20 Dec 2022

Boom of wireless headphones with Bluetooth transmission

Wireless headphones continue to be in high demand, according to the latest figures from gfu Consumer & Home Electronics.

A total of almost eight million wireless headphones were sold in Germany between January and October 2022, marking a rate of increase of almost 16% compared to the same period last year. The associated sales volume was more than €845 million in the same period, an increase of more than 16%. On average, almost €107 were spent on headphones with Bluetooth transmission. Wireless headphones offer significantly more freedom of movement and comfort thanks to the cordless transmission of signals via Bluetooth.

Managing director Dr Sara Warneke comments: “The headphone product line has been very successful for almost two decades. In 2021, almost 16 million units were sold with a sales volume of more than €1.2 billion. Headphones are everyday companions and often also a fashion accessory. With the wide range of products and the high level of functionality, this segment will not lose any of its attractiveness in the future either.”

Wireless headphones insung yoon

Credit: insung yoon

Large variety of Bluetooth headphones

Consumers shopping for wireless headphones can choose between in-ear models, which are plugged into the ear, and over-ear models, which are worn with a strap over the head. In the case of the in-ear versions, there are also variants that are connected to a bracket or a cable. This reduces the risk of falling out or getting lost. Over-ear headphones differ in the type of shell – closed and enclosing the ear, or open and resting on the ear.

Audio signals such as music and speech are transmitted wirelessly via a Bluetooth connection. Due to the average range of a Bluetooth radio connection of around 30 meters, the wireless headphones allow significantly more freedom of movement. For example, a smartphone can stay in your jacket pocket when making a phone call or playing music.

Another very popular technical variant are headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC). The electronics record the external noise with microphones and then calculate an “anti-noise”. Hardly any noise from the outside reaches the ear which is particularly appealing for users traveling by train or plane.

The noise suppressors also provide valuable services for use at work in the office. In open-plan offices, background noise is suppressed during telephone and video conferences. Likewise in the home office when pets, household and garden tools or family members cause background noise. Headphones with ANC accounted for 28% of total unit sales and 56% of total headphone sales in the January to October period.

The figures quoted are from the Home Electronics Market Index HEMIX and do not include the headphones that come with smartphones.