Originally Posted by jonnio
You might be right, but we aren't talking about a stamped metal or plastic shell here, so there is just no getting around the high cost of CNC'd titanium.
Titanium may be more costly to manufacture than other materials, but the cost is dependent upon the complexity of the item being manufactured. The greatest hurdle to the successful and efficient manufacture of the Rockets is precision and size, but the shape itself is relatively simplistic. It'll require a CNC machine that has fine stepping control in the axis pointing along the length of the cylindrical shape of the Rockets, but beyond that, the manufacture process should not be complex to the degree that aerospace companies require out of their fan blade or control surfaces. Manufacture of such items is costly because of the human aspect of complex control and monitoring that goes beyond the manufacture of an IEM. As long as AS gets beyond a hurdle of financing their tooling, and provided that they have instituted an efficient SOP for manufacture, there shouldn't be any reason why the Rockets (as a package) should cost over $99 to manufacture, end-to-end.
ADDENDUM: Now, if we want to factor in marketing, packaging design, after-sales service, etc. then it may very well cost AS more than $99 per unit. But if we're talking purely about the manufacture of the IEM, accessories, and packaging, I doubt it goes over the super steal cost.
Edited by tomscy2000 - 2/9/14 at 7:54am