Earbuds Help Speed Up Voice-Assistant Tech Adoption
Wireless earbuds, or hearables, are now stealing the show from smart speakers in driving the growth of voice assistant technology. That's amid the current rise in smart earbud and headphone consumption, which is estimated to hit 26 million at the end of 2020.
Why the Future is Ear
Wireless hearables offer more mobility compared to smart speakers and smartphones, making them more popular. In fact, the number of voice assistant-powered earbud owners climbed by 103% in the past two years to 43.7 million in 2020.
As neuroscientist Poppy Corum puts it, the ear has become a "biological USB port" to consumers' brains. Technologists predict that these devices will offer more than just access to calls, music, and podcasts but also information on-demand. This may include "whispering" details to help users remember acquaintances. Future models might even be able to detect the users' moods or emotions by detecting a person’s biological signals.
In-ear pieces are already providing readings for body temperature and heart rate readings. Industry insiders also expect wearables to appeal to the hearing impaired, some of whom might've felt stigmatized for their in-ear gear.
Leading Voice Assistants and their Earbuds
The AirPods has become a hit due to their compact design, soft silicone ear tips, and noise-canceling feature. In a recent survey, 71% of consumers considered "active noise cancellation" as an important quality for earbuds in general.
Most of all, the second-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro are connected to the Siri voice assistant, which currently tops the market share in the U.S. Siri can read incoming messages and send voice replies. The Live Listen feature also turns the pods into on-demand hearing aids when iOS12 is installed.
Samsung Galaxy Buds
The bean-shaped Galaxy Buds turned into the AirPods' main U.S. rival—currently in third place (six percent) after Xiaomi Corp (10%)—due to their Android phone-compatibility. These Samsung earbuds work with the Bixby voice assistant.
The Galaxy Buds Plus also has a third internal microphone that improves call quality.
Google Pixel Buds
These rounded earbuds with stabilizer arcs (silicon "fins" that anchor the buds to your ears) made their debut this 2020. It instantly pairs with Google Assistant, which offers better real-time language-translation than Siri.
Its predecessor was a Bluetooth-powered neckband. This pair doesn't cancel noise the way Apple and Samsung pods do, but its smart software automatically adjusts so that you can hear audio well despite noisy surroundings.
Amazon Echo Buds
Although the Amazon Echo leads the smart speaker market, the Echo Buds are lagging, having just joined the hearables race in 2019. Besides its Alexa-integration, these earpieces can access Siri and Google Assistant using Echo Loop.
Unlike Apple and Samsung, Echo Buds use Bose Active Noise Reduction instead of noise-cancellation. The Amazon product's price (about 50% less than the AirPods) is its main selling point.
Expand Your Hearables Market with Our Voice Plans
With hearables expected to make up over half of the wireless headphone-using market by 2024, making your company voice search-ready is more important than ever. Our team at Voice Command offers the expertise you need to help today's voice assistants—and therefore, earbud users— easily access your business information. Contact us today for more information about our Voice Plans.