When it comes to extreme performance and extreme exclusivity, few brands come to mind more than Bugatti. The French automotive company established by Italian entrepreneur Ettore Bugatti in 1909 has created some of the most sought-after hypercars in the world including the Veyron, the Chiron, and the one-off La Voiture Noire. Now the brand has taken a step into the home audio world, thanks to a partnership with Germany-based Tidal Audio. The result is, predictably, a set of speakers that turn heads with their design, and which presumably wow the ears with their sound.
Just to be clear: We’re not talking about Jay-Z’s music streaming company that goes by the same name (Tidal), though it would be easy to make that mistake. Tidal Audio is a company that makes such high-end audio gear, there isn’t a single price reference on its website, which looks, appropriately, like a brochure for a luxury car.
The partnership’s products are produced under the overarching label of “The Bugatti of home audio” and its first set of speakers, are named for one of Bugatti’s early classics, the Royale. The Royale will come in all-white or all-black (or “Edition Noir” and “Edition Blanc,” if you want the salesperson to take your inquiry seriously) and there will only be 15 pairs made in each color. The speakers stand 4.7 feet tall and weigh 352 pounds each.
But don’t fret if you can’t grab yourself a set of these limited-edition speakers. Tidal Audio is more than happy to work with you on an individual basis to create the Royale of your dreams, and you won’t be limited to a single color. The Duotone version of the Royale can be brought to life in a dazzling variety of color combos, many of which once again mirror the Bugattis with four wheels, like blue with white, and red with black. “Every set of speakers by Tidal for Bugatti is subject to a very personal bespoke ordering process,” claims the Bugatti press release.
As you would expect, the technology that goes into these ultra-exclusive speakers reads like an audiophile’s wish list:
- 4-way hybrid-active multichannel powered loudspeaker.
- 3D-shaped multi-chamber monocoque cabinet or a dual-shell cabinet made out of Tidal’s proprietary cabinet material, Tiralit.
- 1 x 30 mm high-efficiency diamond tweeter.
- 1 x 127 mm high-efficiency ceramic midrange driver or 1 x 127 mm high-efficiency diamond midrange-woofer.
- 2 x 170 mm front woofers with aluminum diaphragm.
- 4 x 265 mm long-throw subwoofers with aluminum diaphragm.
The speakers have built-in amplification, but you’ll still need to plug them into a source if you want to hear anything. For that, Tidal recommends the equally exclusive Royale MC-1, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with a built-in streamer and level control.
As they say, if you have to ask how much they are, you probably can’t afford them. This is true. Digital Trends asked Tidal Audio how much we should expect to pay for the Royale and the answer didn’t disappoint: These monsters start at 260,000 euros (about $318,000) and quickly ramp up to 503,000 euros (about $616,000) depending on the options you choose. Sure, that’s a lot of money, but if you’re the kind of person who can afford a $3 million Bugatti Chiron, we imagine these prices are the equivalent of a rounding error on your tax forms.
- Your next car could have TiVo built-in
- McIntosh’s new $6,000 speaker is a vintage blast from the past
- Sony’s latest party speaker brings a light show to your next karaoke session
- Your next earbuds could have speakers built like microchips
- Pantheone’s Obsidian smart speaker puts Alexa in a sharp new body