The new dynamic in speaker pricing

Yesterday I received the latest issue of the Absolute Sound mag. This issue has the round up of the varying speaker manufacturer’s wares along with the retail pricing. One thing that struck me is the number of speaker manufacturer’s who have a speaker in their line up that cost close to a $1M!! There are good number of speakers now available with prices in the $700K+ range. A few manufacturer’s are also a little ’glib’ with their top model pricing, such as Oswalds Mill--who state- price upon inquiry only!

This new speaker pricing dynamic is interesting, as it clearly indicates that there are buyers out there who are happy to pay these prices and presumably enough buyers to make these products viable. A trend that is certainly interesting and yet questionable as to how it will impact the hobby as a whole.

Opinions on this trend?


At the level of OMA speakers, the 'art' of the appearance of the unit means as much (if not more) than the performance of it.

They may sound terrific, but at that $ level they Must Look the Part doing so.

They would demand being in a space that makes them do so, as well as the driving elements.  But those who can or feel the need for that can afford that, as well as whatever else scratches the itches felt for whatever rationale.

Must be nice....*G*

As long as there is kudos to be gained by dropping that you just laid out six big ones on speakers at the Ukrainian orphans charity ball I am sure speaker manufacturers will be sure to oblige…..

There are great sounding loudspeakers and there are very high price loudspeakers sometimes the costly ones can be wonderful sometimes they are just priced high because that's how audiophiles think they greatly associate retail prices and name brands with sound quality. Not how they sound but are they in the price range I want to spend and would other audiophiles approve of what I bought.

There is a good question as to whether a speaker design that would be tiny, have zero aesthetics and yet be a ’world beater’, would actually have any traction regardless of pricing. Most manufacturers ( maybe all?) are cognizant of the fact that folks in this hobby tend to buy using their eyes more than their ears. As such, a ultra pricey offering had better have some serious bling to it, or be large enough to create a sense of awe. A tiny speaker, like in my above example, would have little chance at the price points we are talking about---even if it was the best sounding speaker ever made! Interesting point.


Here is part of the issue with a lot of goods sold. 
million dollar speakers are about $250k from the manufacturer to the distributor. Then the distribution center sells it to the dealers for around $500k. Then the sell it at MAP at $1,000,000. I know is a basic explination and the percentages change here and there, but that is it in a nutshell. If it costs $1000 for speakers the scenario is pretty much the same. The problem is so much free money and (printing) has been done over the last decade It is surprising they are not more than one million. Of course we are only at 9.1% inflation in the past year. Whoops. I forgot to add the one. 19.1% inflation. Lets be real. There are amazing speakers for your system that range from $150 to $5000. I think speakers are like TVs. If your not maxing out the resolution with your source and other components it really doesn’t matter. I say get really good components first. Then see if upgrading your speakers make a difference. I have a pair of inexpensive Best Buy Insignia bookshelf speakers. $120 new and I bought them used for $40. On my Ayre 5 series equipment it sounds real and live. Just amazing! They will start clipping at 150 watts with the volume way up. Under that they are just incredible.