Wireless earbuds overtook headphones and earphones in sales by miles in 2019

TWS devices like Apple’s Airpods took the market by storm last year as their potential expands looking forward. 

A new report from Canalys looking at the last year in audio devices found TWS audio to be the largest and fastest growing category. With the boom in Apple Airpod sales, as well as competitors launching similar True Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices 2019 was a massive year for the fresh wearables.

They saw an incredible jump of 183% growth in Q3 last year, following on from still remarkable sales in 2018. They overtook both wireless headphones and wireless earphones to become the market leaders with nearly 45 million units sold in the third quarter alone. They represent nearly half of the 96.7 million total sales for smart personal audio devices in Q3 2019.

Canalys senior analyst, Jason Low said: “Demand for high-fidelity audio will continue to grow. However, the gap between audio players and smartphone vendors is narrowing. Smartphone vendors are developing proprietary technologies to not only catch up in audio quality, but also provide better integration for on-the-move user experiences, connectivity and battery life.

“Traditional audio players must not underestimate the importance of the TWS category. The lack of control over any connected smart devices is the audio players’ biggest weakness. Audio players must come up with an industry standard enabling better integration with smartphones, while allowing developers to tap into the audio features to create new use cases to avoid obsoletion.”

It seems that 2020 is going to be a very interesting year for the development of TWS devices like the Airpods.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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