Press Note

Study Reveals Consumers Are Prioritizing Innovative Features In Their Electronic Purchases

Our 2019 State of Play report finds that along with rich, clear sound quality, audio consumers now seek even more playback time, low-latency audio streaming, Voice UI, noise cancellation and complete freedom from wires.

Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and a global audio and connectivity leader, today 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.

For more information and to download the full report, commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., please visit the State of Play webpage.

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our inventions are the foundation for life-changing products, experiences, and industries. As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT — including smart cities, smart homes, and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including the QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

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