Sony enhances audio headphone lineup for Thai youngsters

BANGKOK, NNA - Sony Corp. is expanding its range of mid-priced and high-end headphones to tap demand for audio accessories in Thailand, particularly among smartphone users.

Sony Thai Co., a local sales unit of the major Japanese electronics and entertainment group, is rolling out three high-resolution wireless headphone models with noise cancellation technology as part of its 1000X series, at prices ranging from 7,990 to 14,990 baht ($240-$451).

The launch comes as Sony is enjoying growing popularity for its MDR-1000X flagship model, released a year ago in the Asia-Pacific region, Tetsutaka Suda, head of the Thai local arm's marketing department, said at a press conference in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Sony, Apple Inc. and its audio products subsidiary Beats Electronics LLC together command roughly half the Thai headphone market, worth some 700 million to 800 million baht, and have been in a neck and neck race for top spot, according to Kessaree Marnee-in, Sony Thai's marketing manager for visual and sound products.

The market is growing at an average annual rate of 10 percent and is expected to reach 1 billion baht in the next three years, thanks to the increasing number of new smartphones, Kessaree said.

Sony, which holds the biggest share of the mid-priced and high-end headphone market, has been widening its customer base from those aged over 30 to people aged 15-30.

In early October, Sony plans to start selling five headphone models including wireless types under the "h.ear" series for young users, with prices ranging from 2,990 to 11,990 baht. (NNA/Kyodo)