The last decade has witnessed an influx of new, innovative products in the earphones & headphones market in the light of evolving consumer needs. Alongside, there are some trends that have been influencing the industry drastically in recent years. One such trend is the burgeoning climate consciousness, which has prompted extensive efforts by key manufacturers to mitigate the carbon footprint of their operations.
Now that climate change risks have become more apparent around the world, the transition to a decarbonized society has become an urgent issue. This has led firms to implement efficient strategies to decrease the emissions of the global sector. One such company is Sony, which targets to attain 100% renewable energy in its operations by the year 2030 and carbon neutrality along its value chain by 2040.
Apple, another key headphone manufacturer, is also working to bolster the use of recycled content across its products with the introduction of certified recycled gold and has doubled the use of recycled cobalt, tungsten, and rare earth elements. It reported the highest-ever use of recycled content, about 20% of all material used, in its products in 2021.
In effect, rising number of environmental impact reduction projects undertaken by companies has been beneficial in increasing consumer interest. As per a research report by Global Market Insights Inc., the global earphones and headphones market share is estimated to be valued at approximately $175 billion by 2028.
Market leaders have been expanding their product offerings to cater to consumer demands, which is playing a major role in driving earphones & headphones industry expansion.
Some of these feats have been discussed hereunder:
Even though Sony makes smartphones, it has established a fairly extensive consumer base in the hearables market independent of its phone business. The consumer electronics giant has achieved this by engaging customers with newer products with novel features, enhancing its presence in the global earphones & headphones market.
In its latest launch, in May 2022, Sony introduced the LinkBuds S that offers a new sound experience by leveraging the company’s sensing technology and partner collaboration. The newest addition to the LinkBuds series retains a “Never Off” wearing experience that is ideal for staying connected to both offline and online spaces because of their lightweight and ultra-small design with natural ambient sound.
Earlier, in February 2022, Sony also released its overhead wireless headphones, dubbed the WH-XB910N in the Indian market, which features EXTRA BASS for a party-like experience. The headphones boasted of better noise cancelling and club-like bass, supported by dual sensor noise tech, longer battery life, and smart listening with adaptive sound control for an endless music experience.
2 . Sennheiser
Most common devices that consumers pair their earbuds with are tablets, computers, or phones. One uncommon use case for earbuds is television and Sennheiser is looking to change this.
The May 2022-launched TV Clear promises better television viewing with superior clarity with the comfort, inconspicuousness, and convenience of the True Wireless earbuds. TV Clear’s transmitter supports low latency for any television with analogue or optical output.
It gives a customized audio experience with a choice of five speech clarity levels, offering nearly 20 dB high-frequency amplification for crystal clear dialog. These earbuds also let users set volume levels independent from that of the TV or other audio sources when used with the transmitter, supplementing undisturbed viewing at the volume of the wearer’s preference.
Apple is known to be one of the pioneers in the hearables market with its innovative in-ear products. In its last launch event, in October 2021, Apple presented AirPods 3.0 embedded with spatial audio, other advanced features, and a new contoured design.
Merging the power of the H1 chip with Apple’s proprietary acoustic system, the novel product utilizes computational audio with Adaptive EQ to offer breakthrough sound. AirPods 3.0 also feature Dolby Atmos in Apple Music, tv shows, and movies, coupled with dynamic head tracking in Apple devices. It is also sweat- and water-resistant and is equipped with a force sensor for intuitive and easy control of music as well as phone calls.
Furthermore, the tech giant that has a strong presence in the earphones & headphones industry, is supposedly awaiting approval for a new patent, which provides a way to detect position and movement, including being able to assess body motion during Fitness+ workouts. The novel patent titled ‘Wireless Ear Bud System with Pose Detection’ assists with spatial audio and aims to enhance workouts.
4 . Bang & Olufsen
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid work gained huge prominence, boosting the requirement for high-quality multifunctional headsets, since remote workers sought to decrease background noise from remote workspaces or to listen to music on the go. To monetize this trend in the earphones & headphones market, in October 2021, Bang & Olufsen, a key firm in the headphones market, partnered with networking hardware expert Cisco to develop the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980.
The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 was marketed as a luxury business headset that combines Cisco’s Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, integrated meeting controls, and frictionless IT management abilities with Bang & Olufsen’s unrivaled craftsmanship, timeless design, and powerful sound to support long-lasting secure communications.
The more recent April 2022-introduced Beoplay EX claims to provide astounding sound, waterproof design, and adaptive ANC. The novel product was described as the most versatile true wireless earphones from the company. Beoplay EX offers a blend of style and performance to augment daily audio experiences.
5 . Logitech International
The gaming sector has seen an unprecedented upsurge, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were forced to stay indoors to abide by government-imposed lockdown restrictions. To capitalize on this opportunity in the earphones & headphones industry, Logitech International, considered to be one of the best earphone and headphone brands as well as a leading innovator of gaming technologies & gear, presented the G435 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Headset, an ultra-lightweight wireless headset, in September 2021.
The new headset targeted the modern gaming consumer and offered superior comfort, sustainability, affordability, various color options, and multi-platform support, among other features. It can also connect wirelessly to a PlayStation or a PC console through its USB dongle as well as tablet, phone, and other devices through low-latency Bluetooth connection.
The G435, Logitech said, was its most sustainable wireless headset for gaming at the time of the launch. It is CarbonNeutral certified, which indicates that the firm backs high-quality certified carbon offsets to bring down the carbon impact of the headset to zero.
Summing Up: High Emphasis to be Placed on Strengthening Product Innovation
Various companies in the industry have been underlining the development of novel products to explore market niches and bolster their revenue growth. One such example is Grado’s limited edition Hemp Headphone.
The headphones include highly compressed hemp, which created a damping effect between fibers. This gave a fuller sound, involving a notable low- and top-end that extends seamless to its limits. With this innovation, the ever-growing hemp market has also found yet another application. Undeniably, increasing focus on product innovation and development is likely to foster earphones & headphones market outlook in the future.