“One needs to look no further than what tops this year’s list of recommended Father’s Day gift ideas from consumer electronics chain Best Buy: Rockfish indoor/outdoor speakers and Beats by Dr. Dre wireless headphones. Both are curvy, shiny and Bluetooth-enabled,” Michael Antonoff reports for USA Today. “As the Beats tagline for its multiple models of Bluetooth headphones goes: ‘Feel the music. Not the wires.'”
“According to Ben Arnold, an industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research firm in Port Washington, N.Y., it’s becoming a Bluetooth world. U.S. retail sales of binaural (two-ear) Bluetooth headphones doubled to $280 million during the May 2013 to April 2014 period vs. the same months the previous year. The leading brands in order of sales were Beats, LG, Jaybird and Motorola,” Antonoff reports. “In the category of Bluetooth speakers, annual sales reached $896 million compared to $380 million the previous period. That’s a market growth of $500 million. The leading brands were Bose, JBL, Beats and Jawbone’s Jambox. According to Beats, its brand grabbed 57% of all U.S. premium wireless headphone sales in 2012 and 2013. Not bad for a company founded in 2008.”
“Perhaps the real reason Beats became the apple of Apple’s eye is that it gazed into its mobile screens and saw blue,” Antonoff reports. “So, what does it all mean culturally? The ascension of mobile devices that play music through earphones has made parks, beaches and subways less noisy. One measure of the shift from public to private listening can be seen when you enter the words ‘loudspeakers’ and ‘headphones’ into Ngram Viewer, a program that measures the frequency of phrases appearing in books scanned by Google. From 1970 to the late 1990s, mentions of loudspeakers maintained a constant rate. Headphones were a distant second, but the word entered an upward slope about 1980 as Sony introduced the Walkman. The categories’ line graphs crossed over in 1998, and since then “headphones” have remained well on top.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]