By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
PORTLAND, ORE. — Factory-level sales of amplified soundbars will grow at strong doubledigit percentage rates in units and dollars through 2015, driven by ease of use, poor flat-TV audio performance, the continuing replacement of CRT TVs with flat-screen TVs, and a widening selection of soundbars at prices ranging from $79 to $2,199, Quixel Research forecasts.
The company forecasts unit-shipment growth of 55 percent in 2013 to 4.77 million units, rising another 47 percent in 2014 and 36 percent in 2015. Unit shipments in 2013 will be more than double that of 2011 shipments of 1.86 million units.
Dollar shipments will rise 50 percent in 2013 to $983 million, 45 percent in 2014 to $1.43 billion, and 27 percent in 2015 to $1.81 billion.
“Overall velocity and a larger variety of strong midprice models, as well as high-end models, supports the soundbar market- revenue growth longer term,” said Quixel principal Tamaryn Pratt.
Soundbars have caught consumers’ imagination because they “fulfill a need,” she said. “Consumers are struggling to hear the dialog.” In addition, it’s “easy to understand the value and install. The move out of cabinets has pressed the issue for simple design and ease of use.”
“In the past, the average consumer resisted the many speakers, wires and installation obstacles [of previous TV-audio solutions],” she continued. “Enter today’s soundbars – a single speaker that sits below the TV [and] produces a satisfying surround-sound experience yet is very easy to set up and costs lots less than multiple speakers.”
Quixel also found that the share of soundbars with such wireless streaming technologies as Bluetooth, Wi- Fi, and Airplay is rising. In 2011, soundbars equipped with wireless streaming wireless-audio streaming accounted for 6.4 percent of all soundbar unit shipments, but that percentage went up in the first quarter of 2012 to 13.6 percent, the second quarter of 2012 to 40 percent, and the third quarter to 41 percent.
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