Summary of our market study

By 2020, the global market for headphones and earphones, which includes in-ear, over-ear and in-ear types, was growing significantly, driven by wireless technology and noise reduction features. The market, valued at $80 billion, is expected to reach $150 billion by 2026, with the Asia-Pacific region holding a dominant 40% share. Headphones accounted for 30% of the market, against 70% for earphones, for a total value of $56 billion. France reflected this trend, with an increase in market value from €411.5 million to €539 million, despite a drop in smartphone sales from 18.2 million units to 17.4 million. This increase was particularly noticeable in the wireless headphones sector, where sales tripled.

Major brands such as Apple, Sony and Bose dominated the market, alongside notable French high-end manufacturers such as Focal and Devialet. E-commerce plays an increasingly crucial role in distribution, with companies like Apple and Samsung gaining significant market share both through manufacturing and through exclusive distribution in their stores and on their online platforms. Regulatory frameworks have focused on safety and consumer protection, requiring warnings for high decibel levels and limiting maximum power to 100 dB(A).

The market has grown both in the high-end segment and in the low-cost alternatives, indicating a diversification of supply that meets a range of consumer preferences.

changing preferences in the French headphone market

In recent years, the French headphone market has experienced significant growth, demonstrating a move towards more upmarket offerings as consumer demands evolve towards more sophisticated products. With a notable expansion in value outstripping volume, the market reflects a trend of consumers willing to invest more in quality audio experiences. This is clearly seen in the growing popularity of 100% wireless headphones, demand for which has tripled, driving the market towards the high-end segment. The surge in demand for headphones in France can largely be attributed to the deep penetration of smartphones, with a rate of around 112.8%, and more SIM cards than inhabitants in circulation.

Smartphones are becoming the primary device for music listening and related activities, which has encouraged the growth of headphones as accessories. However, with smartphone sales in slight decline, it would appear that the market is reaching saturation point. Music consumption habits have also played a crucial role in fuelling the use of headphones. The French are increasingly turning to online platforms for their audio needs, with streaming services used by 46% of music consumers.

The mobility of music listening, a trend confirmed by 60% of the population listening to music during commutes, has naturally led to greater reliance on personal audio devices such as headphones and earphones. In addition, the video games industry has contributed to the growth of the sector. Online games, which often require headsets for multiplayer communication, have seen a steady increase in popularity. The blockages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have only accelerated this trend, and more than half of all video game enthusiasts have reportedly devoted extra time to their hobby.

Despite a buoyant market, the French headset sector faces significant competition from foreign companies. International giants, particularly those from Asian markets, dominate the segment with a wide range of offerings that cater to different consumer segments. Despite this, high-end French brands manage to carve out a place for themselves with top-of-the-range products that appeal to audiophiles.

Distribution channels have also adapted, moving towards digitization, with e-commerce playing a central role in the headphone retail landscape. Generalist online platforms are gaining ground with consumers, although specialist retailers remain influential. The market is experiencing an era in which online visibility and the creation of a strong digital brand image have become essential success factors.

In conclusion, the French headphones market is marked by a combination of technological advances, technological innovations and technological innovations, technological advances and technological innovations, technological advances and technological innovations

  • Sony Corporation Sony is one of the traditional behemoths of the consumer electronics sector, with an extensive global presence. Renowned for its innovative audio technology and high-quality products, Sony has succeeded in capturing a significant share of the headphone market. Its offering ranges from professional-quality studio headphones to portable, user-friendly wireless in-ear options, such as the famous WH-1000XM3 model known for its noise-cancelling features.
  • Philips, with its rich history in electronics, continues to be a key player, particularly in the European market. Although it doesn't have the same cachet as some newer brands, Philips retains a solid product range that appeals to consumers looking for reliable, affordable audio solutions.
  • Apple Inc. Apple's entry into the headphone market, particularly with its AirPods range, has changed consumer expectations and preferences. The technology giant has leveraged its strong brand presence and loyal customer base to dominate the wireless headphone segment.
  • Bose Corporation Bose is a premium audio company, synonymous with high-fidelity sound and noise-cancelling technology. The QuietComfort and 700 Series noise-canceling headphones demonstrate the brand's commitment to providing an unparalleled listening experience.
  • Beats by Dre (Beats Electronics LLC) Beats is another major player that has made a name for itself with its elegant designs and bass-rich sound. Acquired by Apple, it has benefited from this association, continuing to appeal to a younger, fashion-conscious audience.
  • JBL (Harman International) JBL's diverse range of audio equipment, part of Harman International, is aimed at both professional and consumer markets. Its headphones are renowned for their durability and clarity of sound, making them a popular choice.
  • Marshall Amplification: Originally known for its guitar amplifiers, Marshall has effectively expanded into the consumer market with headphones and earphones with a rock 'n' roll aesthetic, appealing to both music purists and lifestyle consumers.
  • Electronic GmbH & Co. KG As a European pillar of the audio industry, Sennheiser enjoys a reputation for quality and sonic precision. Its extensive product range offers solutions for audiophiles and professional sound engineers alike.
  • Focal-JMLab: Focal represents the crème de la crème of French audio engineering. Its commitment to producing top-of-the-range headphones is evidenced by its products manufactured in Saint-Étienne, France.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Headsets are electronic devices that allow listening to various sound contents . They can be of 3 types

  • In-The-Ear then we can also talk about headphones;
  • Supra-auriculars it is then a question of helmets that are put on the ears..
  • Circum-auriculars If you do not use the headphones, the headphones cover the ears completely.)

