Originally Posted by Asr
1500€? The K812 is $1500 USD, which exchanges to approximately 1100€ right now.
Completely untrue. I never spent less money than when I was in Germany. Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and even Italy - much more expensive. On top of it all, you can always talk the seller into giving you a discount which isn't the case elsewhere, certainly not in Croatia where I live.
As fpr exchange rates, they have nothing to do with mathematics. Different way of tax management in Europe and dealership representatives mean high prices for the end buyer. So if something is 1000 US dollars, it will be 1000 Euro over here. Exceptions are European-based companies, certainly the British makes, but ALG does not belong to this group and for this reason Sennheiser has much better sales.
I think it was a mistake for AKG to set a high price at the introduction. The reason they could do it is because someone else has already broken the ice and developed a market for this category. They just stood on the shoulders of their predecessors and decided it is the category they should be in. I am not saying it is not where they belong performance-wise but they would have gained a lot more respect for introducing it a lower price and place it in a category of, say a Sennheiser HD700, because people are now comparing it to the HD800 and others that cost a similar amount of money. Think about it, if K812 cost 30% less, it would be compared to the HD700 and would most like win in that duel. To compare it to an HD800 would not have been realistic but even if one did it and found it inferior to the HD800, it would still have an aura of something that costs less and is equally good in some respects.
What also conspires against AKG is a lack of novelty. While ring driver is not exactly a novelty, it is certainly not common, even in loudspeakers and I know only a few pretty expensive Sonus faber loudspeakers that use a ring radiator tweeter. So while I have no doubt much time was spent on getting the acoustics of these headphones done properly, I think it is the sort of a sequel that brings nothing new. This is not how I see it mind you but it is how many would see it. It would have been more interesting if AKG introduced a new version of their K1000 earspeaker system. Alvin Gold used to rave about these and once I heard them, I knew why - they brought an exciting new world to the market. It wasn't for everyone because of this but that is the same problem the K812 has due to it's price, and it doesn't bring a new world to the market.
Maybe I will eat my words once I have listened to them, or bought them, but this is how I feel right now nonetheless.