While we squabble over whether AirPods are overpriced or not, Louis Vuitton debuted its next series of the world’s most expensive earphones to show everyone how “luxury brands” actually get the job done. The new Louis Vuitton earphones line, the Horizon Light Up earphones, were released in March 2023 and showcased the company’s foray into melding fashion with technology. Flaunting a $1,660 price tag, the Louis Vuitton earphone’s specs are not its strongest suit but those purchasing it are going to be paying for the brand identity and not necessarily for a top-quality listening experience. Inspired by the Tambour Horizon Light Up smartwatch, the Louis Vuitton earphones are definitely opulent in their design.
What Are the World’s Most Expensive Earphones Like?
The Louis Vuitton earphones are not the brand’s first attempt at redefining the market for luxury tech—its previous earphones and smartwatches are a sign that there is, in fact, a market for such products to make their mark—but it does seem to fall in line with their marketing to be the “most expensive” anything, their smartwatch having received similar treatment as well. The Horizon Light Up earphones are the third generation of Louis Vuitton earphones and come with a more circular design style than its predecessors. Monogrammed and paired with its trademark pattern to showcase its identity as an LV product, the device is available in five colors and the charging case adds additional flair by being backlit by LEDs that ring the device surface.
While the design of the world’s most expensive earphones is clearly structured to showcase the Louis Vuitton brand identity in every way possible, the makers of the tech are Master & Dynamic, a premium audio brand that specializes in creating premium audio devices. This is reassuring for those wondering about the technology behind the devices.
Louis Vuitton Earphones Specs
The Horizon Light Up earphones are quite unique in their design and the steel case that they come in echoes the premium feel you’d hope for in the world’s most expensive earphones. The cases are more subtle with the color variations but the earphones are quite loud and distinct in style. The earphones are 20.5 x 19.3mm and weigh in at 8.2 g per earphone. It features a Sapphire glass top disk with a monogram pattern on top, surrounded by an aluminum frame and gunmetal PVD coating. The charging case is designed in matte stainless steel with the same coating as the Louis Vuitton earphones, with an LED light ring that doubles up as an indicator for the battery percentage as well, weighing in at 119g.
The Louis Vuitton earphone specs include 11 mm Beryllium drives and Bluetooth 5.2. That can work up to a distance of 30 meters. It promises a 12-hour battery life on a single charge while the charging case adds an additional 16 hours to the mix. While it comes with a USB-C cable—also monogrammed—the device does support wireless charging as well. The Horizon Light Up earphones offer a 50 percent battery charge in 15 minutes and 100 percent in 40 minutes, which is quite a decent performance. With an IPX5, the earphones have sufficient water resistance but they aren’t the best on the market.
The device has proximity sensors that should allow automatic pause and play when removed from the ear, which is a helpful feature, and the ambient listening and hybrid active noise canceling modes add to the usability of the device. You can reportedly link two devices up to the Bluetooth earphones and the mechanical buttons, while intrusive to look at on the Louis Vuitton earphones, provide some control over playback.
The world’s most expensive earphones don’t really have too many additional features that make them really stand out in terms of sound quality or user experience. The earphones can be linked to the Louis Vuitton app to enhance its use but that is admittedly quite standard today. The packaging of the device does add to the dramatic appeal of the earphones. It comes with a leather box to house the charging case, which is not a regular detail you see with other brands. Another additional on-the-go case allows you to store the earphones easily while you’re out and about and it can be easily clipped onto your bag or clothing for you to put the earphones away while still showing off your $1600 investment.
At the end of the day, the Louis Vuitton earphones are quite fancy to look at and the new circular design is an improvement from the bulkier, more commonplace apperance of their previous earphones. They look and feel stylish, and the details are quite different from anything else that is on the market today. Do the world’s most expensive earphones provide the world’s best listening experience? No, they do not, and reviewers like GadgetMatch seem to agree that the auditory experience is quite a basic one, but when you pay for the Horizon Light Up earphones, you pay for the design and the social value of owning it rather than the sound quality or the listening experience. If your love for the Louis Vuitton brand name exceeds ours or the design as a fashion accessory appeals to you, it might just be a worthwhile investment to consider before the year ends.