Whether you’re on a long-haul flight or just want to listen to music without disturbing those around you, headphones are indispensable. In addition, no party is complete without a good pair of speakers. As consumer demand for speakers and headphones continues to increase, the market is set to grow steadily. The worldwide shipments of headphones reached 549 million units in 2020, an increase of more than one hundred million units from the previous year.
The rise of the smart speaker
Nowadays, the speaker market offers a wide range of products from home theatre systems that offer an encompassing listening experience, to wireless speakers that can play your favorite song wherever you like. Bose, Sony and Harman are some of the major players in this market. Over the past few years, Google and Amazon, two internet giants, ventured into the speaker market with their smart speakers. The Google Home and Amazon Echo stand as the firm market leaders, changing the speaker from a device that simply piped music into your house, into one that can plan your day, answer your questions, and control parts of your house. In a 2021 Statista survey about the speaker brands used in the U.S. households, Amazon topped the list of most owned speakers, beating audio brands like Pioneer and Harman.
Smart headphones, also known as hearables, are one of the newest innovations driving the market. Hearables, which also include earphones and earbuds, typically come with an inbuilt microcomputer which allows for the utilization of wireless technology. Supported by advanced consumer technologies, hearables have functions such as fitness tracking, medical monitoring, access to voice assistants, and of course, the enhancement of listening experience.
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Research expert covering the global consumer technology industry