The global headphone market grew by 21% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2021. The “Headphones Quarterly Tracker” from Futuresource reveals a double-digit increase in market value, generating more than $9 million for the quarter. The True Wireless Segment (TWS) is driving market growth, accounting for more than one in every two shipments in Q2 2021.
“Competition is heating up for TWS players, particularly at the low end of the market,” Arian Bassari, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting said in a release touting the findings. “As a result, we’re seeing a groundswell of innovation, particularly in the 50-to-99-dollar range, as brands parade feature-rich products in an attempt to entice consumers. This combination of competition and innovation is driving down prices, with heavy discounting during Prime Day in June further contributing to price erosion in Western Europe and North America.”
Futuresource says two-thirds of wireless headphones shipped in the quarter were TWS models. The sports headphones segment, meanwhile, experienced a double-digit decline as new headphone models include IPX4 and IPX5 weather ratings, reducing the need for a dedicated pair of sport headphones.
Overall market growth is driven by China and the Asia-Pacific region, excluding India. The regions achieved year-over-year growth of 45% in the quarter. Russia and Eastern Europe also showed strong growth, however growth in the U.S. was more subdued, Futuresource says. Part of the slow growth was due to the lack of new products from Apple and the ongoing chip shortages.
Even without product refreshes, Apple continues to lead the TWS market.
“Despite recording a year-on-year loss of brand share, Apple continued to hold the majority of volume in the TWS market,” Bassari noted. “Samsung retained its position in second place, supported by sales of its Bud Pro, with older models sold at heavy discounts and bundled with smartphones. Overall, Apple continues to lead the pack on volume and value, with Sony in second position, and Harman brands taking third position for volume share.”