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Headphones Market Shares Apple Takes the Lead

Report by Mark Mulligan
Cover image for Headphones Market Shares
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Headphones are the physical manifestation of streaming music. With the focus of listening shifted from home speakers to smartphones, headphones have become ubiquitous. But, whereas convenience was unchallenged in the early years, consumers have started to place more importance on quality. Headphones have been the clear winner with a highly sophisticated and segmented marketplace having arisen to meet a diversity of user needs and budgets.

Key Findings

  • Only            of            do not have a pair            headphones
  • Smartphone listening            the second most widespread listening            at            penetration, behind the car                       and ahead of at home            speakers at           
  • Sony is            most widely owned individual headphone            with            of consumers owning a           
  • However, when            three headphone brand categories are            (Earpods, Airpods, Beats) it has            leading market share in headphone            with           
  • The US            the largest headphones market globally                       million headphone owners, followed by            large Latin American countries Mexico            Brazil
  • Beats performs            its US home territory, while            only secures a top three            in its home territory Germany
  • Panasonic performs            in Japan, Brazil and Mexico
  • Beats owners            and are relatively evenly spread            terms of gender:            are male
  • Apple Earpods            the most female heavy user                      suggesting that males are            more inclined to invest in            headphones
  • Higher-end consumer            brands have older, more male                       of Bang and Olufsen owners            male,            for Bose,            for Sennheiser                       for BeyerDynamic
  • Music subscribers            most likely to own Apple            followed by Sony on            and            Beats on           
  • Amazon Prime            users are more likely to            Apple headphones than Apple Music            are

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: AKG, Amazon, Amazon Prime Music, Apple, Apple AirPods, Apple EarPods, Apple Music, Bang and Olufsen, Beats, Betron, BeyerDynamic, Bose, Grado, Jabra, Optoma, Panasonic, Sennheiser, Skull Candy, Sony, Sony Walkman, Spotify, TaoTronics

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