Sales of Bluetooth headphones are up by 42% this year and have officially passed the sales of wired headphones. While some will credit the upcoming removal of the headphone jack from Apple’s iPhone for this jump in sales, I don’t think that’s the case. Bluetooth headphones are just growing in popularity due to the lack of wires and the improved quality of Bluetooth sound. The sound of a pair of Bluetooth headphones used to be questionable, but with Bluetooth improvements companies like Master & Dynamic have been able to substantially improve the sound.
According to The NPD Group, Bluetooth headphones accounted for 54 percent of U.S. dollars sales for the first half of the year — the first time this has happened. Growth was spurred by decreasing average sales prices (ASPs): The ASP for the six-month period dropped 5 percent vs. the prior-year period. Almost 30 percent of Bluetooth headphones sold in the 2016 period were $50 or less; just 16 percent could say the same last year. Bluetooth headphones saw a 42 percent year-over-year increase in dollar sales for the six-month period, while the overall headphones category saw a 7 percent increase.
While sales are up and have surpassed wired headphones, Bluetooth headphones only managed to grab 17% of the U.S. market. Some are still opting for wired due to an even lower cost due to the uptick in Bluetooth sales. Still, Bluetooth headphones and earbuds can be had for a reasonable price and with Apple and others removing headphone jacks, you might think of investing in a pair soon. Listed below are just a few recommendations (affiliate links), some are pricey and others are reasonable.
- Master & Dynamic MW60 – $549
- Meizu EP51 – $44.99
- Noontec Zoro II – $119.99
- Etekcity Roverbeats S1 – $23.99
- 808 Audio Ear Canz – $39.99
- Aukey Ep-B4 – $21.99
- Phiaton BT460 – $199
Promotions and new product introductions have helped spur the growth we are seeing in Bluetooth headphones. 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.
What do you think of BT headphones? Do you like them? Or do you prefer wired? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.