Bugatti has collaborated with high-end German audio firm Tidal (no relation to the music streaming service) to create "the Bugatti of home audio" – and it's kicking things off with this remarkable set of speakers.
It's not the first time a high-end audio brand has collaborated with an aspirational automotive manufacturer to produce audio kit not intended for use behind the wheel of your hypercar – in the past few years Porsche teamed up with KEF to produce headphones and wireless speakers, and Klipsch worked with McLaren on a set of sports in-ears, to name just two. But if ever a set of monolithic floorstanders harked back to the 1930s supercar they're named after, it's the new Bugatti Royale.
Bugatti fans will probably be all too aware that the French car manufacturer produced only six of its huge Type 41 motor vehicle (better known as the Royale) between 1926 and 1933. It was a car intended to be the biggest, most luxurious and most expensive in the world, and only four of them were actually sold. Obviously, both Tidal and Bugatti are hoping to avoid a similar situation with the new Royale speakers, but there are several more positive similarities.
Tidal is offering two limited-edition versions of the Royale speaker – Edition Blanc and Edition Noire (yes, white and black) – but there will apparently be an almost limitless selection of customisation options for buyers, similar to the way that Bugatti allows its customers to personalise their hypercars in various veneers and finishes. Buy a set of Royales and you'll be able to pick from various materials, with carbon fibre, leather, precious metals, dark aluminium and polished stainless steel on the menu. The speakers are available in either of two themes – Monocoque or Duotone cabinets. Piano finishes are also available.
The Bugatti logo also adorns the speaker and 'Tidal for Bugatti' is branded on the back. Each Royale stands almost 1.5m tall and weighs a whopping 160kg – about as heavy as a reindeer.
Under the bonnet, each speaker comes with four long-throw subwoofers and two front-firing woofers with aluminium diaphragms. The Royale also features one high-efficiency diamond tweeter – the same as those found in the cars – and one high-efficiency ceramic midrange driver, though customers can upgrade the latter to a diamond one.
Interestingly, the Royales are active speakers, meaning they house what Bugatti is calling "extremely powerful amplifier channels" inside the cabinets. The matching Bugatti-branded music controller (pictured) will allow you to connect to your sources, including music streaming services and TVs.
And the price? It hasn't been disclosed: a sure sign that if you need to know, you can't afford them. We'd bet our own (much more modest) cars that the fee will be six figures...
Want to get up to speed on in-car audio tech? Read our hands on with the Sennheiser Ambeo Mobility sound system
Prefer a Burmester and Porsche collaboration? See our Burmester High-End Surround Sound System (2020 Porsche 911) review
More high-end speakers? See 12 of the world's most expensive loudspeakers