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UHD TV Gain Means Soundbar Pain, Gap Intelligence Finds

San Diego – U.S. soundbar shipments in the second quarter fell for the second consecutive quarter, when consumers increasingly opted for lower priced models selling for less than $200, Gap Intelligence found.

 “One reason could be the rapid increase in adoption of Ultra HD TVs with a corresponding premium for the high-end technology,” said Gap senior analyst Deirdre Kennedy. “Consumers may be delaying the purchase of expensive sound bars, or foregoing the purchase entirely, in favor of a better TV.”

The company has also cited growth in wireless-multiroom audio speakers as possibly draining some dollars away from soundbars.

Gap’s Quixel Research statistics found that second-quarter shipments fell 2 percent to 1.1 million following a 28 percent drop in the first quarter. Retail-level dollar volume fell 8 percent from the year-ago period to $281 million following a first-quarter 8 percent drop.

Quixel’s second-quarter statistics also show that:

–Soundbars retail-priced a t $199 or less grew their shipment share to 44 percent from the previous quarter’s 30 percent and from the year-ago quarter’s 43 percent.

— Soundbars priced from $200-$299 lost share, accounting for 26 percent of shipments in the second quarter compared to 40 percent in the previous quarter and 31 percent in the year-ago quarter.

–Soundbars at $500 and up dropped their share to 6 percent from the previous quarter’s 10 percent  and the year-ago quarter’s 9 percent.

–And Bluetooth-equipped soundbars accounted for 81 percent of retail-level soundbar revenue in the quarter.