True wireless confessions: JBL uncovers surprising behaviours of TWS earbud owners

London, 30 April 2020 – JBL, the leading headphone brand, has found some surprising earbud etiquette. This follows research conducted by the brand into the behaviour of young Europeans (14-35 year olds) when choosing and using TWS earbuds.

Key findings:

Over 50% confess they use TWS earbuds with nothing playing to ignore people

28% of owners wear them whilst eating dinner with other people 

Gen Z more social than millennials as 48% open to sharing earbuds

Truly wireless, but just how attached are we to our earbuds?

Well, 52% of 14-35 year olds across Europe admit they would search for a lost earbud in the mud if it fell out, and 35% would even fish one out of the toilet! 

There is also physical ghosting in action, with over half using earbuds without anything playing just to ignore people, with 54% of girls confessing to this vs just 45% of guys.

Do you leave them in at the dinner table?

Behaviour changes in several surprising ways once you own a pair of TWS earbuds. 28% of owners admit they use them whilst eating at the dinner table with others, while just 14% of potential owners expect they’d behave this way.

Who do you take them out for?

TWS earbud use is at an all-time high but there are clearly some unwritten rules in place. With 85% of 14-35 year olds removing their buds to talk to their buddies, and the family connection staying strong as even more (89%) will remove to talk to their relatives.

Gen Z more sociable users of technology

Behaviour when using earbuds is also split between two generations with younger Gen Z much more likely to share an earbud with someone else (48% vs 36% of millennials). They’re also more open to interruptions with just 36% of Gen Z compared to a large chunk (50%) of millennials stating that if their earbuds are in, they are unavailable.

“The past two years have seen true wireless earbuds soar in popularity. At JBL we have a great range of TWS earbuds with something for everyone from sporty to more fashion-focussed and all with the great sound expected from JBL. We are fascinated by headphones and wanted to look into what the public look for in TWS earbuds whilst also understanding how they behave when using them. It’s clear that what started as an accessory is now something we can’t live without.” 

Marije Bakker, PR Manager EMEA at JBL.

All data is based on 2020 research conducted by JBL of 2277 people in age range 14-35 in Europe

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About JBL

For over 75 years, JBL has shaped life’s most memorable moments at the intersection of music, lifestyle, gaming and sports. JBL elevates listening experiences with superior audio quality and product designs that encourage individuality and self-expression. With unmatched professional credentials and industry-leading innovation, JBL is a trailblazer in the audio industry because of passionate and talented engineers and designers around the globe. JBL Pro Sound is the foremost technology pushing culture forward through major pop culture events and partnerships with the world’s top talent across music, sports and esports.


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