I learned a lot about the state of hearables in this Voicebot.ai podcast hosted by Bret Kinsella with Dave Kemp & Andy Bellavia. Here’s some things I learned:
1. There will likely be a tech disruption to the traditional high-end headphone market. Will Bose, etc. get bought? Or live on to be just a high-end niche player in the intelligible hearable space? It is likely that the high-end headphone companies will take much market share from the leaders in intelligible hearables (which already have pretty nice fidelity).
2. Apple will likely continue to dominate the IOS echosystem as Apple’s Airbuds have a very high satisfaction rating from customers (98%). However, the Android echosystem is more wide open and
3. So far, air buds pretty much get used the same way that smart speakers are used (egs. phone calls, texts, music, podcasts, audiobooks, setting alarms & timers). How will that vary going forward? At the 49-minute mark, there is a good discussion about how geolocation offers opportunities for hearables such as in-store purchases (eg. in a retail store, can tell you where to go for a specific product; can help upsell or cross-sell) or catching a train. There will be more interactivity with apps using hearables.
4. At the 54-minute mark, Bret notes that only 20% of Airbud users have used the voice assistant feature in them. That surely will change soon enough as they become more comfortable with using voice and they then explore new modalities that voice offers.