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The Hearables Market – a Covid Update

Good for earbuds; bad for hearing aids.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  Dickens’ could have written that opening line to preface an account of the Covid year for the hearables industry.  Over the last six months consumer demand for earbuds has risen to an unprecedented level.  In contrast, hearing aid manufacturers have been dealt a body blow, with sales tumbling by up to 75%.  As one industry executive put it “we’d have done better if we were an airline”.  Covid has also had unexpected effects on the service industries which have been traditional drivers of hearables growth.  Audio streaming services like Spotify have seen listening times go down, while video streaming and video conferencing have experienced unprecedented demand.

As countries came out of lockdown during the summer, we saw further shifts in usage, but it’s apparent that overall, hearables have done well out of the crisis.  That trend looks set to continue as we face a second wave of the pandemic and further lockdowns.

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October 28th, 2020 | Published in Usability & Design, Wireless Connectivity

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About Creative Connectivity

Creative Connectivity is Nick Hunn's blog on aspects and applications of wireless connectivity. Having worked with wireless for over twenty years I've seen the best and worst of it and despair at how little of its potential is exploited.

I hope that's about to change, as the demands of healthcare, energy and transport apply pressure to use wireless more intelligently for consumer health devices, smart metering and telematics. These are my views on the subject - please let me know yours.

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