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Description

Description

Covered in this report

Personal audio is one of the most important accessories in the broader tech market. While central devices like smartphones, tablets and personal computers drive the overall industry, personal audio products are needed to access the growing demand for content – whether it is music, movies, video games or any other kind of entertainment. Therefore, personal audio plays a unique role in the consumer tech market in which it is only an accessory, but an extremely important one that many consumers use on a daily basis

"Personal audio is one of the most important accessories in the broader tech market. While central devices like smartphones, tablets and personal computers drive the overall industry, personal audio products are needed to access the growing demand for content – whether it is music, movies, video games or any other kind of entertainment. Therefore, personal audio plays a unique role in the consumer tech market in which it is only an accessory, but an extremely important one that many consumers use on a daily basis.

With that in mind, the primary focus of this Report will be to understand what kinds of personal audio devices consumers are using and how they are using them. It will also analyze current consumer behaviours and attitudes in order to provide a glimpse of the future of this category and which types of personal audio are likely to grow or decline in demand. The findings of this Report are based on the results of Mintel’s exclusive research and will help provide insight on a consumer technology category that is often overlooked, but represents one of the most dynamic parts of today’s digital market."

– Scott Stewart, Senior Technology and Media Analyst

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Smart features are now common in the personal audio industry
          • Sound quality and price are the key drivers in personal audio
            • A challenging future for home entertainment audio systems
              • Headphones and earphones are used across different types of audio
                • In-store retail has an important role to play in personal audio
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                    • Headphone jacks are disappearing from smartphones
                      • Audio content is available everywhere
                        • Housing trends could impact demand for home audio equipment
                          • Public transit usage and travel time drives demand for personal audio
                            • Changes in the way people watch TV and movies
                            • Market Factors

                              • Headphone jacks are disappearing from smartphones
                                • Audio content is available everywhere
                                  • Housing trends could impact demand for home audio equipment
                                    • Public transit usage and travel time drives demand for personal audio
                                      • Figure 1: Duration of commute, 2016 census
                                    • Changes in the way people watch TV and movies
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Tech companies are expanding into personal audio
                                        • Personal audio as a part of brand ecosystems
                                          • Big tech brands are getting to consumers before audio brands can
                                            • A lack of clarity around product trial and returns
                                              • Companies are innovating beyond traditional headphones
                                                • Built-in voice assistants will become the norm
                                                • What’s Working?

                                                  • Tech companies are expanding into personal audio
                                                    • Figure 2: Samsung Canada Instagram Post, July 2016
                                                  • Personal audio as a part of brand ecosystems
                                                  • Challenges

                                                    • Big tech brands are getting to consumers before audio brands can
                                                      • A lack of clarity around product trial and returns
                                                      • What’s Next?

                                                        • Companies are innovating beyond traditional headphones
                                                          • Figure 3: Bose Instagram Post, December 2019
                                                          • Figure 4: Aftershokz Instagram Post, August 2019
                                                        • Built-in voice assistants will become the norm
                                                          • Figure 5: Brilliant Sound Your Way, November 2019
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Usage of personal audio devices
                                                          • Purchase factors for personal audio
                                                            • A closer look at home entertainment audio systems
                                                              • Audio content consumption across devices
                                                                • The role of retail in the personal audio industry
                                                                • Usage of Personal Audio Devices

                                                                  • About half of consumers regularly use headphones/earphones
                                                                    • Figure 6: Audio device usage, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 7: Audio device usage, by age, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 8: Headphone/earphone usage, by region, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 9: Audio content listened to (NET: any use), Quebec vs overall, November 2019
                                                                  • ‘Smart’ headphones/earphones are becoming the norm
                                                                    • Figure 10: Headphone/earphone features, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 11: Headphone/earphone features, headphones users vs earphones/earbuds users, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 12: AirPods Pro, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 13: Made by Google Instagram Post – Pixel Buds, February 2019
                                                                    • Figure 14: Made by Google Instagram Post – Pixel Buds 2, October 2019
                                                                  • Emerging home audio: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and smart speakers
                                                                    • Figure 15: In-home personal audio device usage, by age, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 16: Use home entertainment audio systems, by age and gender, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 17: Use Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers, by age and gender, November 2019
                                                                • Purchase Factors for Personal Audio

                                                                  • There are many similarities between headphones/earphones and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers
                                                                    • Figure 18: Purchase factors for headphones/earphones vs Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers, November 2019
                                                                  • Fit/comfort is a very important factor for headphones and earphones
                                                                    • Figure 19: Purchase factors for headphones/earphones, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 20: Purchase factors for headphones/earphones: appearance, by age, November 2019
                                                                  • Connectivity and portability are important to speakers consumers
                                                                    • Figure 21: Purchase factors for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers (including smart speakers), November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 22: Bose Instagram Post, August 2019
                                                                    • Figure 23: JBL Instagram Post, September 2019
                                                                    • Figure 24: Purchase factors for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers (including smart speakers): appearance, by age, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 25: JBL Instagram Post, October 2019
                                                                    • Figure 26: IKEA Canada Instagram Post, July 2019
                                                                • A Closer Look at Home Entertainment Audio Systems

                                                                  • The meaning of the term ‘audiophile’ is changing
                                                                    • Figure 27: I consider myself an audiophile, by age, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 28: Headphone/earphone features, audiophiles vs non-audiophiles, November 2019
                                                                  • The need for home entertainment audio systems is diminishing
                                                                    • Figure 29: I often use headphones/earphones while I’m at home, by age, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 30: I move my Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker from room to room, by age, November 2019
                                                                • Audio Content Consumption across Devices

                                                                  • Music is the most common audio content
                                                                    • Figure 31: Audio content listened to on headphones/earphones, Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/smart speakers or home entertainment audio systems, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 32: Audio content listened to on headphones/earphones, Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/voice controlled smart speakers or home entertainment audio systems, by age, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 33: Correspondence analysis – symmetrical map – device used for audio content, November 2019
                                                                  • Headphones/earphones are flexible across different audio content
                                                                    • Figure 34: Music and talk audio content listened to, by device type, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 35: Audio/video content listened to, by device type, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 36: Two-way audio content listened to, by device type, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 37: Audio content listened to on headphones/earphones, by age, November 2019
                                                                  • Opportunities for voice controlled smart speakers
                                                                    • Figure 38: Audio content listened to, voice controlled smart speakers vs Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 39: Sources of audio content, by age, August 2018
                                                                    • Figure 40: Alexa’s 5th Birthday – Thanks for 5 Awesome Years, October 2019
                                                                    • Figure 41: Sonos Instagram Post, August 2019
                                                                • The Role of Retail in the Personal Audio Industry

                                                                  • In-store retail is still an important part of the audio industry
                                                                    • Figure 42: I will only buy audio devices if I can try them in person first, by financial situation, November 2019
                                                                    • Figure 43: The Source Rave – 30s, June 2017
                                                                  • Stores also need to realize the demand for cheap headphones/earphones
                                                                    • Figure 44: I prefer to buy low-priced headphones/earphones in case of loss/damage, by age and gender, November 2019
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                            • Terms
                                                                            • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                              • Methodology
                                                                                • How to read

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