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31+ Important Headphones Statistics & Facts (2024)

Last updated: 7 months ago
9 min read

Here are the latest headphone statistics on:

  • How many headphones are sold every year?
  • Headphone industry statistics
  • What age group uses headphones the most?
  • How many people use earbuds?

Plus, more intriguing headphone stats below:

Headphones statistics
CONTENTS (click to show more)

    Headphones Usage & User Statistics

    Here’s data on how people use headphones, what’s important to them when buying a new pair, and what they think about Bluetooth.

    The best part? There’s data on secret reasons why people wear headphones.

    Check it below:


    What features do people value in headphones the most?

    • Sound quality is the most important feature for people in the United States when buying new headphones.

    Here are the top 5 headphone features according to Americans:

    RankHeadphone featureImportance
    1.Sound quality75%
    2.Comfort71%
    3.Price54%
    4.Durability42%
    5.Weight29%
    Importance: How many Americans think it’s important

    And here’s the chart:

    (Statista)

    According to a Statista survey, 75% of respondents said audio quality is at the top of their requirements when looking for new headphones. In contrast, fitness tracking and health sensors are the least important.

    Most common usage of headphones

    • 49% for watching movies or TV shows
    • 36% to listen to the radio
    • 28% to listen to audiobooks
    • 25% for phone calls
    • 9% to work with sound (Statista)

    Here’s the chart showing what activities Americans use headphones for:

    (Statista)

    Related: More data on the music industry.

    A 2017 United States Statista survey asked people (aged 18 or older) how and for what purposes they use headphones. The results showed people use headphones for more than just listening to music, proving how ingrained they’ve become in our modern way of life.

    How often does an average American buy headphones?

    • The average person in the United States buys one pair of headphones every 2 years, according to 2022 estimates. (Statista)

    On average, an American is estimated to buy 0.52 headphones per year (2022 estimate). This is 1.04 units of headphones every 2 years if this trend continues.

    Average headphone usage

    • Young adults aged 19-29 years use headphones the most, on average 7.8 hours per week.

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    Here’s the table showing the average headphone usage by age groups:

    Age groupHeadphone usage
    per week
    Headphone usage
    per month
    Headphone usage
    per year
    19-29 years7.8 hours33.9 hours405.6 hours
    30-49 years5.5 hours23.9 hours286 hours
    50-79 years5.2 hours22.6 hours270.4 hours
    Source: Canadian Health Measures Survey (assumed 4.345 weeks per month and 52 weeks per year)

    According to the Canadian survey, young people use headphones more and considerably longer than older generations.

    In the 19-29 age group, most use headphones or earphones from 6.2 hours to 9.3 hours per week with a 95% confidence interval. This means most people’s use of headphones will fall into this rage.

    • In a 2017 study, 88.6% of adolescents listened to headphones every day or at least a few times a week.

    There were 279 participants in the study. On average, they listened to headphones for at least 2 hours per day.

    80% used headphones between 30 minutes and 2 hours per day, whereas 20% used headphones for 3 or more hours.

    Here’s the table of preferred headphone type between participants:

    How many used …Percentage
    Earbuds with ear tips49.4%
    Earbuds with eartips37.9%
    On or over-ears12.7%
    (NIH)

    What are the reasons people wear headphones?

    People mainly use headphones for music, audiobooks, and movies. But also:

    • 47% of surveyed users wear headphones to avoid their environment
    • 42% use headphones to communicate they want to be left alone
    • 20% wear headphones to avoid distraction when working
    • 20% see headphones as a fashion accessory
    • Only 23% said they never use headphones (Bitkom Research)

    In a 1007 people survey conducted by Bitkom Research in Germany, 7 out of 10 said they own at least 1 pair of headphones.

    As they found out, people use headphones for more reasons than just listening to audio. Headphones and earphones are also a way to communicate with the surroundings and to control the attention you want to receive.

    Do people miss wired headphones?

    • 69.2% of people said they could go back to using an audio jack (AUX) after using wireless Bluetooth headphones. (Android Authority Twitter poll)

    But “could” is not the same as “would.” While most respondents agree wired traditional headphones generally have better audio quality, the convenience of Bluetooth connections is hard to pass.

    And thanks to new developments in Bluetooth codecs that will make Bluetooth audio almost as good as wired, we can assume people won’t miss the headphone jack at all.

    Headphone usage at home vs. outdoors

    Wireless headphone and earphone usage by location:

    • At home: People use wireless headphones more than earphones, 66% versus 58%.
    • At outdoors: People prefer wireless earphones over headphones, 55% versus 45%. (Statista)

    A worldwide survey by Statista tells us people prefer headphones (over-ear, on-ear) for listening at home, probably due to comfort. While for outdoor, on-the-go use, they prefer smaller and portable earphones (earbuds, in-ear headphones).

