This is NOT a challenge from Audeze... you could call it a rhetorical comment to show that no manufacturer is going to disclose their BOM. Frankly, consumers would misunderstand, and the cost of materials is besides the point.
Headphones are not like basic carpentry nails or lumber. It is both a highly developed and highly researched science, AND an art. So, cost of materials is besides the point. Maybe Sennheiser’s resin they use to make the earcups of the HD 800 S is inexpensive (I don’t know the cost), BUT they researched it (I think they developed it in-house) specifically because of its low resonance and lightweight properties. Maybe it doesn’t cost Sennheiser any more to set the drivers at an angle, or the cost of the 56mm driver is a miniscule increase over something smaller, or the absorber in the HD 800 S that prevents masking is cheap, but a BOM doesn’t take into account the years of experimentation, iteration, and unique inspiration of the designers behind it.
And then there’s operating costs of companies. Margins are an absolutely required part of doing business. The materials and construction labor per unit cost of a headphone doesn’t take into account R&D the the current product or future ones, nor does it pay for marketing, shipping logistics, etc. A company is simply larger than a single product.
I don’t want to be price gouged either, nobody does. If I want something, an attainable, affordable price is necessary for me to buy it, and I don’t want something that appears to cost way more than it’s peers in the market. Value and BOM are completely separate things for most products on the market. So, I know it’s going to cost me a couple times more than the cost of materials.