Samsung comes in a distant third place for true wireless headphone sales in 2019

Samsung Galaxy Buds
Samsung Galaxy Buds (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Apple dominates the true wireless headphone market with over 50% of sales.
  • Xiaomi comes in second with 8.5% of the market.
  • Samsung is a distant third after shipping 7.4 million units in 2019 for 6.9% of the market.

When Apple introduced the AirPods, it pretty much created an entirely new category of headphones. One where Bluetooth earbuds cut the cord and were no longer connected by a wire. Instead, the buds now featured a truly wireless design along with a charging case, and thanks to the removal of the headphone jack in many of today's flagship phones, the market is booming.

Not only is Apple responsible for this trend, but it also currently dominates the market with a whopping 54.4% share after shipping 58.7 million AirPods in 2019, according to data from Strategy Analytics (via Yonhap). While it's not unexpected to see Apple with the lion share of the TWS headset market, the runner-up may come as a surprise to many of you.

After shipping 9.1 million TWS headsets in 2019, China's Xiaomi comes in second with only 8.5% of the overall market. Xiaomi climbed its way into second place in 2019 by offering a variety of headsets to choose from, along with often undercutting the competition on price.


Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Rounding out the top three is Samsung, which shipped 7.4 million TWS headsets in 2019 for a 6.9% share of the market. While Samsung may only have a paltry share of the overall market, the Galaxy Buds are still some of our favorite true wireless headphones around Android Central. Our own Andrew Martonik called them "exceptional everyday buds" in his review.

Next month, Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Buds+ on February 11 along with the Galaxy S20. Unfortunately, according to the latest leaks, the Galaxy Buds+ will lack active noise cancelation in favor of a larger battery. While longer battery life is always welcomed, that probably won't help Samsung catch up with Apple which introduced its AirPod Pros with ANC last year.

However, with true wireless headphones being one of the fastest-growing products in the tech sector, it probably won't be long before we see Samsung introduce a pair of TWS headphones with ANC. Strategy Analytics says it expects the TWS headset market to grow even more in the next few years, growing to 1.2 billion units in 2024 compared to 170 million that shipped in 2019.

Jason England