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Headphones named hot Christmas gift of 2012

Published: 21 Nov 2012 08:19 GMT+01:00

"Headphones not only fulfill a function, but they are increasingly a part of – and a symbol of – a lifestyle," Lena Larsson, head of HUI Research (formerly the Swedish Retail Institute) said in a statement.

"Never before have headphones been used to such an extent or been as popular as they are now."

Candidates for Sweden's "Christmas Gift of the Year" (Årets julklapp) must be trendy, a hot seller, and represent the times in which we live.

RELATED PHOTO GALLERY: Christmas gifts of the year - past and present

According to the institute, headphone use has grown along with the explosion of mobile devices which can connect to the internet.

Increasingly, people are donning headphones to listen to music, watch television, or check the news while commuting, exercising, or sitting in cafés.

"Listening is the new reading," Jonas Arnberg, head forecaster with HUI Research, told the TT news agency.

"Headphones are a symbol for the current trend in mobility."

According to Larsson, headphone use has evolved with technology and an increasing trend of being "plugged in".

"The fact that we are always in such a hurry means we try to use our time in motion in the best way," she told Sveriges Television (SVT).

"Thus headphones are a condition for being able to take advantage of all of that."

2012 marks the twenty-fifth consecutive year that the institute has published its prediction for the gift most likely to fill the space under the tree at Christmas.

The tradition began back in 1988 when the baking machine was nominated. In 2011, HUI Research predicted that a home-delivered bag of groceries would be the most popular Christmas present in Sweden.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

11:55 November 21, 2012 by Mb 65
With an i phone attached.
13:13 November 21, 2012 by Rishonim
Indeed headphones are part of a trend and lifestyle. It is called "another way to isolate yourself from the rest of the world". By definition Swedes are isolationist. Why do you think so many people read the metro or are hypnotized steering at their mobiles while commuting to work? It is not because they want to enhance their intellectual capacities with some infandous allegories from the latest chapter of a reality show. No..;; it is simple that they don't want to engage in a conversation with a fellow human being. Add a headphone to that and bingo! You become invisible. Back to the hottest Xmas gift this season? Hmmm. Unless they are selling between 50-98 SEK, I don't see many people splurging 400 SEK and giving it as a Xmas present.
14:07 November 21, 2012 by smilingjack
what they dont realise is what tinnitus is like. which in about another decade 90% of the population will have and be partially deaf.

not a pleasant thought. I would have thought someone would have thought about this by now.

Im curious when I get back to oz to see if 80% of the train is staring aimlessly at a smart phone screen or reaching into their pockets every 30 seconds to gaze at it for some reason.

I think it will be a world phenomenon - not isolated to sweden.

still not quite sure why people have wrist watches when they carry a clock around in their pocket? gullible I guess.

for the record I have neither a smart phone or a wrist watch but do have my small creative muvo that doesnt require software and licensing to add music to.

yes I have tinnitus.
15:11 November 21, 2012 by Svensksmith
Good time to invest in hearing aid companies.
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