Beats by Dr Dre and Monster part ways in beef over benjamins

Monster and Beats by Dr Dre are parting ways in a barney over the profits from their domination of the headphone market.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Beats by Dr Dre and Monster go together like left and right earbuds, but they've yanked the cable from the socket of their partnership. In a beef over benjamins, Monster and Beats are no longer to work together.

Beats is the bass-tastic audio brand spearheaded by rap supremo Dr Dre, while manufacturer Monster build the actual headphones. Now BusinessWeek reports the two are to part ways at the end of the year in a dispute over money and credit for the partnership's runaway success.

Over the past couple of years Beats and Monster have eaten up more than half of the headphone market with ear-fondlers like the phenomenally successful Monster iBeats and Beats by Dr Dre Tour earbuds, and the Monster Powerbeats by Dr Dre and Monster Beats by Dr Dre Pro headphones.

That's not to mention the high-class Beats by Dre Executive cans and giant Monster Beats by Dr Dre Beatbox iPod dock, or celeb collaborations with the likes of Lady Gaga, David Guetta and Justin Bieber. They're worn by everyone from Thierry Henry and Geordi LaForge to Lara Croft

The brand is so successful it's made headphones as essential a rapper's accessory as oversized jewellery and a silly name: 50 Cent and Ludacris have joined in the head-to-head hip-hop headphone beef.

Beats tech has even found its way into other gadgets, including the HP Envy laptops. Beats is part-owned by HTC, and the familiar bass-friendly sound booms from phones such as the HTC Sensation XE and HTC Sensation XL.

Beats the brand will no doubt continue to thrive on the strength of its impeccable celebrity credentials, no matter who takes over the actual building of the headphones. As for Monster, it's not without celeb mojo, such as Daft Punk, and just today it announced Vektr, a new collaboration with fashionistas Diesel.

Are you a Beats master, or are there better headphones out there? Beat your ideas into our ears in the comments or on our Facebook page.