Originally Posted by chicostein
On page 21 or so there is a nice discussion of this recent trend of "exorbitant" prices for recent high-end gear. When people compare the price of an older generation of $350 high-end headphones with the current one at $1500, there is no mention of all the inflation in the 10/15 years between the generations and the fact that this stuff does not benefit from cheap labor in China. Add in the low volume sales these products have, the limited distribution etc.Not that I disagree that bling sells, and it is sad to watch this trend progress. Hell, even venerable B&W is selling expensive toys of brushed aluminun and stitched (not sure) leather in every Apple Store. They even changed the logo, from classic "B&W" to the pompous "Bowers & Wilkins".
By the way, nice article on Wired about B&O: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/09/ff_bando/
It's likely Bowers & Wilkins was not being pompous in changing the name, but, rather, avoiding the confusion when saying "B&W," which sounds a lot like "BMW." And the P5 is a good headphone, in my opinion, and, as a whole package, worth the price.
Also, some great gear is made in China. That said, the Sennheiser HD 800 is hand-assembled in Germany. The Audeze headphones are, to the best of my knowledge, made in the U.S.A.
The fact that there are extremely expensive flagship supercars out in the world doesn't change the fact that there are great car values to be had at much lower prices. The fact that there exists a Ferrari 458 Italia doesn't mean I have to buy it (even though I think it's a beautiful car, and I love Ferraris). I drive a Honda Fit (called the Honda Jazz in other parts of the world), and love it.
Decide what you're willing to (and/or can afford to) spend on a headphone (or anything else you're shopping for, for that matter), and choose the best for your needs at or below that price. I may not be willing to spend over $200,000 on a car, no matter how well it performs, but I am willing to spend $1945 for a headphone that performs like the Audeze LCD-3.
I want companies like Audeze and the other headphone manufacturers to keep trying to advance the state of the art. When it comes to dynamic headphones, the LCD-3, in my opinion, does that--and it's certainly not just bling.
Now let's get this thread back on topic. (And I'll post more impressions later.)