Wireless Headphones Survey: Not Many New Buyers Likely in Next Year

Wireless headphones have been around for awhile. But with the release of the iPhone 7, which doesn’t have a traditional headphone jack, wireless headphones are likely to get even more popular. And according to research from Futuresource Consulting, the market for headphones in general is growing and seeing increased prices as consumers begin to demand more and more features. So how many are likely to support this growing segment of the market? We asked 1,000 respondents on September 23-27 about their thoughts on wireless headphones and the headphones market in general.

wireless headphones

Audio Consumers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 52% of respondents said that they’ve listened to music or other audio content within the past day. 20% have listened to audio content in the past week. 6% have done so in the past month. Another 6% have within the past year. Just 2% said it’s been more than a year. And 15% said they don’t ever listen to music or other audio content.

63% of those audio consumers said that they normally listen to the radio. 38% use online streaming services. 33% listen to audio files or MP3 players. 32% regularly listen to CDs. 11% listen to podcasts. 6% listen to audiobooks. And 10% listen to other types of audio, like live bands or YouTube videos.

Headphone Options

Overall, just 12% of audio consumers said that they always use headphones when listening to music or other audio content. 17% use headphones most of the time. 19% said they use them about half the time. 30% rarely use headphones. And 21% never do. Sony was the top brand mentioned by those who use headphones, followed by Apple, Bose and Beats.

52% of headphone users said they normally connect their headphones to a computer. 51% use headphones with their smartphones. 29% use dedicated MP3 players. 24% connect their headphones to tablet devices. And 7% use other types of devices, such as Walkman devices and portable radios.

Wireless Headphones

So far, just 7% of respondents said that they only ever use wireless headphones when listening to audio content. 12% said they’ve used them many times. 14% have used them at least once. And 67% of those who listen to music or other audio content said they’ve never used wireless headphones. Looking forward, 30% said they are at least somewhat likely to purchase wireless headphones in the next year. Those who regularly listen to audio content on smartphones were significantly more likely to use wireless headphones and to plan on buying or using wireless headphones in the coming year.

In general, 67% of respondents said they care about the quality of their headphones. Another 67% said they think wireless headphones are likely to gain popularity in the next couple of years. And while 46% of those respondents said they would worry about losing wireless headphones, those respondents were actually slightly more likely to say they’d consider purchasing or using wireless headphones in the next year.

Key Takeaways

It’s not a given that the wireless headphones market will explode this year. While most agree that they are likely to gain popularity, fewer actually have plans to purchase them in the coming year. However, since those who have already used wireless headphones are more likely to buy or use them again this year, it could indicate that companies like Sony and Beats that make headphones could potentially benefit from offering consumers the ability to actually see or test out wireless headphones before they buy, so they can have that personal experience with them as well. In addition, though many expressed concerns about losing wireless headphones after Apple’s iPhone 7 announcement, it seems like that’s a concern that isn’t likely to have too much of a negative impact on sales.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Wireless headphones by Karlis Dambrans under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on September 23-27 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.