While many might still think of Logitech as a company that makes computer accessories, in recent years it has become a major player in audio devices, mainly thanks to its Ultimate Ears sub-brand of Bluetooth speakers (like the popular UE Boom, pictured above and to the left) and in-ear headphones. Now the company is set to expand its audio lineup even more.
Logitech announced yesterday that it would acquire Jaybird, manufacturer of mainly sport-focused wireless headphones. The company will pay roughly $50 million in cash for the acquisition, with an additional “earn-out” of as much as $45 million to be paid on the condition that the acquisition results in the growth Logitech is looking for.
“We’re impressed by the technology, products, and marketing Jaybird has brought to this business,” Logitech President and CEO Bracken Darrell said in a statement. “As one team, we can address the fast-growing wireless audio wearables market with all the advantages of Jaybird’s strong brand and sports expertise, and our combined audio engineering and design capabilities. With both the Ultimate Ears and Jaybird brands in our portfolio, we are expanding the long-term growth potential of our music business.”
Jaybird has been in business for 10 years, but has grown in popularity in recent years with its BlueBuds X wireless Bluetooth earbuds, which saw a successor last year with the release of the Jaybird X2. The company also makes the Reign activity tracker, and given Darrell’s mention of “audio wearables,” it seems that both types of products might appeal to Logitech.
“It has been an incredible journey. We love what we do, and we’re stoked to continue to innovate and bring amazing new products to our fans,” Jaybird founder and CEO Judd Armstrong said. “Jaybird will benefit from Logitech’s global distribution network and deep engineering prowess. We’ve watched as they’ve connected incredible products with passionate consumers under the UE brand, and we’re thrilled to be part of the team.”
While Logitech is acquiring the company, it won’t be folding Jaybird into its existing ranks. Instead, Jaybird will remain its own sub-brand, similar to Ultimate Ears. The deal isn’t yet finalized, but is expected to close in the coming weeks.