Qualcomm Technologies International at IFA released its 2019 State of Play report. This annual report is based on a survey of 6,000 smartphone users aged 16 to 64 in the U.S., UK, and China, and was expanded this year to include Japan, India, and Germany. It uncovers new insights into the evolving demands of global audio consumers, and highlights trends driving the audio technology industry.
“Consumer audio is an exciting and rapidly evolving space. Our report highlights that great sound quality remains vitally important to consumers, and that the majority now believe they can get ‘as good as wired’ sound with Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally it shows the swift adoption of truly wireless earbuds and smart speakers – categories that are underpinned by the innovations our customers are bringing to market using Qualcomm’s technologies, such as Qualcomm aptX audio, active noise cancellation and superior connectivity” said James Chapman, vice president and general manager, voice, music & wearables business unit, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. “Globally, consumers now want to do more than just listen to music on their audio devices. This means our customers will need to integrate new features like voice assistance, cellular, and low-latency audio streaming, while at the same time extending battery life and improving sound quality.”
The Qualcomm Technologies report highlights that many consumers are willing to pay for next generation audio products that support the smarter, more immersive listening experiences they want to enjoy, whenever and wherever they go. “We’re excited to provide the industry with this in-depth look at the current and future trends in consumer audio,” explained Chapman.
Some of the most important findings include:
- Sound quality is a top-ranking purchase driver for 65% of global consumers, with 63% of headphone shoppers saying high-resolution audio quality is important. Additionally, 64% of smart speaker shoppers said sound quality is most important to their purchase decision and 78% of soundbar and home theater shoppers say superior sound quality matters.
- Extended battery life is a top-ranking purchase driver for 61% of consumers surveyed in 2019, up from 47% in 2018. This sharp increase reflects the shift in preference towards wireless, which has allowed users the freedom to enjoy listening on the move.
- More than 30% of those surveyed use their wireless audio devices while gaming.
- 52% of respondents said they would prefer to receive Bluetooth wireless headphones bundled with their next phone.
- 35% of consumers surveyed already own a smart speaker or smart soundbar, and an additional 23% plan to buy one in the next 12 months. In addition, 78% of consumers are willing to pay more for a smart or wireless speaker that supports their desired features.
- 60% of wireless headphone use is in noisy environments, and 63% of users care about Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) as a feature.
- 67% of soundbar shoppers said the ability to stream audio smoothly to other audio devices without any lags (low latency) is important.
- 53% of consumers rated Voice UI as a feature of interest for wireless headphones.
- 73% of users expect their portable/wireless speaker to be able to play music at a very loud volume without distortion or loss of audio quality.
In addition to these findings, the study uncovers many more insights into consumer use cases and purchase decisions for wireless headphones, speakers and soundbars – helping Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. and its customers to design audio devices that meet users’ expectations and enrich their lives.
Further Info: State of Play webpage.