| New Delhi |
Published: November 24, 2017 9:41 pm
Sony has set its eyes on the premium audio market as it promises to offer aÂ best-in-class experience with its new 1000X noise-cancelling headphones range.Â All three models –Â 1000XM2, WF-1000X, WI-1000X – are wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.Â Also, all of them can be optimised by the ‘Headphones Connect app’, which lets you adjust music and sound settings. Sony’s latest 1000X range will be priced between Rs 14,990 and goes up to Rs 29,990 for theÂ WH-1000XM2, the top-end model. The company also launched the newÂ WH-H900N wireless headphonesÂ priced at Rs 18,990.
The top-end Sony WH-1000XM2 competes against the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.Â The successor to the popular MDR-1000X has a familiar over-ear design, and the same touch-sensitive control pad on the right. What has changed, however, is that it can sense your actions, and will automatically adjust the level of noise cancellation.Â It has also got something called the Atmospheric Pressure Optimiser feature that measures the barometric pressure around the wearer and adjust the sound accordingly. Battery life is claimed to be around 30 hours while wireless and 40 hours wired.Â Sony WH-1000XM2 will be made available in India from December 14.
The WF-1000X, Sony’s answer to Apple’s acclaimed AirPods, come with three hours of battery on the device and six additional hours in the charging case. The wireless earbuds are priced Rs 14,990, whereas Apple’s AirPods can be purchased for Rs 11,999 in India.
Sony WI-1000X, meanwhile, are neckband-style earphones.Â They also take advantage of the Atmospheric Pressure Optimiser feature. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours wireless and 14 hours wired. These are priced at Rs 21,990.
“The wireless headphone market is picking up in India. In fact, it has grown more than 50 per cent year-over-year. And this year the market grew over 100 per cent,”Â Mani B, Assistant Manager, Mobile & PA Marketing Department, Sony India, told Indianexpress.com on the sidelines of the launch.
“We are currently focusing on the ‘super’ premium wireless headphone market, which is above Rs 20,000. Having said that, we are also very strong player in the entry and mid-segment. For instance, in the sub-Rs 10,000 wireless headphone segment, we have the Extra Bass series, which is one of the best selling headphones,” he said.
Although the acceptability of wireless headphones in India has increased, the market size is still small. “The market potential is huge; we have over 1 billion population but compared to the population size and the total headphone market size, the penetration of wireless headphones are still very low. We still feel that there is a huge market that is untapped,” he added.
Asked to describe key characteristics of an Indian consumer who buys wireless headphones, Mani replied, “Whenever a customer buys a smartphone, he uses the supplied earphones. And once he gets exposure to a better quality headphones, then he starts thinking to migrate fromÂ poor quality headphones to the best quality ones,” he explained.
Mani says the growth is happening in the wireless headphone segment, whereas the wired segment has been getting a moderate response lately. The basic difference between the two is the ease of use, and also prices of wireless Bluetooth headphones are getting down.Â The company’s entry-level wireless headphones range starts from Rs 3,500 and goes up to Rs 29,990 for the high-end ones.
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