Noise-cancelling headphones on, do premium brands dominate?

ShelfTrend looks at sales of noise cancelling headphones to see if generics have gained momentum over the first-to-market blue chip brands.


Noise-cancelling headphones was, and still could be, associated with the up-market lifestyle - the jetsetter trying to fade the roar of the airplane engine during their many business class jaunts around the world or the professional musician testing the sound and pitch of each instrument in his complex arrangement.

Today, everyone seems to be in the market for noise-cancelling headphones, from office workers to everyday audiophiles, commuters to gamers.

Has this become an every-man technology? Have generics made the technology more accessible to the average consumer?

Looking on, I am astounded by what I uncover.

Firstly, when a person searches for "noise cancelling headphones" the top ranked listings are Brand New Bose and Sony higher priced products.  I see some second tier brands and many brands that I do not even recognize.  Nothing stands out as a generic or even a 'branded' generic.  In addition, the majority of listings are for New with some sort of warranty offered.

Digging deeper with ShelfTrend's Top 500 ranked live listings report, there are a whopping 45 brands.  Most brands make an appearance in the under $100 range.  But from $100 up, it is entirely dominated by the big brands.

In terms of sales volume there is consistent healthy sales activity across all price ranges and all brands.  This is an in-demand category!  There is exceptional sales activity in the range under $50 and then again in the over $300 price range.  Check out the charts below for more detail.


So what is the answer to the original question of whether premium brands dominate the noise-cancelling headphones category - the answer is YES.  Generics have hardly made a dent.  They may try and have some luck in the <$50 price range, but even then, buyers are opportunists looking for that great deal for that great brand.

There is still a lot of data to cut.  This analysis is based on listings and not by model number/GTIN/MPN/UPC - which is all searchable on both eBay and on ShelfTrend.  I suspect when you aggregate by actual model number the volume of sales is even higher for these brands.

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Happy Selling!

The ShelfTrend Team