And speaking of brute strength, I got a chance to see a forward-looking prototype of Klipsch’s new Stadium tabletop music system, which features two 1-inch titanium tweeters, two 3-inch mid-bass drivers, and two 5.25-inch, horizontally opposed, vibration-cancelling woofers—all in a stout-looking metal enclosure that gives new meaning to the phrase “carved from billet.” The Stadium will feature a total of 190 watts of onboard amplification, and will be equipped with a stereo analog audio input, both optical and USB digital audio inputs, and also configured to support Apple Airplay functionality. The final price for the Stadium has not yet been determined, but should fall somewhere between $1500 and $1700. If that seems a bit steep, bear in mind that Klipsch envisions the Stadium not as a comparatively low-output “desktop” system, but rather as physically compact but very high output replacement for a whole-room stereo system.
Monster’s headphone product display suggested to me that the firm is exploring an ever-expanding range of third-party partnering opportunities, although there were at least two cool examples of pure Monster-branded new headphone products.
To appreciate what I mean by my remark regarding partnering, note that Monster has joined forces with Nick Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment to produce a family of NCredible-branded models, including the NErgy in-ear headphones (~$69), and the NTune on-ear headphones (~$149). Following in much the same vein, Monster also showed its upcoming Diesel-branded Diesel Noise Division VEKTR headphone (~$279), which features dark, angular, stealth fighter-inspired styling.
New models being shown under Monster’s own brand included the Inspiration self-powered/noise cancelling headphone (~$279) and the new Diamond Tears on-ear headphone (~$279), which a Monster spokesman said was intended primarily for East Asian markets. The Inspiration is essentially a more neutrally voiced version of the famous and by now iconic Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones, but with an interesting visual twist. The Inspirations feature user-replaceable headband décor strips that can be swapped out to suit the user’s mood, tastes, or fashion requirements (opening up a potentially lucrative aftermarket for replacement décor bands of every color/texture imaginable). The Diamond Tears headphone features striking (some might say wildly over-the-top) styling that prominent features the ‘phones clear, diamond-themed, crystal-like earcups. Apparently the intended marketing slogan will be, “edgy like diamonds; smooth like tears.” My only question: Would a headphone that simultaneously sounds edgy and smooth actually be a good thing? Just asking…