Buyers’ Guide – In-ear Headphones

APAC & GLOBAL MARKET STATISTICS

According to GfK Asia, for 2017, wireless headsets grew 64% year-on-year, earbuds took off in 2017, growing over 1,000% (from a very small base).
Meanwhile, Researchandmarkets.com reports that the global earphones and headphones market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.31% during 2017-2023 and cross $US20 billion in revenue by 2023.
As mobile devices have become more affordable, the demand for entry-level headphones is also increasing globally. On the other hand, there is also a huge demand for specialised, high-end, best sound quality earphones and headphones. There are more than 3,000 companies engaged in manufacturing of earphones and headphones. The top five manufacturers, Beats, Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, and Skullcandy have two-thirds of the global market share in terms of value and 50% of the market share in terms of volume. The smart and nonsmart earphones segments are expected to follow a similar trend to the wired and wireless segments.

STATE OF PLAY

In recent years, the focus of the in-ear headphone market was sports. Easy to wear and comfortable headphones which will hold during sports. But recent developments in audio like hires audio will show a shift to high quality in-ear headphones.

INNOVATIONS TO LOOK FOR AT CE CHINA

WIRELESS, WIRELESS AND…
Wireless! More and more in-ear headphones will be wireless and really comfortable. With small batteries and really good connectivity options inear buds are elegant and fashionable. This characteristic will attract the public, rather than niche audiences. With this in mind, wireless is very dominant.

USB-TYPE C
If headphones have a wire, it will probably will be a USB-C connection. Since the removal of the headphone jack by Apple, more and more manufacturers are banning the analogue input from their products. Where Apple switched to Lightningheadphones, others will stick to USB type C. However, this doesn’t mean the headphonejack will disappear entirely.

HI-RES
Playing hi-res audio will become the new standard for wireless headphone-users. Thanks to technology like aptX, it’s easy for consumers to listen to 24-bit music without the hassle of a wire. And since services like TIDAL now support MQA, hi-res music is more accessible than ever. With this development, the end user is the big winner. It gives the consumer not only a better connection but also a big improvement in sound quality.

INNOVATING @ CE CHINA

POWERWINTOP BT-519

• Aluminium Alloy Bluetooth Earphone
• Safe and comfortable half in-ear design, anti-falling snail shape ear hook
• High definition listening experience due to HD digital decoding chip – AptX decoding technology
• Active noise cancelling working principle
• Bluetooth V4.1
• Integrated molding remote control
• IPX4 waterproof – no fear of sweat and rain
• Strong endurance: 250 hours standby time, 7 hours talking time

KINGSUN DC-0562

• OEM/ODM Bluetooth sport headset
• Bluetooth version: 4.1
• Transmission distance: 10 metres
• Network talking
• Playing music
• Up to two devices

THE FUTURE

As technology improves, we can expect better sound quality in increasingly smaller in-ear headphones. Also, true wireless earphones like Apple’s AirPods or Samsung’s IconX can reach their full potential with better sound quality and equal battery life. Now we only need a way to prevent us from losing one of our true wireless headphones. Maybe a wire will be needed after all…