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Trending in China: Explosive Growth of Wireless Headphones, but Are They Even Popular?

Carol Yuan / Nov 19, 2020 05:08 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

The hashtag #True Wireless Stereo (TWS) headphones see explosive growth (无线耳机迎爆发式增长) is trending on Weibo as state TV channel CCTV Finance released a video on the product’s turbocharged sales growth.

What’s the story?

A manager at the online shopping platform Suning.com reported that the recent 'Double 11' online shopping festival saw omni-channel sales of TWS headphones increase 116% year-on-year.

In 2017, Apple AirPods set off a wave of TWS headphone market entrants. According to market research organization Counterpoint, for three consecutive years, shipments of the headphones grew by 118%, 130%, and 183% respectively. In 2019, global TWS headphone shipments exceeded 120 million units.

Despite a downturn in the first quarter of 2020, the global TWS headphone market bounced back, with shipments increasing by 18% in the second quarter. Industry insiders believe that with further improvements to battery life, sound quality, noise reduction and other performance factors, TWS headphones are expected to become a standard accessory for mobile phones in the future.

What are people saying online?

Despite this significant increase in sales of wireless headsets, many people online favored wired headphones. Besides, someone sharply pointed out that the reason for the increase in wireless headset sales, is because “if the headphone port and charging port are not the same, why should I buy a wireless headset? Once charged, you can’t listen to music because you can’t podcast in public places. I still don’t understand why the earphone port has been removed from mobile phones now…”

But there is also a group of people open to the new option. “If the battery life were better and the design more reasonable, I would like to try TWS headphones,” one comment read.

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