285 Million Hearable Devices On The Way

Part of the wearables market is morphing into a hearables market.

Ever since Apple, Google and more smartphone makers started ditching the audio jack in a move to wireless audio, the market for wireless hearing devices has taken off.

Within five years, there will be 285 million hearables in use, a growth rate of 46% a year, according to a new forecast from Juniper Research.

The research firm defines a hearable as ‘an ear-based wearable device that supplies aural content or information to the wearer that is either generated by computations and data on the device itself or by an attached app.’

There are six stages of a given market, with hearables pretty much in the middle. Here’s how Juniper defines the six stages:

  1. Early stages of development, but offering significant potential
  2. Gaining traction, but not yet fulfilled potential
  3. Established technologies delivering good revenue and still evolving
  4. Technology and business cases are established
  5. Initial markets saturated, expansion needed
  6. Total market saturation, unit sales based almost entirely on product refreshes across all markets

Hearables are considered to be at the third phase, delivering revenue while still evolving. For context, the overall Bluetooth headset market is considered to be at the fifth phase.

Most (70%) of the market is projected to be concentrated in North America and Europe.

Over time, many of the wireless devices will come with voice assistants and many hearables also will have microphones for noise-canceling purposes.

Many consumers will be getting an idea of hearables through the TV campaign “Sway” that Apple is running. In the commercials, two dancers share a pair of Apple’s wireless AirPods.

Hearables are the new wearables.

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