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Review Edition - IFA International

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STATE OF PLAY MARKET 1%

STATE OF PLAY MARKET 1% 10% 5% 26% The global market for over-ear headphones continues to boom, with new brands and ideas continuing to emerge. But the market is highly fragmented and increasingly competitive. The over-ear category now accounts for around half of the market in value terms. In this section, the experts of EISA give you tips for how to choose the right “cans” for your stores. HEADPHONES / MOBILE STEREO HEADSETS Clear customer preference in EU6* – the wired headband segment remains biggest revenue segment (43%). Bluetooth and wired in-ear devices with ear channel have become 46% more important. *EU6 = DE, ES, FR, GB, IT, NL Development of Headphones / Mobile Stereo Headsets segments in EU6* (Sales Value %) 12% 1% 1% 10% 5% 26% 1% 9% 7% 29% THE FUTURE According to EISA, even though the market for headphones is increasing every year, the quality of reproduction is suffering. Many manufacturers appear to care more about design and features, while they try to accommodate the younger population with over-boosted bass. In this flood on the market, Hi-Fi brands will be a safer option for better sound and longer-lasting experience. 46% Jan-Jun 2013 Wired In Ear+Ear Channel Wired In Ear No Ear Channel Wired On Ear no Headband 7% Wired 9% Headband 1% Infrared UHF Bluetooth 1% 29% 12% 43% Jan-Jun 2014 11% CONTACT Martina Huerbinger Marketing Manager Mobile Consumer Electronics GfK Retail and Technology martina.huerbinger@gfk.com INNOVATING @ IFA 43% 11% PANASONIC PREMIUM OVER-EAR HEADPHONES Panasonic’s premium RP-HD10 headphones offer high resolution sound (max.50kHz) in which even the finest details can be heard. The MLF (multi layer film) diaphragm reduces distortion to a minimum, while the Ergonomic 3D designed ear pads ensure you can listen in comfort and reduces external noise. Detachable cables in 1.2m and 3.0m length provide the freedom for use in home or on the go. » HALL 5.2 / STAND 101 MONSTER DIAMOND TEARS Marrying haute couture and high-end audio performance, Monster’s Diamond Tears headphones promise to turn heads at IFA. Designed by songwriter, producer and actor JYP in collaboration with Monster’s tech experts, the phones combine the thrill of diamonds and the emotion of music. With no amplification or noise cancellation circuitry that adds frequencies or colours to the sound, the clean audio matches the sleek design. » HALL 1.2 / STAND 119 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 204 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 204 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 108 32

OVER-EAR HEADPHONES KEY SELLING POINTS TECHNOLOGY Connectivity Since over-ear headphones are considered to have higher sound quality, most of them still use cables for connection. If headphones have a detachable chord, that feature is a bonus. However, some new models feature Bluetooth connectivity. Compatibility Nowadays smartphones are taking over the role of music players, so you can expect many headphones featuring a microphone for phone calls and also buttons for volume control and answering a call. Construction Closed-Back headphones are becoming more popular since listeners are on-the-go and this design proved to be better in terms of sound isolation. If you listen to music at home using headphones, your choice would be an open type for more natural sound. FEATURES Controls and comfort Headphones feature controls for music reproduction as well as for phone functions. Wired headphones have these controls on the wire, and wireless have them usually on one earpiece. Some models have replaceable pads but also can be folded and stored in the case supplied. Noise Cancelling If you are a frequent traveller, Active Noise Cancelling is an important feature. Not many models have this technology implemented so the choice is quite narrow. Noise cancellation reduces ambient noise, so the user has no need to increase volume to ear-damaging levels. Accessories Almost all models of headphones come with a nice case or pouch for storing when not in use and for easy, protected transport. Users will also expect to find adapters for 3.5mm and 6.3mm jacks and for use in air planes with more expensive models aimed at the frequent traveller. DESIGN Street Style Being a youngster and having over-ear headphones is fashion today. There is a wide range of designs in the market and a cheap look is out of the question. Manufacturers use different choice of materials like leather, aluminium or stainless steel for better designs. Traveller Style Headphones for travellers are more compact and they usually have good design and nice features, like noise cancellation. They come with largest number of accessories. Some models are foldable which is a big plus. Audiophile For true audiophiles sound quality is the priority. They do not care if headphones are foldable and wireless connectivity is considered a minus. However, enjoying music for a longer period of time requires a certain level of comfort. In this case look for changeable ear cushions and a light headband. INNOVATING @ IFA SENNHEISER URBANITE The URBANITE range is the latest offering from audio specialists Sennheiser. Designed to appeal to younger users who want a stylish product without compromising on sound quality, the URBANITE headphones come in a range of colour choices, with stainless-steel hinges that add a touch of urban style ensuring the headphones are also built to last. » HALL 1.2 / STAND 202 MARSHALL MAJOR BROWN HEADPHONES Inspired by Marshall’s vintage acoustic amplifiers, major brown headphones use the same vinyl used in Marshall amplifiers, and bears the original Marshall texture. A solid workhorse designed with non-stop listening in mind, these Marshall Major on-ear headphones feature moving coil dynamic speakers for powerful sound. The 3.5mm connector allows use with a wide variety of audio devices, while the 6.3mm adapter lets users connect to select amplifiers, speakers and more. » HALL 1.2 / STAND 107 Our thanks to EISA for their help in compiling this buyers’ guide. » HALL 22 / STAND 101 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 204 » HALL 1.2 / STAND 202 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Friday 19 th September 2014 33

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