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And Now For Some Audio Jewelry
By Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 10, 2017
Although some doubters of the value of high-end audio refer to my audio system as "audio jewelry," at CES 2017 I finally saw the real thing. Focal, manufacturers of the Utopia full-range loudspeaker, held a press conference/cocktail reception at the Rockhouse, a trendy bar reached by walking around the outside balcony of the Venetian Hotel. There, the French company introduced its most exclusive headphone, the $120,000 Utopia by Tournaire. Jewelers Philippe and Mathieu Tournaire add 18-karat bands of gold at each end of the Utopia's headband, and each is set with three 1-karat diamonds in square, triangular, and round shapes, representing the three stages of life: the past, the present, and the future. Those who purchase the Utopia by Tournaire may further accessorize with a sculpted, head-shaped stand with its blacked-out face overlaid with a gold mask pattern.