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Sony's high-end speakers: £4,000 - each

If you happen to have a spare £3,980 burning a hole in your smoking jacket, and you're wondering what to do with it, you could always splash out on one of Sony Japan 's new ¥892,500 SS-AR1 speakers, made from the finest Finnish Birch.

The trees are grown especially for Sony in the frozen north of Japan so that they remain as true to their Scandinavian roots as possible.

While this may sound somewhat indulgent, the company claims the quality of the wood grain is what makes the SS-AR1 speakers among the best in the world, particularly because of birch's sound-dampening qualities. Each speaker enclosure features four cones, including two woofers, and is finished with piano paint.

And if you read that opening sentence again, you'll notice we say "one of" these speakers. Yes, that's right - you're talking about close to £8,000 for a matching pair.