NPD Group Analyst Ben Arnold Talks High-Tech Headphones, Tablets & Ultrabooks [VIDEO]
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Headphones from the House of Marley range in price from $29 to $299 (Image: House of Marley)

Beats by Dre. Sleek by Fifty Cent. Soul by Ludacris. House of Marley. You’ve probably heard about these high-performance, high-end headphones and maybe even bought a pair or two.

If you have, you’re not the only one. Sales of stereo headphones priced above $100 have more than doubled in 2011, according to the NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service. While models under $100 make up the majority of headphone sales, models priced above $100 now account for more than $342 million in sales.

“Consumers are starting to demand better quality audio,” says Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis at NPD.  “But also these are fashion accessories. You see kids at the mall wearing them. They are very trendy right now. People under 24 are really making up a huge share of those buyers. It’s about introducing a new market to high quality audio.”

The industry analyst sat down with BlackEnterprise.com to discuss the growth in the high-performance headphone trend, better offerings in the tablet department, and why “ultrabooks is where it’s at.”

Watch the video below:

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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