Wireless Technology – The New Fad in Audio Entertainment

by December 28, 2015 0 comments

– Kapil Gulati, Director Consumer Segment, Sennheiser

The audio industry has come a long way with time and now headphones are more than a bundled pair. Demands for advanced technology and visuals are increasing and portability on the go is the thing these days combined with great sound experience.
Wireless technology has metamorphosed the entire audio industry. Over the past decade, wireless communication has experienced several innovations. Besides basic communication, entertainment, commerce and service industries are becoming more dependent on wireless services. According to Mr. Kapil Gulati, Director Consumer Segment, Sennheiser, “Modern era belongs to the wireless world. The digital era has transcended to other categories like the audio streaming through the internet over devices like smartphones. New technologies are enabling larger bandwidth, thereby allowing the deployment of more complex applications across all the available platforms.”
Brands are venturing into the wireless technology with leading international audio brands paving the way for what will be known as ‘Future of Headphones Industry’. The Indian consumer electronics market is unique and over the last decade with advancement of technological innovations and the integration of technology in our lives gadgets have become a necessity. Wireless technology is catching everyone’s attention. In the past 2 years, the wireless headphones market has grown from 1 per cent to 5 per cent and in the next 2 years it is expected to touch the 10 per cent mark. This segment is one of the fastest growing sectors in India and with the expected growth rate of 50 per cent it is welcome news for the audio industry. A report by Future Market Insights (FMI) reports that in terms of value, the wired earphone and headphone segment accounted for over 65 per cent share of the global earphone and headphone market in 2014, while the wireless earphone and headphone segment is expected to expand at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Though gradual, the shift towards wireless headsets has been significant with consumers finally realizing the potential of the category. Earlier consumer mindset was plagued by the perception that there would be some transmission loss with wireless headsets affecting overall listening experience. But with the introduction of innovative technology such issues are insignificant.
Smartphones have increased demand for wireless headsets
To create a place for this niche segment, it is important to feel the pulse of the consumer and decipher their expectations in a timely fashion to provide a desired product. Another important fact is that India is an important smartphone market globally which translates into infotainment consumption on-the-go leading to a demand for headphones. With operating systems and device capabilities that provide consumers more access to content and multimedia features, smartphones are transforming mobile habits across the world. To gain fastest access to these trends, headphones giants, through a dedicated research and development team, must incessantly focus on identifying global trends and customer attitude.
Brands should be able to position wireless headphones as not just a home entertainment device but also a personal accessory, with advancement in technology making portability a reality. The sound quality is not compromised as Pure Path wireless link technology enables minimum loss of data, thus delivering the best interference-free sound and crystal clear audio experience. While lossless digital RF-transmission is perfect for high-end home stereo use, Bluetooth-equipped models work great with mobile devices and then there is innovative digital wireless technology which ensures that signal transmission remains clear and accurate as you move from room to room. It incorporates the transmission of audio analog signals encoded as digital packets over high bandwidth radio frequencies. Wireless headphones use digital wireless technologies to transmit audio signals.
Talking about 2016, the audio segment will be expanding both in terms of volume and reach with the headphones category contributing significantly to drive this change. The forecasts report a bright future for the wireless segment. As per Markets and Markets, the market for wireless audio device is estimated to reach $24.52 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 25.23 per cent from 2014 to 2020. Wireless headphones category will grow with consumers who have been using independent headphones from last few years switching to wireless headphones. Convenience and comfort would become the key reasons fueling the sales of wireless earphones and headphones. Apart from on-the go entertainment, the freedom to make hands-free phone calls offers pragmatic benefits, a feature that will find greater resonance among consumers. Another trend that is gradually becoming the talk of the town is ‘Silent Discos’ – a party where you dance to the beat you like and control the volume you can bear as the music reaches your ears through wireless headphones instead of a speaker system. Thus 2016 will be an exciting year to look forward to experiment with the wireless segment.
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Predictions for 2016
1. Market for wireless audio devices is estimated to reach $24.52 billion by 2020
2. Users will shift from wired to wireless headsets at large scale
3. More high res audio devices to hit the market

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