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TWS are Driving Global Bluetooth Headset Sales

by Ken Hyers | Sep 28, 2021

The global Bluetooth headset market is in a second golden age (the first ended in 2007 when sales of mono-Bluetooth headsets peaked).  This time around stereo Bluetooth headsets are driving the market.

Stereo Bluetooth headset sales were seeing moderate growth globally in the early part of the last decade, driven by demand for banded headsets (i.e. Beats Solo and Bose Quiet Comfort) but it was the advent of AirPods in 2016 that turbocharged the market for stereo Bluetooth headsets.

TWS headsets like Apple's AirPods and Xiaomi Redmi AirDots are now the most popular category of Bluetooth headsets; in 2021 they will make up 70% of the total global Bluetooth headset market.

Asia is the biggest market for TWS headsets as falling prices and many more vendors in the region bring TWS to the masses.

Global TWS Prices Forecast2

The main drivers for TWS ( and Bluetooth headsets in general) are:

  • More advanced features are penetrating to lower price points which eats the sales of premium tier.
  • More competition is arising from the new markets in for example in India.
  • Removal of the 3.5mm plug. People are forced to switch from corded to cordless due the absence of the 3.5mm plug or/and the need for adapter to use corded with USB port.
  • The easiness of use. No cords no hassle. The cordless freedom is driving the whole BT HS segment forward not only the TWS segment.
  • TWS headsets are fast becoming the main replacement for corded in-box headsets.
  • The prices of TWS chipsets have dropped so low that market is flooding with cheap TWS HS.
  • The prices of the cheapest basic TWS HS are already well below US$20 (retail) so the low-end market is growing fast.
  • Short replacement cycles. We see that due the lower quality of the ultra-low cost TWS (and the easiness of losing those) we see that the replacement cycles in there are short as consumers move from ultra-cheap to slightly more expensive ones or buy new ones to replace the ones they lost.
Clients of Strategy Analytics' Bluetooth Device Trackers can learn more from the report Global Bluetooth TWS Headset Sales and Revenue Forecast to 2026, here.
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