Is it possible for a high end manufacturer to overprice their goods?

Having just read the interesting and hyperbole laden review by RH of the new Rockport Orion speakers in the latest issue of The Absolute Sound, one thing struck me..

is it possible in the high end for a manufacturer to overprice their product ( doesn’t have to be a speaker, but this example comes to mind)? I ask this, as the Orion is priced at $133k! Yes,a price that would probably make 99% of hobbyists squirm. Yet, the speaker now joins a number of competitors that are in the $100k realm. 
To that, this particular speaker stands just 50.3” tall and is just 14.3” wide…with one 13” woofer, one 7” midrange and a 1.25” beryllium dome ( which these days is nothing special at all…and could potentially lead to the nasties of beryllium bite).

The question is…given this speakers design and parts, which may or may not be SOTA, is it possible that this is just another overpriced product that will not sell, or is it like others, correctly priced for its target market? Thoughts…


Obviously, it is possible. Even the most expensive items are made of components that cost relatively little (thank goodness there is little place for precious metals and gemstones in hi-fi!) Does the manufacturer add enough design know-how, or design beauty to justify the exorbitant price? Looked at objectively, not often. Evidently it makes a difference as to whether the price is a big deal to you, or a trivial throwaway. But it makes no difference to the sound, does it?

I guess I'm saying we should only praise or recommend components on their sound, not on their appearance or their price. An unobjectionable principle. What a shame it so rarely seems to apply.

Like beauty, art, and a good movie, isn’t overpricing in the eye if the beholder? 

Thorstein Veblen coined the concepts of 'conspicuous consumption'.

Look him up. His theories read like a copy of Absolute Sound.

@russ69 Thanks for pushing me!


If you have $50 million in Microsoft stock spending 7 figures for a stereo is reasonable in your world. What else are you going to do with your money? Give it to the homeless?

Well-placed irony. That said, one thing which is true about the wealthy, and non-wealthy to a large degree, is that happiness is largely measure in relative social position, not material riches. People buy eye candy and expensive things in large part to position themselves with others in their stratum. Part of the audio market is serving that need, while also throwing in a lot of nice audio parts and research in the process.


@mihorn The only Hi-end audio company is the Wavetouch audio. Everything else are Hi-Fi. They all are simply unlistenable to me. I watched few 2023 Axpona videos and my ears are in serious pain. My ears are much better after I listen WTPC video for few minutes. Alex/Wavetouch”

ohh my that made me laugh after a rough night !! 😃😃😃😃😃

WT audio sounds the most natural and closest to the original music than any other audio system. There is a big gap between WT audio sound and 2nd best audio sound. WT is just a different league from every other sound systems. Until somebody makes the better sound, only Hi-end audio in the world is WT audio. Alex/Wavetouch audio