I read through this thread and all I learned was @Beagle is a very very patient individual.
These flagships are increasing in price simply because they can. It really started when the LCD-3 nearly doubled the price of the LCD-2 and people gobbled it up. Since then the prices keep going up. Every year there seems to be a new crop of people in the hobby that will drop $5k to "get the best setup" and away we go.
Without people finally realizing there's very little (and in some cases no) improvement, the cycle will keep going. It's not like each new flagship is introducing some ground breaking technology. The last major change in the headphone world was Fang introducing planar drivers in the HE-5 (and even that was just a rehash of older technology).
If you're spending this kind of money on headphones you should ask yourself "why am I not spending this on speakers instead"? And don't get me started on IEMs and the whole portable market. The price/performance on IEMs and all those portable amps is astonishing. If you're dropping over $500 on any IEMs you should really be asking yourself "why am I not spending this on headphones instead"?
The answer is simple for me. I prefer how earphones/IEM'S sound compared to over the heads without the need for an amp. Which I prefer not to have to use unless its built into the device/earphone/headphone such as my headbanger earsubs were. They stay in my ears when skateboarding while I have had over the heads fall off. They are also more portable as well, they fit in my pocket with room to spare.
Though I have never spent more than $100+tax
Edited by p4s2p0 - 1/10/17 at 9:41am