Soundbar Sales Soar 68% in 2012
Quixel Research: soundbar unit sales up 158% in Q4 2012 alone, with revenues of $658 million for the quarter. Revenues predicted to top $1B in 2013.
The soundbar category grew a whopping 68% over all of 2012, with a monumental surge in Q4 2012 alone. Unit sales for Q4 versus Q3 were up 158%, according to a new report from Quixel Research.
Beyond the volume of sales, the revenues look promising, as well. In Q4 2012, revenues were up 82% versus the year prior, for a total of more than $658 million.
We may be seeing a downward trend in revenues for the category, however, as revenues grew “only” 59% to $245M in the last quarter of 2012.
Even better, the category of soundbars with a companion subwoofer increased 126% in 2012 versus the prior year.
Quixel predicts that the soundbar category will surpass the $1 billion mark in 2013 and account for well over $2 billion by 2016.
“For the past seven years the focus has been on video, but consumers are realizing that sound completes the picture and are embracing the soundbar category at a heady pace,” says Pratt.
The success of the soundbar is a mixed blessing for retailers and integrators. While the soundbar isn’t exactly a 7.1 surround system, at least we’re seeing a move away from consumers using a TV’s built-in speaker. They’re now at least gravitating towards better sound, if not the best.
On the other hand. Pratt suggests that soundbars are “starting to erode traditional home theater audio system categories.”
She adds, “2012 was really the first year the market saw a wide breadth of products, as well as channel availability and support for the category. Consumers can buy a simple 2.0 Sound Bar for $49 at Walmart or spend more than $2,000 for a luxury branded 2.1 Sound Bar with an external subwoofer from their local custom installer.”
In other trending news, consumers are embracing Bluetooth streaming audio features of modern-day soundbars. Models with streaming audio capabilities rose to over 1 million units in 2012, according to Quixel, while iPod dock models declined for the same period.
“The market quickly embraced the streaming audio feature for Sound Bars, almost all of which utilize Bluetooth technology. Sound Bar models with streaming audio capabilities rose to over 1 million units in 2012, while iPod dock models declined for the same time period.”
Note that the Quixel research was released before the introduction of the Sonos PlayBar, which is likely to generate even more visibility for the category.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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