Earbuds come in different price classes, ranging from the cheap ones targeting the low-end market to the more pricey ones that are aimed at high-end users. There is a lot that contributes to making a pair of earbuds more expensive than another, so let’s take a look at 5 of the most expensive earbuds/IEMs in the market, and what makes them so special.
The SHURE SE846 earbuds are at the top end of personal monitor technology, which is why they have a $1000 price tag. It incorporates 4 high definition Balanced Armature micro-drivers for even distribution of bass, midrange and trebles sound. The advanced low-pass filter provides you with unparalleled True Subwoofer performance with no distortion whatsoever. The audio filters are replaceable and enable fine-tuning of the frequency response to create balanced sound.
The ergonomic design and sound isolating sleeves of the SE846 allows it to effectively isolate sound and prevent ambient noise from interfering with your listening experience. SHURE also provides users with an array of eartips to suit different ear sizes.
The SE846 is designed for resisting the rigors of daily wear. Its housing is sweat resistant and is actually transparent, letting you view the internal driver components. These earbuds have a Kevlar-reinforced cable which makes it durable yet can also be easily replaced. The wires are flexible thus allowing easy and secure wearing over the ears.
Where to buy: Amazon.com, $999
4. JH Audio JH 16 Pro
The JH Audio JH 16 Pro custom earbuds are priced at $1,149. These hand-crafted IEM’s are based on custom ear molds to fit your ears and no one else’s, ensuring they are secure and a proper fit. This will be done by an appointment with an audiologist and you have to pay for a visit.
For this chunk of cash, you get to enjoy the world’s first in-ear monitor that contains 8 drivers in every earpiece. The drivers are precision Balanced Armatures – 4 low frequency, 2 midrange, and 2 high frequency drivers. They smooth out the lows, reducing any distortion of sound caused by bass sounds.
The JH 16 gives you sound isolation of up to 26dB, thus blocking ambient noise and stage volume. This allows you to block out external noises and still enjoy music at reduced volume, thus preventing ear damage.
Where to buy: jhaudio.com
The AKG K3003 is the most expensive universal fit earbuds in the market, retailing at $1299.99. Their hefty price tag is due to the AKG’s patented three-way Hybrid Driver System, which incorporates 1 Balanced armature driver for the highs, 1 Balanced Armature driver for the mids, and 1 Dynamic driver for the bass. The frequency range is between 10Hz to 30 kHz.
The K3003 is unique because it has 3 different mechanical filters that let you pick from flat response, treble boost, or bass boost. You can switch these tiny filters by simply unscrewing one and screwing in another.
The quality of the housing is great, with a brushed stainless steel exterior. To avoid unnecessary tangling, the cable is covered with fabric, with the eartips being made from anti-allergenic material.
Where to buy: Amazon.com,
$1,299.95 $974 (You save %25)
2. Kern AKR03 Special Edition JH Audio Roxanne Earphones
The AKR03 Special Edition earphones can be yours for the princely sum of $1,459. What makes these earphones unique from the rest is the technology used.
The AKR03 comes equipped with soundrIVe Technology, which use the latest proprietary mini quad drivers. To give you the broadest frequency range possible, it incorporates a triple quad driver (12 drivers). The BA drivers located on each side include Quad Low, Quad Mid and Quad High.
The sound quality is good, as it has a variable bass sound which is adjustable using the cable. The connection with the earpiece is very strong and secure due to a four-pin cable joint with Machined Aluminum Collar mechanism. This also makes it dust and sweat-resistant.
Unfortunately, this is a universal fit earphone, so some people might not experience a good fit.
Where to buy: Amazon.com, $1459
1. Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitors (UE PRMs)
If you have a taste for expensive high-quality earbuds, then fork over $1,999 and get yourself the Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitors. You get custom-molded earbuds fit for your ear only, which makes sure that the earbuds are comfortable and secure. This is done at an Ultimate Ears facility.
The UE PRMs can also be customized to suit your own individual sonic preference. You visit a personal tuning station location just to get them tuned to your own sound specifications. You can customize the design and colors as well.
The UE PRMs incorporate a 3-way crossover circuit design, with five BA drivers on each side. Two armatures are for mids, another two are for bass, while one is for highs. The stereo sound is spacious, though the focus is very precise. The sound comes out clean, and with a noise isolation capacity of 26dB, there is very little distortion from external sources.
Where to buy: ultimateears.com
Like enjoying red wines you need many years to find your favorite taste. If you spent years for music from ear buds, I would definitely stick to your unique taste rather than quest for the best. But it still depends much on music genres you like. R&B, Dance, Pop seems to suit to ear buds with a sound signature, that is, bass oriented. Meanwhile, acoustic enthusiasts need great sound details and well separated layers of tones.
As stated by many headphones reviewers today, ear buds aren’t necessarily very good sound since the music producers actually aren’t making the music better. You know the apple watch, a gold version, costs around $10,000 and there is a real reason for that price and personally I think these earbuds do so.
Not talking about earbuds that were decorated with gold and diamond, but it’s all that about Audiophilacs’ taste, which you can choose the sound to be customized to what you want to hear. And you can only find the one set among these earbuds.
Can’t afford these earbuds, there are a ton of options out there, check out: