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Headphones: Premium Set To Drive Market As Demand For Wireless Models Grow

Despite some Australian retailers moving to rationalise their headphone brands researchers are still predicting growth despite saturation occurring in 2016 as consumer migrate to a new generation of premium model headphones.

New research from Futuresource Consulting reveals that the worldwide headphones market enjoyed another year of robust volume and price growth in 2015.

Shipments grew 7% to reach 331.3 million units, while retail value surged by an impressive 19% to $11.2 billion. The average price paid for a pair of headphones rose by 11% in 2015.

In Australia Sennheiser is the #1 headphone brand at the likes of JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman while Beats headphones are “The most returned” according to retail executives.4674762-4997680223-beats

JB Hi Fi executives said that consumers are stepping up to new model headphones especially the new generation of wireless Bluetooth models.

Wireless headphones doubled in volume in 2015 to comprise 14% of the overall market. Other features, such as in-line microphones are becoming standard, whilst noise cancelling is witnessing a revival in 2015 owing to the feature’s inclusion in premium wireless headphones.

“The rise in the average price of headphones is due mainly to the increased consumer appetite for additional features,” commented Rasika D’Souza, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “For example, many people are using headphones during sports and fitness activities and they are now buying models which are designed with this purpose in mind. However, headphones with health tracking features have not yet caught on, with consumers preferring alternative dedicated wearable devices.”

As a result of these additional features, sales of headphones in the sub $85 category grew by 55%. Sales in the sub $40 category meanwhile actually fell by 1%.sennheiser_momentum_on-ear_headphones_feature bose_715593_0010_soundtrue_in_ear_headphones_audio_1078133

Brand leaders like Sennheiser, Sony and JBL all enjoyed a strong 2015. However, competition remains diverse across the price spectrum with Sennheiser and Bose being particularly strong at the premium end, accounting for 40% of overall market revenues.

The research shows that demand in leading markets like Australia, will slow due to saturation, whilst developing markets that have a huge base of smartphone owners will fuel growth during the forecast period to 2020.
JB Hi Fi who recently set up a store at Sydney airport is witnessing strong demand for noise cancelling headphones as consumers head overseas.

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