Retail volume sales of home audio and cinema continued to be driven by home cinema and speaker systems, with the latter recording the only positive performance in 2019. This was supported by the ongoing demand and trend for soundbars, encouraging the entry of an increasing number of brands such as HiSense, with the latter announcing its intentions to enter the category in 2019.
Wireless speakers continued to cannibalise sales of bulky and outdated technology such as audio separates and hi-fi systems, although the latter still holds niche appeal amongst audiophiles who prefer the retrospective aspect of playing vinyl rather than the cleaner sound of digital. However, with audio separates and hi-fi systems selling at high prices and having premium features, only consumers with a strong knowledge in sound systems and with strong purchasing ability generate demand for these products, leading to both categories recording retail volume declines in 2019.
Digital media player docks recorded the strongest retail volume decline within home audio and cinema in 2019, with the category also being negatively impacted by the continual surge in popularity of wireless speakers, but unlike hi-fi systems does not enjoy a niche appeal amongst music aficionados. Digital media player docks struggles with both lack of innovation and weak support from retailers as fewer models and brands become available on shelves.
Sony Australia retained its leadership of home audio and cinema in 2019, although the company continued to lose retail volume share and sales to smaller competitors despite a strong presence in home cinema and speaker systems with its soundbars range. The increasing trend for soundbars in Australia is encouraging a number of smaller brands to enter the category with the retail volume share of “others” recording share gain and positive sales, placing pressure on the leader.
JBL gained retail volume share within home audio and cinema in 2019, in addition to recording a positive sales performance. The brand launched a new range of “retro-style” loudspeakers in Australia in March 2019 to attract the niche segment of audiophiles in addition to appealing to consumers with entry-level prices with the introduction of a range of floor-standing speakers, bookshelf speakers, centre channels and subwoofers under the name “Stage”.
The increasing trend for purchasing soundbars in conjunction with new large televisions in Australia is leading to the rise in the number of brands entering this category. HiSense announced its intention to enter soundbars at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2019 with the launch of a new range including the HiSense 5.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Electronics market research database.