As Consumer Electronics Show drew to a close over the weekend, the biggest news wasn't just about Microsoft departure from the annual tech forum. One other notable update was Beats by Dr. Dre's decision not to renew its exclusive contract with Monster Cable. From its very first headphones, the Studio, in 2008, to a full range of audio products it offers today, Beats By Dr. Dre made an astonishing transition from a mere accessories manufacturer to a lifestyle label. Some of the credit goes to Monster Cable, founder Noel Lee, its occasional controversial marketing tactics. Speculations about the end of the 5-year partnership grew when Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC acquired 51% of Beats at $300 million. Around the same time, Noel Lee's son Kevin, an integral part of partnership, left to create SOL Republic, an audio accessories label with uncanny similarities to Beats except at half the price. Meanwhile, Monster already established its next partnership, this time with denim label Diesel.