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Hearables 2020-2030: Technologie, Akteure und Prognosen: IDTechEx

The total market for hearables will be worth $28bn in 2020, growing at 14% CAGR through to 2025

Hearables 2020-2030: Technologie, Akteure und Prognosen

Abdeckung des Marktes für am Ohr getragene elektronische Produkte, einschließlich Kopfhörer, Hörgeräte und verwandte Produktbereiche

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Hearables are wireless electronic products worn in, on or around the ear. This includes products such as headphones, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and a growing ecosystem of related and new products. They have applications including combinations of infotainment, hearing assistance and augmentation, health monitoring and more, based primarily in the consumer electronics and healthcare sectors. This report aims to provide a comprehensive view of the entire industry, covering each product type individually, broader industry themes and review of the key technology at the core of this movement.
Hearables as a category was first coined back in 2014. At this time, the earliest commercialisation efforts around "true wireless" headphone products had just begun, with several new startups attracting a significant amount of attention. In headphones, significant portions of the market were switching to wireless options, enabled by Bluetooth® Low Energy radio, and Apple had just acquired Beats for $3bn. In hearing aids, the leading 6 (now 5) players dominated a multi-billion dollar market, but with the rate of new innovation beginning to increase.
Subsequent years have seen the product sector rise in both attention and revenue. The most significant event of all was the release of Apple's AirPods (December 2016), and the subsequent success of this product. This triggered efforts from the majority of major headphone players and several other consumer electronics players to produce their own true wireless headphones. In hearing assistance, the increasing sophistication of algorithmic techniques to configure and adjust these devices threatens the status quo of the hearing aid industry. This has been compounded with the passing of the 2017 Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act in the US and the subsequent new product category that it will create.
These developments have been enabled by underlying technology development ranging from how the devices process information, to their means of communication, to the sensors which are added (for example, to add health monitoring as an additional application), to the way that they are powered. Perhaps the most significant technology launch of all has been the Bluetooth® LE Audio in the Bluetooth 5.2 specification, which will only truly start to be introduced in products in 2020 (albeit alongside or replacing many proprietary options developed individually by others in the interim). The report reviews each of these technology areas in dedicated chapters, describing the current technologies that are available and assessing the potential of various emerging options.
However, all of these significant developments leave many unanswered questions as to the future of this industry. IDTechEx have developed the report to provide answers and supporting evidence to each of these questions, for example:
  • How will the implementation of the 2017 Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act in the US impact the hearing assistance industry, including both traditional hearing aid players and any other players that may release OTC products? (See image below)
  • After two years of frantic development to develop and release true wireless headphone products, how long can the aggressive growth in this industry continue, and can anybody challenge Apple's dominance? (See second image below)
  • What impact will the adoption of new and existing technology options that can enable health monitoring via ear-worn products have on existing products in the sector and the wider product ecosystems around health monitoring (in both a fitness/wellness and medical context)?
  • Which areas of technology development are most likely to successfully shape the next generations of hearables products, and which are likely to have minimal impact or fail?
Answers to each of these questions and more can be found in dedicated chapters addressing themes around the future of hearing assistance and augmentation, and the future of biometric monitoring on the ear. The report then contains sections addressing the industries for each specific hearable product category (including headphones (true wireless, wireless, wired), hearing aids, OTC hearing aids, PSAPs and other hearables and cochlear implants). Finally, there are sections looking at key technology areas, including processors and communication, sensors (motion, optical heart rate, blood pressure, others), energy (primary and secondary batteries, other energy sources, plus wireless charging and energy harvesting), and then other components such as proximity sensors and microphones.
