Growing market of shrinking earbuds

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Smaller has been the trend regarding in-ear headphones. Four experts tell us that the trend will continue.

Daniel Levine, who is a trend expert at Avant-Guide Institute, expects that the miniaturization of in-ear headphones, or earbuds, will continue until they’re on par with that of invisible-in-ear-canal hearing aids. Advances in battery miniaturization will contribute to the development of what Levine calls microbuds, he says.

Sam Janzen of product designer Concept CAD Prototyping Production believes that the shrinking of in-ear headphones might lead to the development of models that are stored and charged within other products.

Adam Robertson of Jabra, which makes wireless in-ear headphones, tells Consumers Digest that miniaturization can compromise sound quality. Kayla Mackie of adds that inconsistent Bluetooth connectivity can be a problem as manufacturers shrink earbuds further.

—C. Maynard