Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Audio-Technica is celebrating its 60th birthday with a $9,000 phono cartridge

I don’t spend much time listening to vinyl, but if I did, I think I would be pretty psyched if someone gave me a $9,000 phono cartridge for my birthday. And, as luck would have it, that’s now a (very limited) option for those of you with cash to spare. Audio-Technica has created a very small batch of these insanely expensive cartridges that feature a lab-grown diamond on the tip of the stylus.

Audio-Technica AT-MC2022 60th anniversary phono cartridge.

Everything about the AT-MC2022 moving-coil stereo cartridge reads like an exclusive collector’s item. The gold-tone finish is actually a handcrafted ion plating, for high durability and that amazing mirror-like sheen. The integrated stylus and 0.22 mm cantilever is formed from a single lab-grown diamond that was created using a chemical vapor deposition process, and the body is constructed of titanium and aluminum with an elastomer undercover.

Why go to all of this trouble? Well, for one thing, bragging rights, but also Audio-Technica says the unique design of the cartridge eliminates distortion, offers better signal transmission and fast transient response, and reduces undesirable resonance. All this combines to achieve a  “clear audio reproduction for avid listeners and connecting you closer to your favorite records,” according to Yosuke Koizumi, one of Audio-Technica’s cartridge engineers.

To keep your $9,000 investment safe when not in use (though if you owned this cartridge, when would it ever not be in use?), the AT-MC2022 comes with its own specially designed walnut storage case, featuring an acrylic window with laser-engraved 60th-anniversary logo and serial number.

Audio-Technica ATH-W2022 60th anniversary wired headphones.

Not really a vinyl lover? Don’t worry, Audio-Technica also has an anniversary product for all kinds of music listeners. The ATH-W2022 is a set of audiophile closed-back dynamic wooden headphones that will also set you back $9,000.

These cans are literal works of art: sakura (cherry blossom) and hou-ou phoenix designs have been hand-painted on the mizume (Japanese birch) left and right earcups, respectively. This was done using the Japanese maki-e lacquer technique. Look closely at the right earcup and you may notice the addition of inlaid mother-of-pearl.

Inside these headphones, Audio-Technica has installed a pair of 58-mm drivers. The center domes of those drivers are made from 30-micron-thick pure titanium, which the company says will yield exceptional reproduction of the mid-high range with excellent high-frequency characteristics.

A custom-designed magnet circuit incorporates a pole and yoke structured from laminated pure iron plates to reduce back electromotive force. We can’t say for sure just how good these cans will sound, but with the use of deerskin on the headband and ear cushions, they should be supremely comfortable.

Like the 60th anniversary cartridge, the ATH-W2022 also come in their own storage case constructed from Kiso cypress and white paulownia wood.

If you’re feeling a bit uneasy at the idea of spending this kind of money on exclusive, high-end gear, maybe this will help: Audio-Technica says that a percentage of all 60th Anniversary hi-fi sales will be donated to the Playing For Change Foundation, which was established to create positive change through music and arts education for marginalized and at-risk youth, most specifically in the developing world.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
Last day to get a $1,100 discount on the 65-inch LG C2 OLED TV
55 inch lg um7300 uhd 4k tv b9 oled c9 amazon discounts 2 4 768x768

It's your last day to avail one of the best OLED TV deals we've seen in a while. The 65-inch LG C2 OLED TV is over $1,400 off, bringing the price from $2,500 all the way down to $1,395. The catch is that this is a refurbished model on Woot! Many people don't appreciate what a refurbished TV can get them. Trust Woot! when they say this LG C2 has been completely restored to a like-new state. Grab this one before it's completely gone.

Why you should buy the 65-inch LG evo C2 Series OLED TV
There are a lot of different TV technologies to choose from out there, with QLED and OLED regarded as the cream of the crop. OLED technology is able to produce one of the best images you’ll find in a television by allowing each pixel in the screen to turn on and off independently. This creates perfect blacks, rich colors, and infinite contrast, all of which bring your content to life across more than eight million pixels. The LG evo C2 combines this amazing picture quality with other tech like the a9 AI Processor, which was engineered exclusively for LG OLED and automatically adjusts settings to improve picture and sound qualities based on what you’re watching.

Read more
Walmart has a 75-inch TV for under $550, but you’ll need to be quick
hisense 65 inch roku smart tv deal walmart april 2023 r6 4k

One of the cheapest 75-inch 4K TVs just got even cheaper. The 75-inch Hisense R6 4K TV is normally just $598, a great value for such a large screen, but Walmart's TV deals have brought it down to $538. It will be tough to find anything cheaper without dipping into refurbished TVs. Grab this one before Walmart takes away the discount or the TV sells out.

Why you should buy the 75-inch Hisense R6 Series 4K TV
The 75-inch Hisense R6 Series 4K TV is relatively affordable compared with other options at the same size, but it still comes with some of the most important features that you can find among the best TVs. The large display offers 4K Ultra HD resolution for sharp details, as well as High Dynamic Range for an impressive boost in colors and contrast. The 4K TV will also make it easier to follow fast-paced action scenes with the help of Motion Rate 120 technology, while DTS Studio Sound makes audio more immersive.

Read more
Crazy deal gets you Beats Studio Buds earbuds for under $100
beats studio buds cyber monday deal 2021 black friday

One of the more popular headphone deals today is over at Woot. You can buy the ever-popular Beats Studio Buds for $98 instead of $150 working out at $52 or 35% off the regular price. Ideal for anyone that wants AirPod style performance with the good looks that come from Beats, this deal is only available for today or until stock sells out. If you're interested, you'll need to be quick to buy them. You do have enough time to quickly see what else we have to say about them though. Here's an overview.

Why you should buy the Beats Studio Buds
At launch, we described the Beats Studio Buds as AirPods Pro Lite. While they lack finer details like wireless charging and wear sensors, they're well-priced offering excellent sound quality and ANC. The buds provide two distinct listening modes -- Active Noise Cancelling and Transparency -- so you can take in as much of the world as you desire at any time. Industry-leading Class 1 Bluetooth provides an extended range and fewer dropouts than other earbuds while you also get a great audio experience.

Read more