Earphones are electrical devices, worn on the ears to listen to music, radio, or for telephonic communication. A headphone is a device comprising a pair of earphones fused together by a band placed over the head, to listen to music, speech, and other audio signals. Earphones and headphones are designed to enable a single user to privately listen to music, speech or any other audio, in contrast with loudspeakers that cause people nearby to listen to the sound being played. Earphones and headphones are portable, convenient, and comfortable to use. Thus, they are used widely during travel and workouts.
The global earphone and headphone market is segmented on the basis of geography, application, price, distribution channel, and product type. By application, the market is segmented into media and entertainment, gaming, sports, corporate, and personal. On the basis of price, the market is segmented into premium price, low price, and medium price.
Inclusion of Wireless Technologies to Boost Earphone and Headphone Market
Of late, there has been a rising trend of listening to music through portable music systems such as music players, tablets, smartphones, iPods, and more. The growth in the demand for portable music systems is in turn benefiting the earphone and headphone market. Technological advancements in headphones have made them light-weight, which is driving the headphones market towards significant growth. Features such as cancellation of sophisticated noise in earphones and headphones are driving the popularity of these products. The recent inclusion of wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, infrared, Bluetooth, and SKAA are expected to fuel the sales of earphones and headphones, thus benefitting the market. The rising disposable income of people is also encouraging the market’s growth.
The heightened demand for earphones and headphones from call centers is one of the major drivers of the market. Earphones and headphones are also in great demand in the corporate sector, where they are required for video conferencing and other VOIP services. The competitive pricing of these products and innovation are also pushing the global earphone and headphone market. Furthermore, the market is one that is poised for high growth owing to the short replacement cycle for earphones and headphones. The penetration of music players, smartphones and tablets has led to significant growth in the global market for earphones and headphones.
Incidences of Hearing Damage Could Restrict Earphone and Headphone Market Growth
While listening to music and other audio in low volume does not cause hearing problems, using earphone at a high volume can damage the hearing ability in the long run. The use of headphones and earphones may lead to temporary hearing loss and deafness. When using earphones and headphones in railway stations, subways, aircrafts, and in crowded places, it becomes essential that the sound volume compete with the nearby background noise. This drives users to raise the volume to maximum, which is harmful for their ears.
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A few market players have attempted to introduce safety circuits in order to limit the output volume and warn users when the volume is at a dangerous level. However, this attempt by the manufacturers has not been well-received by the majority of the consumers, who prefer their personal choice of volume.
Major market players in the earphone and headphone market include: Philips Electronics Ltd., JVC Corporation, Sony Corporation, Bose Corporation, Apple Inc., Plantronics Pty Ltd., and Audio-Technica Corporation.