The global TWS hearables market sales in 2021 grew 24% YoY to 299.6 million units. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic impact throughout the year, new products entered the market with more features, like ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and expanded playtime, at affordable prices.
TWS market leader Apple saw a slight increase of 5% YoY in its unit sales but its market share fell to 26%. Driven by its new models, Samsung saw a robust growth of 33% YoY to maintain its share of 7%.
Among other brands, Skullcandy and boAt showed noticeable growth, as they became key players in major regions like North America, Europe and India.
TWS Market Share by Region:
All regions except North America showed YoY growth in 2021. Asia-Pacific (excluding China) had the biggest share, surpassing North America for the first time.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic impact throughout the year, most regions grew driven by new products with more features at affordable prices.
In particular, smartphone OEMs continued to focus on TWS products to expand their smart ecosystem, resulting in increased competition and sales in the market.
Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – September 1, 2021
The global market for TWS hearables saw tepid QoQ growth in Q2 2021, as typically strong spring sales waned across the US and Asia ex-China markets, resulting in overall unit sales and value rising by only 1% and 9%, respectively. On a YoY basis, although the market enjoyed 27% growth compared with 2020’s COVID impacted Q2, the rankings saw few new developments, although significant change did arise in terms of market share.
“Apple lost considerable share in both sales volume and value despite big price drops on the AirPods, but the company is unlikely to be too worried,” says senior analyst Liz Lee, who oversees TWS hearables research at Counterpoint. “I think the 3rd generation AirPods expected next month could be a massive hit. It’s been so long since we’ve seen a new release, and if you factor in some attractive pricing, it’s very possible the AirPods 3 could push overall sales for Apple TWS hearables past 80m for the year.”
Looking at how unit share is evolving Lee notes, ”Samsung grabbed a big portion of the premium segment, while Xiaomi was a standout across sub-$100. Indian player boAt, also made some great gains on the back of domestic market recovery to reach eighth globally, its best showing ever. Overall, the ecosystem is strong, and we’re seeing many niche and long tail players eking out respectable gains.”
“In terms of revenues, significant share gains are being made by really only a handful of familiar names – Samsung, JBL and to a lesser extent Xiaomi. This is partly because of out-performance in China, where there is a strong ecosystem of smaller budget brands,” observes Lee. “Despite this expansion, as well as declines in the US, the sub-$100 and premium markets continue inching towards parity in terms of volume. This trend is likely to be accelerated by Apple in the coming months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the premium segment pushes past 50% in the second half.”
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced consumers around the globe to change their habits, myself included. With lockdowns in place at various points in time, and travel restricted, many people have found themselves hungry for new sources of entertainment and communication. Technology has helped to fill these voids.
One device that helped me adapt to this change was True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds. As I spend more time at home and communicating through online meetings with friends, family and coworkers, having reliable and high-quality audio equipment has been vital. TWS earbuds are key for both work and pleasure.
Recently, I tested two of JLab’s TWS products, the Epic Air ANC True Wireless and the Epic Air Sport ANC True Wireless.
One of the first things I noticed about the JLab Epic Air ANC True Wireless was how comfortable they were. While testing these devices, I wore them most of my workday, which would have been miserable with a poor-fitting product. Instead, I hardly noticed that I had them on. JLab has provided six different sizes of tips to give the earbuds a perfect fit.
Impressive Battery Performance a Major Highlight
A major perk of both devices is their impressive battery lives – I was able to use both devices for the entirety of my workday (eight hours) without a charge. Adding in the battery life of the charging cases, both the Epic Air ANC True Wireless and Epic Air Sport ANC True Wireless can provide over 30 hours of playback before recharging the case, with the sport edition lasting up to 70 hours. This playback time is enabled by a 90mAh battery in each earbud and a 700mAh battery in the charging case for the Epic Air ANC True Wireless and a 120mAh battery in each earbud and a 1,000mAh battery in the charging case for the Epic Air Sport ANC True Wireless. The battery lives of these devices outperform most of their competitors, including Apple AirPods and Galaxy Buds.
However, this impressive battery life comes with a downside. The large batteries take up a lot of space and are heavy, making the earbuds larger than AirPods and Galaxy Buds, and their cases bulky and a bit oddly shaped. This makes them awkward to fit in your pocket. If you are carrying a backpack or a purse, this may not be an issue. But I enjoy bringing my earbuds with me when shopping or going for a walk around the neighborhood, occasions where I would not normally bring a bag with me.
Touch Controls and Noise Cancellation: Imperfect But Helpful Features
Both devices feature touch controls that allow users to change volume, skip tracks, adjust EQ settings, and activate noise-cancelling by just tapping the JLab logo on each earbud. With so many options, the controls can be a bit confusing at first but become familiar with repetition. Commands that require multiple touches occasionally misfired but for the most part were responsive. The touch controls can also be customized through JLab’s Air ANC App, which while difficult to use can be quite helpful.
Another major feature of the devices is their noise control modes – “noise cancelling”, “be aware” and noise control off. The noise-cancelling mode is marketed as removing the uncomfortable “vacuum” sensation that some users experience when using the same mode on other devices. I never got such a sensation while using the devices. However, the noise-cancelling was a bit underwhelming. While they were effective at blocking out noise on hikes and at outside cafés, the noise-cancelling did not hold up as well at busy grocery stores, where a good amount of ambient noise made its way through. The “be aware” mode captures ambient noise around the users and helps them remain aware of their environment. I found this mode useful when checking out at the store or a café, allowing me to keep my earbuds in and my music playing while talking to cashiers or wait-staff. Overall, the noise control modes were useful but a bit less impressive than I expected based on the product description. They were still a major bonus for a sub-$100 device, though.
Good Sound Quality For The Price
In terms of sound quality, I was pleased with both products’ performances. They come with three initial EQ settings – balanced, bass boost, and JLab Signature. While the bass boost was a bit too bass heavy for my taste and the balanced setting a bit lifeless, the JLab Signature setting delivered the best experience. The driving bass notes on “Fantasy” by The XX were full and compelling while the rich texture of swirling strings, piano arpeggios and ornamental chimes on Radiohead’s “Daydreaming” came through distinctly but well balanced. EQ settings can also be personalized on JLab’s Air ANC app. While the sound quality was good, the microphone quality was less so. When using the earbuds on calls, friends often noted that my voice sounded less clear and more distorted, though I was never unintelligible.
Conclusion: Diverse Features, Decent Performance, Low Price
Overall, the JLab Epic Air ANC and Epic Air Sport ANC offer good value for money. The earbuds have amazing battery performance, good sound quality, and useful customization tools that help balance out the slightly disappointing noise-cancelling and the unintuitive app. Together, these devices pack an impressive array of features and performance for under $100, making them a solid choice for consumers.
Also Read: Strategic Reviews and Insights on Latest TWS
In order to access
Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.
How to unsubscribe and Termination
You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time.
In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.
Website Content and Copyright
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.
Changes or Updates to the Website
Accuracy of Information:
While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.
Third Party Links:
This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.
Cookies and Tracking
We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans. Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.