The Fight for Headphones Supremacy

January 2022

Headphones is the fastest growing category in consumer electronics with many brands flooding the market. How can new entrants or established brands stay relevant in the overly crowded headphones marketplace?

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Key Findings

Headphones sales exploded due to the pandemic

The pandemic forced consumers to work and study at home, leading to a surge in demand for headphones and opened up new demographics.

TWS earbuds poised for explosive growth

The freedom from wires led to a surge in TWS earbuds demand as companies offered a wide range of models at different price points.

Wireless headbands demand to remain stable

While TWS earbuds are projected to enjoy the strongest growth, wireless headbands continued to be popular among audiophiles.

Brands are moving up the value chain

As competition intensifies, companies are offering more function and features and moving into premium segment which offers higher margins.

Many consumers are not buying headphones

Current headphones owners tend to purchase multiple sets, but companies need to cast their nets wider and attract a larger group of consumers who do not own wireless headphones

Design can be a differentiator

Headphones that are well designed enable brands to command a price premium and establish customer loyalty.

Driving sales of other products and services

Companies need to grow additional revenues from accessories and adjacent products and services.

Scope of the Report


Market Overview

TWS earbuds skyrocketed as consumers embrace wireless convenience
Wireless headphones sales remain stable over forecast period
Key findings
TWS earbuds’ explosive growth due to ultimate convenience
Wireless headbands offer the best in audio fidelity
Wireless earphones still find (some) love
Shift in mobility driving sales of headphones
Popular streaming services are good for headphone sales
Increase in exercise routines drive demand for wireless headphones

Competitive Landscape

Crowded market with low entry barriers
E-commerce opening up new brands to a global market
AirPods - masterclass in design with its distinctive look
Sony - halo products driving revenue growth
Samsung – struggling to differentiate itself
Xiaomi - flooding the market with affordable headphones
Bose - leveraging its audio heritage

How Brands Can Win

More consumers need to be convinced to buy wireless headphones
Good audio is difficult to gauge for most consumers
Brands are trying to differentiate themselves
Brands are trying to differentiate themselves (2)
Design can be a key differentiator in the crowded marketplace
Extending revenues beyond headphones

Consumer Electronics

Consumer Electronics refers to the sales of Computers and Peripherals, In-Home Consumer Electronics, In-Car Entertainment and Portable Consumer Electronics to the end consumer.

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