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A New “Golden Age” for Bluetooth Headsets

by Ken Hyers | 1月 25, 2019

Global demand for Bluetooth headsets are at an all-time high. The previous peak in Bluetooth headset sales came more than a decade ago, during the “golden age” of mono-Bluetooth headsets. Today’s Bluetooth headset boom is being driven by demand for stereo Bluetooth headsets, in particular in-ear ones which account for more than half the market.

headset 1

In-ear Bluetooth headsets can be broken down into two main categories, wireless (e.g. Apple AirPods) and tethered (e.g. LG Tones). The wireless category has unsurprisingly taken the major share in this category, driven by AirPods. What may be surprising is the strength of copy-cats, which sell for a fraction of the price of AirPods (and are often of a fraction of the quality of AirPods). We see this category growing steadily over the next five years, though the AirPod’s share will steadily shrink.


Bluetooth headsets are steadily gaining more capabilities beyond offering wires-free listening. Features such as noise cancelation, a microphone and in-line controls have become table stakes for high-end headsets and are moving down market. Other features such as heart rate sensors and access to virtual personal assistants (i.e. Siri) are also becoming more common.

The Bluetooth headset market will continue to grow rapidly over the next few years, offering accessory makers a robust market even as smartphone sales stagnate. Strategy Analytics’ Device Technologies (EDT) practice, in a new report, offers a highly detailed look at the Bluetooth headset market, including forecasts by category, by price tier, by region, by market, by vendor and by attach-rates.  Clients of our Device Technologies practice can access the report here.

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