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CES 2020: Day 4 - Hearables

by Steven Waltzer | 1月 10, 2020

Strategy Analytics Wearables Service brings you daily coverage of the new decade’s largest consumer electronics convention: CES 2020.

Or day 1-3 coverage can be accessed as below:

CES 2020: Day 1 - What to Expect in Wearables
CES 2020: Day 2 - Smartwatches
CES 2020: Day 3 - Feature Watches

Our day 4 blog will focus on hearables and particularly totally wireless (TWS) Bluetooth headset announcements from the show floor.  Major product launches include:

  • Huami has announced 2 new totally wireless earbud models at CES this year, the Amazfit PowerBuds and the Amazfit ZenBuds.
    • Amazfit PowerBuds are fashion-led Bluetooth earbuds, optimized for gym fanatics with bass-heavy music speakers, voice control, IP55 sweatproof design, and PPG optical heart rate monitor coupled to an inbuilt alert system that sounds out loud when your heartbeat exceeds a preset value. The buds blend attractive design, entertainment and preventive healthcare in one single package for a mid-to-high price of US$100 retail. They launch in February.
    • Amazfit ZenBuds are sleepbuds and workbuds. They come with soothing sounds built-in, which help you rest and fall asleep more easily, or block out the noise around you to concentrate in the office. The devices track your sleep quality, heart rate, and can deliver breathing instructions to attain mindfulness or meditate, to achieve zen. Styling is hearing aid-like, which may deter some, and they are expensive at US$150 retail. Volumes will therefore be niche, but their skin-friendly, secure-fit design will no doubt find fans among rich consumers with mild insomnia who want better sleep.
  • Jabra has announced the Elite Active 75t, which mirror the standard Elite 75t, though are 22% smaller and add IP57 waterproofing, versus IP56 on the Elite 75t, with a durable silicon-coated finish that helps keep the earbuds in place during heavy activity like running or biking.The Elite Active 75t sports 7.5 hours of battery life and will be available in February for somewhat expensive retail price of $199.
  • The Shure Aonic 215 is the professional grade audio company’s first totally wireless earbuds, a late entry to the fast growing space. The design features an earbud with a plastic attachment which wraps around to the back of the ear where a small pod storing the battery and control button is found.In our view it resembles the design language of a hearing aid a bit too much and we would be cautious of the associated social stigma. The Aonic 215 sports audio pass-though and will be available in Q2 2020 for a pricey $279.
  • Rounding out the roster of OEMs we have Altec Lansing, Audio Technica, EarFun, and as many as 50 other microvendors showcasing truly wireless earbud products on the show floor.

Hearables, and especially TWS headsets have been experiencing robust growth since the introduction of the Apple AirPods in 2016.  In 2019 the Apple AirPods alone sold roughly as many units as the entire smartwatch industry.  Apple remains the clear leader in this space with other top brands including Xiaomi, Samsung, JBL, Huawei, Beats, Jabra, Bose, Jlab, Sony, Amazon, and others.

Exhibit 1: Jabra Elite Active 75t

Previous Post: CES 2020: Day 3 - Feature Watches | Next Post: MWC 2020: What Wearables Will Be There?

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