iPodNN: This week at CES, Monster unveiled its new lineup of headphones that look to improve both audio quality and aesthetics. New products include the Inspiration, iSport, Diesel Vektr, Diamond Tears, and the Earth, Wind & Fire-backed Gratitude. In most cases, Monster is taking them relatively upscale compared to more utilitarian audio.
The Inspiration and Diamond Tears are both over-ear styled headphones that place an emphasis on fashion. An interchangeable headband has been incorporated into the Inspiration, while the Diamond Tears present a flashy diamond-inspired design. Headbands are being offered separately and will initially be sold in eight styles for $30 each. The Inspiration will be made available in Spring 2012 at a cost of $280, while the Diamond Tears are scheduled to launch during the first quarter of 2012 for the same price. An in-ear version of the Diamond Tears are also planned and should be released later this year.
Designed in conjunction with Diesel, Vektr on-ear headphones feature a non-traditional design that incorporates touches of contrasting black, grey, and brushed aluminum. The Vektr is expected to sell for $250 and includes a special cable with a triangular section that prevents tangling. In addition, a compact in-ear Vektr model will launch alongside the on-ear headphones this quarter for $150.
Also created through a new partnership, the iSport is a LIVESTRONG branded in-ear headphone designed specifically for athletes. The headphones feature the iconic bright yellow on both the cable and earpieces, as well as an integrated microphone and answer button for use with smartphones. Starting in February, the iSport headphones will be available nationwide and online at RadioShack for $180, with a portion of the profits going directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Finally, the $230 Gratitude in-ear headphones have been engineered to reproduce the true harmonics of live music and sonic details of each instrument. The headphones feature a noise-isolation design that was personally tuned by the members of Earth, Wind & Fire, and Noel Lee, as well as rose gold finish and special carrying case.