Industry Analysis

Global Wireless Headphones Market Size and Key Players

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The global wireless headphones market size is estimated at $13.41 billion and is expected to reach $42.1 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 21% during the period 2020 to 2026. The major global players in the wireless headphones market are JBL, Sony, Bose, Samsung, and Beats. In the third quarter of 2019, JBL held the largest market share of 13%. Although several models of wireless headphones of leading brands have reduced their prices over time, it is found that the average selling price of wireless headphones has risen due to consumer demand and the introduction of technologically advanced features.

Global Wireless Headphones Market Size

  • The global wireless headphones sector has become a multi-billion dollar market driven by the steady growth of smartphone ownership along with the remarkable advancements made in technology and application. According to a report published by BusinessWire, the global wireless headphones market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 21% from 2020 to 2026 and is expected to reach $42.1 billion by 2026.
  • Utilizing an online CAGR calculator and the available projected data, the current market size of the global wireless headphones industry in 2020 can be calculated with the following values:
    • Growth rate (CAGR) = 21%.
    • Number of periods = 6 years (forecast period is from 2020 to 2026).
  • The estimated market size of the global wireless headphones market is, therefore, $13.41 billion.
  • Technological advancements in connectivity, portability, sound delivery, and appearance are some major factors in the rising consumer demand for wireless headphones. Additionally, features such as noise cancellation, compactness, increased range of connectivity, and good comfort will further direct product demand in the coming years.
  • The fastest-growing segment in the global wireless headphones market is the over-ear wireless headphones and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27% during the period 2019-2024.

Top Five Global Players by Market Share

  • Based on a study conducted by Canalys, over 22 million wireless headphones were sold during the third quarter (Q3) of 2019, worldwide. JBL held the largest share in the sector, accounting for 13% of the market. Sony and Bose claimed the second and third positions with 10% and 8% of the market share, respectively.

Top three global wireless headphone players by market share.

  • According to PhoneMantra, “competition between Samsung and Apple in the wireless headphones market is expected to intensify by the end of the year (2020).” Sumsung is expecting to make twice as many sales as it did last year, reaching over 17 million wireless headphones units overall.
  • Several market reports identify Beats, Jabra, Skullcandy, and Sennheiser as other major global market players.
  • In the United States, Beats held the highest share in the wireless headphones market with 46% of the market’s total dollar sales, in 2017. Beats was followed by Bose with 19% of market share, LG with 7% market share, and Sony with 6% of the market. In terms of unit sales, Beats accounted for 25% of the total number of sales, followed by LG with 10%, Bose with 8%, and Sony with 7% of total unit sales.

Pricing Trends

  • In terms of price, wireless headphones are segmented into low (less than $50), moderate, and premium-priced (more than $100) products. According to the market report published by Arizton, wireless headphones that are moderately-priced (between $50 to $100) are more popular than the other two segments. Features such as multifunction buttons, equalizer settings, and access to voice assistants (Google Now and Siri) are some of this segment’s driving factors.
  • According to PRNewswire, along with market growth, the global wireless headphones market has been witnessing a rise in the ASP (Average Selling Price) of wireless headsets over the past few years.

#1: JBL

  • JBL’s wireless headphones come in three basic categories — in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headsets.
  • 2015: Five years ago, JBL launched its Everest wireless headphones series with models priced between $99 and $299. In 2015, the brand’s cheapest pair of on-ear wireless headphones was priced at $99.95 (J56BT), while the most expensive pair of on-ear wireless headphones was priced at $209.99 (JBL Everest Elite 300). Over-ear wireless headphones ranged between $99.95 (JBL WR2.4) and $249.99 (JBL Everest Elite 700).
  • 2020: Currently, JBL’s lowest-priced on-ear wireless headphones is the JBL TUNE 500BT, which costs $29.95, and the most expensive pair of on-ear wireless headphones is the JBL UA Sport priced at $199.95. Also, the brand’s cheapest pair of over-ear wireless headphones is the JBL E55BT that costs $47.99, while the most expensive pair of headphones in the same segment is the JBL Everest 710GA, which costs $249.95.
  • Over the past five years, JBL’s Everest wireless series has witnessed negligible price change. However, the overall prices for on-ear and over-ear wireless JBL headphones have reduced.

#2: Sony

  • Since 2015, Sony has introduced 11 different models in the on-ear and over-ear wireless headphones category.
  • 2015: In 2015, Sony introduced two new models of over-ear wireless headphones. The brand’s MDR-ZX770BN model was priced at $229.99 and the MDR-ZX770BT model was listed at $149.99. With the rise in consumer demand and popularity of the brand’s wireless headphones, MDR-ZX770BN model’s price has risen to $339 in 2020.
  • 2020: Sony’s on-ear wireless headphones are priced between $59.99 ( the cheapest pair — WH-CH510) and $129.99 (most expensive pair — MDR-XB650BT). However, the cost of the brand’s over-ear wireless headphones is found to be slightly higher than its on-ear headsets, with the lowest price at $89.99 (WH-CH710N) and the highest price at $349.99 (WH-1000XM3).

#3: Bose

  • Bose launched its very first over-ear wireless headphones, QuietComfort 35, in 2016. At the time of its launch, the brand’s flagship product cost $349.95. Since then, Bose introduced four more over-ear models that range between $299.95 and $379.95.
  • The lowest-priced over-ear wireless headphones are the QuietComfort 35 II and the SoundLink II models, priced at $299.95 each. The most expensive pair of wireless headphones is the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and is listed at $379.95.

#4: Samsung

  • Samsung launched its first wireless headphones, Level U Pro, in 2015. The brand’s Level U headset was priced at $79.99 at the time of launch and holds the same price today.
  • Over the past few years, Samsung introduced only two on-ear wireless headphones that are currently priced at $150 (AKG N60 and AKG Y500).

#5: Apple (Beats)

  • Beats by Dre introduced its first wireless headphones in 2012 and was listed at $279.95. In 2015, Beats included the Studio Wireless series, Solo2 series, the Solo Wireless series, and the Pro series in its over-ear wireless headphones offering. The cheapest pair of wireless headphones was priced at $199.95 and the most expensive pair of wireless headphones cost $399.95.
  • It is found that the price has considerably reduced over the past five years, for a few models. The headsets in the Solo Wireless Series currently cost $199.95, which is $100 less than their original price, a few years ago. Similarly, the cost of the Studio Wireless headphones was reduced by $30 to, now, cost $349.95.
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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