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HAMPSHIRE, UK – An estimated 417 million hearables will be in use by 2022, says Juniper Research, including fitness-focused devices, hearing augmentation and audio-focused devices.

More than 271 million audio-focused multimedia hearables from the likes of Apple, Bose, Google, Samsung and Sennheiser will be in use by 2022, compared to an estimated 62 million in 2018, representing over 50% of all wireless headphones in use by then. This figure will reach as high as 80% in the US.

Apple’s AirPods have emerged as a clear leader, with Juniper estimating around 24 million AirPods to be shipped in 2018.

As midrange and budget manufacturers leverage voice assistants to enhance their devices, over 75% of hearables in use will incorporate voice assistants by 2022.

The fitness segment has strong differentiation here, with custom assistants providing in-the-moment workout feedback, but these are only expected to make up 10% of hearables in use in 2022, thanks to their niche use case, says the research firm.

Assistive hearables will win on revenues, generating over $40 billion annually by 2022, as hearing aids integrate mobile technologies and maintain medical industry prices.

Consumer assistive hearables are less expensive, which appeals to healthcare institutions. Nuheara is one of the most successful companies here, distributing IQbuds Boost through the NHS from 2019. However, Juniper expects existing hearing aid players to maintain control of most medical distribution channels for the foreseeable future.

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