Beats lawsuit

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Apple is allegedly banning Monster from making official iPhone accessories for suing Beats.
Photo: Gadget Mac/Flickr CC

Apple is accused of corporate bullying after reportedly booting rival headphone maker Monster from its “Made for iPhone” accessory program.

Monster claims the move is in retaliation for an ongoing lawsuit against Beats, which is now owned by Apple. Monster was the original contract manufacturer of Beats-branded headphones. The move could seriously impact Monster’s headphone business.

Considering the headphone market is a $2 billion industry in the United States, there’s plenty of money to be lost without Apple’s support.

Monster hits Beats with lawsuit for allegedly stealing headphone technology

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Monster is looking for its cut of the Beats acquisition. Photo: Beats
Photo: Beats

Monster Inc, the company that help co-design the original Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, is suing Beats Electronics along with cofounders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for allegedly stealing its headphone technology.

The company, known for its overpriced audio cables, filed a lawsuit this week in San Mateo California, claiming Beats and its founders screwed the it out of millions of dollars before the company was sold to Apple last year for $3 billion. According to court documents obtained by USA Today, Monster says Beats concealed its role in the designing and engineering the headphone line, as well as its part in the manufacturing, distributions and selling of the headphones.

Forgotten by Dre: How two Beats founders were cut out of the $3.2 billion deal

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If you’ve read Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, you possibly know the name Ronald Wayne. That’s the investor who dropped out of Apple 12 days into its existence as a company — losing around $35 billion after selling his shares for just $800.

In the wake of a reported deal with Beats, we have a repeat of that story — courtesy of the one key party that won’t see a scratch from the rumored $3.2 billion acquisition.

Although Iovine and Dre get all the credit for Beats, it was Monster CEOs Noel and Kevin Lee who designed and developed the world’s very first pair of Beats headphones, and did the engineering and technology distribution for the company’s first five years.

Showdown! Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Klipsch Mode M40, Logitech UE 6000, Monster Inspiration ANC [Review]

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Noise-cancelling headphones are suddenly all the rage. It certainly seems as if every big player in the audio game has at least one model that features active noise-canceling, usually accompanied by other luxury features — and with a corresponding luxury pricetag. Even manufacturers who’ve only recently begun making cans, like Logitech UE and Klipsch, prominently feature active noise-canceling in their model lineups.

It may even seem as if the technology has been added to some models simply because it’s become the feature du jour — an impression strengthened by the fact that not all noise canceling is the same. Not even remotely.

None of the headphones in our showdown — the Klipsch Mode M40 ($350), the Logitech UE 6000 ($200) or the Monster Inspiration ANC ($300), the noise-canceling version of the regular, passive Inspiration model we reviewed last year — exhibits the powerful noise-canceling ability that can almost completely drown out noise, like that of the Bose QuietComfort 15. Nor do they sit on the next level down, with NC performance similar to, say, Audio Technica’s ATH-ANC7b (although one here comes close).