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Earbuds Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2018-2023

SKU : ARZ180502
  • Published on : May 2018

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This market research report on global earbuds market offers analysis on market size & forecast, market share, industry trends, growth drivers, and vendor analysis. The market study also includes insights on segmentation by features (smart and non-smart), by price range (low range, medium range, and high range), and by geography (North America, APAC, Europe, and ROW).

Global Earbuds Market - Overview

The launch of smart wireless in-ear headphones by Bragi back in 2015 introduced and propelled the development of the global earbuds market. These products are designed and launched in as wireless headphones with sensors, chargeable carry case, capable of controlling the playback, and activating voice assistants like Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Alexa. In 2017, Apple launched its flagship product - AirPods which eventually became the highest selling earbuds in the US and Canadian market. The increasing penetration of smartphones and the growing demand for smart tech in emerging countries of China and India will boost the demand for medium range products in the global market. Leading vendors are introducing products with assisted hearing technology that offer a wide range of functionalities that include enhanced music and listening experience, control over external sounds, and real-time language translation. These technologically enhanced products are designed to meet consumer expectations thereby, boosting revenues in the global market. The integration of hearing aids to help people with hearing disorders, extended battery life, and active noise cancellation are some of the features offered by top players in the global market. The launch of new product portfolios that offer touch and tap interface to control various functions, sensors to recognize when to pause or play music, and gesture recognition to answer/end call will transform the global earbuds market.

The introduction of wireless earbuds will offer better hearing levels, and sound qualities will create lucrative opportunities for leading players in the global market. These products seamlessly perform functions of smart wireless headphones, hearing aids, fitness tracker wearables, and speech modulation devices. The global earbuds market is anticipated to reach values of approximately $10 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 30% during 2017-2023.  

Global Earbuds Market Size by Revenue

Global Earbuds Market Size by Revenue - approx $10 billion


Global Earbuds Market - Dynamics

The adoption of newer technologies to enhance product portfolios will attribute to the development of the global earbuds market. The development of inbuilt contact points that enable charging and chargeable carry case, without using any cables to connect to the buds or the left and right ear piece is revolutionizing the charging mechanism in these products. Some of the key companies in the market are offering wireless charging stations and using magnetic conductive technology to charge the products. Additionally, players are focusing on the sports segments and launching headphones that are sweat and water resistant to boost the sales and revenues in the global market. The vendors are heavily implementing various IPX certifications to make their earbuds sweat and water resistant. This certification helps companies increase their brand reliability and attract more consumers in the global earbuds market. IPX7 means that the product can withstand being submerged into one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Global Earbuds Market - Segmentation

This market research report includes a detailed segmentation of the market by features, price range, and geography.

Segmentation of Global Earbuds Market

Segmentation of Global Earbuds Market and Market Share


Global Earbuds Market – By Features

Language translation features to add to the smart features in the global earbuds market during the forecast period

The global earbuds market by features is segmented into smart and non-smart features. The smart features segment dominated the majority of the market share in 2017, growing at an impressive CAGR of around 31% during the forecast period. The intriguing features of wearable devices are helping vendors in the market gain wide popularity and boost the demand for these products in this segment. These smart products offer a varied range of functions such as ambient sound controls, assisted hearing, touch and tap controls, onboard memory chip, fitness tracker, gesture recognition, and settings via a mobile application. Some of the products launched in the market also have sensors to detect when they are inside the ears and when they are in the case and allows end-users to control automatic music play/pause functionality in the products. The leading vendors are integrating active voice assistance features like Siri, Google Now, and Alexa to offer the convenience of use and ease of handling for the consumers. Smart earphones also offer advanced features that allow the consumers to monitor body vitals such as heart rate and calories burnt during a workout session, and convenience during a workout. These products are specifically designed and marketed for athletes and health-conscious individuals in the global earbuds market. The introduction of products with assisted hearing capabilities will help gain players a larger global market share. 

