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Bluetooth Headphone Revenue Overtakes Non-Bluetooth Ahead of iPhone 7 Launch

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As the launch of the iPhone 7 approaches, Bluetooth headphone purchases are on the rise, according to new data shared by NPD Group. In June, Bluetooth headphone revenue overtook non-Bluetooth for the first time, accounting for 54 percent of headphone dollar sales and 17 percent of unit sales in the United States.

The overall headphone category saw seven percent year-over-year growth in pure dollar sales during the first half of 2016, but Bluetooth headphones saw double-digit growth during the same time period. A solid cost decrease helped spur Bluetooth headphone sales, with average selling prices down 5 percent. Nearly 30 percent of Bluetooth headphones sold during 1H 2016 were less than or equal to $50.
"Promotions and new product introductions have helped spur the growth we are seeing in Bluetooth headphones," said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group. "Consumers are already embracing a wireless future and if, as rumored, the headphone jack is removed from the next iPhone, we expect this will continue to drive market share of the Bluetooth category."
Apple's Beats brand and LG dominated the Bluetooth headphone market during the first half of the year, accounting for approximately 65 percent of dollar sales. Bose, Jaybird, and Skullcandy were the other manufacturers to make it into the top five brands, in that order.


With the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple plans to eliminate the headphone jack, requiring consumers to rely on Lightning adapters, Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones, or headphones that include a Lightning connector. Apple's decision will undoubtedly lead to even greater Bluetooth headphone sales as the headphone jack is gradually phased out across its product line and from competing products.

Article Link: Bluetooth Headphone Revenue Overtakes Non-Bluetooth Ahead of iPhone 7 Launch
 
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Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
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6,123
"54 percent of headphone dollar sales and 17 percent of unit sales in the United States"

More money from smaller market share. Very Apple. Makes logical sense, just a shame it's so anti-consumer.
 
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Dilster3k

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2014
790
3,205
Okay, I was a pure Bose naysayer.

Purchased the QC 15's a few years back, and over the course of those years realized that the audio quality wasn't up to par and the build quality was very lackluster for the premium price. Also was a big naysayer of bluetooth, with inferior audio quality, the need to charge the headphones AND the notorious pairing process. I'm not a marketing spokesperson for them, nor am I an audiophile...

However, I did receive the QC 35's as a present around a month ago and I have been traveling a lot with them recently this summer. And I must honestly say, that they are fantastic. The convenience of being cable free alone is worth it in my books. I only have to charge them 1 - 2 times a week for about 2 hours, and I use them daily for many hours for music, movies, etc. The best part in my opinion is how they've fixed the pairing issue, the companion app remembers the last paired devices, and you can manually switch on which ones to pair to instantly.

Also it simultaneously stays connected to two devices, usually my iPhone and MacBook Pro, and can therefore playback audio on one after the other seamlessly without doing anything. Switching them on also makes it pair instantly without hassle, which made me realize that it's even more convenient than plugging in a wired-pair of headphones from one device to another. Two smaller things to note is that you can rename them to your liking and also set exactly when you want them to go to sleep to save battery, so most aspects have been well thought out. The audio quality is great, the cans are very comfortable and the battery life is great, even though it is very pricey.

The technology will only get better and cheaper within time, with Bluetooth 5.0 being announced and AptX HD on its way to improve range and quality, this is truly the future in my humble opinion.

RIP 3.5mm headphone jack, good riddance.

PS: I was also eyeing the B&O's H7's, in the future perhaps because the battery is interchangeable.
 
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Boston007

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2010
458
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Absolutely LOVE my wireless Beats headphones. They're perfect for the gym, although I may next purchase the smaller earphones model, because I'm not a fan of running on the treadmill with the big wireless headphones
 
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2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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Let's just pause here for a second. 17% of units sold is not an overtake (yes the title references revenue). Also, 17% is probably too high because a lot of headphones are given away with the phone or as part of promotions. I have probably 20 different types of wired headphones at home that I never paid for. I actually have a bluetooth that I bought a few years ago, but never use it because I always forgot to charge it.
 
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Let's just pause here for a second. 17% of units sold is not an overtake (yes the title references revenue). Also, 17% is probably too high because a lot of headphones are given away with the phone or as part of promotions. I have probably 20 different types of wired headphones at home that I never paid for. I actually have a bluetooth that I bought a few years ago, but never use it because I always forgot to charge it.

