Absolutely agree- from a slightly different perspective, to some this development is a gift. I was considering delving into this part of the market (my IEM experience being limited to Final A4000s and Ikko OH10s, both of which I love now after struggling with fit and EQ issues), and after reading lots of reviews, I was torn between something like the Clairvoyance or Dunu SA-6 on one hand and 64 Audio U12T or Tia Trio on the other side. I wanted something with strong detail retrieval in the treble on the one hand, a forward clear middle and fast but adequately punchy bass (I love EDM but am not o/w a bass-head). Black Friday was approaching, what to do? Suddenly the Mk2 appears on the stage, call it hype train if you will, but I ordered them anyway (from Headphones.com, in case there is a problem I can return them, though I hope not). I am that guy.Considering the price of the original Monarch, the Mk2 already represents an increase in price.
I don’t think the Monarch will have a significant effect on the pricier IEMs. As someone else said, purchasing decisions are complex. A simple example…. If you need to buy a meal and can afford, and expected, to pay $20 you might be pleasantly surprised if the menu has a $3 special. You may even have heard patrons talk about how good the $3 special was, but in the end you might hesitate, wondering what you might be missing out with the more expensive meal. I can speak from my own experience that when I shop I do not always go for the lowest cost option if I have been subtly persuaded by either marketing, word of mouth, or packaging to go for a more expensive offering, sometimes convincing myself that “you get what you pay for“. Obviously for many they do not have the option to pay more than they have to, but then a +$1K IEM is probably not targeted at them.