    Headphone Industry & Market Statistics

    Here is the info about the headphones market size, growth rates from year to year, and country market shares.

    You’ll also find the top headphone brands, which type of headphones dominates the markets, and more.


    How big is the global headphone and earphone market?

    • The worldwide headphones and earphones market is estimated at US$22.3 billion in 2022.

    It’s predicted to be worth US$ 35.2 billion in 2028, with a growth rate of 7.9% CAGR from 2022 to 2028. (Future Market Insights – FMI)

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    The headphone and earbuds market is growing globally, with developing countries being the driving force.

    How big is the US headphone market?

    • In the United States alone, the headphones and earbuds market is estimated at $6 billion in 2021. The US represents the biggest 27.9% global market share. (Reportlinker)

    China is close second and growing, with a projection to reach US$ 5.6 billion in 2026.

    Headphones and earbuds annual revenue in Germany

    Headphone market revenue in Germany has been growing by over 23% per year in the last 5 years.

    The market in 2021 was almost 3 times as big as in 2016.

    YearUnits soldRevenue (EUR)Change
    201611,469,000434M/
    201711,976,000478M+10.2%
    201812,650,000578M+20.9%
    201914,552,000932M+61,2%
    202015,540,0001.238M+32,9%
    202115,848,0001.239M+0.1%
    Source: Hemix

    How many headphones are sold per year?

    • 548 million units of headphones have been sold worldwide in 2021, which is a million less than in 2020. (Statista 7)

    Nonetheless, the sales remain high compared to previous years. This is how many headphones were sold globally between 2013 and 2021:

    YearHeadphones sold
    worldwide
    2021548 million
    2020549 million
    2019445 million
    2018380.7 million
    2017363 million
    2016349 million
    2015331.3 million
    2014309.5 million
    2013286 million
    (Statista 7)

    Are headphones a big part of the audio devices market?

    • The global headphone market represented 27% of the worldwide audio devices market in 2021.

    (FMI – Earphone and Headphone Market Outlook 2022-2028)

    Future projections show demand increasing, with estimates the headphones market will represent 44.4% of the global audio device market in 2022.

    Headphone industry growth rate

    • The headphone industry market grew globally at a rate of 7.1% from 2013 to 2021, with substantial growth in developing countries like China and India. (Future Market Insights)

    Demand for headphones is increasing, especially thanks to the Asia Pacific region, which is expected to witness significant growth in the future.

    • The industrial hearables market estimated growth is at 7.8% CAGR between 2022 and 2026; FMI estimates the market value to peak at US$ 991.5 million in 2026. (Future Market Insights)

    Industrial hearables like headsets and bone conduction headphones are gaining traction in workplaces at a similar pace to consumer electronics market expansion.

    • In 2021 the share of (TWS) true wireless segment deliveries reached 63%, and over 100 million were delivered in Q4 2021 for the first time.

    The true wireless segment dominated as the most popular type of headphones, mainly thanks to the 2021 release of 3rd gen. AirPods, which drove demand.

    • TWS earphones represented 45% of deliveries in 2019, 59% in 2020, and 63% in 2021 in the global smart personal audio market. (Canalys)
    • Smart personal audio delivery growth rate was 58% in 2019, 20% in 2020, and 8% in 2021. (Canalys)

    The true wireless segment has taken the headphones market by storm as its market share increases. However, their growth rate has slowed down by the end of Q4 2022.

    In 2022, there were 287.7 million TWS units shipped compared to 292.8 million in 2021 (Canalys 2).

    What headphone price range is the most popular?

    • The 50 to 100 USD headphones segment controls the biggest share of the market at 39.2% in 2019. (Grand View Research)

    People prefer affordable headphones that offer the latest technology. This price range is between the cheapest (under $50) and more expensive premium headphones ($200-$300+).

    • 71% of consumers say the price is a major factor in their decision-making. (Canalys)

    A European survey showed consumers place a critical value on pricing. Affordable prices attract more customers to buy headphones.

    • The average price of headphones is estimated at 67.6 USD per unit in 2020. (Grand View Research)
    The average price of headphones is estimated at 67.6 USD per unit

    The German data shows the average price of a pair of headphones is over $80 (€75), an increase from $40. Here’s a discussion of why headphones are getting more expensive.

    A couple of years ago, the average price of headphones was estimated at around 40 USD per unit. With new developments in technology and features, people are willing to pay more for headphones.