That's right. And if one does buy a set of "good" wired headphones, they can last for years and years. But buy a set of wireless bluetooth buds and you're lucky to get about 2 or so years out of them.

If good wired headphones failed (or got lost) as often as good wireless buds (and as Cuban points out, if we were not given piles of wireless buds for free but can basically only buy Bluetooth buds), I bet this tabulation would look very different.
 
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GenesisST

macrumors 68000
Jan 23, 2006
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695
Where I live
Okay, I was a pure Bose naysayer.

Purchased the QC 15's a few years back, and over the course of those years realized that the audio quality wasn't up to par and the build quality was very lackluster for the premium price. Also was a big naysayer of bluetooth, with inferior audio quality, the need to charge the headphones AND the notorious pairing process. I'm not a marketing spokesperson for them, nor am I an audiophile...

However, I did receive the QC 35's as a present around a month ago and I have been traveling a lot with them recently this summer. And I must honestly say, that they are fantastic. The convenience of being cable free alone is worth it in my books. I only have to charge them 1 - 2 times a week for about 2 hours, and I use them daily for many hours for music, movies, etc. The best part in my opinion is how they've fixed the paring issue, the companion app remembers the last paired devices, and you can manually switch on which ones to pair to instantly. Also it simultaneously stays connected to two devices, usually my iPhone and MacBook Pro, and playback audio on one after the other seamlessly without doing anything. Switching them on also makes it pair instantly without hassle, which made me realize that it's even more convenient than plugging in a wired-pair of headphones from one device to another. The audio quality is great, the cans are very comfortable and the battery life is great, even though it is very pricey.

The technology will only get better within time, with Bluetooth 5.0 being announced and AptX HD on it's was, this is truly the future in my humble opinion. RIP 3.5mm headphone jack, good riddance.

I just received mine and I love them... Although the iOS 10 bluetooth connection issues are a pain in the ass. Tried with the wife's iOS 9 iphone and it was great. I can still use the wire if need be. Will get to try them on a long flight next week!

I know bluetooth is lossy due to bandwidth, but luckily I don't have the ears for an audiophile, which is a blessing really.
 
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MH01

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Feb 11, 2008
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Let's just pause here for a second. 17% of units sold is not an overtake (yes the title references revenue). Also, 17% is probably too high because a lot of headphones are given away with the phone or as part of promotions. I have probably 20 different types of wired headphones at home that I never paid for. I actually have a bluetooth that I bought a few years ago, but never use it because I always forgot to charge it.

I use my wireless, wired, cause it sounds much better
 
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gim

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2014
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921
That's right. And if one does buy a set of "good" wired headphones, they can last for years and years. But buy a set of wireless bluetooth buds and you're lucky to get about 2 or so years out of them.

If good wired headphones failed (or got lost) as often as good wireless buds (and as Cuban points out, if we were not given piles of wireless buds for free but can basically only buy Bluetooth buds), I bet this tabulation would look very different.

Weak argument.
Wired headphones fail all the time because the cable breaks, and not all cables are replaceable. A decent pair of wireless headphones, on the other hand, will work until the battery dies completely, which takes years.
 
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dannyyankou

macrumors G4
Mar 2, 2012
10,050
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Westchester, NY
That's one depressing top 5 list......if you actually are into headphones. When Skullcandy is in the top 5, it ain't about the quality
Skullcandy isn't usually good but I compared their bluetooth earbuds with Jaybirds and I was shocked at how much better they sounded. They're also like 80% cheaper, lol
 
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dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,293
4,156
Considering most people already have wired headphones, I would guess the majority of new purchasers would be for BT headphones (them wanting something wireless). Since BT headphones cost more than their wired counterparts, it also makes sense that most of the headphone sales dollars come from that.

Despite this, I suppose the article is trying to say that people aren't buying wired anymore and that BT is on the upswing, just in time for the new jack-less iPhone?

Seems the article is just twisting things around and massaging the data to fit the purpose.
 
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djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
1,945
8,805
Italy
Shocker!

The days of the user hostile headphones cables are finally coming to an end.
 
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