HIGH END 2012: Sony's flagship SS-AR1 speakers coming to a shop near you?

These are the Sony SS-AR1 loudspeakers, already selling for $27,000 a pair in the USA, and the result of close co-operation between the company's European and Japanese design teams.

They also involve a timber nursery in Hokkaido, northern Japan, a specialist Japanese cabinet-maker, and one of the world's best-known manufacturers of drive units.

They were demonstrated to the European press during the High End 2012 show in Munich over the weekend, and also shown to selected German retailers, as the company seeks to introduce them into Europe.

And if they prove popular in Germany, we could also see these speakers, which weigh 57kg each and stand 108cm tall, arriving in UK shops.

As you can read in our in-depth blog report from the European launch event, they're also set to be the start of something big from Sony: buoyed by the sucess of the speakers Stateside, the engineers and product planners are already considering a range of electronics to match these speakers and their smaller sibling, the SS-AR2.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.