The non-smart variants perform functions such as answer calls and stream audio/video by connecting the products via Bluetooth. The competition from the unorganized sector is hindering the growth of the non-smart segment in the global market.

Global Earbuds Market – By Price Range

Technological advancements to boost the sale of premium range products in the global earbuds market during the forecast period

The price range segment in the global earbuds market is classified into premium range ($100 and more), medium range ($50 and $99.99), and low range (up to $49.99). The premium range segment occupied more than half of the market share 2017, growing at a CAGR of approximately 30% during the forecast period. The integration of extra functions such as layered hearing and speech amplification by prominent companies will augment the growth of the global market. Some of the top players operating in this segment include Apple, Bragi, Bang & Olufsen, and Bose and usually offer generally higher priced variants in the global market. The high price tag associated with these products is usually because of the manufacturing brand and features provided in the products. The multinational brands are even higher priced when they sell overseas due to the custom and excise duties depending on the country they are selling. For example, Apple sells its AirPods for $159 in North America and $203, $217, and $218 in China, Germany, and the UK respectively. Furthermore, the integration of the latest innovations and technological advancements will add to the price range of these products in the global earbuds market. Medium ranged products offer feature such as mobile application to manage equalizer settings, multifunction buttons, better battery life, and reduce external noise. The low range products are generally sold through online channels and through unorganized market places.

Global Earbuds Market – By Geography

North America to witness the launch of new products even by tech startups in the global earbuds market during the forecast period

The global earbuds market by geography is divided into North America, APAC, Europe, and ROW. North America is the largest region in the market during 2017, growing at a CAGR of more than 26% during the forecast period. The rising number of smartphone users and better speed internet connectivity are one of the major factor attributing to the growth of the market in North America. The US and Canada are the largest revenue contributor in the North American market. The growing demand for wireless headphones for listening to music during activities and fitness regimes is propelling the requirement for smart products in the global market. Furthermore, the US and Canada markets are also witnessing a surge in demand for products that offer features of assistive hearing and speech amplification. Some of the major brands available in the US market include Bragi, Samsung, Bose, and Jaybird. 

Europe is the second largest and APAC is the fastest growing region in the global earbuds market. The increasing penetration of smartphones and acceptance of advancements in the latest earphones and headphones technologies is driving the growth of the Latin American and Middle Eastern region in the global market.

Key Countries Profiled are

  • US
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Germany
  • China
  • South Korea

Key Vendor Analysis

The global earbuds market is still niche and consist of a small number of players that control the level of the competition. Bragi was one of the first vendors to launch a product that was a little higher than smart wireless headphones that were available in the market. After the launch of Apple’s AirPod the market concentrated further as it controlled a major portion of the revenues in the market and especially in the US. Product development and launch of new variants by tech giants such as Samsung and Google and other headphone companies such as Jabra, Bose, and Sony will intensify the competition in the global market during the forecast period. Additionally, the companies are offering low range and mid-range products in the emerging nations of APAC and MEA to gain a larger market share in the global earbuds market.

The major vendors in the global market are:

  • Apple
  • Alphabet
  • Bragi
  • Samsung
  • Nuheara
  • Sony
  • Jabra
  • Bose

Other prominent vendors include Jaybird, Alpha Audiotronics, Rowkin, Huawei, Avanca, Bang & Olufsen, Crazybaby, Earin, Meizu, Motorola, Waverly Labs, and Mymanu.

Key market insights include

  1. The analysis of the global earbuds market provides market size and growth rate for the forecast period 2018-2023.
  2. It offers comprehensive insights on current industry trends, trend forecast, and growth drivers about the global earbuds market.
  3. The report provides the latest analysis of market share, growth drivers, challenges, and investment opportunities.
  4. It offers a complete overview of market segments and the regional outlook of the global earbuds market.
  5. The report offers a detailed overview of the vendor landscape, competitive analysis, and key market strategies to gain a competitive advantage.

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