Exclusive: "I Think A Lot Of People Want To Capitalize Off Their Name Brands"

Friday, Dec 23, 2011 2:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

As earphones competition heats up with individual lines by Dr. Dre, Ludacris, 50 Cent and RZA now in stores, SOHH decided to hit up Munitio headphones marketing director Robert Benjamin to find out how his brand is competing against hip-hop endorsed products.

Unfazed by rap's growing interest in creating and endorsing headphone ventures, Benjamin said Munitio places more focus on the brand's quality rather than securing celebrity co-signs.

"We're going to continue making the best products out there from a design and engineering point of view but also from a stylish angle," Benjamin told SOHH. "People expect a level of authenticity that we're not going to stray from. We've been in talks and have been approached by people that want to come on board and spread the word but we know that by making the best products, that's how people are going to get to you and you're going to have longterm fans. I think a lot of people want to capitalize off their name brands, there's nothing wrong with that, and we love working with anyone out there who wants a really great product and they want to really be proud of it. That's how we approach it. It's competitive for sure, but it's less of a concern than making something that's really great and getting it out there." (SOHH)

A few days ago, 50 Cent's SMS Audio President Brian Nohe gave his take on the rapper's SMS By 50 competing with other rap-endorsed headsets.

"I remember being a kid in the 1950's listening to my transmitter radio, most people are probably too young to remember, but there was a single bud you put in your ear and that's how you listened to your transmitter radio," Nohe told SOHH. "Headphones have been around for a long time and some competitors have done a brilliant job inducing the market in terms of either quality or fashion. It has been good for the marketplace -- the headphones category over the past few years is growing at about ten percent per year. I love the competitors and I think people like Skull Candy have done a great job and Beats have done a good job in terms of speaking to their consumers and I think there's more than enough room for good, solid competitors and we are going to be one." (SOHH)

Last week, Wu-Tang Clan's RZA talked about his Chambers By RZA facing off against Dre's Beats.

"I don't like to compete against my own crew, meaning, hip-hop," RZA told Billboard.com in an interview at Hollywood's Trousdale club last week as he prepared for the line's launch party. "Hip-hop to me is a family. But you do want to sell the most records, have the biggest song and win the Grammy." That said, he was quick to set his line apart from the efforts of MCs. "With much respect to the other guys, [Dr.] Dre is a producer and I'm a producer," he said. "If anyone is into sound and dealing with sound, it's more the producer than a rapper. We get more technical." (Billboard)

Earlier this week, Benjamin gave his top reasons hip-hop heads should snag a pair of Munitio headphones over the holidays.

"The number one reason you should buy this headphones line is because of its iconic design. These are not your average, everyday earphones. You will really stand out in a crowd because these are striking designs. Later in the year, we're going to launch a very high-end, over-the-top headphones, but we wanted to start with these earphones first because of the sound we wanted to [achieve]. There's a lot of people who don't wear the big over-the-ear headphones and it's hard to travel with. So we wanted to give you something super compact but make sure the sound is beyond its size." (SOHH 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy)

Check out a pair of Munitio headphones below:

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