TWS headset

  • From the perspective of brand cooperation, the main control chip competition pattern highlights the trend of head concentration

    The hotness of the TWS headset market has caused many chip manufacturers to compete on the Bluetooth audio SoC, constantly launching various Bluetooth true wireless solutions. Big brands with self-developed chips tend to use self-developed chips in order to obtain the best optimization of their own products, such as Apple and Huawei; chip suppliers in the mid-to-high-end market mainly include Qualcomm abroad and Hengxuan in mainland China; major players in other markets It is Realtek in Taiwan, Luoda and Jerry in mainland China. In terms of brand cooperation, apart from Apple, which always uses self-developed chips, other major manufacturers have their own preferred partners. According to Cinda Electronics Industry Chain research, Huawei’s early products used Hengxuan chips, the latest Freebuds 3 used self-developed A1 chips; Xiaomi mainly used Hengxuan and Realtek chips, and a few products used Qualcomm chips; OPPO mainly used Hengxuan chips ; Vivo mainly uses Qualcomm chips; Samsung always cooperates with Broadcom. Most foreign acoustic brands use Qualcomm chips. Recently, a small number of products have begun to use chips from domestic suppliers. For example, JBL adopted Hengxuan's BES2000 in its new product TUNE 120. Other small and medium-sized brands also have a large selection of chip suppliers. Mainland China has Zhuhai Jieli, Zhongke Lanxun, and Taiwan also has Realtek and Yuanxiang. Their TWS Bluetooth chips are relatively low-priced. The above chip manufacturers jointly supported the rapid growth of the TWS headset market in 2019. We have compiled the current mainstream TWS headset manufacturer's chip solutions. It can be seen that almost all current mainstream audio solutions support the Bluetooth 5.0 standard, and some products have begun to support the latest Bluetooth 5.1 standard. Compared with the full bloom of TWS brands, the trend of chip suppliers' head concentration is more obvious, and each manufacturer has a differentiated target market, such as Hengxuan, Qualcomm serving mainstream Android manufacturers, and other third-party brands. Zhuhai Jieli, Zhongke Lanxun, Realtek, etc. However, we believe that with the development of the TWS industry, this differentiated and polarized pattern will eventually be broken, and leading suppliers will broaden their product lines and…
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  • Noise reduction and LEAudio are the future upgrade directions

    The current TWS headset has basically achieved a relatively stable and fast connection, but considering that as a portable headset product, its application scenarios are often outdoor and public places, only the connection performance is not enough. Ensuring call quality when the noise is too loud or the signal is poor is a key factor to enhance the user experience. Looking into the future, the noise reduction function will gradually be popularized to mid-range models, and the LE Audio protocol that can achieve low bit rate and high sound quality transmission is expected to become the mainstream solution in the future.
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  • Low-end product upgrades, full price distribution of flagship manufacturers, polarization is no longer

    The explosive growth of the TWS headset industry in 2019 has led various manufacturers to launch their representative products. It can be seen from the horizontal comparison that each product has certain differences in the performance specifications of the main control chip performance, battery life, size, weight, waterproof, noise reduction, wireless charging and so on. Such as Apple and Sony targeting the high-end market; Huawei and Samsung targeting the mid-range market; and Xiaomi, which focuses on price/performance in the parity market.   From the price point of view, the price distribution of TWS earphones is polarized. Among them, 1000-2000 yuan is the main battlefield of mid-to-high-end brands. In the Q2 China TWS headset market in 2019, this price segment accounts for 55% of sales with 15% of sales. The price segment below 200 yuan is the position of white-brand products. With the rapid development of the TWS headset market, white-label products are developing rapidly. In Q2 2019, products in this price segment accounted for 19% of sales with 63% of sales. 2018Q2-2019Q2 Retail sales volume of China's TWS headset market (unit: thousands) However, at present, many white-brand company products have only basic functions, and the actual user experience is not good. But its low price can help increase the penetration rate and cultivate user habits. After the early adopters, users will continue to upgrade and choose products with better performance and more value-added services. If many white-brand manufacturers want to build their reputation and long-term development, they still need to improve product quality; otherwise, they will be squeezed out of the market share by leading manufacturers with better comprehensive experience. Under this trend, the market concentration will continue to increase, and the average price of low-end products will gradually increase.   At the same time, there is another development trend in the market, namely the full price segment layout of the flagship leader. In 2019, TWS earphones with more than a thousand yuan still contributed more than half of the sales of the entire market. We believe that this is because TWS earphones were initially introduced to the market as…
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  • Many players enter the game and starters emerge

    In terms of brand competition, Apple has set benchmarks for the price range and performance of TWS headphones, and the Android brand is also expanding rapidly. According to Counterpoint statistics, the top three TWS headset shipments in 2019 were Apple, Xiaomi and Samsung, accounting for 47.1%, 6.1% and 5.8%, respectively.   In terms of quarterly data, in Q1-Q4 of 2019, global TWS headset shipments were 17.5 million, 27 million, 33 million and 51 million units respectively, of which AirPods series accounted for 60%, 53%, 45% and 41%, respectively. After the launch of AirPods Pro, it was very popular, and the supply was in short supply, which drove the steady growth of sales. The cost-effective advantages of the Android camp are prominent, but the pattern is more scattered. Taking Xiaomi as the representative, the company's products are mainly LHDC Bluetooth decoding high-definition sound quality, plus the price of 368 yuan close to the people, once launched, sales increased rapidly. At present, the company's market share ranks second in the world, and the proportion of Q4 in 2019 is 8.0%, but there is still a big gap compared with Apple.   The current pattern of TWS earphones is quite similar to that of the time when the cohort of cottages came together. At that time, the era of cottages achieved the hegemony of MTK. Now, with the implementation of binaural transmission solutions by chip manufacturers such as Hengxuan, Luoda, and Realtek, In the second half of 2019, the blowout trend of TWS earphones is not inferior to the glory of the cottage. The sinking of low-end markets and channels made the TWS earphones used by early Apple high-end users approach more ordinary consumers and opened up greater market demand. We believe that with the development of the TWS headset industry, in the future IOT industry will also be born in the smart machine industry Qualcomm, MTK level chip giant.
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  • Looking ahead to 2020, despite the impact of the epidemic, we remain optimistic about the TWS headset market

    Reasons for optimism about the TWS headset market: (1) Supply side: Technology giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft are expected to enter the true wireless audible device industry and promote industry standardization through a platform strategy; while existing smartphone giants such as Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei will also continue to expand their business, Development of new TWS earphones.   (2) Demand side: The first-generation products purchased in 2016 and 2017 will be phased out, and consumers' demand for replacement will soar, ushering in the first wave of replacements.   (3) Technical aspect: LE Audio low-power audio technology standard is released. Multi-Stream Audio will allow a single audio source device such as a smartphone to synchronize multiple and independent audio strings to multiple audio receiving devices. Streaming. This means that Bluetooth connectivity will fundamentally support low-latency binaural simultaneous interpretation, completely solving the technical problems of low-latency connection solutions.   Driven by the above factors, it is foreseeable that the TWS headset market will continue to grow steadily. We expect TWS headset shipments to reach 210-220 million units in 2020, with a five-year average annual compound growth rate of approximately 120%.
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