Headphones come in a surprisingly wide range of quality and price, starting with those crappy ones that get handed to you on an airplane, all the way up to super-premium, super-expensive studio monitors. Audiophiles are famed for their obsessiveness over headphone sound quality and performance, and many own multiple pairs of headphones for enjoying different genres of music.
And so, like a chirpy bat out of hell, tweet the Monet headphones, a pair aimed squarely at the wallets of audiophile anime nerds around the world. As you may have noticed in the headline image, these headphones even come with their own adorable anthropomorphic anime mascot to capture the hearts and money of rich otaku.
The purpose of these headphones is to listen to anime music (anisongs) with high-quality headphones specially engineered to the anisong style. Such luxury comes a price, of course; that price being exactly 157,500 yen, or a shade less than $2000.
At a price like that, one would expect these headphones to be the top of the top of the line in audiophile gadgetry. Let's take a look at the specs listed on the official website...
The specs look pretty good: the headphones were born on October 27th, they like to eat spicy food, they like to collect cat fig...HEY! These aren't headphone specs; this is Monet-chan's profile! The site doesn't actually give the specs of the headphones, instead it has a fictional profile for the fictional mascot for these very expensive headphones!
Looking around the rest of the site, it's obvious they're aiming squarely at the otaku market, with plenty of downloadable goodies like wallpaper (of Monet-chan, not the headphones) and the like.
You may be wondering how this project ever made it past the brainstorming stage. The reason appears to be because the president of the company is a big anisong fan himself and these headphones are something of a pet project. A quick look at the site's Q&A page pulls back the curtain a bit and reveals the president's hardened otaku core.
Anyway, I was able to find an actual picture of the headphones after searching through dozens of Monet-chan glamour shots. Wanna see?
Doing a little further digging actually reveals that these are some pretty serious little earbuds that pack the serious specs you'd expect to get for $2000.
First, the earphones are specially molded to your own ear, giving you your own personal one-of-a-kind headphones that are sure to fit perfectly. They also feature an emphasis on higher frequencies, so as to more faithfully play back your favorite high-heavy anime tunes.
Still, 2000 bucks? These aren't for casual listening. At this price, in Japan, I could buy 3.6 iPads, about 8 Nexus 7s, or around 18.5 Kindle Paperwhites. All that money, just for a pair of headphones...
So my guess is that these headphones will separate the fair-weather nerds from the super hardcore anisong otaku. If you're willing to drop $2000 on these, you've either got a problem, or too much money.
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Translation by Jason Morgan