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Sales Of Bluetooth Headphones Surpass Wired For First Time

The rumored drop of the headphone port on the iPhone may not be as painful as some feared.

According to The NPD Group, Bluetooth headphones accounted for 54 percent of U.S. dollars sales for the first half of the year — the first time this has happened. Growth was spurred by decreasing average sales prices (ASPs): The ASP for the six-month period dropped 5 percent vs. the prior-year period. Almost 30 percent of Bluetooth headphones sold in the 2016 period were $50 or less; just 16 percent could say the same last year.

Bluetooth headphones saw a 42 percent year-over-year increase in dollar sales for the six-month period, while the overall headphones category saw a 7 percent increase.

Despite this growth, however, Bluetooth models accounted for just 17 percent of U.S. unit sales. This can be attributed to the sheer overwhelming number of low-priced wired headphones in the market, Ben Arnold, NPD executive director, industry analyst, confirmed with TWICE. The ASP for Bluetooth headphones was $98 for the last 12 months, while the ASP for non-Bluetooth was just $18.73.  

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The top five Bluetooth brands for the period were Beats, LG, Bose, Jaybird and Skullcandy, with Beats and LG accounting for approximately 65 percent of dollar sales, said NPD.  

Said Arnold: “Promotions and new product introductions have helped spur the growth we are seeing in Bluetooth headphones. Consumers are already embracing a wireless future and if, as rumored, the headphone jack is removed from the next iPhone, we expect this will continue to drive market share of the Bluetooth category.”