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Futuresource Predicts Bluetooth Headphones to be one of the Top Selling CE Gifts this Christmas

Bluetooth Headphones Market Analysis and Commentary

10 Nov 2015 - The latest Futuresource Headphones Market Report provides not only a snapshot of the current trends and forthcoming evolutions in headphone technology but also serves as a tip top guide for Christmas tech gadget shopping. Headphone prices are coming down so manufacturers are differentiating product by packing in more technology, but are consumers aware of the benefits?

According to Futuresource worldwide aftermarket shipments of headphones are projected to grow by 6.2% this year to 328.7 million units. Wireless headphones is a major growth category, expected to grow by 63% in 2015 to reach 38 million units.

Bluetooth - due to ease of use, convenience and mass market smartphone adoption - is the leading wireless technology, which accounts for 85% of the worldwide wireless headphone market. Headphones with microphones are also set to grow by 54% in volumes by the end of 2015, again due to ease of connectivity and adoption of smartphones. In terms of dual functionality, headphones and wearable fitness devices are starting to merge into products such as Tomtom Spark, reducing the amount of devices a user has to carry.

Futuresource predicts that retail value of the headphones market will grow by 4% in 2015, reaching 9.8 billion dollars worldwide. Rasika Iyer Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting commented, "The average retail price for all headphones has fallen to $29.70 and this will continue to decline as competition intensifies and feature rich headphones fall in price. This could be good news for the consumer looking for a deal, even before the Black Friday sales start at the end of November."

Demand for in-ear headphones is expected to grow by 4%, driven by expansion of the market for wireless and sports headphones. On/over-ear headphones are also projected to grow by 9% in 2015 highlighting regional preferences in Western European and META (Middle East, Turkey, & Africa), where consumers prefer bigger headphones. Sports headphones are also projected to expand and are being predicted to take 7% of the worldwide headphones aftermarket.

North America and Western Europe are the largest sports headphones markets and are projected to reach 12.3 and 3.9 million units respectively in 2015. C.25% of the worldwide sports headphone shipments are wireless. 

How the leading brands react to these trends in terms of product, and pricing remains to be seen. In H1 2015, Sony, Philips and Apple were the leaders in terms of volume with a total of 31% total share, whilst Beats, Bose and Sony took 55% of the market in value. 

Futuresource forecasts worldwide headphones shipments to grow by CAGR 3.8% to reach 381 million units in 2019, whilst retail value is projected to grow at CAGR 2.3% to generate revenues worth 10.7 billion dollars. 


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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