(Via Twice): McIntosh, Krell, Martin Logan and Wilson Audio are among those brands that operate in the rarefied $400 million business of luxury audio in the U.S., where individual components can cost anything from $5,000 to $50,000 or more. Owners of this type of kit are either millionaires or passionate audiophiles — often both.
More than half of sales come via the custom-install channel, which itself is benefiting from the continued recovery of new-home building in the wake of the economic crash of 2008. Virtually all other sales are transacted through high street specialist dealers, but these are becoming scarce and the biggest issue facing the industry is how to introduce potential buyers to the fabulous sound that luxury products offer. Beyond sound quality, these are aspirational products where ownership is a badge of success, like owning a Lamborghini or Bentley. Brand heritage, where and how the products are made, their look and feel are all especially important.