They say you can't put a price on happiness - but if we had all the money in the world to spend on our hi-fi set up, we reckon we'd be pretty content.
We decided to do a little bit of detective work to find the most expensive speakers ever made - and we've been blown away by some of the price tags. Most of the items on this list would be beyond the reach of most customers, but there's no harm in ogling some gigantic shiny speakers with crazy tech inside them.
Indulgent? Perhaps. Extravagant? No doubt. Expensive? You bet. So here's what we found...
Final Audio Opus 204 – £295,000
Image via phileweb.com
A striking 800kg speaker we first spotted at the 2013 Munich High End Show. The Japanese company – founded, owned and run by Kanemori Takai – uses sand-filled ultra-thin aluminium cones for this particular high-end model.
CAT MBX Powered Speakers – £295,000
Image via thefuturesnetwork.co.uk
CAT says its MBX systems have been known to top $16m! Custom-built, these speakers weigh five tonnes each and house 22in subwoofers, 9in woofers, 5.5in mid-range speakers, and 1.25in tweeters. We also understand the enclosures are more than 8in thick and built using CAT's own secret lamination process.
Backes & Muller BM 100 – £295,000
Image via bmline100.com
We're still hovering around the half-a-million dollars mark with these towering Backes & Müller BM 100s, which will need a bit of space given their height of 230cm (or 7ft 6in). One of the most impressive features is the large mid-range horn that measures 2.3m high and has a front area spanning 1.75sq m.
Moon Audio Signature Titan II – £306,000
Image via moonaudio.com
With a listed retail price of $520,000 a pair, the Signature Titan II is a limited edition speaker described by Moon Audio as the first in a series of "ultra-limited edition functional acoustic art works". Each pair has been signed by the designer, and its limited-edition tag is not to be taken lightly: one pair reportedly went for $2m.
Magico Ultimate III – £353,000
Image via goodsoundclub.com
At $600,000 a pair, the Magico Ultimate IIIs stand nearly 8ft tall and are an all-aluminium, five-way horn-loaded system. They reportedly require 10 amplifiers, with technical aspects including the throat of each horn that features a high-sensitivity compression driver among the highlights.
Wisdom Audio Infinite Wisdom Grande – £412,000
Image via AV Max
With the Wisdom Audio Infinite Wisdom Grande we're starting to really move up the price ladder. And these are large units, weighing in at a total of nearly two tonnes and standing more than 8ft tall - designed, says Wisdom Audio, for "multi-level rooms in the largest homes and palaces, great halls and ballrooms" no less.
Kharma Grand Enigma – £589,000
Image via electronichouse.com
The Dutch high-end audio manufacturer's Exquisite Extreme Grand Limited Edition 25 might seem expensive enough at a reported £318k a pair, but the Grand Enigma soars higher than that. A one-off, this system was said to have been designed in a huge cellar in Belgium and with a dollar price tag with six noughts on the end.
Moon Audio Opulence – £648,000
Image via Moon Audio
Moon Audio makes a second appearance on this list with an even more ostentatious speaker than the first. Just 10 pairs were produced at a cost of $1.1m, with the ominous-sounding Dark Star on board. The company claims it offers "an optional second way of experiencing music, which is independent of the drivers in the speaker itself and delivers music into the listener's brain, bypassing the ears". How it works, we don't know - but we're confident the ears won't be rendered obsolete just yet.
Wilson Audio WAMM Master Chronosonic – £700,000
WAMM stands for Wilson Audio Modular Monitor and yes, you've guessed it, these Master Chronosonics are multi-module loudspeakers. Each module's time alignment can be adjusted in five-microsecond increments. Align the drivers correctly to the listening position, contends Wilson Audio, and the result is far more lifelike sound.
Each speaker is over 7ft tall, constructed out of aerospace-grade aluminium, and its open architecture is designed to minimise stored energy. Each pair takes about 10 weeks to make, so we're not surprised Wilson Audio is only producing 70 pairs of these £700k speakers.
Transmission Audio Ultimate – £1.2m
Image via Home Bent
Transmission Audio is proud of the Ultimate. If you wanted to compare it to sports cars, the manufacturer says, you'd have to "combine the specifications of Ferrari, Mazerati and Koenigsegg in one chassis". A complete pair with amplifiers isn't exactly a snip at $2m, with plenty of components going into a full stereo two-channel set-up: four Dipole Subwoofers, each containing 10 pcs of 15in Ultra Class elements; two Dipole Woofers (one per channel), each containing 24pcs of Ultra low distortion; 8in Wide band woofers; four Dipole MF/HF ribbon panels (two per channel), each containing 14m of 2in wide ribbons; and two Dipole HF Super ribbon panels (one per channel), each containing 2m of 1in ribbons.
Little surprise it stands more than 7ft tall, then...
Hart Audio D&W Aural Pleasure – £5m
Image via Hart Audio
Rub your eyes as much as you wish, but that won't change the fact the price you see for this pair of stunning speakers is a cool £5m. If we owned them, we'd almost be scared to use the speakers for their intended purpose out of fear that we might do some damage and have to come up with another sizeable chunk of cash to replace them. So what makes this such an expensive pair of speakers? It's just a hunch, but we reckon it has something to do with the 76cm cabinet that has been cast in 24-carat gold...