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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.