Monster Announces U.S. Debut of its SoundStage System
Monster’s head monster, Noel Lee, announced this week that the U.S. retail debut of Monster Products’ SoundStage wireless music system - which includes three uniquely shaped, svelte speakers – Models S1 ($199.95), S2 ($299.95) and the S3, with a leather-enhanced chassis ($399.95) – will take place at the end of October, with Best Buy as the inaugural retail outlet.
Why call it SoundStage? “The word implies sound much bigger than the speakers themselves,” explained Lee during a system demo tour in New York City this week. SoundStage made its world debut at the Berlin IFA show last month.
Lee said a “full-on” Best Buy training program is being launched to aid retail floor sales personnel in sell-through, and that the system would later be deployed deeper into the market through high-end independent dealers. “We have an ability to educate consumers [about the system] through retailers that no one else has,” he added.
Lee added that the technology used in SoundStage, while initially designed around audio delivery, is “an open ecosystem with bigger implications beyond sound.” SoundStage speakers use Qualcomm’s new AllPlay smart media platform, which enables streaming of high-quality local and cloud-based content. Moreover, content may be streamed synchronously to multiple SoundStage speakers, or different songs may be streamed to multiple speakers. The speakers use software algorithms to “synthesize” a larger sound stage, says the company. The speakers are controllable via a SoundStage app which permits streaming of content from a smartphone or tablet. Connectivity options have been provided for multiple music sources and the system can be updated from the Internet using the built-in Wi-Fi networking function a fiber optic digital (TOSLINK) for output from a TV.
“Today, this is the only system to be able to stream high-resolution (192/24) audio that does both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi,” Lee said.