The speakers that cost £350,000

When you’re spending upwards of £20,000 on speakers, you want them to look as amazing as they sound. Here are nine of the best money-no-object speakers on the planet.
 
  •  KEF Blade lifestyle shot
    Chris Smith
    Last updated: 13 December 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Very few people can afford to even dream about their fantasy audio setup, especially when the highest of high-end speakers cost more than your average house.

    However, for those mega-rich audiophiles for whom only the most extravagant setup will do, here is a selection of the best sounding – and most outrageous looking - audio tech created to adorn the yachts and mansions of the rich and famous.

     

    1) Venture VICI

    Venture VICI  speakers

    Price: £22,000  

    Website: Venture

    As much a piece of stylish furniture as it is a speaker, the VICI recently earned the Best Sound award at the New York Audio and AV Show. As well as the 2.1 set-up with an AW500 sub, you can also go 2.2 by adding a second AW500 into the mix for an extra £7,000.

     

    2) Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus

    Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus  speakers

    Price: £55,000

    Website: Bowers & Wilkins

    When a company with the audio prowess of B&W - makers of the visually striking and slightly more affordable Zeppelin speakers - dubs something its flagship product. This stunning design is the result of a five-year quest to create the perfect loudspeaker and promises to reproduce music exactly as it is recorded.

     

    3) Crystal Cable Absolute Arabesque Glass Master

    Crystal Cable: Glass Master Collection, Absolute Arabesque speakers

    Price: £48,600

    Website: Audio Lounge

    The Glass Master, constructed from 19mm-thick glass, may be shaped like a comma but once you’ve fired up your tunes you won’t be pausing for breath. A trio of specially modified 180mm ScanSpeak Illuminator drivers and a 140mm RAAL ribbon tweeter guarantees an “open and expansive, detailed presentation like few other loudspeakers currently in the market”, according to Dutch manufacturer Crystal Cable.

     

    4) KEF Blade

    KEF Blade SPEAKERS

    Price: £20,000

    Website: KEF

    Originally developed as part of a research and development project to create the world’s first single apparent source loudspeaker. Everyone loved the results so much, KEF decided to spend another couple of years refining it so folks could buy ‘em.

     

    5) YG Acoustics Anat III Professional Signature Loudspeaker

    YG Acoustics Anat III Professional Signature Loudspeaker

    Price: £73,000

    Website: YG Acoustics

    When you’ve got drivers precisely machined out of airplane grade aluminum, you know the speaker is going to set you back a few quid. These third-generation, uniquely styled loudspeakers from YG Acoustics are handcrafted in the USA. They’re also custom-finished in titanium. Boom.

     

    6) Meridian DSP8000

    Meridian DSP800 SPEAKERS

    Price: £25,000

    Website: Meridian

    Mixing design, science and art in one supreme loudspeaker. It’s made from ‘Meridium’ - pressure-laminated panels of wood and metal. It comes in piano lacquer black and white, but if you’re really, really picky, you can get the DSP8000 in one of 270 colours, thanks to Meridian’s bespoke service.

     

    7) Sphäron Excalibur by Acapella Audio Arts.

    Sphäron Excalibur by Acapella Audio Arts.  SPEAKERS

    Price: £350,000

    Website: Acapella

    The aptly-named and utterly extravagant Excalibur can apparently be easily integrated into the living room – providing it’s larger than 40 square metres, that is. It’s got a 12m-squared horn unit and four 15-inch woofers. Good luck getting this 620kg beast up the stairs too.

     

    8) Perfect8 Technologies: The Force

    Sphäron Excalibur by Acapella Audio Arts

    Price: £165,000

    Website: Perfect 8

    You don’t win the best sound award at the Consumer Electronics Show four years in a row without some serious audio muscle, but how about that design? The giant 6-foot-7-inch towers are a stunning combination of glass and gold and may be the sexiest speakers ever.

     

    9) AvanteGarde Acoustics: The Trio Classico.

    AvanteGarde Acoustics: The Trio Classico.

    Price: £100,000

    Website: Avantgarde Acoustics

    “As thrilling and exciting as a real concert - for both your ears and eyes,” says the manufacturer. Aiming to pleasure sight and sound in equal measure, this sculpture-inspired three–way spherical horn satellite-design probably wouldn’t look out of place at the Tate modern. Just so you know, a custom horn colour will set you back a further £1,500.

     

    10: MartinLogan Summit X

    MartinLogan Summit X speakers

    Price: £14,998 a pair

    Website: Absolute Sounds

    At first glance, we weren’t entirely sure whether this was a speaker, or one of those odd designer chairs you find in posh hotel rooms. However, at £15k a pair, few will be parking their rears on this unique piece of high-end audio gear. MartinLogan’s flagship Summit X design is all about the curvilinear panel that is charged with electrical current to vibrate the air.

    Chris Smith
    Last updated: 13 December 2013, 12:10 GMT

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