Denmark-based Jabra believes the increasing adoption of jack-less phones combined with improved Bluetooth transmission capabilities will drive the market for wireless headphones. “The future of headphones is wireless,” Dr Amitesh Punhani, Head of Marketing, India & SAARC at Jabra, told indianexpress.com on the sidelines of the launch of the new Elite series in India.
“The initial hindrance in wireless was the sound quality because it could only take limited bandwidth to be able to transfer the data points, but now as the technology advances we can see comparable sound quality over the wired earphones. Plus, of course, it has the mobility advantage,” Punhani said.
The explosion of smartphones is key for pushing adoption of wireless headphones in India. Apple’s decision to kill the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus two years back may seem to have benefited the market for Bluetooth-connected and wireless earbuds in a big way. According to Punhani, more consumers are willing to pay a premium price to buy headphones which wasn’t the case a few years ago.
The launch of the Elite 65e and Elite Active 65t is a testimony that there is a market for high-end wireless earphones in India. Priced at Rs 16,999, the Elite 65e is a pair of premium neckband-style wireless earbuds which comes with Active Noise Cancellation, and is also IP54 rated for water and dust resistant.
The Elite Active 65t, on the other hand, belongs to the true wireless earphones segment popularised by Apple AirPods. They are lightweight wireless buds that aren’t connected to any wires and include charging cradle to quadruple the battery life. Priced at Rs 14,999, the Elite Active 65t can be used by athletes during training and they can be worn during sports. Both the Elite 65e and Active 65t feature Bluetooth 5.0 and come with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri integration.