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Headphones - UK - July 2015

“With over half of current owners willing to spend more on a product that they can try out before purchase and about a third of them looking to match their headphones with their personal style, in-store interactive product displays and individual product personalisation are likely to be the greatest drivers of market growth.”
– Sara Ballaben, Technology Analyst

This report discusses the following key issues:

  • Encouraging sports users to upgrade
  • Appealing to Stylish Youths

Fashion-driven young music listeners have shifted the competition in the headphones market from the pure audio quality ground to a balanced mix of sound and stylish designAs headphones have become a true fashion accessory that users want to match to their personal style, in-store interactive product displays and individual product personalisation are likely to be the greatest drivers of market growth.

This report covers the UK consumer market for headphones, the type which you might use to listen to music, radio, audiobooks, podcasts or other audio files. The report looks at a range of different forms, including in-ear, on/over-ear and ear-hook/clip on headphones.

With market expansion unlikely to come from new adopters, headphones brands need to foster sustainable growth by encouraging existing users to upgrade to more expensive premium models and to use different headphones for different activities.

Limited market penetration of ear-hook and sweat/water resistant products, arguably the most appropriate types for use while training, suggests that the sports users segment might hold significant untapped potential and could represent a profitable opportunity for headphones brands.


Covered in this report

 

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • Over four in five consumers own a pair of headphones
            • Figure 1: Models of headphones owned, February 2015
          • Consumers seek smartphone compatibility and quality of the experience
            • Figure 2: Features of headphones owned, February 2015
          • Consumers use headphones at home, on-the-go and while training
            • Figure 3: Occasions of use of headphones owned, February 2015
          • Brands need to prove their value
            • Figure 4: Attitudes towards headphones, February 2015
          • Secure fit is consumers’ biggest concern
            • Figure 5: Important features when buying new headphones, February 2015
        • Issues and Insights

          • Encouraging sports users to upgrade
            • The facts
              • The implications
                • Appealing to Stylish Youths
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Bluetooth segment drives market growth in 2015
                        • Smartphone compatibility becomes market-wide standard
                          • Listening to music goes wireless
                            • Will smartwatches boost the Bluetooth segment?
                              • Co-branding brings design challenge to the next level
                              • Market Size

                                • Bluetooth segment drives market growth in 2015
                                  • Figure 6: Value of headphones sales, 2014 and 2015
                                  • Figure 7: Breakdown of market value, by headphones type, 2014 and 2015
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Smartphone compatibility becomes market standard
                                  • Figure 8: Personal ownership of consumer technology products, June 2013 to April 2015
                                • Listening to music goes wireless
                                  • Will smartwatches boost the Bluetooth segment?
                                    • Figure 9: PowerBeats2 Wireless headphones and Apple Watch in the Green Sport version, 2015
                                  • Co-branding brings design challenge to the next level
                                    • Figure 10: Chanel x Monster Headphones, 2014
                                    • Figure 11: SMS Audio’s Star Wars Headphones Second Edition, 2015
                                • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                  • Mainstream brand exposure builds trust
                                    • Innovation is key for audio specialists to stay competitive
                                      • The headphones ad space becomes more competitive
                                        • Celebrity endorsements drive brand image
                                          • Consumer-centric innovation drives product launches
                                          • Brand Research

