If you are inexperienced listeners you may find cheap earbuds that cost around $10 sound good like Panasonic RP-TCM125 Ergo Fit or Xiaomi Piston, but high-end earbuds with higher fidelity of sound and wider frequency ranges may cost a fortune, ranging from $500 to several thousands. What made them so expensive and how did make sense for audiophiles/experienced listeners? Here are a few of the most expensive earbuds, in ear headphones, and in ear monitors in the world.
Has it ever crossed your mind as to which are the most expensive earbuds in the world? Well, the title of most expensive earbuds goes to the iDiamond earbuds. Now, their price, a whopping $6400, is not an indication of their superior quality or something like that. The reason they are so pricey is because they have been studded with 18 karat gold and more than 200 diamonds.
I am not sure about the actual quality of the sound of these earbuds with their bling and all, but I don’t see them as being special. You cannot even call them in-ear style earbuds. They are simply normal, flat surfaced earbuds that are sold at your nearest grocery store for about 10 dollars. These are without doubt a pair of ‘gimmicky’ earbuds.
These earbuds are the brainchild of Thomas Heyerdahl, a jeweler from Norway. This is the same guy who created the most expensive iPod ever by taking a normal iPod Shuffle, retailing at $49, and decking it out with $40,000 worth of gold and diamonds. This led to the creation of the iDiamond iPod Shuffle.
The iDiamond earbuds were created in 2008, with only about 1000 units being made and sold. Every pair has a number so that buyers are assured of their originality. The iDiamond was sold only in high-end jewelry shops, and the only way to own one of these now is to find a current owner and try to purchase from them. However, the price may have gone up considerably.
JH AUDIO LAYA
Not talking about the diamond, yet the sound quality and fitting, these IEMs sound superb. But as always great products come with expensive price, and the JH AUDIO LAYA starts at $2,595.00. These IEMs offer everything you need for both audio performance and custom fit.
The Laya are lightweight, fit snugly and exceptionally comfortable. Built with custom fit, they provide excellent noise isolation. They are like a noise cancelling set, when you put on you just hear nothing, now you realize how important fitting is. This also adds another benefit that protects your hearing and you don’t have to crank up the volume. The last thing the custom fit would do is they provide extremely secure fit that earbuds never fall out.
The JH Audio Laya not only does offer custom fit–you have to meet a local audiologists, but the custom sound. The frequency response over all range can be adjusted. In other words, you can choose the sound you want to enhance to match your taste. The bass is also adjustable for deepness and impact. The IEM utilizes four Balanced Armature (BA) Drivers for low, Mid and high, respectively. Totally 12 drivers are incorporated on each earpiece, giving you the widest frequency response possible. It sounds transparent in the most respectful levels you can find among the best in ear headphones. The Laya sounds extremely dynamic with high resolution level.
With the sound customized to your taste, the UE PRM isn’t cheap, they sells for $1,999. In addition to sound customization, you can also choose the color and design you want. You have to meet an audiologist, who will examine your ear canals and design the eartips that will perfectly fit to your ears. As results, you will get the most comfortable wear.
Like JH Audio Laya, The UE PRMs incorporates Balanced Armature, but there are just 5 drivers on each earbuds– These drivers are engineered with 2 for mid-range, 2 for bass, and the last one is for treble, adding spacious and airy sound and focusing on exceptionally accurate with extremely high noise isolation.
Where to buy: ultimateears.com
Kern AKR03 Special Edition is one of the best none-custom fit IEMs. Aside from their great build quality, their sound quality is outstanding-Fullness of sound. It is aslo note worthy that you can adjust the low-ends, which are variable from 0 to +15dB.
The AKR03 Special Edition sells for $980. It is worth for a triple quad driver (12 drivers) on each side, which is similar to JH Audio Laya, to provide the widest possible frequenc range for an IEM.
Unfortunately, these earbuds don’t offer custom fit, but by design they sit comfortably and securely in the ear while you are walking. Plus they provide good noise isolation if used with Comply eartips.
It’d be better to choose a pair with best sound rather than the pair with sound customization, which may take a lot of time for you to figure out–I mean the sound you prefer. The Shure SE846 is one of the supercars of personal audio.
Shure SE846, the highest quality IEMs of Shure, is another set of non-custom molded in ear headphones. It has great sound, and you can also adjust the sound to your preference by changing the nozzle pieces (audio filters). With the low-end filter, the sub-bass is well extended and really rumbling.
The accessories included with this IEM are abundant for fitting and listening experience. Some to mention like tri-flange silicon eartips, foam tips, volume adapter, removable cable, a cable clip, a nozzle removal key.
The SE846 is built to last with rugged cable, but it seems to be quite heavy though.
Its sound is well balanced, outstanding detailed.
To have custom fit, you must appoint with an audiologist, to make it easier and more convenient some companies (ownphones, Ultimate Ears) applied the scanning tech, which takes picture of both ears from customers. Then it goes through a number of processes, before 3-D print out the earbuds. But this method is still ongoing development.
These IEMs are great, they represent somewhat “state of the art” in sound, but the music today made for it may not be perfect. Because it seems record producers today don’t make the music better than several years ago. Probably for the same song the $200 in ear headphones may sound as good as one of those IEMs mentioned here, let’s say if you use these IEMs to enjoy 1970s music, they will increase the harshness and background sound. But you may know why people still buy McLaren or Ferraris, and those IEMs listed here are those car models in the world of personal audio.
Your ear will be accustomed to the sound from your earbuds over time. If you often switch back and fort between high-end and low-end earbuds you will immidiately realize the diffence, otherwise you hardly know if you only wear earbuds in a certain range of price.
Other IEMs Brands
Nobleaudio.com: $1650 Noble Audio Kaiser 10
Updated on 07/29/2016