CES 2015: Yes, Monster Still Throws Really Bizarre Press Conferences
Same show, same hijinks
Headphone company Monster Inc. seems to have adopted a new motto: If it’s weird, don’t fix it. Or at least that’s their mentality behind Consumer Electronics Show press conferences.
Last year at CES, they held a bizarre spectacle with celebrity guests Nick Cannon and Shaquille O’Neal. This year, they staged an eerily similar event.
In 2014, Monster CEO Noel Lee rode out on stage atop a Segway with gold rims. With flames on it. Lee typically makes appearances on the two-wheeler, since he has a disability, but this year the CEO couldn’t attend the show due to a recent medical procedure. So instead, he explained what the company has in store for 2015 via a pre-recorded video.
To be fair, Monster touted some interesting new wares. One is the Pure Monster Sound Experience, an app they launched in November. The program digs through a user’s music library, and then optimizes the sound profile for each song depending on its genre, artist, and the era it was recorded. Another is Monster SoundStage, a wireless home speaker system that can be controlled via smartphone.
Monster, of course, primarily ogled its headphones lineup. Presenters showed off the DNA Pro 2.0 headphones, plus a new line of super-skinny bluetooth sports headphones, called the iSport.
The presentation of these products, however, teetered on the absurd. Each speaker stormed the stage to an annoyingly loud pop-song intro. At one point Nick Cannon came out (as he did last year) and said a lot of things that didn’t really amount to much (as he did last year). He noted that the company is on the prowl for what he calls “entrepre-tainers”—a poor mashup of the words “entrepreneur” and “entertainer” that even Cannon himself had trouble pronouncing.
Toward the end, the crowd was treated to an enthusiastic Shaquille O’Neal, who played a video he made for Monster’s new portable speaker, the Superstar Blackfloat. The device is completely waterproof, a feature that Shaq eloquently demonstrated by pouring a cup of water over it and then dropping it in his bath tub. He also screamed a lot while holding it, and we’re still not sure why.
But our favorite moment was when the 7-foot-tall basketball star grabbed the arms of a Monster representative and made him dance like a puppet. We’re still trying to figure that one out, too. In the meantime, we’ll file this spectacle under #ceswtf.
Popular Science is covering the coolest, most futuristic, and strangest gadgets and technologies at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Catch our complete CES 2015 coverage all week long.