                                              • Brand map
                                                • Figure 12: Attitudes towards and usage of selected technology brands, May 2015
                                              • Key brand metrics
                                                • Figure 13: Key metrics for selected technology brands, May 2015
                                              • Brand attitudes: Bose and Sennheiser’s audio specialism drives quality image
                                                • Figure 14: Attitudes, by brand, May 2015
                                              • Brand personality: JVC and Philips struggle to create upbeat associations
                                                • Figure 15: Brand personality – Macro image, May 2015
                                              • Apple and Beats by Dre share similar personality traits
                                                • Figure 16: Brand personality – Micro image, May 2015
                                              • Brand analysis
                                                • Samsung has advantage due to all-round brand image
                                                  • Figure 17: User profile of Samsung, May 2015
                                                • Sony similarly positioned to Samsung, but lacks same perception of performance
                                                  • Figure 18: User profile of Sony, May 2015
                                                • Apple uses innovation and style to stand out from the crowd
                                                  • Figure 19: User profile of Apple, May 2015
                                                • Bose has high quality association but prices and exclusivity limits penetration
                                                  • Figure 20: User profile of Bose, May 2015
                                                • Beats by Dre appears a good fit for Apple
                                                  • Figure 21: User profile of Beats by Dre, May 2015
                                                • Sennheiser lacks the same awareness, usage and strength of image as Bose
                                                  • Figure 22: User profile of Sennheiser, May 2015
                                                • Philips seen as more functional than other brands analysed
                                                  • Figure 23: User profile of Philips, May 2015
                                                • JVC seen as basic and outdated in a market full of innovation and dynamism
                                                  • Figure 24: User profile of JVC, May 2015
                                              • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                • The headphones ad space becomes more competitive
                                                  • Figure 25: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on headphones, by media type, 2013 and 2014
                                                • Top 3 advertisers account for almost 90% of adspend
                                                  • Figure 26: Top 10 companies for recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on headphones, 2014
                                                • Celebrity endorsements drive brand image
                                                  • Methodology and coverage
                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                    • Customisation goes modular
                                                      • Figure 27: AIAIAI’s TMA-2 modular headphones, 2015
                                                      • Figure 28: Axel Audio’s customisable headband inserts and speakers, 2015
                                                    • Headphones for all ages
                                                      • The 3D experience
                                                        • Figure 29: Dashbon’s Mask headphones, 2015
                                                      • The next frontier of wireless listening
                                                        • Reconnect with the external world
                                                          • Switch on to switch off
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Over four in five consumers own a pair of headphones
                                                              • Consumers seek smartphone compatibility and quality of the experience
                                                                • Consumers use headphones at home, on-the-go and while training
                                                                  • Brands need to prove their value
                                                                    • Secure fit is consumers’ biggest concern
                                                                    • Headphones Models

                                                                      • Over four in five consumers own a pair of headphones
                                                                        • Figure 30: Models of headphones owned, February 2015
                                                                      • Sound quality is important across generations
                                                                        • Figure 31: Models of headphones owned, by age, February 2015
                                                                      • Consumers seek smartphone compatibility and quality of the experience
                                                                        • Figure 32: Features of headphones owned, February 2015
                                                                      • Men more likely to care for quality of the listening experience
                                                                        • Figure 33: Models of headphones owned, by gender, February 2015
                                                                        • Figure 34: Features available on headphones owned, by gender, February 2015
                                                                    • Brand of Headphones

                                                                      • Smartphone manufacturers are the most popular
                                                                        • Figure 35: Brands of headphones owned, February 2015
                                                                      • Consumers likely to have recently bought premium headphones
                                                                        • Figure 36: Brands of headphones bought in the last 12 months, February 2015
                                                                    • Frequency of Use

                                                                      • Three in four people use headphones at least once a week
                                                                        • Figure 37: Frequency of use of headphones owned, February 2015
                                                                      • Almost three fifths of young men use headphones every day
                                                                        • Figure 38: Frequency of use of headphones owned, by age, February 2015
                                                                        • Figure 39: Frequency of use of headphones owned, by gender, February 2015
                                                                    • Occasions of Use

                                                                      • Consumers use headphones at home, on-the-go and while training
                                                                        • Figure 40: Occasions of use of headphones owned, February 2015
                                                                      • Different models for different activities
                                                                      • Attitudes towards Headphones

                                                                        • Brands need to prove their value
                                                                          • Figure 41: Attitudes towards headphones, February 2015
                                                                          • Figure 42: Sony’s Waterproof Walkman, 2014
                                                                        • Business partnerships as a way into people’s lives
                                                                          • Know your audience
                                                                            • Figure 43: Target groups, February 2015
                                                                          • Stylish Youths
                                                                            • Quality Enthusiasts
                                                                              • Casual Listeners
                                                                              • Purchase Intentions

                                                                                • Market growth unlikely to come from new adopters
                                                                                  • Figure 44: Non-owners’ interest in buying headphones, February 2015
                                                                                • Almost half of consumers wouldn’t spend more than £50 on new headphones
                                                                                  • Figure 45: Willingness to spend on new headphones, February 2015
                                                                                • Young men willing to spend the most
                                                                                  • Figure 46: Willingness to spend on new headphones, by gender, February 2015
                                                                                • Sports users ready to pay for superior performance
                                                                                • Important Features When Buying New Headphones

                                                                                  • Secure fit is consumers’ biggest concern
                                                                                    • Figure 47: Important features when buying new headphones, February 2015
                                                                                  • Try me to buy me
                                                                                    • Sound quality and design both key to success
                                                                                      • Men show higher levels of brand awareness
                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                            • Brand research
                                                                                              • Brand map

                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                              To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                              Headphones - UK - July 2015

                                                                                              £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)