WATCH: NPD Group Analyst Ben Arnold Talks High-Tech Headphones, Tablets and Ultrabooks

The industry analyst discusses what tech enthusiasts should expect to see this year

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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 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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