They can also be wireless (Bluetooth technology in particular) or wired

These products can be used by many types of consumers, and there are several different uses

  • Usage staff for entertainment, sports and fitness, or gaming;
  • Professional use ...for a target of sound engineers, for example

The global headphone market is growing by good growth prospects s, driven in particular by the dynamism of the China and the asia-Pacific region . The french market sees his offer move upmarket The new system is in line with the ever-increasing demands of consumers. It thus saw its value increase by 31% between 2018 and 2019, while the volumes sold increased by only 7%.

The the most popular products in France are made by foreign companies recognized in the field. However, certain French companies specialising in high-end products ...manage to get away with it. On the distribution side, we note the dominance of specialist retailers like Fnac, but also the breakthrough of generalist e-commerce sites

In addition, from new arrivals The companies, either specialised or already positioned in related markets such as the telephone manufacturing market, are becoming genuine competitors by offering innovative products and increasingly varied . Wireless and noise reduction devices are increasingly in demand and are driving up product prices

The nomadic nature of music listening and the emergence of new practices such as teleworking should be important growth drivers for this market in France


List of charts presented in this market study

  • Taille du marché mondial des casques audio et écouteurs
  • Ventes en volume et valeur de casques audio
  • Taux d'équipement en smartphone de la population âgée de 12 ans et plus
  • Évolution des ventes de smartphone
  • Fréquence de consommation de musique / vidéos clips en ligne
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Latest news

Xiaomi prepares its grand entrance into the automotive world - 22/11/2023
  • Xiaomi will launch its first electric vehicle model early next year.
  • The vehicle will be a five-seat sedan.
  • The car, dubbed "SU7", will be powered by batteries from CATL or BYD. Xiaomi has partnered with several manufacturers, including BAIC.
  • The vehicle could be manufactured in a new Xiaomi factory on the outskirts of Beijing, which would have an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 units.
  • Huawei, seeking to diversify its activities, has also entered the automotive sector.
Online commerce: French websites threatened by new rivals - 17/11/2023
  • Cdiscount is now in sixth position among the most visited e-commerce sites according to the Médiamétrie barometer.
  • FNAC is in ninth place among the most visited e-commerce sites.
  • E.Leclerc is now in fifth place and Carrefour in eighth.
  • The Chinese sites Shein, Temu and AliExpress enter and approach the Top 10 with ranks of 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
  • Online sales are up 30% on 2019, according to the Fédération de l'e-commerce et de la vente à distance (Fevad).
  • FNAC Darty's figures show a 1.8% drop in online and in-store sales over the first nine months of the year.
  • Companies like Cdiscount stop loss-making promotional sales
  • ManoMano cuts a quarter of its workforce.
Cdiscount, the French champion that must change its business model in the midst of the Casino storm - 17/11/2023
  • Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and Casinotake over French e-commerce champion
  • In the third quarter, sales volume plunged by 13.5% year-on-year, to 667 million euros, and direct sales (products bought and resold by the site, as opposed to sales by third-party merchants present on its marketplace) by 35%.
  • At the end of the first half-year, Cdiscount posted a net loss of 47 million euros
  • The marketplace hosts third-party merchants, charges a commission of 7% to 15% on each order, and sells logistics services and advertising.
  • Cdiscount relies entirely on its marketplace.
  • The marketplace generates 63% of business volume, compared with 55% a year ago. The aim is to reach 70%. This is the model used by Polish e-tailer Allegro.
  • Cdiscount ranks sixth among the most visited sites.
  • The 1,600 third-party merchants maintain a broad offering of 80 million items.
  • Revenues from subsidiary Octopia, Mirakl's competitor which sells solutions for creating marketplaces, rose by 54%
  • The C-Logistics subsidiary increased its number of external customers by a factor of 6.
Fnac Darty's takeover of Cdiscount may be dead in the water - 30/10/2023
  • Cdiscount sales down 25% on last year
  • Cdiscount direct sales down 35%
  • Fnac Darty offered to buy Cdiscount for 500 million euros two years ago
Virtual reality headsets, new Macs - 05/06/2023
  • Apple plans to unveil its first virtual and augmented reality headset.
  • The headset is expected to cost $3,000
  • Apple expects to sell around 900,000 units in the first year
  • Several Mac and iPhone applications will be integrated into the headset, such as Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Email and Messages, Maps, Notes, Music, Photos, Safari and Weather.
Xiaomi: 18.9% drop in sales - 24/05/2023
  • Telephony market decline in China in Q1 2023: 11% (according to Canalys)

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

JBL (Groupe Harman, Samsung Electronics)
Bang & Olufsen
Cdiscount (CNova)
Greenwaves Technology

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