Danish firm banks on easy wireless music listening

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Danish firm banks on easy wireless music listening

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Jonathan Tang

When most telecommunication and computer devices going ever more mobile and portable with wireless technology is becoming an industry norm, the same is true with music listening devices. Albeit in its early stage, the market for wireless speakers and headphones is rapidly picking up, and the days of no wires at all may not be far off.

Jonathan Tang, vice president of Asia Pacific Consumer Solution at Danish electronics house Jabra, is highly upbeat on the outlook for the segment.

“As traditional PCs get smaller, and tablets with all different operating systems get more popular, there is an increasing need for people to become more mobile,” he said in an interview during his Seoul visit for a product launch event yesterday. “We believe hands-free accessories will also continue to grow.”

Keeping up with the industry trend, Jabra yesterday introduced two premium over-ear headphones and an in-ear headset - which made their global debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January - to the Korean audience. The over-ear headphones under the Revo brand name - one Bluetooth-based wireless one and one wired - marks the first venture into the segment for the company that has been selling only headsets since 2011. The Jabra SPORT, a Bluetooth headset launched two years ago, gained upbeat feedback from both experts and consumers for its light-weight, behind-the-ear design that facilitates workout routines. Currently, wireless headphones are available from Sony and Senheiser, a German company.

Tang says those headphones are the first of their kind to integrate Dolby Digital Plus audio processing and a companion smartphone app - available for both Android and iOS operating systems - thus enabling a more powerful, full-spectrum sound.

Jabra is a subsidiary of Cohenhagen-based GN Netcom, a leading hearing instrument maker, and entered Korea four years ago through an exclusive local distributor. Last October, it unleashed a high-end portable Bluetooth speaker, Soulmate. Although total market for Bluetooth speaker is not big yet, it definitely is a growing category, Tang said. On the other hand, the market for the docking stereo system is on the decline, he added. Scandinavian design aspect is crucial to Jabra.

According to Suzaan Sauerman, head of global consumer marketing, the company tried to keep the color minimal on the side of the headphones - black, white and red. It also refrained from making the brand logo visible, unlike headphones currently considered highly fashionable among trend-conscious young music listeners. “Our headphones have been devised to better integrate with your outfit and individual lifestyle,” Tang said. The retail prices of three new gadgets have not been fixed, but the headphones will cost about 300,000 won ($274) and the headset around 150,000 won.


By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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