Why Are Audiophile Headphones So Expensive?
It is an niche yet interesting hobby of High-res audio listening. You realize how expensive this hobby can be but when you search for audiophile headphones and see those price tags. Yet, buying high-end headphones is worth every penny as many audiophiles and reviewers swear that before buying. Here are a few things you should know before buying your first pair of audiophile headphones.
1. They Are Not Mass-Produced
Consumer-grade headphones are made for the masses and in large quantities. This means they can enjoy economies of scale and have a lower per-unit cost. The higher the production volume, the lower the cost and final price per product.
2. They Have Higher Sound Fidelity
When it comes to raw sound fidelity, the ceiling for professional headphones is very high. Consumer-grade headphones don’t even lie in the same universe. The latter is built to maximize convenience, while the former is built for accurate sound reproduction and monitoring.
High-end headphones are made for a small group of buyers like live performers, audiophiles, audio engineers, and artists. Due to a smaller production volume, they can’t enjoy economies of scale—resulting in a higher per-unit cost and high price per product.
Creating a more “accurate” sounding headphone requires more R&D costs and special parts that are not readily available. Plus, you also need to tune the headphone drivers in a specific way to give a specific output. Basically, a lot of sciency stuff.
3. They Are Built to Last
Most consumer-grade headphones, wired and wireless alike, are not built to last. Manufacturers know that their product will be disregarded as soon as a competitor releases a more appealing product.
That’s why they compromise on the durability of the headphones to make them cheaper and easier to produce. That is not the case with high-end headphones. It’s not uncommon for audiophiles to own multiple pairs of headphones and use them for decades, sometimes a lifetime!