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11 months ago

Day 6 Edition - IFA International 2017

  • Text
  • Headphones
  • Products
  • Appliances
  • Audio
  • Devices
  • Global
  • Berlin
  • Mobile
  • Content
  • Headband

NOMADIC LIFESTYLE On the

NOMADIC LIFESTYLE On the Move Tech Gathers Pace Sales of mobile products are growing rapidly, which has led to a wide range of accessories launching in different categories 22% Sales of wearables in Western Europe increased 22% year-on-year in the first six months of 2017 Source: GfK 893,000 pairs of VR glasses sold in first six months of 2017 Source: GfK 6% The average selling price of fitness trackers increased 6% to reach €99 in the six months to the end of June 2017 Source: GfK Headband Siganal Connection (Sales Value in Million Euros, Europe 6*) 400 300 200 100 Headband Bluetooth Headband Other Wireless Wired Headband 96,2488 39,0099 198,9294 203,7401 34,4291 146,7934 Jan-Jun 2016 Jan-Jun 2017 Source GfK August 10, 2017 Wireless or wired? In-ear, on-ear or over-ear? When it comes to headphones, the possibilities are endless. And that's a good thing, because music preferences and reasons for using headphones can vary significantly. The global demand for headphones and earphones is primarily driven by the perpetually growing demand for smartphones, tablets, and portable media devices. With the advancements in technology, not only have headphones and earphones become more lightweight and compact, but also more feature rich. In order to compete in a crowded market, manufacturers are focusing on product innovation and new product developments. Essentially, there are three different types of headphones. In-ear headphones plug directly into the ear; on-ear headphones hug the ears with padding; Over-ear headphones, meanwhile, wrap around the entire ear. On-ear products are popular as they allow for heat exchange, which prevents the ears from overheating and also makes them more comfortable. WEARABLES SALES ON THE RISE The demand for wearables is showing positive growth. This product group includes smart watches, health and fitness trackers and wrist sport computers such as GPS pulse watches. Connected watches, headphones with sensors and locators for finding children or senior citizens using GPS, are also smaller segments within wearables. Demand for wearables in Western Europe increased by 22% year-onyear in the first six months of 2017, according to GfK. In terms of sales value, the market grew by 33%. This compares to Asia, which saw an increase of 21% in unit sales and 26% in sales value. Fitness trackers still make up the largest portion in volume of wearables, with one out of two wearables sold in Western Europe being a fitness tracker. However, growth rates in the European market came in slightly under the product group average, standing at 20% for unit sales and 27% for sales value. The average selling price did achieve an increase of 6% to reach €99. GET CONNECTED Connected watches are most similar to conventional watches and are increasingly offered by manufacturers of traditional wristwatches. Demand in Western Europe increased by 104% year-onyear in the first half of 2017, while sales value increased by 109%. Still their share within wearables overall is small, standing below 2%, but is expected to grow notably in the mid-term. Locators are especially popular with consumers in Asia, where every fifth wearable device sold is a locator. In Western Europe, the segment has yet to attract much interest. Earables, which are headphones with special sensors, are currently establishing themselves as a new category within the wearables product group. VIRTUAL REALITY HELPS TO GENERATE ADDITIONAL REVENUE Besides wearables, VR headsets and VR head-mounted displays are also contributing to the increase in spend within Europe for mobile devices. VR headsets require the addition of a suitable smartphone for use, and are therefore relatively simple and affordable with an average selling price of €33. The overall market for VR glasses has shown especially dynamic growth, starting from a very low baseline. This was particularly evident in the fourth quarter of 2016. In the first half of 2017, revenue was €110m, corresponding to sales of 893,000 devices. The highest demand within Europe was observed in Great Britain, which accounted for 26% of the total sales volume for Western Europe, followed by France and Germany, standing at 23% and 16% respectively 16

