Headphones State of the Industry 2024, Updated Forecasts

SAR Insight & Consulting have recently published updated forecasts for all headphone markets, the latest data is now available on the platform. We’ve been tracking the headphone market since the company was founded over 10 years ago and it has been very interesting to see how this market has transformed in that time.

The latest updates are based on extensive research including results of a survey of industry experts through our InsightXChange program. For those that were able to collaborate, thank you, a free summary report is on its way to you.

Here is a top-level summary of the findings:

Almost 4 billion retail headphones/headsets are expected to ship in the next 5 years. Shipments are forecast to grow at a CAGR of almost 3% from 2024 to 2029.

TWS has clearly been the major growth driver since 2017 and is expected to continue to dominate.

The big question is, has the TWS market reached its peak? We expect not quite yet. There is saturation in some regions (North America Europe, etc.) but still growth opportunities in countries such as India. What is evident though is that the market will not continue to grow at the same rates as the last 8 years. Our current expectation is that the market will grow approaching a peak in 2029/2030.

Many other headphone types are sold, and this is expected to continue. We cover 16 different types on DATAportl. While many markets have been eroded by the growth in TWS, there are still some that are expected to grow over the next 5 years, including XR headsets, audio eyewear, medical hearing aids and DTC/OTC hearing aids.

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