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Global Headphones Tracker Q4 Results: Market Breaks $18 Billion Barrier

The global headphones market continues its ascendance, as true wireless (TWS) breaks new ground and consumer interest shows no signs of slowdown. That’s according to the latest quarterly tracker from Futuresource Consulting, which reveals in Q4 last year, equating to nearly 12% year-on-year growth. According to the firm, revenue performed even better, totalling $18.4 billion, an increase of more than 13%.

TWS Continues its Advance

“TWS is clearly the star of this show, and has been for some time,” says Saranraj Mathivanan, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting, “but in Q4 2021 it shone particularly bright, capturing 59% of global headphones volumes. That’s 35% year-on-year volume growth, with Apple’s AirPods 3 launch giving the category an extra boost.

“Conversely, sports-related features in TWS models grew from 4% volume share in Q4 2020 to 6% in Q4 2021, as brands like Beats, Jabra and Jlab invested in the category.”

China and AsiaPac Leading the way

The report also shows that China has become a key territory for TWS, overtaking the USA to capture the top spot in volume terms. Supported by strong performances from homegrown brands like Xiaomi, Edifier and BBK, the country recorded TWS growth of 36% year-on-year.

TWS is showing strength across the entire Asia Pacific region, which accounted for nearly half of total global demand. Even developed markets in North America and Western Europe witnessed strong growth in the quarter.

Apple Stays on Top

“Looking to the brands, Apple ended 2021 with a strong performance, which saw it top the global leaderboard overall, and for TWS too,” says Mathivanan. “Sony took the second position overall, with JBL, Xiaomi and Samsung lining up to complete the top five.”

For further information or to purchase the headphones quarterly tracker from Futuresource Consulting, please contact

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Saranraj Mathivanan

About the author

Saranraj Mathivanan

Saranraj is a Senior Market Analyst in the Personal Electronics team. He has about six years of experience in market research and consulting. He is responsible for analysing and reporting trends in consumer electronics such as headphones, hearables and smartphones. In the past, Saran worked with the B2B and Technology teams at Kantar, where he managed and executed more than 80 customised market research projects across various sectors such as e-commerce, technology, logistics, automotive, engineering, etc. Projects he handled included market sizing, competitor analysis, demand estimation, forecasting, and brand equity. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and an MBA in Marketing & Analytics.


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