Consumers reject free headphones

December 04, 2013, 3:06 PM GMT+0

New research from YouGov also suggests that hardwired headsets could become a thing of the past

The new YouGov “Portable Speakers and Headphones” report finds that although the majority (59%) of consumers in the UK use headphones with their portable electronic devices, six in ten (60%) reject the set given to them free by manufacturers, preferring to spend extra on a branded pair.

Of these quality-seeking audiophiles, nearly three quarters (72%) buy headphones made by well-known manufacturers. The top brand was Sony (15%) followed by Sennheiser (9%), with 6% buying Phillips and Panasonic and 5% picking up a set from Beats by Dr Dre.

The research also suggests that traditional wired headphones could soon be a thing of the past. Although almost nine in ten (88%) of those who own a purpose-bought pair of headphones have wired models at the moment, over a third (34%) say they want to get a wireless pair next, with 18% going for Bluetooth and 16% looking to purchase radio transition models. Only half (51%) say they plan to stick to wired earphones when they get their subsequent set.

However, the report suggests that the market is reaching its threshold. Four in ten (41%) of the population do not use headphones and only 4% of these people are considering buying a pair. The most common reasons for not using or owning headphones are that people are happy with sound they get from their device (45%) and having no need for headphones (38%). One in three (30%) don’t like to listen through headphones while just over a quarter (27%) think they are uncomfortable.

James McCoy, YouGov Research Director, says: ‘People now have so many portable electronic devices, that it is little wonder that the majority now use headphones. However, the large number of people rejecting the free sets that usually come with such devices suggests that we like a little luxury in our listening and want a better quality of audio experience. The move towards wireless sets over the next few years is part of this, and the growth in this area will present opportunities to brands.’

Learn more about the "Portable Speakers and Headphones" Report

Learn more about YouGov Reports