To the uninitiated, meet qdc, a Chinese manufacturer of high performance multiple-driver in-ear monitors. And the term high-end can't be emphasised enough with the company's new flagship product, which is the result of eighteen months of design work and is – how to put it – really expensive.
The qdc Blue Dragon in-ear headphones are designed around the driver complement of the firm's Anole VX ten-armature model. This means it makes use of no less than ten drivers in each enclosure. These, qdc says, are grouped together in order to produce a seamless, ultra-high-bandwidth soundstage.
The wired headphones also output via a seemingly unique audio cable called the Dragon Skin. It features gold-plated pure sterling silver conductors, silver-plated single crystal copper and an alloy using copper and palladium. It's terminated using a 2.5mm balanced connection, but you also get a 3.5mm adapter.
The enclosures that these drivers are placed in are, according to the company, a "radical upgrade over the Anole VX and put the Blue Dragon at the cutting edge of both engineering and art". The Blue Dragon enclosures are made from sections of gold-fused titanium, in the pursuit of complete inertness – both in response to the drivers they contain and the outside world. These are ergonomically shaped and promise an exceptionally comfortable fit.
Then, for the finishing touch to end all finishing touches, the housings are covered in no less than 800 sapphires. The result is one of the most extraordinary looking sets of wired in-ear headphones we've seen – and almost certainly the most expensive. The Blue Dragon headphones dwarf the asking fees of other wired in-ears in our recent feature on the world’s most expensive headphones, including the excellent Shure KSE1200 and Shure KSE1500.
The Blue Dragon is now available to buy in the UK exclusively via Audio Concierge. The company says that a wide range of partnering equipment is sold to ensure that your Blue Dragons "will demonstrate their enormous potential and delight their fortunate owners".
Each Blue Dragon takes three months to craft, and is available to order now for the sum of £12,199 (opens in new tab).