High-end audio equipment is in many ways similar to high-end fashion. Prices are astronomical and it takes a sophisticated ear/eye to appreciate them. Both purchases are a reflection of your individual sophistication and style, and can only be appreciated by your equally sophisticated peers.
Not everyone can admire the space potato sack dress (for its fashion-forwardness), or the unsightly cherry-wood floor speakers (for their exceptional sound). A woman who favored Marni was once told she was lucky to be married — since “no man would take her out on a date in those ridiculous clothes.” But what is to be said of guys who spend $20,000 on a speaker system and wear $20 jeans from Wal-Mart?
|SVS PC-Ultra Powered Cylinder Subwoofer, $1,399||Marc Jacobs Collection Quilted Stam Bag, $1,350|
In both industries, brand recognition is extremely important. Most people have heard of Prada and Bang & Olufsen, but what about Peter Som or mbl? If you and your partner are, respectively, home theatre and fashion enthusiasts, here’s a quick reference chart so you can be on the same page. (For example upgrading to Yamaha’s top of the line $5,000+ reciever, is comparable to investing in a Chanel jacket as a wardrobe staple.)
|Market Category||Fashion Industry||Audio Industry|
|Discount||Wal-Mart, Target, Kohls||KHL, DCM, Coby|
|Mass market||Old Navy, Gap, Express||Bose, JBL, Cambridge Audio|
|Affordable luxury||Banana Republic, Coach, BCBG||Klipsch, Polk Audio, NHT|
|Designer luxury||Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton||MartinLogan, Thiel, B&W, Bang & Olufsen|
|Super high-end luxury||Chanel couture, Lanvin, Hermes||Wilson Audio, Krell, mbl|