    Here’s similar data from another source:

    • The average price of headphones is increasing. From reported $42.7 per unit in 2017 to 67.6 USD in 2020. (Futuresource Consulting & Grand View Research)

    What is the most common way of buying headphones?

    • Online retail was the primary way of buying Bluetooth headphones, with a 49.2% market share in 2018. (Grand View Research)

    With the fast development of online shopping in developing countries, online retail is the leading way people buy headphones. It’s expected the share to increase further, especially as companies like Amazon and eBay gain traction in China and India.

    Headphone brand popularity

    Apple is the #1 headphone brand in the US. Their headphones are used by all age groups, but they’re the most popular among younger generations. (Statista)

    Apple is #1 headphones brand in the US

    AirPods are selling like hotcakes, making Apple the biggest brand in headphones. Apple can rely on its iPhone users to prop up sales, as they’re used to AirPod’s frequency response.

    What are the most used headphone brands in the US?

    • Apple, Beats by Dre, Bose, Samsung, and JBL are the top 5 most used headphones brands, according to a 2023 survey of US respondents. (Statista 6)

    Here’s a more detailed view of the most popular headphone brands in the US:

    BrandPercentage of US respondents
    using headphones from the brand
    Apple39%
    Beats18%
    JBL15%
    Bose14%
    Samsung13%
    Sony11%
    Skullcandy9%
    LG8%
    Anker5%
    Audio-Technica5%
    Bowers & Wilkins4%
    Panasonic4%
    Philips4%
    Grado3%
    Jaybird3%
    Sennheiser3%
    Marshall2%
    Other or
    don’t know
    17%
    (Statista 6)

    Related: Here’s an article where we dive deeper into the best headphone brands, and Bose corporation revenue.

    What are the most used headphones worldwide?

    Top 5 brands globally that have the highest market share in smart personal audio (Canalys):

    • Apple (incl. Beats) 26.5% share
    • Samsung (incl. Harman) 8.1% share
    • Xiaomi 5.7% share
    • Sony 3.5% share
    • Skullcandy 3% share

    Apple and Samsung lead the US and global markets. Companies like Xiaomi have more success worldwide and haven’t penetrated the US markets yet.

    Wireless Headphones Statistics – Bluetooth Headphones & Earphones

    Here are headphone industry statistics on devices that play audio wirelessly.

    Learn how Bluetooth headphones are dominating and the impact of Apple.


    Wireless earbuds market share

    • Wireless earbuds represent around 75% of the Bluetooth headphones market share. (Global Market Insights)

    The domination of earphones can be accredited to the development of true wireless technology and smart features like bone conduction, voice assistance, active noise cancellation, and wireless charging.

    Wireless earbud market size

    • The worldwide wireless earbuds market size is estimated to grow from $4.65 billion in 2021 to $5.69 billion in 2025. (ReportLinker)
    • The worldwide true wireless market reports the lowest growth rate in 3 years at 6.4% in Q2 2021. (Canalys)

    Canalys report concludes demand is consolidating from the market boom in 2020.

    • True wireless earbuds and smartwatches became the main smartphone companion devices at the end of 2020. (Canalys)
    • Smart personal audio devices, including wireless headphones, grew by 20%, and smart bands grew by 10% in 2020, cutting a bigger slice of the pie.

    Bluetooth headphones are still growing its market share compared to alternatives.

    The impact of Apple on global personal audio markets

    • In the months before Apple released the 3rd gen. AirPods in Q3 2021, the global personal audio markets fell 15% in North America and 21% in Europe, mainly due to Apple’s shipment slump as customers waited for the release. (Canalys)

    Apple has a major impact on the global earphones market, and Apple’s shipment drop can move the market as a whole.

    What countries have the largest true wireless headphones market share?

    • United States has the largest TWS market share with 27%, followed by China with 23%, and India with 10%. (Canalys Q3 2021)

    India jumped to third place in TWS market share for the first time, with a growth rate of 92% in Q3 2021 compared to the previous period. India’s market growth can be attributed to the development of affordable TWS earphones and the accessibility of mobile technology in the country.

    Read more:

    Conclusion

    These are all the latest and relevant headphone facts and trends. The headphone industry exploded, especially after the release of the first AirPods and the popularity of true wireless earbuds.

    Which stat caught your eye? What do you think is the future for the industry and headphone usage?

    Let us know in the comments section below.

    Sources:

    2 Comments
    1. Thank you for this! Do we know which Apple earphone has sold the most units? Earbuds, Airpods, or Airpods Pro?

      Reply

      1. Unfortunately not. They don’t disclose the sales numbers of specific models.

        Reply

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