If there's one thing guaranteed to elicit name calling and biting of thumbs amongst the audio community, it's the topic of audio cables. For years, high-end manufacturers, such as Monster, have been accused on forums of peddling "snake oil" with their well-made but expensive audio and video cables.
But that's for audiophiles to bicker about. Monster has moved on in other areas, crafting products designed to appeal to a youth-oriented market. It has formed an alliance with Dr Dre and the head of Interscope Records Jimmy Iovine to produce prosumer headphones in the Monster Beats range.
The BeatBox is the range's first iPod dock, and it seems to take its cues from Apple's first and only dock, the Apple iPod Hi-Fi. Both feature a stereo configuration in a single, similarly sized box, and come with an integrated carry handle. But the BeatBox is no doppelganger; it sits apart from Apple's creation by offering a soft-touch coating, a rubberised volume knob and a dock (iPod/iPhone only) set off to the side. The Monster also features a steel grille to protect the dual 130mm long throw bass drivers and two 50mm concave tweeters. The grille itself isn't particularly rigid, though, and it flexes easily when pressed. While the carry handle is comfortable and makes moving the Beatbox around easy, we wonder where you'll be carrying it to, as the unit is AC power only.
The Beatbox comes with a small, rudimentary remote, which enables transport controls like Play and Skip, in addition to Volume, but sadly no Menu button. Monster anticipates that you'll use the iDevice itself to change artists.