Thu. Aug 18th, 2022
AirPods remain the benchmark for wireless earbuds, even if Apple loses its shine

The Counterpoint Research Institute has taken stock of the wireless headphone market in 2021 and Apple remains far ahead of the competition.

AirPods remain the benchmark for wireless earbuds, even if Apple loses its shine
Apple AirPods 3 // Source: Frandroid

After connected watches, it’s time to take stock of wireless headphone sales in 2021. The Counterpoint Research Institute published the 2021 wireless headphone market report, brand by brand, last week.

And the least we can say is that, much like connected watches, Apple remains far ahead of its main competitors in this Bluetooth headset market. The US firm alone captured a 25.6% market share in 2021. For comparison, the second manufacturer Xiaomi only got a 9% market share. The rest of the classification is as follows:

  1. Apple: 25.6% market share
  2. Xiaomi: 9.0% market share
  3. Samsung: 7.2% market share
  4. JBL: 4.2% market share
  5. Skullcandy: 4.0% market share
  6. QCY: 3.1% market share
  7. JLAB: 2.9% market share
  8. Boat: 2.9% market share
  9. Builder: 2.2% market share

A market driven by cheap headphones

A sign of a still developing and particularly fragmented wireless headphone market, the other manufacturers collectively hold 39% of the market share. Specifically, we thus have one actor that sells more than a quarter of the world’s wireless headphones, another four that sell between 4 and 9% of the headphones and all the others that share half of the pie without ever exceeding the 4% market share. .

AirPods remain the benchmark for wireless earbuds, even if Apple loses its shine

Note, however, a significant drop for Apple. In 2020, the US firm alone sold 30.2% of the world’s wireless headphones and therefore suffered a market share drop of almost 5 points. On the contrary, Samsung has managed to get out of the game and go from 6.7 to 7.2% market share in one year.

In detail, it is above all headphones offered at an affordable price that have made the market grow. It sold 24% more headphones in 2021 than in 2020. Growth driven mainly by the segment of headphones between 50 and 100 dollars and more than 200 dollars underlines Counterpoint Research. Segments that have been driven mainly by Xiaomi and JBL on the one hand and by Apple on the other.

You no longer have to spend a fortune on good wireless headphones.

While entry-level and mid-range wireless earphones have long remained mediocre, a new generation brings features and quality that no longer rival premium models.
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