Do you equate price with quality in audio equipment?

Do you equate price with quality in audio equipment?
Yes . . .
25% (57 votes)
Sometimes . . .
53% (120 votes)
No . . .
22% (51 votes)
Total votes: 228

Audio equipment prices range from dirt cheap to off-the-chart. How does price affect your perception of products?

Steve Williams's picture

In some cases price does relate to quality. Then there are my Magnepan 1.6s, which sound easily better than most speakers at twice the price. Also, my Brystom 7BST amps that carry a Class A rating at less than half the price of any of the other amps in that category. Or then there's my Paradigm Servo-15 sub . . . Hmmm, maybe price doesn't mean all that much after all.

Kye Leslie's picture

People sometimes think that money buys quality—and people selling quality-oriented products sometimes up the price to get more interest from buyers. Personally, I stay away from their silly ploys and go for the quality products from honest companies.

Alan Matheson's picture

If the manufacturer is reputable, and most are in the higher price ranges, you can see as well as hear what the extra dollars buy. There can also be great value in any price range by taking less, and receiving more. As in features and performance.'s picture

The best sounding gear normally involves good components, and this has a cost. However, some manufacturers spend several times the component-cost to build an appealing case, so the final product ends up costing three to ten times the "right price". So, I always trust my ears, nothing else !

Mike H.'s picture

Sometimes, because the equipment I am interested in purchasing provides the most realistic presentation of the music I want to hear within my personal price constraints. As long as the listening experience approaches the excitement of a live experience, it really doesn't matter how much you pay.

Jacob's picture

Price has to be justified by build quality and sound quality, if build quality is very good, but more esoteric on the design of the chasis alone, forget it.

Norm Strong's picture

Quality is designed in at the upper end, and features are eliminated as you go down in price.

Danny Lu's picture

Law of diminishing & returns, but also the sound quality goes a lot farther.

Louis Cantin's picture

I've purchased a used Sugden amp, a new pair of Triangle Titus, and new Cambridge CD6,PBJ etc., for less than $2200(CAN.) and am happy with the sound. . . . Thank you Sam Telig!

Robin Banks's picture

In most cases, prices do affect sound quality in high end audio. Sure there are a number of outrageously priced items that don't sound as good or even sound worse than some lower priced gear. Yet, in order to obtain a higher level of fidelity, one has to spend large amounts of cash. The terms "bang for your bucks" or "land of diminishing returns" have come to mean a great deal to me because of the higher priced audio gear that I wish I could afford. My perception of price and the reality of what I can actually afford have not come together as of yet. But hey, I'm still trying to get there.

Dexter M.  Price's picture

For me, the ratio of "purchase price" to ability accurately reporduce the sound of music equals value ($ : fidelity = value). A company that produces accurate audio equipment at a modest price as provides a good value.

Joe Hartmann's picture

I rarely listen to inexpensive equipment. I usually have in mind the equipment I would like to review when I enter a store. To review several amps requires trip to a store per item. My time is limited.

David L.  Wyatt's picture

Generally, you get what you pay for. And the best audio gear is undeniably expensive, with some of the best speakers costing more than I paid for my house. But there is no inherent relationship between price and quality, and very large increases in cost often lead to very marginal improvements in sound. An audiophile who is willing to shop with care can get fabulous sound for an affordable price.

Bruce's picture

In one way or another, price always impacts how I look at a product. Sometimes I wonder how a manufacturer can charge so much for so little; sometimes I am amazed at how great a component can sound for so little money. However, cost does not automatically mean better. It's the sound, stupid!

Gerald Platt's picture

A product can be of high quality regardless of price. I don't necessarily think inexpensive equipment and expensive equipment are aimed at the same consumer and there are high- and low-quality offerings at both levels.

Stephen Curling's picture

you get what you pay for but economics can be a powerful force to increase profits.

Eddy's picture

I would say that at least 70% of total cost is due to research & development.

Miser Madison's picture

The main perception is that the people who can afford the "Class A" stuff have a boatload of cash

Ruben's picture

There is gear that perform better than more expensive gear.

Anonymous's picture

With Reputation comes higher pricing, which makes sense.

Glenn Bennett's picture

There have been many great bargains in recent years. All too many of them have been in the UK unavailable to those of us who yearn for the good stuff not available in the U.S.

Toober Louie's picture

Price/performance can be so very subjective in itself. I'm one of the many happy Zen Triode owners who thinks he got a bargain paying $500 for 1.8 watts! Then again, that's $277/watt! What if it was 25 watts/channel? That would be $6,945!!

TPBrown's picture

BMW vs KIA, I think that says it all

R.  Bennett's picture

In the audio world the old phrase "you get what you pay for" couldn't be more correct!

Rob Cornelson's picture

I have to admit I was a little dissappointed when listening to a $100,000+ system. I was also floored by a more "modest" $30,000 system. Of course, my best guage is when a system can get me dance. My current $6K system does just that!

sebastian wolski's picture

if the price is in resnabke range for me it's about 2000$ for each pice's picture

It shouldn't be " sometimes" but when i see some expensive products i imagine that their sound is gorgeous.But too often an elevate price means only a better build quality or a thicker faceplate.

Robert's picture

My expectation increases of a product's performance increases with price. Products above my budget are mostly dismissed from purchasing decisions.

Jay's picture

I personally can't see the value for my dollar at the cost of some higher end Hi-Fi equipment. My guage is if I can go on a month long holiday overseas, then I can't justify a piece of audio equuipment.

Nicholas Fulford's picture

Within limits, no. I have a limited budget, and I am looking for something that delivers the goods sonically. Many approaches (especially in the digital domain), need not be hideously expensive to implement. The Sharp SACD player and 50W digital amplifier are a indicative of a welcome trend, in that a superior technical approach will probably lead to less expensive and extraordinarily good products further down the line. May that trend flourish!