The spectrum of hearing loss and the devices which serve it. The introduction of the OTC hearing aid category is a significant event which will disrupt the status quo here. The report discusses the various considerations, including interviews with relevant players on both sides of the argument, and gives a specific market forecast for OTC hearing aids based on IDTechEx's independent assessment.
Source: Hearables 2020-2030
Summary image showing a sample of true wireless headphone products released since Apple first launched AirPods in December 2016. True wireless headphones as a product sector has grown from nothing to be worth over $11bn in 2020. Full historic data and market forecasts for this, and other product categories mentioned are included in the report.
Source: Hearables 2020-2030
The report is the result of over two years of research, including both primary and secondary research from the analyst team at IDTechEx. This has included more than 20 primary interviews with leading players from across the spectrum of products and technologies involved, from large players such as Bose, Starkey, Widex, Oticon and Sonova, through to leading technology players such as Valencell, Well Being Digital and RelaJet, to prominent startups such as Nuheara, Olive Union, and more.
The market data and forecasts are a key part of this report. The extensive primary and secondary research for this report has enabled IDTechEx analysts to gather specific historic data and opinions on market direction from across the hearables product ecosystem. The report contains historic revenue data from 2010 - 2019 for 9 different product areas within hearables. This data, combined with insights from years of research, has then been used to create detailed market forecasts from 2020 to 2030. This all includes revenue, sales volume and pricing information, developed from a combination of specific primary and secondary data sources and estimates refined over the duration of the research effort.
This report on hearables also builds on nearly a decade of related research across the wider wearable technology field. This grounding in both the technology and product experience, as well as in the market data, provides additional experience which has been built from in the production of this report. See the associated report portfolio via the IDTechEx website for more details.
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Table of Contents
1.1.Executive introduction
1.2.Historic data and revenue forecast for hearables products, by product type
1.3.Full historic data from 2010-2019 and forecast from 2020-2030
1.4.Headphones and infotainment:
1.5.Forecast summary
1.6.Hearing aids and hearing assistance:
1.7.Forecast summary
1.8.Competition across the hearing loss spectrum
1.9.Health metrics from hearables
1.10.Key technology areas for hearables
1.11.Hearables as part of wearables
2.1.1.Hearables: Introduction and definitions
2.1.2.Scope of this report
2.1.3.Product types included
2.1.4.The main technology themes within hearables
2.1.5.Product types
2.1.6.Product examples
2.1.8.Players: Hearing assistance
2.1.9.Players: Smart feature integration (voice assistant, spatial audio, "AI", etc.)
2.1.10.Players: Biometrics
2.2.Themes: Hearing assistance & augmentation
2.2.1.Assistance and augmentation
2.2.2.Traditional hearing assistance devices
2.2.3.The prevalence of hearing loss
2.2.4.Competition throughout the spectrum of hearing loss
2.2.5.Severe and profound hearing loss patients
2.2.6.Moderate to severe hearing loss patients
2.2.7.Mild to moderate hearing loss patients
2.2.8.Mild and pre-hearing loss patients
2.2.9.Summary: Opportunities to address in each sector
2.2.10.Hearing assistance features
2.2.11.Core features: Audio signal processing
2.2.12.Additional features: Enhanced audio
2.2.13.Functionality vs battery life
2.2.14.Functionality vs latency
2.2.15.Example: Singular Software
2.2.16.Additional features: Connectivity
2.2.17.Hearing assistance - market dynamics
2.2.18.Historic data: Hearing assistance sales volumes
2.3.Themes: Biometrics on the ear
2.3.1.From the wrist to the ear:
2.3.2.Placement of wearable sensors
2.3.3.Early product examples: Headphones
2.3.4.Early product examples: Hearing aids
2.3.5.First market tests for HRM in sports headphones
2.3.6.Towards more advanced sensing options
2.3.7.Summary of sensing options in the ear
2.3.8.Timeline for commercialisation
2.3.9.How quickly will biometric sensors be introduced?
2.3.10.Revenue from ear-worn products containing biosensors
2.3.11.The proportion of ear worn products adding biometrics
2.3.12.Outlook and conclusions
3.1.1.Product types
3.1.2.Product examples
3.2.Headphones years of headphones
3.2.2.Development of wireless headphones
3.2.3.Headphones product categories:
3.2.4.Headphones & headsets
3.2.5.Headphones product categories:
3.2.6.Wired and wireless
3.2.7.Headphone product categories:
3.2.8.Over-ear, on-ear, in-ear
3.2.9.Headphones product categories
3.2.10.Headphones product categories: This report
