The global earphones and headphones market size was valued at USD 24.81 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 129.26 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 20.13% 2022 to 2030. A set of portable speakers known as headphones is worn by a user over the ears, on the head, or both. They are electrical transducers, or to put it another way; they convert electrical impulses into the appropriate sound. Radio, cell phones, mobile media players, CD players, video game consoles, and other audio sources can all be connected to headphones via a single audio amplifier source. A wireless system, like Bluetooth, FM, or DECT, is connected, as well as a cable. Wireless headphones and earbuds can be worn over the ear, behind the ear, in the ear, or in other ways. It includes headphones with noise-cancelling capabilities and Bluetooth that is enabled. With ease and convenience, a range of headphones and earbuds can be used. It is widely used in many different industries, including music, entertainment, communication, gaming, and many more.
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Growing customer demand for high-fidelity and style is what essentially propels technological advancements. Active noise cancellation (ANC) and near field communication (NFC) are two cutting-edge features that are supposed to offer users a better listening experience and seamless connection to their music devices. For example, the active noise cancellation (ANC) technology included in headphones and earbuds reduces background noise, thereby enhancing audio quality. Just tapping the wireless headphones and music player together makes the connection thanks to the near-field communication (NFC). We predict that the market will grow as a result of these cutting-edge characteristics.
The use of earphones and headphones for exercise in a variety of climatic circumstances, such as rain and dust, has driven manufacturers to improve product durability. A number of businesses have produced their products with a particular (ingress protection) IPX rating, which is a safety rating that provides protection against water and dust. A device with an IPX1 rating, for instance, can withstand water dripping for ten minutes. The degree of protection can be rated from 0 to 9, with IPX9 being the greatest level of protection and providing defence against high-pressure water jets. The rating scale for dust is similar, going from IP0X to IP6X, with IP6X being the highest. The product might, in some circumstances, be resistant to both dust and water. Products having an IP57 rating, for instance, are impervious to dust and water from high-pressure sprays. Such helpful characteristics and some key technological advancements in the product are anticipated to maintain the product's demand over the predicted period.
Counterfeit goods, which are of lower quality, are becoming more and more popular in developing nations like China and India. Due to the low price at which they are sold compared to the original products, these earbuds are well-liked. The market's expansion during the anticipated term is anticipated to be hampered by these fake goods.
There has been a fundamental shift in how people listen to music since the introduction of genuine wireless earphones. Due to the absence of a wire connecting the left and right earpieces, these earbuds offer a user a tangle-free music listening experience. The earphones are incredibly transportable because they are small and fit in a charging case. Young people, athletes, and fitness fanatics have taken a shine to these items thanks to their stylishness and portability, and it is anticipated that this will fuel market growth.
This market can be segmented on the basis of product, price, technology, application, regions and competitors. With a 53.0 % market share in terms of revenue in 2021, headphones dominated the market. The ease of listening to music, the low price, and the small size are all credited for this. Earphones are a popular accessory for athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to their lightweight design and portability. Additionally, earphones offer strong passive sound isolation, which translates into a user-centred music listening experience and is predicted to drive the category.
On-ear and over-ear headphones' popularity has declined recently due to their bulky size and high price. These headphones are still a popular option among the audiophile community because of technological developments in the form of features like active noise cancellation (ANC) and a strong bass character. Because of the big ear cups, the dynamic and electrostatic sound drivers may be used in the headphones to produce a more resonant and clear sound. Bose Corporation, Sony Corporation, Sennheiser GmbH & Co. KG, and Skullcandy.com are among the companies working to improve the design and styling of their headphones by offering foldable headphones, leather ear cup cushions, and better build quality, which is expected to keep the headphones popular among users.
With a market share of 39.2 % in terms of revenue, the 50 to 100 USD segment led the market. This is a result of technological advancements in this market, which are principally motivated by escalating consumer demand for high style and realism. A shorter product replacement cycle also has a favourable effect on the adoption of headphones and earphones. The adoption of earbuds and headphones priced between $50 and $100 is being driven by rising demand for improved sound quality experiences as well as the corresponding economic uncertainty.
With a market share of 76.2 % in terms of sales, the wireless sector will dominate the market in 2021. The development of genuine wireless earbuds and improvements in Bluetooth connectivity for wireless devices are credited with this. Bragi, a business based in Munich, Germany, invented wireless earphones first. In the meantime, the 2016 release of AirPods by Apple, Inc. completely changed the momentum from wired devices to wireless items. Additionally, local companies, including boAt, Zebronics India Pvt. Ltd., Xiaomi, Boult Audio, GoNoise, and Portronics, as well as MiVi, are involved in providing wireless earphones at reduced pricing, which is projected to further propel the segment.
The popularity of wireless earphones and headphones is also anticipated to expand with the introduction of smart capabilities like voice assistance, gesture recognition, fitness tracking, and wearing detection for playback and pause of music. Modern wireless earphones and headphones come with improved Bluetooth technology to provide greater connectivity over long distances and longer battery life for listening for extended periods of time. The market for wireless products is expected to be driven by such sophisticated features and ongoing innovation. However, because of their low cost, absence of latency, and superior audio quality, wired systems are predicted to keep their market share in the future.
With a market share of 41.6 % in terms of sales in 2021, the music and entertainment sector dominated the market. This is linked to the growing popularity of earphones and headphones among audiophiles, casual music listeners, and those working in the entertainment and music sectors who use them to listen to music and create sound effects. Due to the growing adoption of earphones and headphones in the business, armed forces, education, and construction sectors, the virtual reality application segment are anticipated to experience significant growth over the course of the forecast period. This growth is primarily due to the use of headphones and earphones for training. For instance, headphones are frequently used in conjunction with simulators in the military forces to create a realistic sound experience during training.
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The Asia Pacific controlled the majority of the market in terms of revenue in 2021, holding a share of 29.7%. The high smartphone adoption rate and growing standard of living in the area are credited with this. The emergence of low-cost technologies and the accessibility of cheap labour in the area have led to considerable investments by a number of important commercial players in China. Nevertheless, the industry has grown as a result of the proliferation of products that are fake and made, particularly in India, and this has been made possible by a number of major businesses setting up manufacturing facilities there.
2021 saw Europe and North America share the second-largest market. The already developed market and high levels of technological adoption in certain areas are credited with this. Investments in R&D and ongoing product innovation are priorities for businesses in this region. Additionally, the existence of significant industry players in the area, such as Apple Inc., Bose Corporation, GN Store Nord A/S, Harman International Industries, Incorporated, and Sennheiser GmbH & Co., KG, is anticipated to fuel growth in both North America and Europe.
As a result of the existence of significant international firms, the market is highly fragmented and characterised by intense rivalry. In order to increase their market presence and geographic reach, these businesses put a special emphasis on improving product quality by implementing cutting-edge and creative strategies. GN Store Nord A/S, Apple Inc., Bose Corporation, Harman International Industries, Inc., Sony Corporation, Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co. KG, and Skullcandy.com are a few of the major companies in the earphone and headphone market.