Wireless earbuds, better known as hearables, are fast replacing wearables as the most popular accessory for consumers. According to Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker of International Data Corporation (IDC), global wearable device shipments grew 85.2% in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19) as shipments totaled 67.7 million units. From these devices, hearables were among the fastest growing categories, capturing 46.9% of the overall wearables market during the quarter, up from 24.8% a year ago. This growth was driven by a multitude of new products and consumers who purchased their second wearable, a hearable, to use in parallel with existing smartwatches or wrist bands, reports Business Wire.
“The growing popularity of the hearables segment is forcing existing brands to reconsider past designs when launching new products, as evident in Samsung's popular Galaxy Buds, while also attracting new brands to market,” said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “And though it's still early days, the market is showing signs of emerging subsegments such as hearables dedicated to sports from the likes of Jabra, premium hearables from companies such as Bose, and ones dedicated to hearing loss such as those from Nuheara.”
Companies highlighted in the report are:
Apple. The tech giant led the market for hearables by capturing 50.2% share during the quarter. New products such as the refreshed AirPods and the latest from the Beats lineup helped the company grow 218.2% compared to last year.
Samsung. The company’s self-branded devices and the JBL brand, captured the second position during the quarter. The highly publicized Galaxy Buds were one of the company's most popular pair of hearables as the pair was bundled with the purchase of Samsung's latest smartphone.
Xiaomi. Xiaomi's AirDots (amongst other models) helped the company capture the third position. Though the company primarily sells its hearables in China, Xiaomi has already started to make inroads in other markets such as Europe and the Middle East with its smartphones and wrist bands.
Bose. This Boston-based company ranked fourth in this market. The company's long lineage in audio and premium offering has helped set the company apart from the remainder of the pack.
ReSound. The parent company of Jabra rounded out the top 5 with 5.1% share and 132.9% growth. Jabra's Elite Active 65t have been extremely popular as an alternative to Apple's AirPods and have also been promoted heavily on Amazon's store.