3.2.11.Headphones players
3.2.12.Examples of leading headphone companies
3.2.13.Market leaders: Beats and Apple
3.2.14.The boom in true wireless stereo headphones
3.2.15.The boom in true wireless stereo headphones (visualised)
3.2.16.Headphones - market data and forecasts
3.2.17.Historic data: Headphones sales volumes
3.2.18.Headphones - historic data
3.2.19.Headphones - revenue by company
3.2.20.Company interviews
3.2.22.SoundPeats - product examples
3.3.Hearing aids
3.3.1.Hearing aids: Introduction
3.3.2.The big 5 becomes 5: WS Audiology
3.3.4.Key features of hearing aids
3.3.5.Hearing aids - historic data
3.3.6.Hearing aids - market forecast
3.3.7.Interviews and profiles with key players in the hearing aid industry
3.3.8.Interviews: Summary
3.3.11.Phonak (Sonova)
3.3.13.Nations Hearing
3.4.Towards OTC hearing aids
3.4.1.A timeline towards OTC hearing aids
3.4.2.Where do OTC hearing aids fit in?
3.4.3.The potential impact of OTC hearing aids
3.4.4.Planning for the introduction of OTC hearing aids
3.4.5.Pricing strategies for OTC hearing aids
3.4.6.Bose: Discussions with the most prominent player
3.4.7.Forecasts for OTC hearing aids
3.5.PSAPs and other hearables
3.5.1.The spectrum of hearing assistance products
3.5.2.PSAPs as the entry point for hearing assistance
3.5.3.PSAP features and performance
3.5.4.PSAP players
3.5.5.Newer PSAP start-ups enter the market
3.5.6.Learning from failures
3.5.7.Other hearables with specific applications
3.5.10.Olive Union
3.6.Cochlear Implants
3.6.1.How We Hear Normally
3.6.2.Major Technological Developments in Cochlear Implants
3.6.3.Cochlear Implants
3.6.4.Outline of a Cochlear Implant
3.6.5.Special Considerations for Cochlear Implants
3.6.6.Major Players for Hearing Restoration
3.6.8.Cochlear: Nucleus System
3.6.9.Cochlear: Kanso Processor
3.6.10.Cochlear: Auditory Brainstem Implant
3.6.11.Advanced Bionics
3.6.12.Advanced Bionics: Naida CI Q Processor
3.6.13.Advanced Bionics: Neptune Processor
3.6.14.Advanced Bionics: HiFocus Electrodes
3.6.16.MED-EL: Synchrony System
3.6.17.MED-EL: SONNET Processor
3.6.18.MED-EL: RONDO Processor
3.6.19.MED-EL: Auditory Brainstem Implant
3.6.20.Outlook - Cochlear Implants
3.6.21.Cochlear implants - historic data
3.6.22.Cochlear implants - market forecast
4.1.Key technology areas for hearables
4.2.Processors and communication
4.2.1.The most important technology for hearables
4.2.3.Bluetooth LE Audio
4.2.4.Bluetooth chipset providers
4.2.5.Interview examples
4.2.6.Example: RelaJet Tech
4.2.7.Opinion: Well Being Digital
4.3.1.From the wrist to the ear:
4.3.2.Placement of wearable sensors
4.3.3.Motion sensing in hearables
4.3.4.IMUs - Introduction
4.3.5.MEMS - Background
4.3.6.MEMS - Manufacturing techniques
4.3.7.MEMS - Becoming a commodity
4.3.8.MEMS Accelerometers
4.3.9.MEMS Gyroscopes
4.3.10.Digital compasses
4.3.11.Magnetometer types
4.3.12.Magnetometer types (figure)
4.3.13.Magnetometer suppliers and industry dynamic
4.3.14.Magnetometer suppliers by type
4.3.15.MEMS Barometers
4.3.16.Limitations and common errors with MEMS sensors
4.3.17.MEMS manufacturers: characteristics and examples
4.3.18.Heart rate
4.3.19.Monitoring heart rate
4.3.20.Photoplethysmography (PPG)
4.3.21.Transmission and reflectance
4.3.22.Reflectance-mode PPG for fitness wearables
4.3.23.Key players
4.3.25.Valencell - more product examples
4.3.26.Well Being Digital Ltd. (WBD101)
4.3.31.Georgia Tech
4.3.32.Blood pressure
4.3.33.Techniques for measuring blood pressure
4.3.34.Traditional approaches to measuring blood pressure
4.3.35.Blood pressure cuffs in watches
4.3.36.Non-invasive, beat-to-beat?
4.3.37.How important is beat-to-beat BP?
4.3.38.Pulse transit time (PTT) & pulse wave velocity (PWV)
4.3.39.Pulse arrival time (PAT)
4.3.40.Differential pulse arrival time (DPAT)
4.3.41.BP from PPG: Optical blood pressure
4.3.44.GT Cardio
4.4.Energy in hearables
4.4.1.Rechargeable batteries
4.4.2.Primary batteries for hearing aids
4.4.3.Fuel cells to power hearing aids
4.4.4.Wireless charging and energy harvesting
4.4.5.Wireless charging in hearables?
4.4.6.Wireless charging approaches and companies
4.4.7.RF charging targets hearables
4.4.8.Energy harvesting: Most popular techniques
4.4.9.Energy harvesting for hearables
4.4.10.Conclusions: Wireless charging and energy harvesting
4.5.2.Receivers & Microphones from Sonion
4.5.3.Proximity sensors
5.1.Methodology and assumptions
5.2.Historic data and revenue forecast for hearables products, by product type
5.3.Historic revenue, by product type (2010 - 2030)
5.4.Hearables pricing, by product type (2010 - 2030)
5.5.Hearables sales volumes, by product type (2010 - 2030)
5.6.Historic data: Headphones sales volumes
5.7.Headphones - historic data
5.8.Headphones - revenue by company
5.9.Hearing aids - historic data
5.10.Hearing aids - market forecast
5.11.Cochlear implants - historic data
5.12.Cochlear implants - market forecast
5.13.Revenue from ear-worn products containing biosensors
5.14.The proportion of ear worn products adding biometrics

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