Skip to main content

Here's What a $130,000 Headphone System Gets You

A new headphone system costing upwards of $130,000 could be virtually worth its weight in gold, providing an exquisite listening experience for anyone who can afford it.

According to The Verge, the MSB Select DAC and headphone amplifier setup is a work of "amazing audio engineering."

The system includes an MSB Select DAC II unit with a list price of $89,950, a $37,950 headphone amp and a $9,950 Femto33 clock for precise audio timing, as noted by MSB spokesman Frank Vermeylen. That's a total of $137,850. The system tested by The Verge included electrostatic headphones supposedly worth $4,500.

The system comes with a 10-year replacement warranty and a 10-year upgrade guarantee, both of which seem almost mandatory for anyone willing to shell out over $130,000 on an audio box.

MORE: The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones and Earbuds

"The resulting music produced by this hyper-engineered system is nothing short of magical. Every minute detail is rendered with microscopic precision, and you don’t have to be an audiophile to pinpoint the tiniest nuances and alterations in a note," writes Vlad Savov at The Verge.

While we haven't had a chance to review the setup ourselves, at first blush, it's hard to believe that the materials and production involved in it are worth such a hefty price tag, unless of course it's handmade like a Rolls Royce.

But all of MSB's products are built and engineered in house, using milling machines and electronic board assembly, according to Vermeylen.

Beyond compensating for the cost of materials and engineering, product pricing is a matter of perceived value. If the setup is priced too low, consumers won't believe that the listening experience could be light years beyond what you'd get with a pair of Apple ear buds. Then again, if it's priced too high, it ends up being just something 99 percent of consumers can only aspire to own.

The Verge suggests that the MSB system could be a worthwhile investment for the likes of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the price may even be too steep for him, a man who takes great but simple pleasure in eating Oreo cookies and McDonald's hamburgers.

That said, certainly some wealthy techies are seeking a listening experience that will make them melt into their cushy leather armchairs, and the MSB should fill that niche quite well.