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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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6 iPad Gadgets to Help You (And Your iPad) Get Through The Next Disaster

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I have a plan for trouble. When it rears its ugly head again, I’m grabbing my all-hell-has-broken-loose list, dumping the items on the list into my trusty backpack and hauling ass. I figure there’s still the zombie apocalypse and the Mayan whatsit (which may well be the same thing) to worry about, so I might as well be prepared.

I’ve populated the list with things I would need in a disaster scenario: things like a sleeping bag, first-aid kit and rum. Of course, my iPad is also on the list. Oh, I’ll be taking my phone for sure — but the iPad’s large screen will be invaluable in any disaster situation as a navigation tool, for work (yes, even in a zombie apocalypse, blogs must be updated) or just keeping up with current news; mine’s a wifi+cellular, so I suppose wifi-only versions would be somewhat less useful in that last role.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A disaster zone, Eli, is no place for an iPad.”  That’s true only if you don’t have the right gear to accompany it. The following list will show you how to turn your iPad from a liability into an asset when things go very wrong.

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Monster iSport USA Earphones: We’re Pretty Sure Only Olympian Michael Phelps Has Enough Gold And Cred To Wear These [Review]

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You’re an American, and you’ve just watched your athletes come away with a barrel full of gold medals in London. Maybe you’re feeling a little patriotic; maybe a little like you want to go out and train for Rio de Janiero. If so, then Monster has created the perfect earphones for you: A special edition “USA” version of their impressive, washable, iSport IEMs.

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The Best Headphones [Best Of]

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The earbuds that came with your $600 iPhone are junk, and if you bought an iPad, Apple didn’t even include a pair in the box. It’s time to upgrade.

Trouble is, there are all kinds of cans out there. How do you know what set is right for you? Some people (like me) seem to have a pair for every situation. For everyone else, here’s our guide to the best.

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Monster’s Turbine Earphones: I Find Your Lack of Clarity Disturbing [Review]

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What!? Neither Cult publication has ever reviewed Monster’s famed Turbine earphones, even though the IEMs have been hanging on Best Buy end caps for the last several years? Well, that’s an injustice we won’t let stand another day — after all, these are among the best recognized, and most iconic IEMs on the market.

The Turbine is the base model in Monster’s Turbine lineup; though with an MSRP of $180, “base model” seems like a relative term (the two higher models, the Pro Gold and the Pro Copper, are $300 and $400 respectively and are apparently better at reproducing a wider range than the plain-wrapper Turbines reviewed here).

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