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…


not only is it "possible" for "high end" manufacturers to overprice, it’s NORMAL...

and hey, if it works to sell stuff, well, so be it: what the market will bear, right?

some people are attracted to stuff ... "luxury" stuff ... exactly because it's priced high -- such folks are into exclusivity of money, moreso than performance.

Interestingly, most self-made American millionaires are not duped by such marketing ploys and do not care about luxury bling, which explains why they're self-made millionaires.  


@tomrk +1  "A lot of fun actually, but what struck me is that with few exceptions that price had nothing to do with the quality of the sound coming from the speakers."

what you say has been my experience over 40 years of this audio hobby

@curtdr  The question is not whether a marketing plan exists that banks on 'over pricing' gear to sell at the high end, but rather if it is possible that such a plan might ultimately cause buyer ' exhaustion'? Resulting in a major reduction in sales to a final conclusion of zero sales? This would seem to me to be highly probable, since the upward spiral in pricing is getting more aggressive. But, perhaps we have just seen the tip of the iceberg here, who knows? 

certainly Rockport has been highly successful selling very high priced speakers for decades, while others not successful... I think their speakers sound incredibly good, though have never had the chance to compare them to similarly priced speakers...not sure how much buyers in that price range care about resale value...


1) Lot of noise in the internet. You are right. Coming from "innocent" people with a secret agenda, whether from the manufacturers' side, or themselves profit motif. The key is to get to know the people online or personally that you learn to trust, both integrity wise, and from the perspective of matching their taste with your own. This takes years (if not decades) and constant exposure to what goes on in the hobby, user forums and publications / reviewers.


You're right, when it comes to opinions in audio, it can take years to find people who you can trust.

The same thing applies to cars, electrics, plumbing, health etc.

I still have fond memories of Derek Whittington who ran Sound Advice from Loughborough. I bought my first system from him and I'll always be grateful for his honesty and patience.

He was big on Linn and Naim, like so many were back then, but neither Derek nor anyone in his shop ever pushed anything on me.

I remember one difficult listening session where I couldn't find a single well reviewed loudspeaker I liked more than what I had already until someone there suggested listening to the Rega Kytes.

That was a classic case of using your own ears to make a purchasing decision. 

As you say, trying a product at home would be best but listening at a dealers is still far better than taking a gamble on what you've read or heard.

Howard Popeck is another name that comes to mind. Years ago my sister fancied some new speakers and auditioned some Harbeths at home.  She was unimpressed until Howard suggested listening to some vintage JBL L100s which she still loves to this day.