Wireless headphones just overtook traditional headphones in sales

Wireless headphones are hip and cool.
Wireless headphones are hip and cool.
Image: (Peter Barreras/AP Images for JBL
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Wireless headphones outsold non-bluetooth headphones for the first time ever in the first half of 2016, according to consumer research firm NPD Group.

Bluetooth headphones have been around for awhile, but only recently started becoming more popular. One catalyst could be bluetooth low energy, a network that consumes less battery power than traditional bluetooth connections. Wireless headphones themselves have gotten cheaper too—30% of bluetooth headphones sold in the first half of 2016 cost $50 or less, compared with 16% in the first half of 2015.

As wearables become more commonplace, wired headphones may also become less so. (After all, it would be annoying to plug your headphones into your Apple Watch.) Apple is also reportedly considering eliminating the headphone jack from the next iPhone in favor of proprietary wireless headphones, which could further push overall bluetooth adoption.