Originally Posted by gkanai
Fwiw, going CIEM means that it's much harder to resell. Resale of a used 846 or used FitEar ToGo! 334 is much higher due to them both being UIEMs.
The pricing is what it is- it's in line with the top of the market and Shure needs to make money on the IEM as they would with any of their products.
To me we're in what seems to be a golden age for high-end IEMs. That we have so many high-end offerings for CIEMs as well as UIEMs is pretty amazing when only a few years ago the top end was $500 or so and much fewer selection.
Remember when the HD580 was high-end for over-the-ear headphones? That wasn't that long ago and the market for high-end headphones has totally exploded since then.
I respectfully disagree. Flagship iems used to cost under $500, but now it's no biggie if they're much more expensive for less than 10% improvements in SQ. It's actually a dark time, simply because the law of diminishing returns is evident more now than ever.
IMO, true innovation is making better technology cheaper and more accessible. True innovation puts several times the computing power of the first space rockets into the palm of your hand, for exponentially less money. True innovation makes solid state drives only slightly more expensive than their much slower and less durable spinning counterparts.
Shure had two options when deciding how to price the 846. They could have priced it at the level of the SE535, and widely expanded the number of people that would buy it, and kept their revenue at about the same level it would have been selling the units for double the price. Unfortunately they chose to cash in.
Before anyone says I'm just a Shure basher, I loved the SE215. It was my first "real" iem. It represented great sound and even better build quality, all at the tender price of $79 (I got a slight discount). I loved it so much that I saved up the money for a SE535. Luckily for me, I discovered the GR07 days before I was to call up Shure and hand them my debit card info. In the back of my mind though, I still wanted to audition the 535. A year later, I again had the money for the 535. I was in an airport and saw a store that had the 535 on display. After an A/B with the 535 my GR07, I found that the latter was simply more detailed, more extended, quicker, and better textured...all at about a third of the cost. THAT is true innovation.
CIEMs can get away with their prices because they require individual attention for each personalized set, a cost that has to be accounted for by the company, similar to companies like fitear, ocharaku, and transluscent.
Look at Schiit. They started off extremely small, but the second they had access to better techniques and machinery they produced the Magni and Modi. The Asgard 2 is another example of them making better products for the same price as the older generation. Same goes for companies like Apple and Samsung that push the limits on their products without feeling the need to jack up prices. They each have huge networks and staff to account for, so that doesn't excuse Shure either.
Just my 2 cents.