Nakamichi says that it can no longer afford to sell its wild, 11.4.6-channel Dragon soundbar system for its original price of $3,500. Once the original pre-order inventory of 1,000 units has been spoken for, the company will up the price of the Dragon to $3,900.
Preorders on the first batch of 1,000 Dragons haven’t started yet. They begin on August 3 at 9 a.m. PT. It’s possible that Nakamichi is using the threat of a price increase as a stick to ensure that its first 1,000 units see rapid sales, however, the company claims it has to charge more in order to offset unexpected costs associated with both the production of the Dragon as well as complexities involved in the shipment of these systems to customers.
“The intricate nature of Dragon, with over 700 components and a meticulous 110-step hand assembly process across four production lines, has revealed the need for additional labor beyond our initial estimations,” the company said in an emailed press release. “Despite optimizing our throughput to 25 systems per day, these factors have unexpectedly raised the cost of manual labor.”
Apparently, even the boxes that Nakamichi uses to package and ship the Dragon have needed to be redesigned in order to keep the monster sound systems safe on their journey to customers. Each Dragon unit weighs over 140 pounds and has to survive a 30-day voyage by sea in shipping containers as well as a 12-inch drop test.
Price increases are never welcome news, but ever since the world was rocked by the economic tsunami created by Covid-19, we’ve seen more price bumps as companies adjust to increasing costs on a variety of components and services.
Digital Trends Editor-at-Large Caleb Denison recently reviewed the Dragon and came away deeply impressed by the system’s ability to replace a traditional AV receiver-based wired home theater setup, giving it a nine out of ten and Digital Trends’ Editors’ Choice award. He also pointed out that the only soundbar-based system that might give the Dragon any real competition is a Sonos Arc paired with two Era 300 surrounds and two Sonos Subs, a combo that costs $3,270 — just shy of the Dragon’s original $3,500 price.
As to whether you should be put off by Nakamichi’s price increase, Denison reasons that you can put together a decent Atmos system for less, but “it won’t work like the Dragon, and it won’t look like the Dragon, and it won’t feel quite like the Dragon.” So if you were excited about the Dragon at $3,500, it’s just as exciting at $3,900 — just a little harder on the wallet.
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