The premium headphone market in Australia is booming with brands such as Monster, Sennheiser, Beats and Sol Republic set to launch new models backed by major retail promotions.
In the USA sales jumped 21 percent in sales in 2013 according to the NPD Group while GFK is estimating that sales jumped 23% in Australia (GFK does not track JB Hi Fi sales).
Premium headphones, which are models that cost $100 or more grew 20%. The stereo headphones market, meanwhile, grew 11 percent in 2013.
An increase in fitness-related features helped drive growth, NPD said, as did an increase in smartphone ownership. Both Bluetooth and water-resistant models saw a year-over-year jump in units shipped, of 93 percent and 51 percent, respectively.
Exercise was cited as the No. 1 use of headphones among consumers for the third year in a row, and in-ear headphones comprised 51 percent of total unit sales in 2013.
Ben Arnold, NPD executive director, industry analyst, noted in a statement: “Nearly two-thirds of headphone users exercise while using their headphones and that number increases to three-quarters when we look at the 18- to 34-year-old segment.”
Fifty-five percent of overall headphone owners connected to a smartphone in 2013, which is up from 36 percent in 2012. Tablet connection also grew, from 15 percent of overall headphones users in 2012 to 35 percent in 2013.
Consumers with premium headphones upped these connection figures a bit: Sixty-one percent of premium headphones were connected to a smartphone and 49 percent to a tablet.
MP3 player connections saw a decline: Consumers connecting their headphones to an MP3 player fell from 65 percent in 2011 to 54 percent in 2013.