The home audio market experienced a year of twists and turns in 2022, with a difficult first half giving way to a resurgence of consumer activity. That’s according to a new industry report from Futuresource Consulting, which anticipates market value gains of 6% for the year, once final numbers are in.
“Bluetooth speakers have been the stand-out category of 2022, making a surge in Q3 and turning the tide for home audio,” says Christopher Bull, Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “Its impact on the bigger picture has helped recover global losses and pushed overall market value back into the black.
“Elsewhere, the Wi-Fi speaker category continued its cooldown, with consumers exploring other options available to them. This has been heavily influenced by tech companies easing off their aggressive promotional activities, prioritising strong profit generators over sold-at-cost products and services.”
Futuresource also notes that soundbar manufacturers continued to introduce new features into their products, albeit with less frequency than in previous years. In addition, voice has stepped away from the spotlight, and is not being promoted as a key USP in current new releases. 3D audio software is taking its place, generating excitement as compatible content becomes much more available to consumers.
“Across the board, we’re seeing product ASPs beginning to rise,” says Bull. “This isn’t solely down to inflation, either. There’s a new emergence of a more discerning consumer, sacrificing those cheaper impulse purchases in favour of high-quality devices which promise longevity.”
Looking to the regions, China is experiencing a slowdown associated with continued challenges from the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the APAC region is no longer expected to overtake the North American market in 2023.
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