The global true wireless headphones market size to reach USD 18 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of over 20% during the period 2020-2026. The market has witnessed a paradigm shift after the launch of Apple’s AirPods at the end of 2016. The sale of AirPods was substantially high and encouraged several global manufacturers to launch their own product lines. Music enthusiasts are investing in high-quality earphones and headphones that are compatible with portable devices for high-quality sound and enhanced audio experience. In 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, a temporary setback was witnessed in the headphone industry with disruption in component manufacturing and supply management as well as the closure of assembly lines across major and emerging markets. However, the market revived by June/July 2020 due to the rise in demand for headphones.
The introduction of hearables - wireless in-ear listening devices - has offered significant impetus to the market’s growth. These devices perform functions of smart wireless headphones, hearing aids, fitness tracker wearables, and speech modulation devices. While truly wireless earbuds have been at the forefront of innovations, vendors have started to incorporate innovative technology such as active noise canceling, gesture recognition and control, active head tracking, biometric monitoring, 3D surround sound delivery, and onboard storage in their headphones variants, thereby boosting the market growth.
- Smart true wireless devices expect to observe an incremental growth of approx. USD 9 billion by 2026 with the inclusion of gesture recognition, voice command, improved ingress ratings, and real-time language translation features.
- Premium range devices are likely to grow at a staggering CAGR of approx. 20% during 2020–2026 as they are incorporated with hi-tech functionalities such as layered hearing and speech amplification.
- In terms of unit shipment, ANC devices expect to reach a number of over 76 million units by 2026, growing at a CAGR of over 24%.
- E-commerce sites are likely to touch revenue of USD 12 billion by 2026 due to the increasing internet penetration and the growth of smartphones.
- APAC is expected to be the fastest growing in the global true wireless headphones market in terms of revenue and volume.
GLOBAL TRUE WIRELESS HEADPHONES MARKET SEGMENTATION
This research report includes a detailed segmentation by
- Noise Attenuation
- Price Range
INSIGHTS BY FEATURES
The global smart true wireless headphone market by unit shipment expects to touch 83 million units by 2026. Smart hearing devices have witnessed major updates; vendors are increasingly enhancing product materials and ergonomics, thereby providing convenience to users. Feature-loaded devices are redefining the genre of wearables as they are integrating the functionalities and capabilities of several electronic devices into true wireless headphones. They are gaining increased attention from developers to be positioned as the central node of wearables and connected devices with their ability to link with several connected and smart devices. In addition, the increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets is a major factor influencing the segments’ growth. Audiophiles, athletes, music composers, and health-conscious individuals are the major end-users of these devices.
The global non-smart true wireless headphones market by revenue is growing at a CAGR of over 13% during 2020-2026. The sale of non-smart devices is likely to witness gradual growth in terms of revenue and unit shipment as consumers are buying these products to get a hands-on experience of true wireless headphones. This segment is expected to witness declining growth, although revenues are expected to grow because of the availability of these products on online platforms in emerging countries. The advent of smart devices is likely to adversely affect growth and sales, and this trend is expected to continue during the forecast period.
INSIGHTS BY PRICE RANGE
In terms of revenue, the premium range true wireless headphones market is expected to reach USD 8 billion by 2026. Premium hearing devices follow similar growth and adoption rates as smart and audiophile models. Vendors are integrating wireless headphones with hi-tech functionalities such as layered hearing and speech amplification, which is increasing their appeal among consumers. Currently, smart and branded earing devices are feature-rich fall under this segment. The adoption of premium models is high as they carry high brand value in developed and developing countries. Moderate true wireless headphones by revenue are likely to grow at a CAGR of approx. 22% during 2020–2026. Ease of use and streaming coupled with attractive price points is the key factors increasing appeal. Moderate range products are also driven by innovations in Bluetooth technology.
INSIGHTS BY NOISE CANCELLATION
The active noise cancellation (ANC) headphones market by revenue is expected to cross USD 9 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of approx. 22% during 2020–2026. ANC models have observed tremendous growth over the last few years due to the penetration of the internet and the rise in connected devices. Over 16 topnotch vendors are offering true wireless headphones with active noise cancellation capabilities, with features regulating ambient sounds. The growing demand for ANC in several headphones is driving the transition of noise-canceling true wireless headphones to hearables.
Passive noise cancellation headphones accounted for 50% of the global true wireless headphones market share in 2020. Relatively low-price range than active ones and the absence of need supply additional charge to the active noise-canceling circuitry, which is mandatory for their active noise-canceling counterparts, are key factors driving the segment’s growth. In 2020, APAC was the third-largest market for passive noise cancellation devices in terms of revenue and unit shipments. However, the region is expected to witness high growth during the forecast period due to a significant cost trade-off between passive and active noise-canceling headphones.
INSIGHTS BY DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
Online portals and retail outlets, including specialty and electronic stores, are the major distribution channels for true wireless headphones. The entry of electronic PCs and tablets, and TV manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, and Apple in the market has increased the sale of headphones via retail stores worldwide. However, preference and propensity to purchase true wireless headphones online are making brands the retail space less imperative. In 2020, the online segment accounted for the highest share of the global true wireless headphones market. The traditional retail segment faces strong competition from the online segment. Online stores offer a variety of options to choose from compared to retail stores. Several consumers seek to buy these devices online because of the ease-of-accessibility and convenience afforded by such channels.
INSIGHTS BY GEOGRAPHY
The North America true wireless headphones market expects to reach approx. USD 6 billion by 2026. The US is the major contributor to the growth of the market. With the increasing use of miniature headphones as fashion accessories, the market has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. The popularity and acceptance of true wireless headphones is high in fitness and sports enthusiasts. The high average disposable income of the population, the proliferation of smartphones, and the inclusion of advanced features in true wireless headphones are the main factors fueling the growth in the region. Moreover, the trend of on-demand streaming is driving the sale of headphones in North America. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of music and video playback applications and streaming music increased significantly during the period, which in turn, has driven the sale of true wireless headphones.
INSIGHTS BY VENDORS
Bose, Apple, Samsung, Sony, Sennheiser, Jabra, Xiaomi, and Skullcandy are the major vendors in the global market. Major players compete in various rounds such as the introduction of new products, technology, and online presence. The growth of vendors depends on market conditions, technological innovations, industry development, as well as the early revival of the supply side amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Many key leading vendors focus on the European and North American regions. To capitalize on the expected increasing demand from APAC, Latin America, and MEA, key players are expanding their geographical presence by increasing foothold in emerging markets. In 2020, over 200 companies, including key, prominent, and small-scale vendors were engaged in the manufacturing of true wireless headphones.
The global true wireless headphones market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry analysis with revenue and forecast insights for the following segments:
- E-commerce Sites
- Vendor Stores & Sites
- Mass Market Players
- Specialty Stores
- Online Music Stores
- Electronic Stores
- North America
- South Korea
- Latin America
- Middle East & Africa