BUYERS' GUIDE NOMADIC LIFESTYLE OVER-EAR HEADPHONES MARKET The market for Headphones and Mobile Stereo Headsets in Europe 6* is continuing its positive trend. Sales units increased by 4% in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016. Sales value based growth jumped up to 16% thanks to the market’s shift towards higher priced segments. With around €385m, headband devices account for more than half of the total category’s sales value. Within the headband segment, the trend towards Bluetooth has accelerated. From January to June 2017, every one-in-four headband devices sold was Bluetooth enabled, generating more than half of the total headband sales value. This development corresponds to a doubling of the Bluetooth Headband sales value compared to the previous year. Mobile listening to music is playing an important role in audio markets, which is also why Active Noise Cancellation is a key growth driver in the headband segment, reaching a share of 31% in the first six months of 2017. STATE OF PLAY Last year, the worldwide headphone market had an estimated value of €4.2bn, an impressive revenue figure made possible by intense consumer interest in listening to songs on the go or consuming music and movies at home on their mobile devices. There are many categories of headphones, but over-ear models are often considered to deliver the pinnacle of sound quality and innovation. INNOVATIONS TO LOOK FOR AT IFA GETTING SMARTER For a long time headphones were considered to be very “dumb” devices. In essence they consisted of a set of drivers mounted in such a way you could wear them directly on the head, preferably comfortably. But there is a trend to include active components in the headphones themselves. This is not new, as Bluetooth for example, requires some electronics to be present. However, there are new headphone models that aim to improve quality by personalising the sound, using smart DSP technologies, in-ear measurements and app-based customisation. LIGHTER THAN A FEATHER A lot of headphones are used while commuting and travelling. In both of those cases you don’t really want to be weighed down by a bulky and unwieldy device pushing down on your head. A headphone should be light. This is especially true for affordable over-ear headphones aiming to lure people away from the headset offered free with their smartphone. This is why a lot of new budget range headphones emphasise a lightweight construction, utilising new materials to keep it slender and comfortable. Our thanks to Jamie Biesemans, Manager HiFi Expert Group at EISA - for his input. HI-RES Even though the general public has yet to cotton on to the merits of hires music in a big way, many manufacturers of headphones are taking notice. Pick up a new headphone model and chances are the packaging will sport a “Hi-Res Audio” logo, as certified by the Japan Audio Society. This guarantees that the headphone is capable of reproducing the higher frequencies that distinguish hi-res audio from compressed music or CDquality recordings. *EU6=DE, ES, FR, GB, IT, NL CONTACT Martina Huerbinger Marketing Manager Consumer Electronics, GfK Retail and Technology martina.huerbinger@gfk.com THE FUTURE The global earphones and headphones market is expected to reach €13.3bn by 2025, according to research conducted by Grand View Research, Inc. The rise in over-ear product offerings, rapid growth of active noise control technology and wireless connectivity are among the major trends. The over-ear segment is expected to gain traction over the forecast period with the increasing demand for headphones across the music & entertainment and sports & fitness applications. INNOVATING @ IFA PIONEERING SPIRIT Pioneer’s new SE-Monitor 5 offers hi-tech audio performance as well as support for both balanced and unbalanced audio. The new set of closed-back, over-ear cups features a new driver profile that uses a cellulose nano fibre. This minimises unwanted resonances while keeping the audio signal clean and powerful. Pioneer has also included a patented Double Headphone Chamber arrangement that combines a main chamber augmented with ported subchambers (to ensure a tight bass), while a magnesium alloy Full Basket is used to fuse it all together. » HALL 1.2 STAND 204 STUNNING STUDIO PERFORMANCE Audio-Technica’s new ATH-AR5BT premium wireless headphones combine a sleek, lightweight and ultra-portable design with a stunning audio performance. The dynamic 45mm drivers deliver high-quality CD-like sound over a wireless connection from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop or audio device. The drivers are also tuned for high-end audio via a compatible smartphone or portable music player. The over-ear design enables effective sound isolation for a more immersive listening experience. The ATH-AR5BT’s foldable, lightweight design is geared for easy storage in a bag or large coat pocket when travelling. » HALL 1.2 / STAND 207 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Wednesday 6 th September 2017 17

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