The global home audio devices market continues to bounce back after experiencing a rapid decline during the onset of COVID-19.
This year’s Q1 result continues to build on the success of H2 2020, posting a solid 27% year-on-year increase in shipments and 37% value growth for the beginning of 2021. That’s according to the latest home audio quarterly tracker from Futuresource Consulting.
The report, which focuses on wireless speakers, soundbars and Hi-Fi systems, reveals that soundbars maintained their position as the number one growth driver, achieving nearly 40% year-on-year volume growth.
“Our research shows that soundbar growth was consistently strong across all price points,” says Guy Hammett, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “Most of the major brands have reported double-digit year-on-year increases, despite some supply issues. And the scene has been set for future growth from this segment.”
Wireless speaker demand was also a high point in the quarter, with a reversal of fortunes playing out for Bluetooth. For the first time in years, Bluetooth speakers grew at a faster rate than Wi-Fi, with a year-on-year growth of 35% against Wi-Fi’s 23% growth.
Home audio presented a diverging global landscape in 2020, with different regions succumbing to the challenges of COVID-19 at different times. However, in Q1 2020, the pandemic had yet to manifest itself across most of the globe.
One year on, all regions have exhibited strong double-digit development. At 32%, Western Europe led the growth in shipments, finishing Q1 2021 slightly ahead of APAC. North America experienced a demand spike in H2 2020, which resulted in slightly diminished Q1 growth.
Of the remaining regions, Eastern Europe outperformed LATAM and META. However, Eastern Europe did perform significantly worse in Q1 2020, with COVID-19 impacting earlier than in the other two regions.
“It’s been a triumphant start to the year for home audio devices,” says Hammett, “with Hi-Fi systems the only poor performer. From a brand perspective, Harman consolidated its position at the top of the value rankings, capturing almost one in every five dollars of global spend. Bose took second position, closely followed by Sony. Both brands benefited from offering a wide range of product options across all three categories.”
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